Optionality - a perspective not restricting points of view
Abstract: This article discusses banners designed to promote Quintessence's
work. In consultancy, Quintessence uses the Comparative Analysis Method, while
Quintessence's preferred perspective incorporates optionality, which inherently
calls for more than one, single point of view.
Quintessence is a consultancy company that uses the Comparative
Analysis method, or , to come to conclusions.
In this method, multiple scenarios
are compared from a certain perspective. In theory, the comparative
analysis method allows for all kinds of perspectives to be taken.
Broadly, Quintessence preferred and default perspective is optionality -
more specifically, optionality as described in DonParagon's
Vision of the Future. The comparative
analysis method was discussed in more detail in earlier articles such
as Optionality by Comparison and
From the Perpective of Optionality.
This article concentrates on optionality as a perspective and in particular
on pictorial representation of this perspective.
B. DonParagon's Vision
As discussed in many earlier articles, Quintessence preferred and default
perspective is DonParagon's Vision of the Future.
Importantly, DonParagon's Vision covers past, present and future times,
discussing changes that span entire cultures, i.e. changes that not only
affect what people do, how people live and interrelate, but also what the
dominant ideologies, beliefs and measures of success and prosperity are
within such cultures. DonParagon predicts that, in future times, optionality
will become the dominant ideology. So, in DonParagon's Vision optionality is
not so much an overall perspective, instead optionality is just one out of
many elements that will dominate future cultures. In DonParagon's Vision,
optionality only refers to what people will predominantly belief in and
support as ideology.
Earlier articles have discussed how a single
point of view can constitute a perspective, yet a perspective can
accommodate more than one single point of view.
As said above, Quintessence's ideological perspective is optionality as envisaged
in DonParagon's Vision of the Future.
And in consultancy work, the ideological perspective is important. After
all, Quintessence's name is an indication of its approach - a focus on the issues
can be expected! In many problems, underlying ideological positions must indeed
be changed if any overall changes are to be made. Accordingly, in its analysis,
Quintessence's default ideological perspective will be optionality. But more
generally, Quintessence's perspective will be DonParagon's entire Vision, in which
optionality merely features as the most prominent belief and ideology of future
Quintessence approach is to undertake a Comparative Analysis, which calls for both
a well-defined perspective and at least two objects that are to be comparatively
analyzed. Quintessence's perspective is DonParagon's Vision. The focus of the
analysis is on the objects that clients submit for analysis.
More often than not, what people are interested in is not so much philosophy or
ideology, but improvements in relationships and reputation, in ways
to achieve greater success or prosperity. In its analysis, Quintessence's approach
will be to focus on things that are comparable with each other. If the client is
interested in, say, better ways to achieve success or prosperity, DonParagon
will point at appreciation and creativity as targets to aim for.
Alternative visions that may be applicable have been developed by Libertaria
and Voluntaria. While optionality may be prominent in Quintessence's perspective,
the focus of such analysis will quite likely be on developments in areas such as
finance and Information Technology.
So, while Quintessence's approach is to focus on the areas that clients are
interested in, its prefered and default ideological perspective will be
optionality. Taking this perspective does not mean taking a single point of view.
The optionality perspective allows Quintessence to see things that
are not easily accessible in most other consultancy methods. The very essence
of comparative analysis is to be able to focus on more than a single thing.
The biggest problem of many other consultants is that the perspective used in their
consultancy work coincides with one specific ideological point of view that restricts
their focus to a single scenario and a single outcome. The consultants may claim that it
is an objective, neutral and unbiased point of view, but in practice the consultancy work
will be biased, reflecting one specific point of view. Typically, this bias occurs without
explanations as to why this single point of view was taken in the first
place. Quintessence differs in that it not only uses optionality as a
perspective, but also is upfront about this.
D. Say it with Pictures
A picture is worth a thousand words, is the old saying. An example of good
graphical design is the work by Marion, below. The picture was
designed as an addition to a card sent to two good friends of Marion, on
the occasion of the 50th birthday of their wedding day. The faces'
circumference symbolizes two entagled wedding rings, while the two faces
of course represent Marion's friends, a good likeness actually.
Marion's original picture
Being a co-director of Quintessence, Marion has made the picture
available for use by Quintessence. Problem was, of course, that it did not
represent optionality, in fact it represented something that was quite
different, perhaps something like unification of minds or glorification
of the institution of marriage.
Multimedia production firm Optionality took Marion's original design and
incorporated it into the banners below. In the banner directly below, the
two faces represent one person looking into the world in two different ways.
The picture expresses a specific perspective (i.e. optionality) that allows
one to take different points of view, different ways of looking at things.
Note that the two faces
are looking in different directions. This contrasts with the physical act
of moving one's head to look at something from two different angles, i.e.
changing one's physical point of view. Optionality is more a state of mind,
a mentality, a mental perspective that allows and encourages more than
one way of looking into the world. The points of view are ideological,
rather than physical.
The eye in the middle, or if you like the fact that two eyes overlap in the
middle, symbolizes the consistency of the optionality perspective.
When conducting a comparative analysis, Quintessence keeps focusing on the
issue. Different ways of looking at things are explored, but the focus is
and remains on the issue. Quintessence's name and reputation
is all about being more to the point than other consultants.
Standard-size banner, 468 x 60
The words on the banner further support this interpretation of
optionality as a perspective that does not rule out different views, but
that instead respects and even encourages different points of view.
Quintessence has decided to use this banner, as it so adequately pictures
the perspective Quintessence takes in consultancy work. The
method used by Quintessence in consultancy work, i.e. Comparative Analysis,
also needs a good picture, but at least there now is a good visual
representation of the preferred perspective taken by Quintessence in
Quintessence's analysis can be expected to substantially cover the political
aspects of a situation. Yet, Quintessence tends to go beyond politics when
conclusions are drawn. This was expressed in the picture below
that appeared in Optionality many years ago.
This picture expresses that one can argue about being right, while seeking
the 'right' balance between the left and right sides of politics, yet still
be wrong for the very reason that one trusts politicians to come up with a
solution. What the picture expresses is that one should not expect to find
the solution of all that is 'wrong' on either side of politics, instead one
should move in the direction of optionality, which constitutes a move on
another, ideological dimension than the traditional sea-saw of
However, the picture does not give recommendations as to what is preferable on
the dimension where politics reside. Left and right are political preferences
that typically become manifest within a multi-party democracy. Many political
systems do not even allow people to make such choices. DonParagon points at
agreement-based relations as the way to go in future times, but a similar
vision has also been worked out by Voluntaria. The problem is that even when
one makes banners or pictures to express this, the message is usually contained
in words such as Optionality, Voluntaria or Libertaria.
E. Further Contributions like this!
Much of the background on Quintessence's comparative analysis method
has already been described in detail in earlier articles. However, a good
picture is important, it deserves a thousand words to describe its
Quintessence is well aware of the shortcomings of the verbal nature of
articles, this has been discussed in many earlier articles. For a change,
this particular article does not offer much new discussion in a verbal
sense, instead it mainly discusses banners. Graphical
contributions have the great advantage that they are
instantly accessible by large groups of people, without having to be
read and perhaps translated first. Interpretation of icons requires little
or no competence in literacy or knowledge of a specific language. Also,
a picture is not time-sequential, i.e. the whole picture is there at once
and can be explored at the convenience of the person looking at it.
Quintessence has tried to combine all these pictures into
a single one, in order to be even more upfront about Quintessence's approach.
After all, openness and clarity go hand in hand with optionality.
It would be great to have more pictures to express what the
Comparative Analysis method is all about! Such pictures could
look like the ones below. However, these particular pictures do not fit into
the 468 x 60 size that generally is the maximum size for exchange banners.
Also, the pictures below may still be too verbal and too complex.
Combined banner, 468 x 100
Another banner, slightly different, expresses the same idea: