7 things about intelligent futures
Sustainability isn’t just another revenue stream for us. It’s what we’re about and why we exist. Here are the 7 most important things about who we are and how we approach our work:
1. context, context, context.
Every community and organization has its own particular culture, history and issues. It is our job to learn about this context, fully understand it and be able to create processes and results that work in that particular circumstance. This means that we have to know the people, the language and the place. Our “outsider” view should provide fresh perspectives and knowledge that add value to our clients, not sound like some strangers that don’t even speak your language.
2. communicate effectively.
Sustainability has a bad rap for being too academic and unapproachable. While it’s about looking over the long term and understanding complexity, it doesn’t have to be incomprehensible or scary to people. We need to communicate sustainability using plain language, stories that people can relate to and in a way that builds enthusiasm and a willingness to be involved. Nothing less will suffice. This is the only way to ensure that the solutions have meaning for the client and build commitment over the long term.
3. develop a shared framework.
We believe that creating a framework that we all agree on is vital to the success of our work. It isn’t about creating an inflexible structure, but rather it’s about establishing the key parameters of how we are going to do our work. We think of this framework as guardrails on a road. We may swerve and veer on the road as circumstances change, but as long as we stay within the guardrails, we’ll end up where we want to be.
4. honesty and communication builds great relationships and outstanding projects.
A common issue we hear from our clients is that all too often they experience unpleasant surprises from their consultants. Whether related to budget, process or product, this shouldn’t happen. We will always be honest and continually communicate as we work together through the process. We have found that this creates a snowball effect of trust and understanding and leads to better projects that all of us can be proud of.
5. when it comes to innovation, there are no boundaries.
Our foundation of knowledge and experience helps us create value for our clients, but that’s not enough. We must continually innovate and bring in the newest, leading edge thinking to our work. This doesn’t just include the typical areas around sustainability – new concepts in business, communications, organizational theory and other disciplines enrich our work.
6. expect value.
At the end of the day, we want all of our clients to say, “That was definitely worth it.” It’s that simple.
7. learning through our processes.
There’s a reason the term “know-it-all” has bad connotations. We have a wide range of knowledge and experience, but take a learning approach to everything we do. This allows us and our clients to adapt as we work through our processes. Because we continually ask ourselves “how can we improve?” we are able to best understand the current situation and create the best work possible.