We used to introduce ourselves as 'strategic management' or 'systemic change' consultants. We thought our job was 'to increase the quality of organisational sense-making and strategic conversation', and 'to enhance people's agency in complexity and uncertainty'. We didn't make up a story. There is still truth in that. But we have moved on. Today we see ourselves as fellow travellers that help individuals and organisations to grow as they work through 'the fog that covers life here and now'. In this frenzied world that fog seems thicker than ever.
Make no mistake: life and fog are inextricably bound. There is no free lunch, no magic formula to create clarity in complexity. Yet there can be system in the madness. Tools and templates help. But more important is attitude. We center our practice around (Otto Scharmer's) 3Cs. Curiosity means asking loads of good, generative questions. Compassion is the lifeblood of cultivating respectful, empathetic relationships. And courage shows itself in myriads of ways: who dares to really pause and take stock? Who is not averse of going against the grain of received ways of thinking and behaving? Who takes the risk to lean in an unknown future and engage in micro-experiments with an uncertain pay-off?
Human ingenuity is able to find a way through the most complicated of mazes. But it starts with leaning back, and listening to what one experiences as 'the problem'. Problem may morph into potential. And messiness may turn out to be beautiful and revitalising after all. It may turn out to be life as we know it.
In a nutshell:
What do we do?
What practice fields do we rely on?
What societal leverage points does our work focus on?
What is our theory of change?