NEW YORK, April 30, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- New York-based cultural consultancy, sparks & honey, is the focus of Deloitte Insights’ latest case study, “Embracing a diverse world to sense and make sense of cultural signals.” The study highlights how the firm is using its daily culture briefings, one aspect of the trademarked active learning system called Q™, to understand thousands of data points in real-time and solve global challenges for brands as a result.

sparks & honey was selected by Deloitte, an industry-leading consultancy to many of the world’s most admired brands, alongside six other organizations (Southwest Airlines, GE First Build, Joint Special Operations Task Force, League of Legends: Team SoloMid, Red Cross Regional Disaster Unit and Royal Caribbean) that are being recognized for their ability to “pick up the pace by redesigning business practices” in a constantly shifting business environment in order to help frontline workgroups learn faster and accelerate performance improvements, as its report details.

“We are thrilled to be recognized by Deloitte for our unique offering and as a game-changing organization in an ever-changing industry,” said Terry Young, CEO, sparks & honey. “We understand the importance of machine learning, coupled with the power of human intelligence, and we have seen the positive impact that combination can have on our client’s business.”

Q™ has been designed to combine machine learning and human intelligence to fuel a ‘cultural workgroup’ that operates 24/7, 365 days a year, across its offices in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago. The combination of proprietary methodologies, algorithms and human insights enables the workgroup to curate a briefing that is unique each and every day, with the first 20 minutes of select briefings being livestreamed to its Facebook Live audience. The success of sparks & honey can be contributed in part to the cultural insights generated during the briefings, alongside the strategic expertise gained from tapping into QTM, resulting in 70 percent annual revenue growth between 2014 and 2016.

“sparks & honey has a unique ability to see the future. The briefings are the perfect way to experience that first-hand and become immersed in the firm’s unique ability to anticipate and act on cultural shifts,” said Rita Rodriguez, EVP, Omnicom Group. “The more we can include sparks & honey’s intelligence into our sales and marketing practices across the network – the higher the impact of our transformation efforts. Their approach to machine learning and cultural pattern recognition is unique within our industry and a differentiator for Omnicom.” 

Global organizations from McDonald’s to DARPA work with the consultancy to uncover and act on cultural shifts. A few takeaways from the study on how the culture briefings are used to power this work include:

  • “The daily culture briefing—both through the insights it generates and the way it trains the algorithms and the staff to recognize patterns and identify trends—is a key driver of sparks & honey's ability to deliver the type of work that its clients value.”
  • “The workgroup exemplifies six intersecting practices: commit to a shared outcome, seek new contexts, maximize potential for friction, cultivate friction, eliminate unproductive friction, and reflect more to learn faster.”
  • “The briefing is also a forum to examine and monitor cultural tensions, a key methodology in our process. We observe that opposing trends can manifest and move simultaneously in culture,” according to the firm’s Chief Operating Officer, Paul Butler. The format is a way for the consultants to come together to identify and unpack various tensions. They then work with clients to identify how, when, and where they may lean into one or another side of a cultural tension.”
  • “Over time, the culture briefing workgroup has developed a metric—connections per signal—that members feel has proven to be a useful indicator of briefing effectiveness.”
  • “Beyond discussion of individual signals, the workgroup spends time making connections between and among signals to identify emerging cultural intersections. Pattern recognition involves using five meta-categories—technology and science, humanity, ideology, aesthetics, and media—as well as tracking how trends evolve over time. If a pattern becomes stronger and its clusters grow large enough, it is defined as an “element of culture.”

sparks & honey appeared in Deloitte Insights’ case study in March 2018. For more on sparks & honey and its work, visit www.sparksandhoney.com.

About sparks & honey: sparks & honey is a technology-based cultural consultancy delivering game-changing insights and growth strategy to businesses and organizations around the world. Leveraging a unique suite of proprietary tools, algorithms and a global network of human scouts to identify emerging cultural trends and industry shifts, sparks & honey helps organizations stay relevant - and ahead of the curve - in a fast-changing world. Named to Ad Age’s 2014 A-List as an “Agency to Watch,” sparks & honey is a part of the DAS Group of Companies.

About the DAS Group of Companies
The DAS Group of Companies, a division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE:OMC) (www.omnicomgroup.com), is a global group of marketing services companies. DAS includes over 200 companies in the following marketing disciplines: specialty, PR, healthcare, CRM, events, promotional marketing, branding and research. Operating through a combination of networks and regional organizations, DAS serves international, regional, national and local clients through more than 700 offices in 71 countries.

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