What is the benefit or value you're creating for your business?
For all the different businesses that we service, I feel we are producing an instrument that will help them turn the key and operate successfully in this new environment we are getting acquainted with. Ultimately, the benefit they will reap from continued relevance is strong performance along with a long-lasting legacy. For Mandalah specifically, I feel we are becoming more knowledgeable and conscious to do what we do increasingly better every day.
How are you leveraging internal resources (funds, time, knowledge, etc.) to support this initiative?
From Day 1, we have grown organically, re-investing our profits into our company. We have come to understand over time that our best investments are in people (best-in-class professionals with right/left brain versatility), information technology (integrating our offices and optimizing research capabilities), our office space (where we work, brainstorm, create, eat, socialize and rest), and knowledge acquisition (trips, conferences, courses, literature). We have also developed a vast group of thought leaders who we are in touch with and who support us when we need to evolve our business. And finally, we are investing time, money and energy in consolidating our network of 6 offices, with 2 more offices in sight until 2014.
Expand on your answer, explaining the long-term funding and support plan.
Since what we are doing is still very new and emerging, it is hard to project where all of this will go in the long term. My intuition tells me that we will be able to continue scaling our business without having to turn to outside investors, since we enjoy respectable margins which we are willing to re-invest. Perhaps this is rooted in a belief that we must be careful on how fast we grow so as to not dilute our value proposition, which is essentially what got us to where we are in the first place. There is also no point growing faster than the market's disposition to engage in the types of disruptive conversations we so enthusiastically put forth. As Bruce Lee says "one must flow like water", and so we plan on letting things fall into place without worrying about getting too big too fast.
Tell us about your partnerships across your company and externally that are key to your project's success.
Internally, we all partner up with each other. Everyone gets involved in research, strategy, production and creative work, more or less so depending on nature of project. External relationships include two schools where we teach classes (Escola São Paulo & Fundação Getúlio Vargas), the latter for whom we train a student-led consultancy. We also team up with NGOs and government entities on a project-by-project basis.
What internal support have you gotten for your project? What kind of push-back have you received?
For one reason or another, our value proposition resonates quite strongly with people, both inside and outside the company. Perhaps this can be explained through the increasingly popular notion that it’s time to inject new blood, new energy, and more consciousness into the business world. In terms of push-back, I see it merely as a question of timing; we need to appreciate that not everyone is ready to turn the key.