What strategic issues do you face? For a corporate it could be whether to enter new markets; how to attune current offerings to changing needs; how to make sustainable development meaningful; or how to develop a powerful, coherent culture. For government it could be how to integrate the formal and informal economies; or how to engage in a fruitful dialogue around energy. For a city it could be how to become globally competitive whilst reducing inequality.For a non-governmental organisation it could be how to become more relevant, more effective and less reliant on donor funding. Freedthinkers has been asked to tackle these issues and others like them. We welcome and thrive on significant challenges. Insights - stakeholder engagements Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu. As a person is a person only through the eyes of others, so it is with a business, a brand, a city, government, idea or policy. Each year, Freedthinkers see things through many eyes and we listen to thousands of voices - from captains of industry and mandarins of policy, to youth, rural unemployed & all the in-between layers of our multicultural society. We look inside an organisation to find out what’s going right, what isn’t and why not. We talk to influencers – tapping into their experience and forward thinking. We engage in dialogue around what is & what can be; your stakeholders become your co-creators, guiding the way forward. We synthesize all we have learnt, offering you themes and insights that become the building blocks of strategy. ethnographics Ethnography goes deeper than in-depth interviews to reveal in-depth lives. We enter your subjects’ natural settings, rather than them coming to a controlled environment. We engage & observe. Ethnographics is where anthropology meets research. Where strategies are rooted in beliefs and behaviour. brandview BrandView is an analytical framework developed by Freedthinkers that examines awareness, affinity and trust (the rational and emotional responses), as well as brand territory – the arena your brand occupies and what it can become. trendsearch Freedthinkers delve into our interconnected world to find lessons of others, what is happening, the next wave & what is on the horizon. Recent studies focus on publications going on line, approaches to sensitize the public around environmental stewardship, new banking services & women breaking through the glass ceiling. ideas Knowing what is allows us realistically to explore what can be and the challenges to be faced on the way. The journey begins with generating a wealth of ideas. Freedthinkers has a place and a process where these ideas are planted and nourished. It is in Turbine Hall Newtown. Where once energy was created to power Joburg, now a different kind of energy is created to power your organisation. the generator You have probably used white-boards before. Now imagine a room that has whiteboards from floor to ceiling – on every wall. A room where you write and draw on the walls, downloading all your thoughts and adding to others as they add to yours. This is the Generator. For as Linus Pauling, the only winner of two Nobel Prizes says: The best way to have a good idea is to have many ideas. the refinery Co-creation continues in the Refinery, where ideas are evaluated, some dismissed and others polished. By now it is not about my idea or your idea, the cream rises naturally to the top. integration The culmination of rethinking is a new alignment where issues are resolved through insights and ideas. This new alignment can be around culture, strategy, a brand or a policy. vision & values The bedrock of a culture is the vision, the purpose and values of your organisation. To create this bedrock, Freedthinkers has the VP.VP Process. V is for Vision – it is an achievable snapshot of the future. This is the magnet that draws people to you. P is for Purpose – why does your organisation exist? How can the world become a different place because of you? The second V is for Values. How you make the strategic and daily decisions. As Vision is the magnet, so Values are the glue, providing a common language and set of principles. The second P is for Priorities – what must you focus on for success, what must be done now and what can wait. VP.VP concludes with action – who does what by when. strategy facilitation Freedthinkers facilitate corporate, marketing and sustainability strategies, for blue chips and new chips. We give regular presentations on strategic issues at UCT Graduate School of Business and national conferences; send a regular newsletter to 2000 international subscribers and our articles are published in magazines, newspapers, annuals and on-line journals. brand dna Every brand is distinguished by a combination of promise and personality, as well as its individual architecture. Your brand also has countless moments of truth that render it authentic or not; that tell an holistic or muddled story. Freedthinkers help you define your brand dna and live its truth every day. our clients blue chips Our work embraces research and development – we seek clarity and alignment, sometimes affirming an existing direction, sometimes suggesting a new path.
new chips These are brands Freedthinkers have developed, creating names & the brand dna, briefing appropriate design agencies to create the iconography. These include:
government Economic Activity In-depth investigations into interactions between the formal and informal economies, including challenges and opportunities. Energy In-depth investigations into attitudes and perceptions of nuclear energy, leading to a communications strategy, focusing on dialogue around South Africa’s future energy mix. Environment Stakeholder engagements leading to Freedthinkers creating “Indalo Yethu”, the national environmental brand. places Stakeholder engagements leading to visions, goals, strategies & action plans.