"take care of the children"


This phrase is from Richard Adams 1970's novel Shardik, the story of a mystical bear and its shambling, fortuitous interactions -- some beneficial, some not -- with an ancient tribal people who worshipped it. Kelderek Take-Care-Of-The-Children, protagonist of the story, is a shaman-like holy fool who understands the bear and interprets its signs and omens for his people. In time -- through the events of war, plague, betrayal, love, loss, endurance and redemption that carry the story forward -- the reader comes to understand, along with the surviving tribal members, that most of the messages offered by Shardik the Bear may be reduced to the directive contained within Kelderek's full name. The theme of the book and Kelderek's full name is our company's first business commandment. 

One meaning of this commandment obviously derives from the fact that IRC is a collection of 22 partners, 15 associates, 2 contractors, 10 employees and 48 other dependents, including sixteen children under the age of ten. As a partner-owned company, we have the long view on behalf of our children and -- for them, the best of reasons -- we take our work seriously, far more seriously than we do ourselves. The other meaning is a reminder that in our business, like Kelderek in his time, we must build a team that is complicated, linked, durable and withy like the tribe, create an organization that adapts to changing reality like the mystical eternal bear fit his rugged, upland forest, and follow our vision like the holy fool with the wisdom, courage, persistence and energy to penetrate the half-seen signs and unexplained omens that reveal opportunity to our clients. For the sake of the children we intend to become our clients' tribe, mystical protective bear and holy fools.