Principles that matter

We are committed to maximizing client value both immediately and in the long term, to honoring a code of professional ethics, and to serving society's greater needs. A significant fraction of Transition States time and energy is devoted to pro bono projects, and we welcome proposals for worthy service opportunities.

In practice, we believe in informed vision: stretch the boundaries of belief, base provisional plans on increased capability, commit when a plausible path is mapped. "Capability" here encompasses people, skills, systems, plant, finance, partners and more.

Some other Transition States guiding principles:

Organizational success depends on cultivation and use of multiple thinking and operating styles (Ashby). No one approach has the power and versatility to accommodate the accelerating pace of change, challenge and opportunity.

Predictable positive change requires stabilization and understanding of the present state of the world (Shewhart). Things should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler (Einstein). Effective development initiatives require a systems model complex enough to encompass all driver parameters, and simple enough to be understandable and motivating.

While there are no algorithms for learning and growth, there do exist powerful heuristics (Grinder). The future is only somewhat like the past; here is only somewhat like there. While challenges are similar enough across time and organizations to make certain general tools useful, attempts to clone others' results by applying templates rarely work as well as development of a uniquely optimized success model.

Corporate "wetware" (knowledge and beliefs, values, thinking-style preferences) is often more important than capital and other concrete resources (Graves, Deming). Successful effectiveness upgrades often entail larger shifts in thinking, goals alignment and leadership than in concrete operations.

Underlying all is an abiding conviction that product and business models can always be improved—now, and as conditions evolve. Our intention is to help clients anticipate and initiate change, respond creatively and effectively when change occurs, and benefit from both process and results.