Our DNA…

Courageous of spirit
Contrarian of mind
Compassionate of heart

Our mandate is to inspire people, organizations and communities to thrive in complexity.

In thriving we rise to life’s challenges, engage and relate, find fulfillment in creativity and getting things done, and look beyond ourselves in a spirit of generosity.

In thriving we drive the ability of our organizations and communities to succeed through action, adaptation and creativity.

We are challenge oriented using a discovery driven process to create value.

We welcome challenges that stretch us and develop social, ecological and economic wellbeing.

We create a climate of rapid learning through a discovery driven process.

Failure is an option, as we launch safe to fail probes (small experiments), that test assumptions, seek value creation and the ‘right fit’ for our value proposition. We amplify what works. We dampen (and quickly recover from), what does not.

We create, act, learn and adapt. We search and then execute to find the power of what works.

We limit possibilities by walling ourselves off from diverse experience and different ways of seeing the world.

We expand our ability to define challenges and seek solutions by adding voices across disciplines to tap into the pool of collective wisdom.

Developing insight from weak signals and multiple perspectives, broadens and deepens our ability to tackle complex multi-stakeholder and multisector challenges. Collaboration opens us to previously unimagined opportunities.

Sharing ‘story’ connects us to each other, our context and our deeper experience. It is how we relate, remember and reimagine.

Through story…we shift our lens from inside our institutional bubble, to see an unfamiliar world seeded with surprise and possibilities.
We listen for common ground.

We co-create the new story that builds the will to embody the emerging future.

Thriving in Complexity

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From Robust to Resilient

A healthier stance for people and organizations is moving from robust (strong enough to prevent failure), to resilient (early warning, fast recovery, and early adaption), because failure, like success, is part of life.

Making Decisions

The Cynefin framework above (adapted from Dave Snowden, Cognitive Edge), is helpful for understanding our decision making context.

There are some situations (such as, processing food safely), in which cause and effect is well understood. In this situation (the simple domain), we just need to follow clear procedures. However, in other domains (such as, complicated or complex), our decision making is different.

The difference between Cars and Traffic.

The complicated domain is like a car. It has an engine and many moving parts. If the engine breaks down you call the expert (a mechanic), to analyze the situation and correct the problem. There is a clear cause and effect (perhaps, separated in time and space), but predictable.

However, put human beings into cars and we get traffic. This is the complex domain (the experience of driving on the highway, suddenly finding yourself in a traffic jam…and then, it ‘magically’ clears up again.) We may see patterns that repeat but there is no clear cause and effect, it is unpredictable.

Innovation in U helps you thrive in Complexity.

In the complex domain we create insight, make decisions, set strategy and move forward using different competencies and tools.

We look forward to introducing them to you.