7 years, 1 month ago

5Di – Our Operating Model

or how we aim to grow our trees together.


Up until recently, 5Di Ltd. was the commercial vehicle for my Change Design and Advisory services. This is changing as I write; 5Di will become a ‘Team’ within the next few weeks. I’m not sure how exactly all the pieces will fall into place, but I am eating my own dog food; experiment, include, listen to feedback, and evolve.

Before I explain the specifics, I’d ask that you watch a few of the videos here to see and hear where much of the inspiration for our operating model comes from:


Chuck Blakeman Crankset:

Katz Kiely: – BBC Radio 4 interview (audio only).

Dan Ward – all of his series are great, but if you’re short on time, just watch the first and last for now:

The full set:

Back to 5Di, we have a ‘T’ shape service portfolio; The T-bar is the Change Design journey described in the Found In Design un-book and the T-column are technology services focused on Cloud-Native architectures and integration.

Our principles are:
  • Keep things simple as possible
  • Work on interesting projects
  • Deliver value for money
  • Share rewards
  • Be clear, concise and transparent.

We can deliver Value-for-Money.
All 5Di consultants have tons of real-world experience and many have worked for Big-Five or similar – so we know how much they charge for this type of service and,  the other tricks they pull which we will avoid (like land-and-expand etc.). As a rough estimate, I’d say we will come in at less that 30% of large traditional consulting firms.

Because our fees are at least 40% cheaper for the same level of skill/expertise and we deliver value faster (fewer charged days) because we’re not motivated to drag-things-out with large teams. We have no ‘bench’ to sell.

5Di’s business model is simple:
  • We make sure all in the 5Di team get a good day-rate compared to them going to market individually ‘contracting’.
  • We make a reasonable markup on the fee, but then everybody gets a slice of 5Di’s year-end profits.
  • We are like-minds who *want* to work with each other (most of us have in the past).
  • We are all motivated to do a great job for the client – all our work is through referral.
  • As a team we attract other great talents through our collective personal network – I’m getting requests to join the 5Di family weekly.

All this will be explained (using our principles!) on the 5Di website soon. The current site is now horribly out-of-date, rather messy, and way too wordy – we promise a much better one!