Modern Consulting Begins Here
We believe that you can’t solve 21st century problems with 20th century solutions. As companies look toward the future, they are being held back by legacy models born in the first industrial revolution. The big consulting firms that most companies turn to are too slow, too expensive, and too wedded to outdated ways of working. We think that there’s a better way.
Our mission is to help every influential company and organization on the planet become a responsive organization, able to do more and change faster in the face of overwhelming complexity. We believe that when whole industries begin to compete in this new way, we will be one step closer to a world that gets better, for everyone, every day.
We are sponges, borrowing from the best ideas to design solutions right for each context. We are inspired by agile software development, which means we have a bias toward action even over rigorous planning and we believe the best strategies are the ones not trapped in PowerPoint, but continually being tested and improved in the wild. We are inspired by design thinking, which means we put the needs of the final user first and prototype our way to a solution. We are inspired by lean manufacturing, which means we favor continual improvement even over consistency and look to reduce waste in every process we examine. As we build our own team, we are inspired by sociocracy which means we distribute authority and control away from managers as much as possible and we test and refine our own structure.
We’ve built a team that doesn’t look like one you’d find at a traditional consulting firm. We value someone’s ability to see how organizations need to be in the future even over someone’s knowledge of how organizations operated in the past. The value of our expertise comes less from our ability to apply rigor and proven methodologies to make safer bets and mitigate risk, and more from our insight about how the future is going to be different than the present, gained through intuition, intelligence, and creativity.
For the past seven years, Undercurrent has been studying the fastest growing, most profoundly impactful companies of our time. These companies exhibit a new way of working – a new organizational operating system (OS). We call this new system a Responsive OS, as it affords these companies greater responsiveness to competition, culture, technology, and all other forms of disruption. At the same time, we’ve spent our days and nights inside some of the largest, most powerful global brands as they begin to reimagine themselves. This work has led us to develop a method for auditing and enhancing a company’s operating system – helping them become more responsive and dominant in the face of change – and we continue to refine that method every day with our clients and partners. See how this informs our Services.
We believe in sharing our tools, relationships, resources, applications, and ideas that are under the hood at Undercurrent. Find these under Resources.
In 2007, Undercurrent was formed by Aaron Dignan, Josh Spear, and Rob Schuham to help influential organizations transform how they connected with their customers. Soon after, we gained public exposure with the successful strategic direction of The Ford Fiesta Movement and Pepsi Refresh, two social media based marketing campaigns that helped re-write how brands create and spread messages using the web.
As time passed and the web matured, we realized that digital technology could transform far more than a company’s marketing practice. Beginning in 2010 and crystallizing in 2013, we re-tooled our people and practices from a strategic marketing firm to a holistic strategy partner for the 21st century. Unlike traditional consulting, we believe that the goal of a modern organization isn’t mere efficiency, but responsiveness – to culture, to consumers, to competition, and to the other forces of disruption. Behind this shift, and still at the company’s core, is a fundamental belief in technology to unleash creativity, prosperity, and new paradigms.