DVC Consultants: Exploring unknown unknowns since 1995
Although the-then US Secretary of Defense was mocked at the time for his comments, we believe that he was quite right to observe that ‘There are known knowns; … We also know there are known unknowns; … But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don’t know we don’t know. …it is the latter category that tends to be the difficult ones.’
DVC exists to help companies to understand and respond effectively to the ‘unknown unknowns’ that might affect their business.
Change is not new – as Heraclitus pointed out, ‘all things are in a state of flux’. What seems to be different today, however, is that change is much more volatile and harder to predict. Who for example,
would have anticipated that the British Government might actually speculate about deliberately breaking the law? Change is becoming much more dynamic and disruptive – what we call ‘anarchic flux’. Our role is to help our clients to address the challenges that this poses for their businesses: how does the leadership and organisation of a company need to alter to be able to be the disruptors, not the disrupted. We call the proprietary approach we use to help clients the L.O.A.F Programme (Leadership and Organisation in Anarchic Flux). This has 3 phases:
1. Understanding
We help clients understand the real challenge they face. Quite often the apparent issue is not actually the real issue. In doing this we build on our range of experience which encompasses social science, brand development, international relations, and IT.
2. Strategy
On the back of our analysis, we work with the client to develop a comprehensive strategy to respond to the challenges identified. This will be integrated with existing strategies and business processes to ensure that it is embedded.
3. Execution
We support all relevant functions of a client’s business to implement the strategy smoothly and effectively. This may include, inter alia internal process and system design, stakeholder engagement, thought leadership and brand roll-out.
There may well be other agencies which will claim to do this. However, what makes us unique is that our people have made careers in disruption – we know what it is to understand and address highly challenging issues, sometimes in very volatile environments. For example, our people have:
• As far back as 1998, our Executive chairman published a document which won a WPP Atticus Award for Original Thinking in Marketing for “Naturist and Veiled” which predicted the rise of the sharing economy, dominance of content marketing, power of the pressure group, evolution of e-commerce and the stellar future importance of the zeitgeist social media.
• Worked with a leading FMCG company on the impacts of politics and mafia behaviours on their business in the southern Balkans.
• Supported travel companies responding to terror attacks and disasters like Costa Concordia
• Worked with leading international intergovernmental organisation on addressing Boko Haram in northern Nigeria
We’re not, therefore, picking up on ‘disruption’ as the latest buzz phrase on which to hang a consulting business. We know what disruption is because we have lived it. We have literally ‘been there, done that’. We have a process we know works and can focus clients’ minds on what is really important, and how to address key issues to enable their business to thrive despite dramatic and unpredictable change.
Our current projects include;
Working with Gulf-based and West African Islamic banks to establish the Fintech Challenger Banktotal which focusses on developing financial service provision of shariah-compliant products in West Africa in support of the World Banks UFA Programme.
Consulting to a UK and USA based Private Equity House in order to deal with the disruptive technologies that threaten its current business model.
Supporting a large oil and gas company in assessing options for developing onshore refining capacity in Papua New Guinea. The work focussed particularly on how best to maximise local economic input whilst at the same time ensuring operational effectiveness.