Organisations ARE people, they don’t “contain” people, or “have a people aspect” – they are profoundly no more or less than human communities acting together, in what we hope is a common purpose and joint endeavour. They are, in essence, large, complex conversations (of words and actions) which, over time build reasonably stable patterns of behaviour, with internally coherent systems of power dynamics, rules and norms. When these working “codes” first get laid down, they help us to get things done, but can ossify into unconscious routines, rituals, habits and processes (social and technological) that fall out of step with the ecology in which they are participating. Once this happens, changes on the “outside” can rapidly lead to irrelevance or obsolescence – and failure.
Our approaches are built on this understanding. We come alongside people who want to change the patterns and outcomes in their business. We illuminate and challenge the habitual ways of working, unexamined rules and assumptions, and excessive power differentials that inhibit the emergence of creative experimentation and relevant evolution. We are disruptive, provocative, courageous, respectful and supportive.
Working “live” means getting into the everyday experience alongside our clients. Most people describe what we do as being “viral” – working with change “tribes”, storytelling, dialogue and innovation processes, peer-to-peer learning mechanisms, and providing expertly designed prototyping workshops, hackathons and other events and workplace processes that directly support experimentation.