About Knowledge Society
We help our clients see further, work better and create more value.
Knowledge Society is a consulting firm that makes businesses more productive and public goods more sustainable. We spread useful knowledge and develop solutions to difficult problems.
How are we different?
Knowledge Society exists because so many organisations, systems and businesses could be better. We believe that the desire to do good and create value is deeply wired into all of us and that every enterprise and government entity can improve. Changing requires a level of discernment that is uncommon today. Our clients seek a return to first principles in how they understand themselves and how they operate, guided by deeper reflection through the lenses of economics, psychology and philosophy.
We seek to understand the true purpose of your organisation and the deep human needs it exists to satisfy. We work with our clients, not on them, and we stick around to see things happen on the ground. The reward? A change partnership that delivers deeper, longer-lasting improvement to those it serves.
Knowledge Society and the methodologies we employ are defined by our six Guiding Principles. These principles inform our decisions on what work to do and how we undertake it.
Deliver tangible results and seek impact
Our aim is not to create reports that sit on a shelf, but to deliver tangible results that can be tested and improved in a real context.
We use evidence synthesis, data analytics, design thinking and prototyping to create services, products and solutions that make a measurable impact. The combination of our strategic nous and delivery capability changes companies. We stick around to see things out, bringing your organisation’s strategy off the page and into real life.
Work with clients, not on them
Knowledge Society helps firms improve from within. Our consultants immerse themselves in your organisation and gain deep insight into your work and culture.
We co-design solutions with your people and, before we leave, we establish the conditions in which the work can prosper when we are gone. The Knowledge Society team is collaborative, warm and humble. We are committed to the principle of co-design, because trying to change something from the outside doesn’t work.
Disciplinary expertise meets the beginner’s mind
Experts play an important role in understanding problems and challenges more deeply than others can. Even better, though, is an expert view tempered by the beginner’s mind.
We are those special outsiders who come in fresh and bring clarity to the big questions that are opaque to insiders. While disciplinary experts can get lost in the deep forest of their understanding, spectacular solutions rarely emerge from beginner’s work. Our solution is to combine both: decades of learning and knowledge and the curiosity and lightness of the beginner. This is the sweet spot that our methodologies deliver.
Focus on deep human needs
Human society orbits around eternal human needs like belonging, mastery, learning, growth and exchange. Exceptional products and services have the fulfilment of these needs at their heart.
Using human-centred design techniques, we help organisations step into the shoes of their users, customers, staff and partners and understand how they experience the world. By focusing on the things that matter most to everyone involved, we help our clients improve human wellbeing, customer satisfaction and organisational productivity.
The world is awash with spin and unspoken truths. It is only through restoring real candour to professional conversations and organisational life that we can improve the institutions and businesses that matter to us.
Honest dialogue has always been the means to improve the world – sincerity, authenticity, integrity and all the values written on boardroom walls are non-existent without it. We’re not perfect, but we can be relied upon to be frank and candid. Through honest insights and straightforward feedback, we infuse our clients with a fresh sense of purpose and the capacity for wise judgement.
We don’t work on every problem or for every organisation. We look for projects and partners where there is a real prospect of innovation or improving the lives of a large group of people.
We’re attracted to work that will have an impact beyond the project itself. Knowledge Society looks for partners whose conviction meets their commitment and we intend for our work to become a demonstration of what is possible, and to be emulated. Our people are committed to making a difference that speaks for itself, because that is the only true measure of our success.
To understand the problem, we go beyond received wisdom
Before planning or proposing anything, we seek to gain a thorough strategic, philosophic, historic and economic understanding of your problem or opportunity. There’s no use trying to change how your staff behave, for example, if their incentives are wrong; and there’s no point creating a strategy that is destined to repeat mistakes that have been made before. Our multidisciplinary team of economists, strategists and designers can help you return to first principles to discern a way forward.
We seek empirical knowledge and learn from the evidence
Knowledge Society curates the most useful knowledge in your domain or industry, building connections with global experts and immersing ourselves in your context. We aim high, bringing our clients face-to-face with the global frontier in their sector or discipline so that they can look to the best and aspire to match their standards.
We understand the human side of things by gaining empathy
Secondary analysis is not enough. To create meaningful solutions that actually work, we use design thinking to gain a deep understanding of the needs and motivations of your customers, users, staff or stakeholders. We use empathetic research techniques to dive into the lived experience of the people who matter, uncovering insights that inspire human-centred solutions.
We design a solution that fits
Using what we have learned about your context, problem and people, we create a fit-for-purpose solution. Our method and scope depends on your circumstances. We might help you create something new – a service, product, initiative or business – or help you renew your organisation by redesigning its internal elements, helping staff build new skills or making sure major changes are managed properly.
We remove the risk from our work through testing
Implementing solutions or new ideas without testing the assumptions on which they are based is a high-risk approach to creating value. We make ideas tangible as quickly and cheaply as possible so that users and customers can experience and interact with them. What we learn from these interactions shapes more effective, desirable, feasible and viable solutions. Through this process, we name and solve disagreements and eliminate ambiguity, resulting in consulting ‘deliverables’ that stick and have value.
We execute our work and improve on it
Knowledge Society is a full-service consultancy, which means we don’t just help you create a strategy, we implement it, too. Working alongside your people, in your location, we can help you execute your change initiative or launch your design solution, continuing to improve it as we go and helping you stay true to the original purpose of the work – even if things change along the way.