Our newest MD in Atlanta, Chip Gross, thrives on helping companies imagine their future potential and inspiring them to reach it. Chip’s experience in Management Consulting and Digital Experience Design spans over 22 years crossing between agency and corporate roles. In his two decades of experience, he has led teams of designers, strategists, planners and technologists to help define what’s next for a wide range of Fortune 100 clients. Here’s 5 questions to help us get to know a little more about him:
Why did you choose BrightHouse?
“As I progressed through my career, I have periodically questioned if I am making an impact. I have wondered, what are the ways that I can best create that impact and make it last? When I reflected on where I have been and what I can contribute, Purpose continually rose to the top as a way that I could apply my years as a management consultant, digital strategist and agency executive. BrightHouse is a very unique consultancy as it brings 20+ years of leadership in the field of Purpose, the global reach of the Boston Consulting Group and a deep bench of strategic and creative thinkers in the effort to “Discover true light in the world” (Our BrightHouse purpose). Along with all of those assets, we have a full in-house film and production division that allows us to visually tell our client’s purpose story in many unique ways. In my opinion, it’s a perfect fit.”
You served as past president of the Goizueta Business School Alumni board, as a Board Member on the University-wide Emory University Alumni board and currently serve as Vice-chair on the Board of Trustees for The Cliff Valley School. What do you enjoy most about your community service roles?
“I don’t think that anyone can expect to have their community flourish if they themselves do not play a role in making it happen. We spend more time in our local communities than anywhere else, and how that community functions and the benefits that accrue to the members of that community are symbiotic. Participating on boards, volunteering time and acting as a mentor have been some of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I have past mentees that are running their own businesses and acting as mentors themselves which further scales up the impact to the community. Even lending a hand to help improve my neighborhood park leaves a lasting impression that will endure well past my time on this Earth and lives on as an asset to my community.”
You’ve spent a lot of time during your career in the Digital space. How is Digital relevant to the call for Purpose in organizations?
“Of the many reasons that I chose BrightHouse was the opportunity to bring my expertise in Digital more fully into the work that we do. When I graduated from undergraduate, Digital, as we know it today, really didn’t even exist. Its been an amazing experience to grow up with an industry and play a role in one that has completely transformed our day to day lives.
One defining point about Digital is its ability to drive rapid change and massive transformation wherever it is applied. It is in these times that Purpose is truly paramount to guide companies in setting the right strategies, making the right investments and building the right talent bases to survive and thrive. You can choose almost any industry and find companies, if not entire sectors, that are facing existential threats they never anticipated.
There is also the creative dimension to using Digital to help discover, articulate, activate and embed Purpose within an organization. We all continue to embrace more and more Digital (phones, wearables, home hubs and internet connected microdevices) in how we live our lives. It only makes sense that we embrace it across our work and especially in our storytelling.
I once had a chance to talk to the product and visual designer Karim Rashid, and I asked him what he enjoyed designing the least. He mentioned the smartphone because as soon as it is designed it is almost immediately on its way to obsolescence. Purpose can be that antidote. Done right, nothing is more future-proof than Purpose.”
Family is everything is one of our values, you live in Atlanta with your wife and two kids, what’s your favorite thing to do as a family?
“As I mentioned earlier about the breakneck rate of change in our world, our family time can also get hijacked by the wide range of time-consuming options. It may seem surprising, but one of the things that I enjoy more than anything else is getting the family out to Piedmont Park and just relaxing and spending time together without the demands of phones, Fortnite, YouTube, and Twitter. When the weather is great and we are all home, it’s a real luxury to cherish those moments. My oldest is now less than a year from going to college so taking every chance we can to appreciate our together time is really important to me. It’s another one of the reasons that makes BrightHouse so special.”
You restore cars in your spare time, what’s your favorite restoration and what made it awesome?
“I am currently in-between projects, but I have enjoyed the time to step away and just work with my hands on a car. Its very rewarding to look at something, think about what it was intended to do and through pure effort, research and persistence make it function (or maybe perform better). The cars that I have worked on most recently have been a Pontiac Fiero and then a Porsche 944. I guess I take it as a point of pride that I was able to keep them running, make improvements and do it in a way that helped others see the value I was able to uncover or enhance. In some ways, I think it’s a metaphor for the work that we perform at BrightHouse. Having the opportunity to work on an interesting project, uncovering untapped potential and sharing the benefits with great clients.”