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There are five areas where we’ve built an expertise: developing leaders who are able to lead others in turbulent and uncertain times, designing strategies that are built on foresight and agility, mobilizing groups around a shared purpose and destination, shaping culture that creates conditions that are conducive to cooperation and collaboration, and understanding the mechanics of complex systems.

Developing Leaders

When visibility is cloudy and everything we thought we knew is called into question, leadership can make a difference. We turn to leaders to help us see the impossible. We look to our leaders to inspire us to continue reaching. We ask our leaders to focus us on the pursuit of something bigger and better.

We believe leaders must be prepared to handle the accelerating pace of change and the disruptions brought on by complex transitions. Our approach is informed by social science and shaped by direct experience working with leaders in the public and private sectors all around the world. We start by using off-the-shelf and customized assessment instruments to identify target areas for improvement. We then create holistic experiences where individuals solve real-life challenges in ways that help them learn new behaviors, cultivate new skills, and acquire new thought patterns.

Designing Strategy

Great achievements are shaped by the choices we make and the actions we take. Effective strategies put those choices and actions in the right order and call on them at the right time. Designing strategy in fast paced and rapidly changing environments is what we do.

Like the leaders who direct them, we believe effective strategies must be designed to handle the accelerating pace of change and the disruptions brought on by complex transitions. Our approach to designing strategy integrates traditional research and analysis with more unorthodox practices that embrace data visualization, graphic illustration, and even animation. We find innovative ways to filter out the noise so we can tease out the most salient insights embedded in large volumes of information and data.

We won’t allow you to stumble into the future.

Mobilizing Groups

People can be hard to work with, especially if they disagree with where you want to go, don’t understand why you want to go there, or simply are too frightened to even consider it. Mobilizing groups requires patience, a thoughtful plan, and an abundant reservoir of creativity and imagination.

We understand the potentially volatile mix that can occur when a collection of individuals attempt to move together in concert. Our approach to mobilizing groups always begins with the people and the destination. It matters where you’re headed. It also matters who will accompany you. While mobilization often begins with a destination that is clear, compelling and shared, it also requires open agendas, a common currency, and a collective commitment to sharing the costs of action. Whether the challenge is to move groups across sectors or inside complex systems, we look for the social and emotional triggers that are the keys to collective action.

Whether it’s inside of an organization or within a community, we’ve worked with groups in law enforcement, energy, education, youth development, public health, and public safety to create the conditions that foster sustained collective action.

Shaping Culture

Culture is the glue that binds us together. It can also be the very thing that tears us apart and keeps us divided. It’s easy to forget that culture can be hard to define and even harder to influence. Despite the difficulty, we relish the challenge of being able to shape culture in ways that bring out our best.

Our approach is informed by what we describe as the culture value chain. We begin by compiling an inventory of the beliefs, values, and virtues that surround us—visible and invisible. We then investigate how they are transmitted through things like symbols, rituals, and traditions. And we explore and unpack the narratives we share that shape our identities and drive our behavior.

Shaping Culture

There are complex systems all around us, from the cells inside our bodies to the weather patterns that shape our climate. We live and we work in systems that are constantly changing. Despite the disruptions and the unpredictability, there are often simple rules that govern complex systems.

We have experience mapping systems and identifying the patterns and the interactions that are likely to influence us today and into the future.