Consulting: Companies and Responsibilities
What is a company, and what are its responsibilities? The results of such inquiries are numerous, but seldom are they truly cohesive with one another. The first is seen as primary, and the second–at best–an ancillary restrictive; that is, the company exists to make profit, and the responsibilities it holds are ways of ensuring it does not stray outside of certain boundaries, that its pursuit of profit does not run out of control. Thus, responsibility is seen as prohibitive. It is seen simply as a matter of legality, and legality seen as a matter of limitation.
But today, immersed in the networked digitality wherein the old boundaries of life are increasingly dissolved–working hours, business devices, personal behavior and representation of one’s company–and we run more frequently into intersections of stakeholders, where the internal and the external no longer are separated by fast and hard divisions, viewing the responsibilities of your company through a negative or strictly limiting lens results itself in an overly myopic perspective. To put this more simply, to be a good company today does not mean simply being a profitable one that does not violate rules (regulations, codes of conduct, compliance, etc.), but rather, it means to be one which actively benefits the lives of all its stakeholders: customers, employees, managers, investors, the community, the environment, and so on.
Most consulting focuses on the provision and implementation of efficient solutions to practical problems. Sometimes, however, the difficulty an organization faces is not only practical, but also theoretical–and therefore, the answer it needs is not a solution of praxis but clarity in understanding. Continuum Philosophical Insight offers such clarity through three distinct functions.
Theoretical research is not simply collecting, correlating, and analyzing data: rather, it requires navigating through the minefield of interpretation through which data is presented and sorting out the true from the false. This skill requires not only years of development and training, but a capacity for discursive analysis and recursive synthesis: judging one approach against another, one idea among the many, discerning the truth in each, extracting it, and resolving all the truths together again into a coherent narrative. It is a pursuit of meaning at the most fundamental levels, by disclosing the essential concepts underlying each situation.
Subsequently, one must be able to communicate that conceptually-structured narrative clearly and effectively. Continuum does this through written reports, oral conversations, email communication, face-to-face meetings, and other various methods of dissemination, including videos, lectures, and so on.
Research and distillation are essential elements for gaining a deeper understanding of any theoretical difficulty. Whether seeking better cultural, conceptual, ethical, interpretational, paradigmatic, or linguistic understanding of a difficulty, Continuum can provide these two crucial services.
At the level of praxis, one of the key difficulties today is striking the balance between top-down systematic control and bottom-up organic development. Attaining this balance is further complicated in the digital paradigm, wherein the relationship between managers and employees and the common good of the company and its members consists in a complex web. The process of helping companies find ways to attain this balance we call “subsidiarist implementation”: that is, finding ways to help the persons closest to the tasks at hand best to take care of it themselves.
Through this subsidiarist implementation, managers are taught strategies and methods for helping their employees to be not only self-sufficient but even proficient in advancing their own work, the common good of the company, and the good of other stakeholders with whom they directly interact.
Signs permeate our experience, structure our interpretations, attune our minds, and constitute our culture. More often than not, we are unaware of the full range of objects and ideas signified by our products, advertisements, images, audio, and services. The insights of a semiotic analysis thereby help us not only to produce higher quality results, but to do so with a deepened understanding: of the results themselves, the nature of their effects, but also of the moral, cultural, and distinctively human consequences.
While such semiotic analysis has conventionally been applied principally to marketing and communications, the dissolved boundaries of the digital world have made everything in need of clear communication, and every outward-facing action and product a kind of marketing. We signify in all things we do: understanding the nature of the messages we are sending, how they are transmitted, and by what they are received is an increasingly important dimension to running any business well.
Through a semiotic analysis using propriety means–discerning the kinds of signs, the manner in which they are oriented and orient to objects, the possible effects had on those perceiving the signs, and the cultural variations altering interpretation–we bring meaning to clarity.
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