Formed in 1990, Darcy Hitchcock and Marsha Willard started work as management consultants, specializing in self-directed work teams, a form of organizational democracy. In the mid-1990s, we got the ‘sustainability bug’ and redirected our practice to helping organizations implement sustainable business/corporate responsibility practices. Now we realize that these two practices, organizational democracy and corporate responsibility are two sides of the same coin, key to a sustainable future.
Over the years, we have published a number of books, articles, and other publications. We also developed a number of different products: S-CORE™, a sustainability rapid assessment; and SPaRK™, the Sustainability Planning and Reporting Kit.
At the end of 2013, after 23+ years in business, we are ratcheting back. AXIS is no longer a corporation but Marsha Willard and Darcy Hitchcock are still available to help with interesting projects that match our skills and values. Feel free to get in touch.
10 things we are proud of
- Beating the odds: Staying in business (most don’t last 5 years) and still admiring and loving each other
- Books: Publishing so many books, including one which won the American Library Association award for best academic titles. Two other books were chosen by Executive Summaries as best books of the year.
- Conferences: Running 10 years of profitable conferences on the topic of self-directed teams
- Sustainability: Helping to create the bandwagon
- Enlightened business practices: When the attorney setting up AXIS told us one of us should have 51% of the stock, we told him to stuff it; if we couldn’t agree, it wouldn’t happen. Being an early B-Corp and buying carbon offsets for many years, making us a ‘carbon neutral’ company; creating collaborative relationships with other consultants, helping them prosper.
- Giving a hand up to others: Forming the International Society of Sustainability Professionals, and then handing it off; granting zillions of informational interviews.
- Living our passions and values: Walking the talk, following topics that interested us, and working for the greater good; focusing on collaboration, not competition
- Creating useful products: S-CORE and SPaRK, designed in a way that others could profit; other publications like the Sustainability Series booklets, Start Up Kit, Personal Sustainability Plan, etc.
- Teaching at leading-edge institutions: Being part of the Bainbridge Graduate Institute faculty and teaching at other sustainability-focused institutions.
- Keynoting in interesting places: Being asked to present in such places as Mexico (for GM), Qatar (for the magazine Qatar Today) and Russia (at a Lean conference put on by Orgprom).