A Rather Different Consulting Company


A Rather Different Consulting Company


Crisp is a consulting company based in Stockholm, Sweden. But we aren’t a very typical consulting company. For example: (1) None of the 35+ consultants are actually employed by Crisp (although they do have a few employed office staff); (2) They have no managers, not even a CEO. Instead they rely on self-organization and transparency. Almost everything is bottom-up, and anyone can drive any decision; (3) Crisp’s main purpose is to enable consultants to be happy, and Crisp Happiness Index is their driving metric. Strong revenue and delighted customers are a side effect, not a goal; (4) Crisp doesn’t want to earn money from it’s consultants. It is in practice a non-profit company (although not formally so). Consultants keep most of what they earn; (5) Their ownership model is designed to keep our stock financially worthless. There is no incentive to “cash in”; (6) Consultants are 100% autonomous. They can do whatever they want (as long as they don’t hurt the brand or their house), and work as much or as little as they want.


The primary metric of this Swedish company is “Nöjd Crispare Index” (in english: “Happy Crisper Index” or “Crisp Happiness Index”). It’s the only thing they systemically measure and follow up. Scale is 1-5. The data lives in our dashboard (a shared Google spreadsheet). There’s pretty strong peer pressure for people to update this, and most of them do. Some every month, others less frequently. But nobody is forced (remember one of our core values is freedom, so nobody forces anyone to do anything). But all in all this gives us a great overview of what’s working and what needs to be fixed.

The 3 main questions in the survey are:

How happy are you with being at Crisp? This is the main overarching happiness index.

How happy are you with your tasks in Crisp? This means internal work such as board meetings, conference facilitation, or creating this Crisp DNA site. This is especially relevant for our office team, who do most internal work and have no external clients of their own.

How happy are you with your current client, or your bench situation? We measure this separately, because sometimes a person could be really happy with Crisp, but sad about the current client. Or vice versa. For people who are on the bench (= no client at the moment), this can express how they feel about that (sometimes people WANT to be on the bench).

The scale is:

5 = Super-happy! Don’t want to change anything!

4 = Pretty happy, but there are some things that need to be fixed.

3 = I can live with this, but there are many things that need to be fixed.

2 = Not feeling so good about this right now.

1 = This is crap! I want out.

Ivo Valkenburg

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