Upon the notion that our previous symbol became part of the new symbol of ROUNDMAP™, we decided to seize the opportunity to change our symbol too.
CROSS~SILO has identified that barriers between functional silos are one of the root causes of low productivity, erratic customer experiences, and decelerated growth. This dynamic can be especially harmful during times of transformative change (disruptive innovation). Bureaucracy, as described by Max Weber, is most effective during times of relative stability and constancy (sustaining innovation).
We wanted a symbol that would call upon both leadership and staff to end the differences between the functional silos and to start working together as one team of teams to create significant customer value and seamless customer experiences.
Given the word ‘cross’, the symbol of two crossing swords immediately came to mind. While historically two crossing swords pointing upwards indicate (the readiness for) battle or conflict, swords pointing downward represent peace, rest, or the end of a conflict.
The crossing swords are part of a general theme that we’ve adopted as a brand: the 18th-century Spanish Empire (1492–1976).
To adhere to this general theme, we purchased a game of chess, designed in the spirit of the Spanish Empire. The king in this game of chess represents Philip V, who was King of Spain from 1700 to 1746, the longest reign in Spanish history (see image below).
The Philip V chess piece keeps a sword in front of him. A sword symbol can be seen as an affirmation of power, a manifestation of skills, a symbol of purification or the duality between life and death. Swords can also symbolize traits like aggression, strength, action, justice, leadership, and decision-making.
Pointing downwards, the sword indicates a claim of the land as well as the end of conflict. His spouse, the queen, holds her hand over her heart as a pledge of allegiance and to say that she is honest and true.
Spain owed much of his success on the battlefield from how it had structured its military. Armies were divided into three classes: pikemen (modeled after the Swiss), swordsmen with shields, and crossbowmen (later replaced by portable firearms). These Tercios (meaning ‘one-third’) were about one-third of the size of a military bataljon, making the unit much more agile in battle. The superiority of the Tercio over the Swiss compact frame was in its ability to divide (but not disintegrate) into mobile units and even individual melee, a tactical fluency that favored the combative Spanish disposition. Each conquered territory got its own Tercio, for instance, the Tercios of Naples, Sicily, or Lombardy.
King of Spain
The story of Philip V is most typical of the struggle between the silos, as can be witnessed in most firms today. Before he became Filipe V, he was Philippe, Duke of Anjou, the grandson of Louis XIV. After the House of Bourbon made a successful claim of the throne of Spain, tension started to arise between friends and foes. Obviously, a union of France and Spain under one monarch would upset the balance of power in Europe. The first 13 years of his reign, known as the War of the Spanish Succession, was troublesome.
Following the Treaty of Utrecht, Philip was confirmed as king of Spain in return for accepting its permanent separation from France; the Spanish Empire remained largely intact but ceded territories in Italy and the Low Countries (Netherlands) to Austria and Savoy: “The Treaty, which ushered in the stable and characteristic period of Eighteenth-Century civilization, marked the end of danger to Europe from the old French monarchy, and it marked a change of no less significance to the world at large, — the maritime, commercial and financial supremacy of Great Britain.”
Since the financial and taxation systems were archaic, the treasury ran deficits. In 1739 Spain even suspended payments on its debt. For most of his reign, Philip suffered from depression, allowing his queen, Elizabeth Farnese of the house of Parma, to rule the empire by proxy effectively.
In short, Spain was ruled by an outsider whose claim to the throne was contested throughout most of his reign. Many had reasons to challenge his throne on the battlefield. Only by relinquishing areas of the Spanish Empire, Spain kept its sovereignty. Yet, its financial system was a disaster, leading to bankruptcy. While Charles II had developed the Spanish Empire, Philip V acted overly complacent, often neglecting his duties to develop and defend the Empire, leading to overspending and financial havoc.
The lessons being that stakeholder management is key to the survival of any organization, as well as keeping your house financially and economically in order. Internal and external battles will deplete an organization of the means to innovate or to adapt to change. Growth demands a nimble, loyal, and capable workforce. Firms have to be vigilant, ready, and capable to defend their current interests. Or abandon them if they are no longer defendable, competitive, relevant, feasible, or viable ─ and transform the business.