Theory of Change

We are at a precipice in human history where we need transformation and we need it now to be able to survive. But when we focus on reductionist problems, we end up replicating the same inadequate solutions over and over. The problem is that we are not asking the right questions. If we ask the right questions, then we can cause systemic level change. 

The best way to look for the right questions is at the fringe. 

We need to start with a deep understanding of the system dynamics at play to be able to get to those “right” questions.


Philosophy Q&A

What are CNTRD’s core philosophies?

We believe in questioning the presented problem with engaging discussions, rational arguments, and systematic understanding. We manage the firm and our decisions based on principles, values, and data. We value expertise and create custom teams to provide a series of solutions. We believe this allows CNTRD to serve its greatest social good by working with executive leaders who want to change traditional norms and complex problems into novel, sustainable solutions. Lastly, CNTRD should change and adapt in continuous service above all other philosophies.


Why are there so many different case studies from different industries? Why are you not a specialist?

Firms that specialize in a particular industry or discipline require a team of professionals that needs to have a certain amount of capacity in order to justify their salary. This incentivizes managers to stuff projects with services that may be less valuable to their clients. Often a large chunk of the work is provided by junior consultants under the supervision of the expert. 

CNTRD specializes in interpreting complex problems, providing choices to our clients, and managing the solutions on behalf of the clients. After CNTRD performs the diagnostics, our clients can choose from a set of potential solutions each with its corresponding tradeoffs and benefits. Instead of filling our firm with industry experts, CNTRD contracts a network of experts only on the amount of work needed based on the options our clients chose.


How can you perform consulting at a shorter timeline and less money with the same or better impact?

While other firms sell services by hours, CNTRD, by design, does not sell time but rather deliverables. This incentivizes the consulting group to complete projects with the best quality at the shortest time possible. Speed to market and strategic windows is important for every industry. We recognize that not all strategic problems will fit in a nice timeline that other more traditional consulting firms will require. Our partnership network allows us to be agile and quick in solving problems with a short deadline (See Case: TECSYS).


Why should I hire problem solvers before hiring industry specialists?

Whether it be low employee retention, low sales, or misbehavior, industry experts are good at solving specific symptoms with a specific set of tools. However, not every symptom comes from the same problem. CNTRD’s problem identification process moves beyond just treating the symptoms but the root-cause problem. Only after the root cause is correctly identified, CNTRD gathers the most holistic tools and partners to solve the problem. Our partner networks are full of specialized experts that we deploy at a fraction of their normal cost.


You guys don’t look like Mckinsey or management consulting people. Why is that?

We do not dress or look like a traditional management consultant agency, but we do have a combined 40+ years experience and expertise with innovation, strategy, and design. Both Founders are graduate-trained business consultants in applied theory from Washington University in St. Louis.


What does it mean to use a networked “consortium” model? How does that help my business?

We use a highly curated network of specialists. Most consultancies staff whatever people they have available when you sign. We customize teams based on your problem, the phase of work we’re in, and the conditions you’re facing. You only pay for talent when needed. This allows us to generate more novel and useful ideas, reduce costs, move fast, and provide experts throughout the process.