About

About

About Subculture

"Tres transformistas." drag performers Malu, Natasha and Alina in Havana. Photo by David Tesinsky. 

Hi, we're Subculture.

We're glad you're here.
Subculture is a global community of experts spanning the worlds of strategy, innovation, organizational psychology, media, evolutionary biology, agile development and human-centered design. Our community loves the deep dive on big ideas, solving big problems and helping leaders leave the world better than they found it. 

We believe that different makes the difference.   
(If you skipped the “Approach” page, you missed out on why we think deep diversity is such a big deal)

Our Principles

We write these formulas to fight management bloat in organizations.
Here are the ones we live by...

Humans
First.

We recognize the history of homo sapiens and what it means to be part of something together. It’s important to remember our priority is revitalizing and reconnecting humans.

Embrace Encounters.

We see new encounters, with people, ideas, experiences, context or content, as an opportunity to learn and grow - especially if they challenge our beliefs or understanding.

Complexity
kills.

People crave simplicity but systems work against them by adding more and more layers. We must constantly attack convoluted thinking, processes and systems.

Words then actions.

We have to find the right story but the best learning comes from doing the work.

Shoulder to
Shoulder.

We are partners with each other and our clients. We face the same opportunities standing together instead of across from each other.

Insights are the Enterprise.

Our observations and understanding is what makes us unique and drives success. Taking time to chew and arrive at original points is vital to our work.

What is a  “Subculture” anyway?

The likelihood that an existing company or organization will transform itself once it stagnates is so small as to be a statistical anomaly. A bonafide miracle. An actual unicorn. 

Humans ‘in the wild’ follow a deep universal pattern which regularly revitalizes societies and cultures.
When the world becomes stagnant, humans instinctively create subcultures.

They spot the future and guide the mainstream toward it, creating something new and vital out of stalled circumstances. 

We thought the way human society re-invented itself was super cool… so we named our company after it. The bottom line is, we know what it takes to get you to the next level. 
Evolve with us.
Become the exception.

Founders

Michael and Chatham started the company, so here’s some background info, but it certainly doesn’t end with them.

Michael Maness

Michael Maness is a leading thinker on innovation, media and the transformational impact of the Internet.Michael became the first ever Innovator-in-Residence at the Harvard Business School.  The position was created as part of the Digital Initiative at HBS, an effort that brings together leading scholars and practitioners to explore the re-invention of business in a digital, networked, and media-rich environment. Michael’s exploration and research investigates why innovation fails or thrives in business cultures. Prior to his current role, Michael was the Vice-President of Journalism and Media Innovation at the Knight Foundation. This $2.5 billion private foundation is dedicated to creating informed and engaged communities and is the largest funder of non-profit journalism in the United States. While at Knight, Michael managed an active portfolio of over $125 million of projects dedicated to driving the digital transformation of the media field. He was also the chair of the Knight Enterprise Fund, an active investor in for-profit media start-ups. The fund’s value more than doubled under his leadership and he continues as an active advisor.

Before his work at Knight, Michael was the Vice-President of Design and Innovation for USA Today and Gannett, a Fortune 500 company and one of the largest media companies in the U.S. In that role, Michael introduced human centered design and disruptive innovation approaches to the organization. He oversaw the investment and creation of several start-ups including The Bold Italic, a digital brand created to re-imagine local news coverage. The site won multiple awards and is part of the permanent collection at the Denver Institute of Art for excellence in design. He is Board of Trustees for the Newseum in Washington D.C. and on a former member of the Advisory Board for IDEO, one of the worlds leading design companies. and the Media Advisory Board for the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City.

Chatham Sullivan

Chatham Sullivan is an organizational psychologist, author, and co-founder of the innovation and change agency called Subculture.

Based on the discovery that innovation follows persistent and predictable patterns throughout history Chatham and his colleagues pioneered an alternative model of innovation that enables mature companies to evolve, grow, thrive and flourish.

Chatham has worked closely with influential brands and institutions around the world like Johnson & Johnson, WPP, The Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, Macquarie, PayPal, CitiBank, the Ad Council, Harvard University, PBS and NPR.

Chatham is the author of the The Clarity Principle a book that dissects the perils that executives confront making (and avoiding) big strategic choices. He is past lecturer and executive faculty at the Aresty Institute of Executive Education at Wharton School of Business and the School of Social Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. Before Subculture Chatham was a partner at Innosight - a firm founded by Harvard Business School’s Clay Christensen and recognized as the world’s leading authority on disruptive innovation.

Chatham lives in Boston Massachusetts with his three children Sophia, Abraham and Lyra. Prior to ‘getting a job’ Chatham was a professional fly fishing guide on the Platte River in Wyoming.