get in touch

How We Think


What Differentiates The Clearing?

We put people at the center of everything we do.

We believe impactful work is the result of great relationships — between our consultants, our customers, and the constituencies they serve. Those relationships center on people, which is why we put them at the center of everything we do.

Not every path to positive outcomes is straight, one-size-fits-all solutions don’t always fit, and cutting-edge theory has to work in practice. That’s why we use an adaptable approach to problem-solving, tailor solutions to your specific opportunity, and use theory with a focus on practice. It all adds up to real-world strategy and transformation that sticks.


Pillars of Thinking

Our process is guided by four core pillars of thought. These pillars allow our team to diagnose the root cause of an issue and design creative and unique solutions for our clients.

Systems Thinking

Systems are connected and each team is a representation of the larger enterprise. Visualizing and communicating how the system operates, including understanding social connections, is essential. By understanding how each part functions, we are better able to identify gaps and opportunity areas to enable success across the enterprise.

Design Thinking

Experimental people-centered problem solving is a key tool. Our consultants encourage organizations to focus on the individuals they exist to serve. Starting from a place of empathy and ideation, design thinking enables the creation of better products, services, and internal processes that directly address human needs.

Analytical Thinking

The right data helps drive smart decisions. Sometimes, the sheer amount of available information makes finding the right data set a challenge. Our consultants use advanced analytics to help leaders sift through the noise, identify top indicators of success, and create powerful insights into organizational performance.


Inquiry and the practice of active listening is the key to understanding the complexities of the human element. We begin each new engagement from a place of genuine interest, spending time interviewing and building relationships with the people who are the pulse of the organization.

Thought Resources

To bring our people-focused approach to life, we blend the following frameworks to formulate the right approach for each opportunity.


Problem solving has a language of its own.

The PRIMES© are documented in the book, The PRIMES: How Any Group Can Solve Any Problem, (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., copyright © 2012) authored by Chris McGoff, founder of The Clearing. The PRIMES are patterns of universal behaviors that show up whenever groups of people gather together. These patterns are simple, consistent, and unchanged by time. We use The PRIMES to establish a shared language across groups.

Idea to Impact®

A people-first approach to problem solving.  

Idea to impact (i2i)® is The Clearing’s holistic approach to problem-solving. Spread across three phases, i2i® allows us to quickly and intentionally help organizations shift and prepare for the future while keeping the voice of the customer at the center of decision-making. As a people-first approach, i2i® emphasizes addressing social and cultural issues inherent to change.


Rapidly diagnose, test, and build solutions.  

Prototyping isn’t just for consumer products and software developers. The AMPERIAN CYCLE® is our proprietary approach to help individuals with innovative and positively disruptive ideas. Diverse teams take an idea or opportunity through our five-step process and come out with a working prototype to test and iterate with customers.

Network Analysis


Detecting and Illuminating Social Connections to Establish and Revitalize Networks.

Network analysis allows leaders to see beyond organizational charts and formal reporting lines into the informal networks and relationships that shape organizational behavior. Understanding these networks allows leaders to make more informed decisions and effectively drive positive change.

Solution Spotlight

Ready to Chat?

Whatever your challenge or opportunity, we’re ready to help you tackle it.