The DaVinci Co

Designing the Company for Alternative Futures

#davinci wing lg

An Invitation

My writing partner Dave Hersh and I would be honored if you would provide your comments and critique of the book we are researching. Our working title, “The DaVinci Co“, describes a rare form of renaissance company that anticipates and adapts to changing conditions. Following is our one-page “elevator pitch”.

Please spare us no quarter in your comments below. What resonates, what works, and more importantly, what does not? In the meantime, we will continue our research to ensure that our premise and experience present a valid diagnosis and a repeatable, viable and valuable prescription. Your insights can only help.

Gratefully  ~ Roger Mader and Dave Hersh


The DaVinci Co.
Designing the Renaissance Company of the Future


Design and adapt companies large and small to compete and win in an era of breakthroughs: technology-fueled, consumer-empowered, entrepreneur-led; where conditions shift with scant warning and boundaries blur. This is an era of risk for the many and opportunity for the few—that rare species of enterprise and executives who anticipate, learn, test, iterate and adapt.


“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” ~ attributed to Charles Darwin

In changing times, survivors adapt.

These are changing times.

This book clarifies the critical changes underway that will continue to roil the global marketplace for the next quarter century. It prescribes how great companies must evolve to succeed, how they will fearlessly explore, discover, adapt, survive, and repeat to thrive. It presents the changes ahead, and the capabilities and methods required to change with them.

Read this book if you expect tomorrow to differ from today, if you aspire to adapt, and to build an adaptable enterprise.


Business decision makers—from startup entrepreneurs to global enterprise executives—those responsible for the strategic direction and operating success of a commercial enterprise in a changing marketplace.


Darwin’s timeless observation, that survivors adapt to their conditions, holds true for all competitors, including corporate species, regardless of size or industry or era.

In stable periods, species co-exist in relative harmony, each comfortably adapted to its place in the ecosystem. In volatile times, those who adapt fastest and best, whether in a broad market or a particular niche, rise to dominance. Leonardo da Vinci and his codex provide a compelling personification and historic evidence of the rare combination of attributes that must come together to anticipate the future and experiment and adapt to meet it.

The Adaptive Enterprise requires uncommon attitude and aptitude. The lessons are clear. With proper appreciation for the changes ahead, these lessons can be adopted and the methods co-opted.


History demonstrates how changing conditions up-end markets, open new opportunities, and disrupt dominant competitors too slow to respond. Changes first appear as seeming outlier events, early indicators of trends that will collide to redefine market demand and the competitive response.

Winning companies combine a rare set of traits—an attitude and aptitude to adapt. To win, you need:

  • A clear recognition that change is inevitable and that chance favors the prepared.
    To the comfortable, you look anxious.
  • A burning desire to see what’s coming.
    To the complacent, you appear paranoid.
  • A willingness to overcome inertia, comfort in the familiar, and build a bias for action and an acumen for adaptation.
    To the clever, you look agile.

For those who remain confident in their place in a static food chain, you look frenetic, unfocused, and your actions non-strategic.

That is because, unlike them, you:

  • Sense coming shifts; spot and track early indicators to time the future’s arrival.
  • Combine the rigor of scientific method with the flexibility of creative arts for maximum adaptability. Art plus Science equal Rigor minus Mortis.
  • Launch multiple experiments in-market, often in conflict or competition, to anticipate shifts in demand and discover emerging customer preference.
  • Invent new experiences ahead of the market, learning laterally by looking for lessons beyond your niche.
  • Abandon the easy flat curve of past success in favor of climbing the hard-earned slope to future success.
  • Define new metrics, not measure the old.
  • Cannibalize your past to give birth to your future.

Like survival itself, none of this comes easy. It just beats the alternative.

Continue the journey with us?

Please let us know if you are interested in continuing this journey with us. We will invite you to our research site and offer you options to be involved on several levels, to participate in the formative work, behind the scenes interviews, synthesis of the data, editorial review, publication and launch.

We hope to benefit from your thoughts along the way. Thank you for your interest.


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