For Business

The developments in the world are , that nobody can forecast the next killer app, the next innovation wave, the cultural trend or the future of the information economy. At the same time you have your business as usual. The best thing to do, is strengthening the communication within your company, create a common basis for knowledge and deepen your relation with the clients. An agile organisation knows profoundly its competence,  has a shared body of knowledge (including tacit knowledge) and is  capable to be proactive in any situation. The Socratic Design methods are not  classical tools of consultancy or strategy, it is a way to make the company intelligent and coherent. The fundament is a common horizon of values, key for personal character and also the character of the company.

In these volatile times every company needs – from time to time – a reboot of their vision and  mission. Mission and vision that are rooted in the company´s DNA and capable of motivating and energising you all. The vision is about the way you globally interpret the world of today and tomorrow, what the world should be and what the concept „business” signifies in these futures.

The mission is about your challenge, your position  and your value in these scenarios. „What do we want to contribute?” The way to organise a brainstorm on this is a Socratic design lab: we gather different layers and silos of the company and unite them in collective questions.

Also clients or critical friends can participate. In this workshop we use value creation, good practices investigation, appreciative inquiry, Socratic dialogues and futures scenario design. We cross hierarchical barriers in order to create the deepest goal of the company and its often hidden competences.
Because we do a deep dive, we can come with complete new concepts and challenges that can vitalise the company. Basically we create mew knowledge out of the tacit knowledge of the company. A concrete road map of how to realise this mission is part of the end product. 

Because we unite all levels we have a limited time: mostly it takes one or two days.

In your company, the way the strategy is translated into communication and procedures is key. Often departments have become silos and a lot of the procedures where answers to questions, which do not exist anymore. Rituals and fixed traditions can be solutions to problems that also no longer are present. Not seldom procedures are related to past technologies or past convictions. We develop with the personal a new landscape of interactions and  communication rituals. The real core of the company is the day to day communication between persons within the company and within the external relations. 

In a  Socratic design workshop we design from scratch new ways of communications and effective procedures and we draw a new organigram. We  do this by tapping into the tacit knowledge of the company, analyse the old assumptions, evaluate them  and develop new ones. The Socratic dialogue is the methods to harvest these knowledge and create new practices.

Communication is very complex. People think that they are thinking but most of the time they repeat intelligent but fixed thoughts, our endorphin system rewards us for doing this. The more academic you are the more you can suffer from this.  Secondly we have difficulty in listening: if you ask the participants of any meeting to give a report of what have been discussed, they give all different accounts. We hear some words and mix this with our own line of thinking. The Socratic moderations forces you to repeat the thought of the other. Thirdly we have in our minds and hearts assumptions and thoughts that were transferred by culture, education etc. We should analyse them in order to think freely. These barriers are solved in a Socratic dialogue which means, we have an optimal social feeling of empathy and we have an optional collaborative mind to create new knowledge.

These workshops can take two days and can be organised throughout the whole organisations. Also it is possible to put 50 or hundred people in such a brainstorm. Place can be Spain, Holland anywhere.

Things are changing so fast nobody can foresee the next six months, how can we be prepared for any future?
The VIP training is a transformative course in which a CEO or high potential will acquire the Socratic capacity to analyse societal developments, to understand the philosophical assumptions at stake in our daily life and to facilitate strong dialogue contexts in the company. The participant will deep dive in his or her history in order to understand the relation between cultural historical developments  and the growth of his or her personality. At the end of the day there are only persons. That is why it is important to investigate the personhood yourself have experienced in order to understand this in general.

The Socratic advice is „ Know your self….”. The training will lead to philosophical knowledge that will make the CEO capable of transforming the company into new roads and frames. In uncertain and volatile times it is essential to learn to ¨sew underlying currents and trends. Philosophy is the best tool to help you become the guide of your company. This VIP training can stretch out over a year or more and will take place at several concentrated periods at any desired place (some days in Spain included). An extensive interview about the content is a first step. 

Because of the crucial relevance of good communication („comunicare” in Greek, means making community) it is important to train people to facilitate socratic dialogues. With this Socratic capacity they can, facilitate knowledge creation, moderate important meetings, moderate brain storm sessions, solve conflicts, create a climate of empathy and eliminate ego boosts and above all organises a perfect interaction with clients and partners. These persons are the gatekeepers of the company: the gate to unknown areas.

The training to moderate Socratic Dialogues takes 3 days,  mostly held in weekends in the Costa Brava, Cadaques. If you send a group from all parts of the company, they also will generate new elements for your body of knowledge.
Training includes nature and art (Dali) excursions.

If you have an important and crucial strategic meeting in which you need very focused attention or in which you want to discuss a sensitive topic or in which dilemmas have to be solved, you can ask for a Socratic Dialogue moderation. This can have of course different forms and length. We can fine-tune in a introductory conversation. 

The Socratic design method can be applied to create new products, services and apps that can broaden your spectrum. Naturally we incorporate the knowledge of the company, by using new ways of questioning and new assumptions we can develop new frames that fit in the actual world of prosumers. Most methods start from the needs of the clients. The Socratic design method investigates these needs and questions of the client, and will arrive at Philosophical reflection.

For starters we can organise any type of incubator, or incubator workshop. This facilities a process of designing your strategy for a new business or new service/product and app.
To explore new domains and generate new value, it is crucial to investigate deeply general assumptions about well being and wealth. Philosophy is the domain to incorporate all sorts of positions or possible approaches. Young starters can connect their fresh and out of the box ideas  with classical philosophical traditions.

The Socratic design is specially strong in eliminating old assumptions and old dominate fallacies and stimulate the self respect and self confidence paired with critical thinking.

If you need a context that widens any perspective and creates a complete new horizon and when the organisation of your company is also in „reset”, then we advise a Socratic Design Lab in which we can build up from scratch the goals, the values and the road map to reach your goals. It always starts with analysing the top experiences of the individual participants and it closes with the common road map towards designed and desired scenarios of the future.

The Socratic moderation makes conferences and seminars in two way events, the key note speakers and the audience can go in joint dialogue and brainstorming. Also a forum or an expert panel will be transformed into a group that creates new knowledge, in stead of everybody doing is ready made except talk. In Socratic seminars we do no power point at the beginning, and maybe at the end. You will not know the outcome at forehand, something unexpected will come.