We are a boutique communications and strategy advisor to organizations and families around the world. 

We help our clients shape their culture, brand, and strategy through insights derived from their organizational memory and experience. 


Our unique approach combines proven historical methodologies and creative storytelling with real-world industry expertise. We seek not only to build compelling and persuasive narratives, but also to change the way our clients think about management and governance, leading to a more sustainable, long-term view of the enterprise itself.

We work with senior decision-makers from clients across the private and nonprofit sectors. They engage us at moments of opportunity or adversity—whenever they need to understand and articulate more clearly the principles that guide them or the challenges they face. 

The beam of light in the Saybrook logo echoes the lighthouse, which gave mariners of old the confidence to steer their vessel with eyes firmly fixed on the horizon. We aspire to help our clients do the same—through work that is distinguished by rigor, integrity, and impact; and with a staff that combines unrivaled experience and expertise.




We are professionals with PhDs and other advanced degrees and deep subject-matter knowledge. We are also peers of the clients we serve, with decades of combined consulting experience at senior levels. 


We work with fewer clients but spend more time getting to know them—their culture and vision. The consultants who start on an engagement will be there until the end. 


We focus on big challenges, and work hard to build the trust we need to advance bold solutions. We have a proven track record of helping clients navigate critical issues in strategy, culture, and reputation.


We bring world-class research capabilities grounded in proven methodologies. This enables us to produce deep, well-differentiated content that resonates and breaks new ground.


Saybrook Partners is founded on a simple premise—that organizations and families, no less than nations and societies, can profit from experience. It is a belief shaped by founder John Seaman’s own story.


John began his career as an academic historian with a keen interest in biography. He learned to see history not as a parade of dates and places but as something that has shaped us and that we, in some measure, have shaped in return. He also spent many years in strategy and management roles for a global brokerage firm. This cleared away the cobwebs of institutional learning even as it reminded him that long-term perspective is vital for any leader who wants to deliver lasting change.

These twin experiences in business and academia led John to become a consulting historian. He spent the next decade helping organizations and families tell their stories.


But he could see that something was missing. Too many great enterprises struggled to build connection or credibility with stakeholders. Others lurched from one strategy to another, unsure of their distinctive identity and capabilities. Still others just kept reinventing the wheel. 

Existing providers were part of the problem. The stories supplied by established agencies were too often generic and superficial, while historical consulting firms produced work that had little or no impact on the challenges clients cared about most. 

So in 2015, John launched Saybrook to provide a better way. 

By harnessing the explanatory power of our clients' own stories, we're able to help them forge deep, lasting connections with the audiences they need to reach. What's more, we're able to extract insights from those stories that can help them shape their culture, brand, and strategy—and even transform the enterprise itself.