ANTIGENcy

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Inoculating companies against inaction, irrelevance, inflexibility and instability.

Affinity

In immunology, affinity is the attraction of an antibody to an antigen. In the corporate sense, affinity is the attraction of a solution to a problem. Simple huh? Not really.

Yesterday I was “attacked” by an immunologist in the RTP who thought my metaphor was preposterous and worse, lame. He claimed that it was again, opportunistic marketing looking for a new trend. He went on to politely discard my idea as moronic and told me that I didn’t know enough about science to draw from it. Probably. But fuck him.¬† By that logic we all must stop saying “Rocket Science” or “Rocket Surgery.”

I heard what he was saying. I even agreed with him on a base level. Beyond that, what an idiot! He claimed that I ought to know what I was talking about before I ventured into the pristine science of immunology.

Here is what I want and what I am doing:

I believe we are all heading into an evolved state of business. A state that is now capable of moving, changing, replicating, infecting, killing other businesses. It has always happened, it is now just happening faster. And in the future it will move yet faster. We will learn to adapt to it. But how will we learn? What is the most effective way to set ourselves up to the task of seeing, accepting and adapting to business change?

I am arguing that by borrowing from biology, we can create new frameworks to see, accept/reject, create, adapt and inoculate in ways that create advantage. I want to help change perspective. To create a new environment to see things through a metaphor that extends one’s perceptions.

I am mapping out what I believe are to be generally accepted hierarchies of problems (antigens) that are or will affect a company’s well being (body). There are a lot of them.¬† I am creating parallels between management consulting and immunology to help me frame methods for dealing with these problems by using creative/unconventional solutions like design thinking (antibodies).

What is most interesting so far is how well the science of immunology and the art of enterprise transformation correspond to one another. It makes me wonder why I wasn’t thinking about this while working on my last big digital transformation consultation last year.

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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, , , ,

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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