After years of researching and counseling a wide range of companies through complex growth and business transformation issues, it became clear that company leaders are more challenged than ever to be resourceful, creative, and resilient to grow their organizations in this brave new world of business – one that is more global, digital, complex, competitive and relationship-driven.
Third Angle was purpose-built in direct response to requests from organizations familiar with my work in industry, and at Northwestern University and its Kellogg School of Management. These would-be clients sought help tapping into customer and employee motivations to innovate and grow in the near and long term and sustain that upward pattern for the long haul. They understood that these insights would help identify and ignite Patterns of Profitability in order to create a new way of doing business to yield sustainable, profitable growth.
The name Third Angle emerged from a question posed to me on several occasions: “Jeanie, when you are working with your clients and the best outcomes occur, what is happening?” As I framed my response, I was reminded that complex business situations invariably present many different data points and perceptions of what the data mean.
The concept of a “Third Angle” began from my experience that the best ideas – and the material realization of those ideas – come not from choosing between limiting options of “my way” vs. “your way” but from creating a “third way.” This third way is developed by strategic creativity – an approach for observing, combining, and acting on information, resources, and motivations inherent to a system that can produce multiple forms of capital for the near and long term. Players involved realize that a “Third Angle” approach and subsequent solutions result in higher growth potential and adoption rates than the more limiting “my way vs. your way” views. The “third way” includes and reconciles the best of those views.
When companies don’t realize their potential, it’s often because they don’t recognize they have the power within their own business networks to unlock new opportunities for sustainable, profitable growth. Their situation begs for a different lens, a process, and a set of supports for spotting, creating, and capitalizing on this power. This is the approach used by serially successful “intrapreneurs” (a form of entrepreneurism within existing systems)… which is exactly what Third Angle provides.
Over the years, Third Angle has partnered with hundreds of companies and institutions across continents and industries, and with thousands of individuals across diverse functions. What they all share is an openness to new businesses or business performed in new ways that involves discovering and leveraging hidden resources, motivations and relationships they did not see before, and allowing us to help them redirect their focus and actions. We help business leaders design this “new way” to take root first in one part of the business and then watch it spread to others. It’s organic in the truest sense. Rarely does this process take on the feel of a forced initiative, and yet it causes the organization to evolve, adapt and grow.
So much of Third Angle’s success is attributed to our ability to attract talent. Some of our most successful clients have joined our team to share their expertise and passion for finding the elegant “third angle” solution. This passion continually rejuvenates our appetite for learning and feeds the dynamic energy that distinguishes our firm. These successful and resilient growth catalysts, along with a host of academic experts and researchers, form the team and network of experts who serve our many clients.
Realizing the potential of great people and companies capable of creating new lines of businesses or doing business in strategically creative new ways never gets old. It’s not just a job; it’s a calling.