idea gardens inc.

Partner in a Software Development Company: Russ’s Story

My vision is to work with my partner to blaze new trails to new places,
to uncover the hidden meanings there,
to connect the power of the new places to the power of the old places
in order to forge the trailhead to the next frontier —Russ

In 1992, Russ and his partner John were operating a 12 person software development company that was at a crossroads in its evolution. The company’s growth had slowed, and the partners were becoming disenamoured with the work they were doing. It was a time to make some decisions, including taking on a third partner. As part of idea gardens’ process of doing this, the three potential partners completed personal visions in order to know themselves and each other better -- and know whether they were all aiming in the same direction.

With personal visions in place, idea gardens worked with the new partners, and subsequently all employees in creating a company vision. That vision led to a complete overhaul of the company structure and direction, and crystallized letting go of their largest client, who currently provided over 75% of their revenues. It took courage to ‘fire’ this client, and to put all their attention on attracting the type of clients they wanted. Within 4 months, they had moved to this new client base, and had increased their revenues by over 80%.

Each of the partners defined their roles in the new company vision in a way that would fulfill their personal vision. For Russ that meant taking a hands on role in challenging software projects for the new client base – leading edge software development companies.

The company continued to grow, and in 1998 it was sold to an American firm, leaving the partners in a position to retire if they wanted.

This gave Russ the opportunity to translate his vision to a completely new expression: the exploration of fine art photography with his wife and partner Wendy. Part of this exploration has included ways to market and deliver their photography to the art world, including the self-publication of a highly successful book, ‘Chasing Light Stranger’ which was the 3rd Fine Art Book at Le Prix de la Photographie, Paris 2007.

In 4 years Russ and Wendy have held 7 successful art shows, and have been featured in Camera Arts Magazine (March/April 2007). They continue to explore the boundaries of both the art and science of photography. Their work can be seen at Galleons Lap Photography Gallery, Salt Spring Island, Canada and on their website.


“The work we did together allowed me to look into the things that drive me, and to understand how I can channel those forces into my work and into my play. It is interesting to note that the personal vision that we developed still rings true.

It is also interesting to note that while my explorer's heart still beats strongly, I am finding that there are other beats to which I march - and these are things that I probably would not have noticed if I hadn't done the original vision. In particular, I have discovered that my photography is partly about discovery, but just as importantly is about sharing the fruits of discovery.”



Family owned businesses


Organizations whose success depends on employee involvement


Individuals who are retiring or entering other periods of transition