We are a small firm, based in Chicago and working nationally to solve capital and operational funding problems for schools (public, private, and charter), other tax exempt organizations, public entities, and for-profit businesses. For each project we assemble a specialized team to suit those unique needs. This may include research analysts, planners, designers, educators, investment bankers, tax experts or others. The project team’s initial work typically requires four to seven months to devise and present suitable and feasible Nonlinear solutions.
After presenting a project’s Nonlinear solutions, we offer to stay to implement the plan and complete the project. This often requires a commitment of several years, and we modify our team to include project management and local staff at the site.
Mr. Murray’s own experience includes extensive work in real estate, finance, law, and education. He previously was president of a real estate development company. His own education includes: the University of Michigan (B.A.; graduate research); Loyola University of Chicago School of Law (J.D.); the University of Salzburg (law); and London School of Economics (law). He has published with Seton Hall University School of Law, and he has taught at two public high schools, and at undergraduate and graduate levels.
Mr. Murray has been active with a variety of environmental, business, human rights, and refugee organizations.
Any problem can be solved … usually in several different ways.
Most solutions require optimism, hard work, and collaboration … by everyone involved.
The results are worth it.
Immersion. First we immerse ourselves in each client’s operations. We want to know the character and culture of the organization. We meet with every constituency, observe operations, enjoy the daily flow, and share some coffee with the dreamers and with the pragmatists. We listen. We review programs, budgets, facilities, local conditions, and anything else that might tell us about the client, the project, and the possibilities.
Why. It is essential to know everything we can – to have taken time to learn who the client is, what they are doing, where they want to go. Only after we are intimately involved and sensitive to the client’s needs can we find the solution, test it, refine it, and develop the models and plans.
Results. The solution fits the client, rather than the client fitting an old solution.
Projects succeed when we work in partnership with clients. This is more than a marketing phrase, we actually work this way and for good reason. We cannot succeed alone. We need clients to work with us, and to be reasonably engaged in their project:
Goals – Clear goals for the project and a genuine desire to accomplish them. Our “work product” is the completed project – not the documents, projections, drawings or presentations.
Open Minds – Open to considering the unconventional, to considering “Nonlinear” approaches; not as a last resort but as possibly the best way forward.
Trust and Communications – This needs little explanation. We limit the number of active projects we accept and so are very committed to the success of those few. We need an honest and open working relationship, while recognizing that most clients have many other obligations and limited time.
Decisions – We create and offer choices, recommendations, and supporting data so clients can determine the right course. Most projects represent major decisions, and we expect careful deliberation. Nevertheless, conditions affecting each project will continue to change and so we need timely decisions.
Commitment – If the decision is to move forward, we will work until the project is complete. In return, we seek the same level of commitment to continuing the work uninterrupted if at all possible.