What does parallax mean? – and how do you spell it anyway?! The word “parallax” refers to the apparent change of position of an object when the person looking at the object changes position. (Read more at Wikipedia or Bing.) We use the name to refer to what happens to a situation, challenge, or opportunity when we change our viewing place, and add another perspective. We have found that viewing something from more than one perspective is a way to gain wisdom and understanding, and learn to be more open to options and opportunities.
Why we chose it for our name …
A long, long time ago, Don was looking in the dictionary (hard copy – that’s how long ago …) to clarify the meaning of another word we were considering for our name (no, we’re not telling – actually, we don’t remember …). We didn’t like something about it, so he started browsing … and “parallax” jumped off the page and smacked him between the eyes (the first perspective shift), because the word described exactly what we were trying to do in our work! And that was the beginning of about 897,435 times that we’ve had to spell it out, usually twice, sometimes still unsuccessfully. And it’s entertaining how many different ways it can be mispronounced. But … we bet (hope?!) people remember, once they get it …
… and what about our logo?
In keeping with our name, our logo can be seen from several different perspectives, and may best be understood by holding on to all of them. The eye can represent you looking out at the world. Or, it can represent us looking out at the world, or at you. It can be the starting place for every perspective, and a reminder of how simple (not easy) it can be to see things from a different perspective. The swirls around the eye represent the VUCA world we live in, and the unpredictability and change that are constants for all of us now.
When we combine the eye and the swirls, we get a representation of successful leadership for the future – that calm still center in the midst of the unpredictability and change. Morihei Ueshiba, O’Sensei, the Founder of Aikido says, “My students think I don’t lose my center. That is not so; I simply recognize it sooner, and get it back faster.” The combination of the eye and the swirls represent that essential quality of leadership that recognizes sooner and re-centers faster.
Our thanks to Chris Baldwin and Fusionspark Media for the evocative image.