Tim Dalrymple was ready to cut his first invoice. He had just one problem: our company didn’t have a name.

The burgeoning agency that would later become “Polymath Innovations” had just wrapped its first official project but hadn’t yet settled on an identity. Our founder, Tim, knew we needed a name that captured elements of curiosity, creativity, and problem solving.

“Michaelangelo’s Workshop” was his first idea, inspired by a historical fiction novel about the iconic renaissance artist. Thankfully (very thankfully), that name didn’t stick.

Ultimately, we settled on Polymath—meaning, “a person of wide-ranging knowledge or learning”—and the name has reflected who we are, how we work, and what we value ever since.

Our name is such a part of who we are, how we work, and what we value.

For starters, the word “polymath” itself is an authentic expression of our own Dear Leader, whose various interests took him from champion gymnast at Stanford, to studying religion and philosophy at Harvard, and ultimately to launching a creative agency in Atlanta. An intellectual adventurer and creative nomad at heart, Tim tends to be drawn to other polymaths who, like himself, have chased curiosity down unique and varied paths.

Friends and Allies

Since then—that was 2013—Polymath has nearly doubled in size every year. As new talent came into our fold and new partners brought their dreams to the table, the name brandishing our business cards has only become more relevant with time, not less.

polymath

Many creative agencies are built on decades of industry traditions, and apply a kind of template to their work. They come to the discussion table equipped with biases and assumptions built into their training.

At Polymath, we seek out people who come from a broad range of fields, where they are taught to see problems from different perspectives and solve them in different ways. We draw people who naturally curious and always learning; people who are eager to break into something unknown and unexpected. We do this because we believe that’s where true innovation is found.

Our solutions are born from interdisciplinary collaboration informed by cross-industry insights.

Among our ranks are men and women who have studied at the greatest liberal arts universities in the world, managed accounts for global brands, advised presidential campaigns, produced TV shows and music albums, and served international nonprofits. All of them share a common love for tackling meaningful problems and making an impact through effective communication.

The Polymath Way

The result is a more robust approach to creativity and strategy. Our solutions are born from interdisciplinary collaboration informed by cross-industry insights. We check and balance each other, avoiding the common pitfalls of groupthink that blind some teams. Our ideas are borrowed from a diverse pool of experiences. This also gives the team an extraordinary degree of flexibility, as talent resources can adapt to different types of problems.

Around the office—speaking figuratively—we refer to team members as “Polymathletes.” We wear it as a badge of honor, and push each other to explore new creative outlets and enhance our learning both inside and outside of our formal work. Being a Polymathlete comes with high standards of excellence and service in everything we do.

Sometimes, the name you give something is a self-fulfilling prophecy that helps shape what it becomes. Polymath is a fitting moniker for our rabble of creatives and strategists, equipped to take on any problem. And we are quite proud to own it.