In a recent blog entry, Dave Snowden commented positively about the design elements that make up our corporate identity. Coming from him this is a great complement, as the interpretation of abstract ideas such as “probe, sense, respond” into visually compelling graphic elements was a challenge!
I’d like to express appreciation to our designer, Angela Lang for a job well done!
Maybe I should elaborate a bit on why we selected probe: sense: respond as a tagline. We see our core focus area as assisting clients to address complex and intractable problems through the application of narrative and intervention techniques based on Complex Adaptive Systems theory (and other disciplines such as cognitive psychology, physics and anthropology).
There are many consultancies and methods that deal with ordered problems – i.e. where a direct link between cause and effect is evident, or can be discovered through expert analysis. When dealing with complex problems though, organisations find that they are largely on their own, and often find that that they spend a lot of money to make things worse. The reason for this is that the familiar tools that work so well on ordered problems (such as Business Process Re-engineering, Scenario Planning, Learning Organisation etc) are not appropriate when dealing with truly complex issues such as employee retention, customer loyalty or early risk detection.
In these domains, the appropriate decision model is to probe the environment i.e. move from fail-safe design (a silver bullet solution) to safe-fail experimentation. We then monitor (or sense) the results of our experiments for the emergence of positive patterns (which are amplified), or negative patterns (which are dampened) as soon as they become evident. Early detection of these patterns allows for early response, which is much cheaper than attempting to disrupt a long-standing or entrained pattern of behavior.