When I started my company the Missus advised that I keep the name of the company simple. I used my initials: Matthew Arthur Plughoff. Plus, I thought that MAP had figurative possibilities for future projects.
As luck would have it there’s a company somewhere in California that’s had the name MAP Consulting for a very long time (since, like, the 70’s). Their lawyer kindly asked that I change the name of my company. Because I do business in California they’ve got merit for such a request. Rather than lawyer-up I’m complying. It’s actually been an insightful and instructive process. Re-naming my company has forced me to re-assess what I want to do as a business owner as well as re-assessing the products that my company offers. I’m proud to introduce Arrow & Fletching.
The first thing I realized is that my business identity has evolved over the two and a half years. Consulting is being disrupted. This has nothing to do with advents of video sharing or fancy green screen capabilities. Periscope or Meerkat are equally if not more effective at creating rapid, low cost connections and Vine has shown us all that you only need 6 seconds to go viral. Instead, the disruption that consulting is undergoing has to do with content and adaptability. When I started my company the model was two-dimensional: “If you do X then Y is most likely to happen.” There are consulting companies that still follow this overly simplistic line. That’s why they feel stale or dated when you hear them. Just kind of “blah.” I never wanted that for my business and I’ll shut it down before that happens.
Renaming the company was my opportunity to focus the business of adaptability rather than know-ability . I decided to move away from a model based on “solving” static problems primarily because the pace of business is changing so fast that by the time a person fixes one problem the very nature of the problem itself has already morphed in to something new. Instead, I’m focusing on flexible, adaptable skill sets that are able to scale and evolve with a shape shifting market. It just makes sense. Any consultant who says he or she has a “blue print” for their definition of “success” is going to be outmoded.
Renaming the company was also an opportunity to revisit the research behind the classes and to make sure that it is relevant and timely. Nobody wants to listen to data that’s one or two years old. And, all due respect to the pioneers (Zigler, etc.) there are equally influential modern thinkers to draw from. In my world content is king so it has to been fresh, relevant, and reflective of today’s business climate. If I hear one more person say “People don’t care how much you know ’til they know how much you care” I may have a bit of gerd.
Most importantly to my clients, bridging the gap between strategy and operations is a constant struggle. Sending employees to one of my classes is only half of the story for a business owner. If strategies and operations are disconnected then the time is insufficiently spent. That’s why businesses often see a temporary spike in performance following a training session. Operations gets excited but isn’t supported by the strategy. The two must be embedded in each other. Operations moves toward a target and strategy guides the flight. So I looked for a metaphor or symbol to capture that relationship: Arrow & Fletching. Direction and stability (clarification: “fletching” are the arrows that provide stability for an arrow and keep it moving steadily toward a target).
In some ways i wish I’d re-named the company sooner. It’s so easy to become complacent about business services or to assume that the name/brand are relevant. It was an opportunity to ask myself: “If I had to start from scratch what would I do differently or better? How have my clients changed? How have their worlds changed? Am I offering services that are useful or valuable based on their needs?”
There’s a new website in the works and will hopefully be ready this week. It’ll have some good stuff in it!
Thank you to my friend Laura Sheneman for the logo. Laura is very creative and does great work. If you’re looking for help please let me know and I’ll help make the connection.
Finally, to the friends and clients from New Jersey to San Diego: Thanks for the continued support and enthusiasm for what we’re accomplishing together. I’m proud to announce that Arrow & Fletching is offering business services for the modern contractor.
Your friend, Matt