A note of gratitude on the 12th anniversary of Consulus and a reflection of our method for innovation: Unity

Dear Partners, Consulites and Clients,

This June, we celebrated our 12th anniversary and what a year it has been! From establishing new friendships through building new Consulus partnerships in overseas markets such as Bangladesh to strengthening enduring friendships such as the PlaceCORE alliance with CPG Consultants, it has been a significant period before we reflected deeper on our theme for the year: Unity.

Last year, in a presentation to the University of Turin, Dr. Paolo Frizzi, our Consulite in Italy shared about the Consulus way of innovation which is “an integrated approach to business, organizational development and design strategies; and an interdisciplinary, international and intercultural framework of consultants with many different backgrounds and experiences. These two elements gave the company an entirely interesting position and perspective to assist organizations to initiate and sustain innovation.

I was very thrilled to read what he said because while we were able to develop a unique practice by merging business and design; over time, our messaging became broader and reflected less on our core belief in unity as our consulting capabilities grew. We had to unite business and design practices in the beginning because we thought that it was common sense if we wanted to help clients implement any innovative idea. However, Paolo’s words served as this mirror and for once we were able to recognize what we truly believe in and the difference our firms brings to the companies we serve and that is unity.

Over the years we have profited from this commitment to unity. This is why we invest so much time to enhance the relationships among us so as to build trust. Consultants are not an easy bunch to manage since so many in our firm have served as directors and heads of organizations themselves, and we come from a diversity of nations, disciplines, age groups and cultures. Through shared practices, to being open to fraternal correction through the practice of Bonsai, and engaging in deeper reflection sessions such as Alchemy where we discern the rationale and philosophy of our consulting practices, these have enhanced our ability to build on each other’s ideas and in turn help our various partnerships and clients innovate.

Our approach which emphasizes that we practice first before we advise our clients has also enabled us to see how relational dynamics impact the process of innovation. Google’s study on relational dynamics and the importance of trust on innovation and performance is an affirmation of our belief and approach.

We can confidently say that if an organization does not have a desirable purpose to unite people, there will be little chance of shaping the world.

Moreover, to implement effectively, the organizational structure and culture must be designed to maximize the probability of unity. We can never remove conflict, but we can certainly nurture reconciliation and enhance understanding by design.

Ultimately a desirable brand experience has to have a unifying theme that will shape minds and move hearts.

Last week, as we celebrated our 12th anniversary, a major rupture happened in Europe after Britain voted to leave the European Union. It seems that the idea of unity is no longer the sign of our times, but we humbly disagree. As the roars for divisions grow, we must step up our efforts to help bring about a more just and united world. In that same week, I shared at the Taiwan Social Entrepreneurship Forum and Workshop 2016 in Kaohsiung that the only way to build an inclusive economy is to change the way we look our relationships with one another. I shared about how our firm is part of this global network call the Economy of Communion (EoC). The EoC approach invites us to treat everyone equally with the potential of contribution, it seeks to be creative to include every stakeholder based on the principle of mutual respect and esteem, sees everyone and every aspect as interconnected.

As a firm, our contribution may be small but through every encounter, we must bring about this new concept of unity which I call ‘transformative unity.‘ If we do this, then a new kind of innovation will emerge, not just the type that will win awards or attract many funds but one that is meaningful and shapes the world into a better place. Thank you for your support over the years, and we look forward to building a united world with all of you.