Welcome to The Foundry

We bring a deep, hard-earned toolkit to help you shape
the next chapter of your organization's evolution.


Our singular purpose at Quicksilver Foundry is to help you create more Impact.

We believe three simple truths: Great teams deliver on clarity of purpose. That same clarity inspires, informs and infiltrates everything they do. And agile, elite teams supported by bold leaders represent the organizing principle of tomorrow’s workplace.

Unlocking this potential isn’t for the faint of heart. We call it The Foundry for a reason. But there’s magic in forging focus and clarity – and it’s found in the work. In going through, rather than around, the hard questions.

If you’re ready to deliver that kind of clarity to your team, we’re ready to roll up our sleeves, dig deep, and help you create it.



“Quicksilver Foundry doesn’t just talk about strategic clarity or how they are about lasting organizational change instead of a plan that sits on a shelf. Their work with COMPASS embodied all of that. The brand framework process and product was truly one of the most transformative things we’ve done. We would not have been poised for our expansion a year ago if we had not gone through our work leading up to it with Quicksilver Foundry.”

Brooke Smith - Executive Director, COMPASS

“Looking back, there was a ‘doctor-patient’ quality to the work we did with Quicksilver Foundry. We went in for our physical, knowing that we had some work to do to get back to optimal fitness. Before we knew it, Quicksilver Foundry had driven their brand scalpel into pretty much every corner of our organizational anatomy — all with an arresting bedside manner that, if anything, left us pining for even more invasive treatment. QF has an ability to unpack and lay bare an organization’s DNA and aspirations that’s unrivaled. Any company or non-profit ready for some salutary disruption would benefit greatly from their services.”

Matt Tinning - President, FishHQ

“Establishing an immediate connection during an initial pitch conversation rarely, if ever in my experience, proves out. To the contrary with Quicksilver Foundry. From the very first conversation through months of interaction, Quicksilver Foundry remained connected, focused and attuned to helping us achieve our goals – truly engaging all stakeholders in our process of clarifying our brand promise. And, Quicksilver Foundry delivered on its brand promise, too, helping us rediscover and reposition our trajectory for a more sustainable future.”

Jeff Smith - Chief Communications Officer, Easter Seals UCP

“None of the consultants we have worked with in the past on various aspects of organizational effectiveness came close to being as impactful as Quicksilver Foundry. For them, this was clearly not a plug-n-play contract. Instead, it was about the care and feeding of a relationship that grew and changed substantially over time. This duo (on their own or as a pair) has a knack for asking the right question at the right time and isn’t afraid to say what they think – even (or perhaps especially) when they know it won’t be popular, but they think they have insight.”

Karen McLeod - Director of Science, COMPASS

“Quicksilver Foundry guided our company’s evolution to think about our brand beyond the one dimension of our logo. They helped us build the foundation for a brand culture, understanding our brand is embedded in every single thought, decision and action. Our brand promise now unifies stakeholders in more powerful ways, giving everyone with whom we engage a clear line of sight in our organization’s direction and their role in uplifting and stewarding our brand promise.”

Connie Cochran - CEO, Easter Seals UCP

Recent Evolutions

We don’t believe in strategic planning. We believe in strategic clarity. We don’t think organizations change (not overnight). But we do know they can evolve. We don’t accept that great leaders are born. We’re convinced that they are forged. Here are some recent examples of teams who have gone the distance with us.


What does rural mean? The Blandin Foundation came to Quicksilver Foundry with the kind of challenge we just love to chew on: How do we rethink our work to help rural America redefine the very meaning of rural? We worked with the Foundation to align staff, programs, a new CEO and the board behind one focused mission: supporting vibrant, resilient, rural Minnesotan communities. Working with individual teams, the Foundation's executive team and the board, we helped streamline the Foundation's strategic approach and rethink every aspect of how they show up to be a powerful signal of vibrant community.
We've been working closely with COMPASS for a number of years now - and we think that work defines the potential of an authentic consulting relationship. In the hunt for more impact, all the hard questions are fair game, and they push us just as hard as we push them. First, we dug hard into the team's DNA and aspirations. This was clearly a group ready to go places and embrace a true 'fast and light' attitude. Next we pulled out the toolkit and got under the hood to rethink and align their structure and operating system - these guys needed to turn on a dime and make the most of a dispersed, virtual team. And finally, based on insights from the brand strategy work, we helped COMPASS redefine its ambitions. Previously focused on marine issues, they saw their model and expertise was more widely applicable to a broader suite of science and sustainability issues. Today COMPASS is looking beyond marine and embracing a much broader agenda. Science that resonates. That's the essence of COMPASS.
Our first take away? The front line staff at Easter Seals UCP frequently face more trying and emotionally fraught decisions in the first hour of their day than many of us face in a full year. We were going to need to bring our A-game to build a brand strategy that met them where they were. Our second? Easter Seals UCP are quietly setting about creating a national revolution by modeling how services for people with disabilities and mental health issues can be reframed. Our work with Easter Seals UCP was a great demonstration of how evolving organizational cultures can be as much about staying authentic to the questions as it is about bringing insight or fresh thinking. In the end this was a project about finding the right questions, truly understanding what was at the heart of the organization, and helping teams give themselves permission to go be bold.
The Society of American Foresters has been the primary convener of the forest management industry for more than 100 years. But along with many other well established associations and member based organizations, they sensed tectonic shifts in the expectations of their members. The challenge: to reposition an organization with a rich heritage to provide members with an indispensable package of value and services. We worked with SAF to take a fresh look at their core purpose. With a clear focus on the 'Why?', strategic questions about the institution's services were thrown into sharp relief. Tomorrow's SAF must deliver a comprehensive, integrated engagement in an efficient, cost effective and leading edge package. If you're going to own 'the community space' in today's market, you've got to deliver the goods in a one stop shop: the network, the learning and the professional standard. With clarity, a fresh voice for the brand, and a shortlist of priorities, today's SAF is ready for the next 100 years.
Social Venture Partners threw down the gauntlet. 'Many have tried, but none have succeeded,' challenged Founder, Paul Shoemaker. They weren't lacking in energy, experience or inspiration. Meeting with any one of their 2800 partners is like putting your finger in a light socket. The issue was distilling all that energy: bringing all those passionate voices together behind one clear brand narrative. As Paul put it, 'During a three course meal I can win anyone over with our story, but on an elevator ride - no way.' Together, we rolled up our sleeves and put SVP in The Foundry. We knew what we'd be up against: We had to design a process that effectively involved everybody, but drove the conversation to a clear and compelling conclusion. This is where building genuine trust and keeping the conversation authentic really count. We had to prove we were in for the long haul: there for the impact not the fees. Today, SVP has their elevator pitch, and they can tell you who they are, what they do and why it matters, in one sentence, one paragraph or one elevator ride.
Surfline is cool. What they do is cool, and their people are, well, cool. So we weren't about to try and add that to the mix. What we did do was take Surfline through our 'fast and light' tool-kit in short order - turning a fresh eye on what is at the very core of their brand and working with them to find ways to embed the resulting insights into their culture. A great example of the outcome is the illustrated set of 'social norms' that staff now have on hand - simple, conversational behavioral cues that define how Surfline shows up in the world. We think organizational values are best left to crusty old institutions. Social norms are like the favorite objects you'd grab if your house was on fire. They are core. They drive behavior. And when actions speak louder than words, behavior is the strongest brand signal in your quiver.

Featured Clients



Our Toolkit

Blending insights from decision-making science, contemporary brand discipline, military strategy and strategic planning, Quicksilver Foundry pursues strategic clarity – the focus, clarity and inspiration that will align your team and get your organization mission ready.



Strategy


The world is moving too fast for traditional approaches to strategy and cumbersome plans that live on paper but not in the hearts and minds of your team. In contrast, effective strategy answers three critical questions: Who are you? What do you do? and Why does it matter? In combination, the answers to these questions inform a fourth – Who and what do you want to be in the future? When you can authentically articulate your DNA and your aspirations, you have a genuine foundation for aligning behind a solid strategy. In our experience organizations don’t ‘change.’ At least, not overnight. But we do believe they can evolve. With clear line of sight to your core purpose, agile tools built for making strategic choices, and relentless focus on the real priorities, you have true strategic clarity. And with that kind of clarity, anything’s possible.

Performance


Agile, elite teams represent the organizing principle of tomorrow’s workplace. They are structured, motivated and trained to prevail. They perform consistently at the highest level, supporting each other without hesitation and adapting efficiently to their surroundings and circumstances. The insights and lessons of elite teams – in sports, the military, law enforcement and business – are both accessible and transferable. Assessing your team against competencies and strategies shared by elite teams and organizations, we isolate where to best focus your energies for improved performance. Drawing on inspiration from many different domains, we demonstrate how elite teams live by, and up to, an entirely different set of expectations. ‘More Advance – Less Retreat’ (TM) – Elite Performance Analysis is designed to be implemented as an efficient means to take your team’s impact to the next level.

Training


Not everyone has the resources, energy or time to undertake the kind of in-depth process we relish. Bootcamps are our solution when time and money are of the essence. We’ve spent more than a decade perfecting our approach to generating a rich return on your investment in a retreat or workshop. Described by one Fortune 500 executive as ‘the best workshop I’ve ever been to’ these sessions are structured to introduce fundamentals, create insight, and explore practical opportunities for putting fresh ideas on branding, strategy and performance into play immediately. We’ve organized Bootcamps for small teams, conventions with hundreds of participants, and multi-stakeholder coalitions. No push-ups are involved, but we guarantee a hard day’s work pursuing increased focus and impact for your mission.

About Us

We love a good, hard question. We’ve learned that clarity, alignment and performance only emerge when you are ready to ask them. Then we hold our answers up to scrutiny, kicking the tires on proposed directions. Join us in The Foundry – where we add heart and heat to distill and share the insights and best practices of the elite, in service of the greater good.


Leadership


Will Novy-Hildesley

Will Novy-Hildesley

Founder & CEO

Will has been driven by one simple question his entire life (he first applied for a British Special Forces deployment at age 8): What does it take to successfully align a group of people behind a focused mission?

Will's passion is transferring insights in branding, strategy and performance from elite teams to those seeking next level impact. Working alongside brave leaders with bold visions and big appetites to create genuine clarity of purpose and distill a unique, powerful identity wakes him up at strange hours with a huge grin on his face. Satisfying this obsession has taken Will all over the world in a rich exploration of what it takes to prevail in sports, the military, business and social and environmental change.

Will founded Quicksilver Foundry in 2002. Prior to establishing The Foundry, Will was a program officer at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and a campaign director at World Wildlife Fund International.



Partners



Contact

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Contact Info

503.348.9373

quickfound@gmail.com

3215 SW Patton Road | Portland, OR 97201