Our Marigold Story

Marigold Associates is a business based upon a big idea:

We know that transformation is possible in your life, work, and community. But an individual solution won’t work. Change occurs through people and community. We design the ecosystems necessary for you to flourish.


“Everything has been figured out except how to live.” —Jean-Paul Sartre

The Botanical Magazine, Plate 150 (Volume 5, 1792)In the rainy winter of 2006 we met to create a more holistic, integrated model of advising for individuals and families of wealth, and organizations. We recognized that people are looking for trusted, informed, altruistic advice about how to shape and live a good life. People have qualified, competent legal, medical, financial, and insurance advisors, chefs and physical trainers, but the essential task of identifying and living out the type of life they want to live has been largely relegated to amateurs or treated as a do-it-yourself project.

The problem is that people lack the objectivity, time and expertise to grasp the complexity of the issues involved. Thus they fail to make the changes in their lives that they know they need. Months, and even years, can pass while they remain stuck in the same place because they don’t know how to access the expertise that is available. It was time to create a professional service for the human factor.

“By ourselves we face serious limitations. Together we can be something wonderful!” —Max De Pree

Marigold Associates was created to help people become intentional about constructing a good life, building healthy families and teams, and great businesses that develop and utilize their human capital. There is expertise from the human sciences and traditional wisdom that can be practically applied to make life better. This sophisticated understanding of the human person is fundamental to most problems you encounter in your life. Its relevant to the entrepreneur who needs to find the next generation of leadership for his business, to the family that wants to set up a foundation, to the burned out executive who longs for a creative burst, to the president who sees his workforce putting in just the minimum effort. People are fundamental to the work we do and the life we live.

The necessity of research

If there is one industry that needs to draw upon a well researched, thoughtful model it is life and organizational advising. Our work is not based upon urban legend, pop psychology or a personality cult. We are actively involved in research about the human person and regularly beta test the effectiveness of the Marigold model and processes with individuals, families, teams and organizations. Research and development are part of the DNA of Marigold Associates. Our senior associates have doctoral degrees in their disciplines.

Our model and our processes arise from an informed and robust understanding of the human person. We offer products and services that represent an evolutionary leap from the existing offerings in the current marketplace. We have three decades of practice, research and teaching in the fields of human and organizational development. Our model brings together a rich understanding of the traditions of human wisdom, including philosophy and religion, with the best of social science and organizational theory.

As a result, we know a lot about people and what makes them go.

CC image from The Botanical Magazine