Ethos: noun, the distinguishing character, sentiment, moral nature, or guiding beliefs of a person, group, or institution.
When I decided to start my own consultancy business, I needed a trading name and I wanted one that reflected what I was setting out to do. Ultimately, one thing I knew as an owner/manager is that one of the problems we face with our businesses is that we get too close. One’s business is like one’s baby. You are protective of it as you would be of your own child. You are proud of it in the same way… and sometimes we are blind to its weaknesses because we simply are too close. It’s difficult to criticize your own baby … It’s difficult to be objective, which is why often the aunty, or the godfather, becomes a key figure in solving dilemmas between parents and children. You need someone close enough to know each party involved, but not too close to lose objectivity.
Take your finger for example…. If you put it on your nose you are the closest you can possibly be to your finger.. but can you see it clearly? No you can’t… it’s off focus. But if you put the finger far back, and what happens? You can see it clearly… yet you are not as close to it as when it was on your nose.
Basically that is what I do – I go into a business, assess where they are at, where they have been, where they want to go, if there is an issue, what is it and how do we fix it. Often the answer is staring people in the face, but they are just too close to see it. I am a simple fresh set of eyes.
The key thing here is that this process allows me to get to know a business in such a depth, that enables me then to swap my consultant hat with my project manager hat, and project manage a team of people to deliver whatever marketing collateral a business requires to achieve what we strategically set out to do together.
This is where the octopus is the perfect visual representation/ embodiment of our ethos. My dad used to fish octopus and believe me, if there is something that hides in plain sight the octopus is it! Sometimes he used to take me along, until he gave up after the endless times he would be pointing at a rock under water and I would be going ‘I just can’t see it’…
The answer is often in front of a client, I end up simply pointing at it so they can finally see what has been there all along ‘hiding in plain sight’.