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RDG staff participating in the firm’s career development program.


That’s why RDG is active in working with higher education institutions on multiple levels. They have people who teach, lecture, and review student work, and they sponsor studios in colleges. They’re partnered with several colleges and universities on “real world work” and in working with those, in turn, they get access to technology and are able to get in front of talented individuals who are potential recruits. “We’ve been fortunate to attract quite a few students as interns because of our involvement,” Platts says. Higher education is also one of RDG’s top markets, so working with clients such as Creighton University, UNMC, and the University of Iowa exposes them to new ways that technology is being leveraged by owners and the users themselves. It’s largely this involvement in schools, community, and working “on” the business that has led to a recent growth spike. RDG recently hired 20-30 people to support its growth, and they attribute that to top management who mostly work “on” the business rather than “in” the business. They’re always looking for people who are interested in being a part of their organization and they’ve got a solid ownership transition plan in place too. in design – to talk about what we do and to show students what’s possible in pursuing design as a career.” “One way to increase diversity across all disciplines is to generate more interest

RDG staff biking to work together.

“We have to be intentional about the time it takes to prepare for the transition, both for the person coming in and for the person going out. It really takes years to do it well,” Platts says. RDG has had an ownership transition in place since 1989, and it’s worked well since then. They’ve been able to now transition to the third generation of leadership under this system and fortunately, ownership transition isn’t something they have to worry about day-to-day because the system has worked and continues to work. “We don’t want to lose sight that a big part of ownership transition is indeed leadership transition,” Sova says.

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