ANTIGENcy

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Inoculating companies against inaction, irrelevance, inflexibility and instability.

What is my definition of “Management Consulting?”

If this Antigency concept, at its most root level, is a mash-up of management consulting and vaccine science, I want to be clear as possible and define what I think the principal elements are. I have been asked a lot about this as I had suspected would happen.

I know vaccine science to be just that. Its the science of designing, creating, testing and delivering vaccines. Let’s agree that is vaccine science or part of Epidemiology, Immunology and Biology. Am I right? I am sure there is plenty of debate…but for the sake of simplicity…

Now Management Consulting, on the other hand, is more squishy and ambiguous and has been molested by so many for so long. You can go out tomorrow and claim that you are management consultant. I certainly have. And for that, I have had my ass handed to me enough times to finally get it right and understand my place in it. So here it is; my open-sourced definition of management consulting. Management Consulting is:

  • about the application of consulting methods to address business performance issues within companies and organizations
  • it is used to help companies identify, address and improve key business performance issues across a number of industries
  • typically delivered on an issue-by-issue basis over a set amount of time using a set process
  • identifies and prioritizing issues, creates feasible interventions to address root-causes, tries to measure impact of interventions based on key performance issues
  • seeks opportunities to sell specialized services to other businesses and organizations
  • typically an analytical, left-brain exercise

So there you have it. I would love to flesh this out and gain a broader perspective in the mean time. What do you think?

Filed under: About ANTIGENcy, management consulting, , , ,

Understanding Some Origins of Management Consulting

I was poking around Wikipedia, reading about “Formula for Change” created by Richard Beckhard and David Gleicher. I am curious how much applicability there is to ANTIGENcy in these models…and vice versa.

They created a model to help evaluate the propensity for an organization to change. It looks like this:

D x V x F > R

Three factors must be present for meaningful organizational change to take place. These factors are:
D = Dissatisfaction with how things are now;
V = Vision of what is possible;
F = First, concrete steps that can be taken towards the vision.

If the product of these three factors is greater than
R = Resistance,

then change is possible. Because of the multiplication of D, V and F, if any one is absent or low, then the product will be low and therefore not capable of overcoming the resistance.

To ensure a successful change it is necessary to use influence and strategic thinking in order to create vision and identify those crucial, early steps towards it. In addition, the organization must recognize and accept the dissatisfaction that exists by communicating industry trends, leadership ideas, best practice and competitive analysis to identify the necessity for change.

What this allows managers to do is to isolate the actual problem areas of change and develop unique strategies specifically designed to resolve the correct form of resistance.

Okay. So what this means is that given most organizations, like most people, have a hard time seeing introspectively, they are most likely to not change.

I like how this begins to isolate individual parts of resistance so they can be addresses “atomically” and all the players and pieces can enjoy more transparency.

I think every organization I have ever been with, worked for or against, had massive difficulty seeing and feeling the dissatisfaction. It is about admitting something. Like an alcholic admitting they have an important issue, they aren’t likely to.

The second variable, the vision of what’s possible, is the easy part. Who cannot see something better? This feels like table stakes.

The third variable is precisely what ANTIGENcy is about. Being able to isolate the specific challenges or friction an organization feels and doing something about it. Especially with respect to internal cultural dynamics.

In any case, I like how this formula helps people who know change is necessary see the possibility deconstructed.

If you are a CEO and your org’s performance isn’t what it should be, know that there will be ample resistance if you have the willingness to start change. I’ve been there and sludged through it. It isn’t pretty but for each time I have walked through the “tunnel of change, ” I learned to embrace the resistance and understand it from all angles before taking that first step.

Filed under: General, , , , , , , , , , ,

Corporate Antigens :: Application Along Nine Dimensions

ANTIGENcy is an unconventional framework to be applied to the conventions of business management. It allows people to anticipate and isolate weakness in their organizations by viewing them through the lens of immunology and epidemiology.

If immunology is about understanding and manipulating an immune system against unwanted strains, ANTIGENcy is about anticipating and understanding an organization’s weaknesses along several dimensions and doing something about it. Those dimensions, so far, are;
1. Strategic
2. Leadership
3. Culture (human capital)
4. External (marketing, advertising, etc.)
5. Technology
6. Operations (process & methods)
7. Sales (revenue & profit)
8. Environment (physical space & location)
9. Knowledge & learning

The ANTIGENcy strawman concept was created by mashing-up management consulting and vaccine science. This mash-up allows companies to gain prescience along these dimensions by proactively running through scenarios to address found weaknesses in each. Think “spectrum analysis.” These weaknesses can be found by creating antigens for which an organization can consequentially react/adapt to by developing antibodies.

Different than conventional and reactive challenge-solution approaches to management consulting, the ANTIGENcy model is recombinant and evolving. The more the approach is used, the more value it brings to the particpants by virtue of its growing database of management antigens and subsequent antibodies. The universe of antigens and antibodies are meant to grow and benefit their hosts progressively.

The ANTIGENcy model brings a the entire database of antigens to bear providing organizations a potential innoculation against unknown strains. While conventional management consulting is normally the pedestian application of known solution(s) to relatively known problem(s), ANTIGENcy is the broad and deliberate exposure to a spectrum of “challenges” with the goal of strengthening weaknesses that are both known and unknown.

The nascent goal of ANTIGENcy is to be run through open source means by a growing number of practitioners.

Filed under: General, , , , , , , , ,

What ANTIGENcy will do…

We inoculate business against inaction, irrelevance, inflexibility and instability. We start it at the top (executive) level and the bottom (employee) level and work toward the center to gain consensus on problems and possibilities.

We use what is traditionally called “Design Thinking” to both get to the core of the problems and find the best possibilities.

If your looking for the following, we would like to talk to you about an alternative approach.

  1. strategic consulting
  2. business model design
  3. innovation management
  4. change management
  5. organization architecture
  6. brand strategy
  7. positioning
  8. design strategy
  9. culture change
  10. digital transformation

Filed under: About ANTIGENcy, , , , , , , , , , ,

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