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Undercurrent 2.0

Undercurrent 2.0

Undercurrent has been acquired by Quirky. Here's how we're thinking about our next chapter.

Clay Parker Jones

April 15, 2015

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  1. +

  2. 2 For the last eight years, we’ve been changing organizations

    for the better. Don’t know us? We’re , an organizational design and strategy firm in NYC. We help big companies organize for an uncertain future.
  3. 3 And what’s more, the change is sticking. Our customers

    are more engaged, leaner, and shipping faster than 
 they used to. And their transformation deepens even after we leave.
  4. 4 We’re building Ever-Better Organizations. Not just Responsive, not just

    evolutionary, not just exponential… but improving every day in ways that are favorable for everyone.
  5. 5 We’ve joined up with . Two companies powered by

    the idea that big decisions and ideas
 shouldn’t come from the center, but from the edge.
  6. 6 Our organizations see the same problems in the world.

    We’ve just been solving them from different angles.
  7. 7 410 Days Empire State Building Lockheed P-80 143 Days

    Oxo Good Grips 1,095 Days Quirky believes it’s too hard today to bring great ideas to market. Built in Built in Brought to market in
  8. 8 Employee Engagement Productivity v. Wages v. ROA Corporate Mortality

    Undercurrent believes good work is getting harder to do. 25% Actively
 Disengaged We’re more productive
 but making less money 60 years in 1970
 16 years today Gallup Deloitte, Dept. of Labor Creative Destruction
  9. Undercurrent + GE 9 Quirky + GE We structured GE

    Aviation around
 a community of engineers The Quirky Community 
 reinvented the lightbulb Undercurrent & Quirky have solved this problem by organizing for the edge. (For the inventors of the lightbulb, NBD) 30 Days 100 Days (That’s a 3D-printed jet engine mount, NBD)
  10. 10 Today's largest and most 
 important organizations face 

    two critical challenges:
  11. 11 The world around them is 
 changing faster than

    ever. 1
  12. 12 Their own scale and complexity 
 are working against

    them. 2
  13. 13 Only organizations that become 
 more adaptive & more

 will thrive. That’s where we come in.
  14. 14 Undercurrent + Quirky will help 
 organizations with two

  15. 15 Organized By Undercurrent Powered By Quirky Vision & Strategy

    Validation Science Ways of Working Community-Fueled Invention Ways of Organizing Commercial Preparation
  16. Since 2007, we’ve studied and invested in the most adaptive

    and audacious companies of our time. As a result, we have identified a Responsive operating model that unlocks market-beating pace and innovation. We’re dedicated to continuous improvement of our model and method at all scales and in every industry, and 
 we partner with large organizations to spread it globally. As a result of our acquisition, we now have a test-kitchen that’s an order of magnitude larger than we had before (300 employees), a wealth of new resources and expertise to bring us closer to our clients and prospects, and 
 a community-building capability that 
 few can touch. 16 Undercurrent 2.0 See more @ 
 responsive.org See how we’ll change
  17. 17 A 10x Test-Kitchen Senior leaders with whom we can

    test new ways of organizing. “Yeah, it works on 30 people, but what about 300?” Teams of all different stripes and sizes that we can invite to the process. #credibility #stimulus #diversity We’re part of
  18. 18 10x Resources & Expertise Strategists talking to engineers about

    the future of manufacturing. Our (tiny) software team working with Quirky’s to scale our offering. New career-paths for UCers who want to focus on product. #credibility #diversity #career-path #polish #scale #software We’ll access
  19. 19 A 1,000x Community Quirky has built their business on

    community. They’ll show us the ropes, and we’ll work together to gather a critical mass of org designers and business leaders in search of an ever-better future. #momentum #software #exponential We’ll build
  20. To continue the momentum we’ve built in the first trimester

    of 2015, we’ll focus on four key investments: 1. Research & Development of Owned IP by partnering with MIT, HBS, the Santa Fe Institute, and adding more C-level fellowships 2. Continuing to Eat Our Own Dog Food, using UC and Quirky as a living lab for organizational design 3. Software for Organizational Design, building on top of our internal Backstage review software and external Pulse organizational diagnostic – repurposing current and adding new developer talent 4. Preparation & Professionalization by adding new UCers with org design experience, designing new allocation models, and improving knowledge sharing 20 Our priorities
  21. Our output is focused on capability, not co-dependence Our industry

    is famous for producing massive, highly rigorous documents in the worst case, and in the best case implementing massive, top-down change. All at a similarly massive cost. 
 We’re working to build evolutionary + exponential practices that lead to sustainable inside-out change. Vision & Strategy We align teams around a purpose and a path forward Ways of Working We coach teams to adopt new processes that foster responsiveness Ways of Organizing We transform organizations using models that increase speed, innovation and learning while minimizing risk 21 Our services
  22. We’re a living lab for 21st century work. So we

    are…unique. Our team reorganizes monthly based on customer and employee feedback. We are incredibly standardized, yet highly permissive. We work in public and make almost everything transparent internally. All our projects have the same structure, including start/end dates (see above) and cost, making decisions easier for our customers and increasing the amount of creative license available for team members. 
 We are generatively different, putting cultural growth over cultural fit. We strive for empathy, wholeness, commitment, and equity, among an evolving set of values for workplace presence. 22 About us UCU P1 P2 P3 P4 UCU P5 P6 P7 P8 UCU P9 P10 P11 P12 HOL 1/12 2/9 3/9 4/6 5/11 6/8 7/6 8/3 9/8 10/5 11/2 11/30
  23. Clay Parker Jones Managing Director 312.576.0600 clay.jones@undercurrent.com @clayparkerjones