As I was pondering a name for this new company, I spent some quality time considering various options. I looked up a bunch of Latin words and found that most of them were already claimed by bio tech firms, real estate companies, and other strategy consultants across the nation. While I could have easily gone with something boring and familiar (like “The Blackburn Freeth Group” or “Freeth Consulting Partners”), I wanted something more compelling to capture why I’m taking this path at this particular moment in time–why I am adapting.

Quite simply, “adaptive” means having the ability to adapt, to change as circumstances change.  Adaptive is a word most often used in the context of how living things adapt to their internal or external environments–for the better. While being “adaptive” is an adjective, the word “adaptation” is a noun that reflects the process of “adapting,” which is a verb. More specifically, adaptation is defined by the Webster online dictionary as, “the process of changing to fit some purpose or situation : the process of adapting.” The words adapt, adaptive, and adaptation are all active words about the process of human change, and that is ultimately what I wanted to evoke.

So why add “alternatives”?  

When a person or an organizations chooses to adapt there are multiple choices or alternatives along the way. “Alternative” is an adjective which has several definitions including:

: offering or expressing a choice
: not usual or traditional
: different from the usual or conventional

“Alternative” can also be used to describe music or healthcare choices (both of which have personal meaning to me having gone to college in the 90’s and as I am currently seeking out health and wellness options beyond traditional offerings). To me, choosing from among various “alternatives” is about consciously making a choice to adapt to changing circumstances–for the better–whether or not we really wanted to have to face those new realities in the first place.


So why put “Adaptive” and “Alternatives” together? 

When I first wrote “Adaptive” and “Alternatives” together on paper, I felt markedly different than I had about hundreds of other word pairs.  I loved the personal and professional themes that came together for me when “Adaptive” and “Alternatives” are side by side. Not only do people have to adapt to the changing circumstances around them, but organizations, too, need to adapt more than at any other point in history. The pace of change and flow of information far exceeds our ability to process everything that comes at us every day.  Sometimes we need to pause–and breathe–to consider fundamental questions that we’re otherwise too busy–or too afraid– to ask. Sometimes we have no choice but to adapt. Other times we know something needs to change, but inertia keep us in the same old unfulfilling patterns. There are a lot of good reasons why good people and good organizations choose not to adapt. Some of those organizations are gone, while other are just hobbling along and not living up to their full potential. There are other organizations that may look shiny and efficient to the outside world, but their internal cultures depend on blistering productivity that eventually leads to burnout.

With the founding of Adaptive Alternatives LLC, I am choosing to adapt each day–as a person, as a professional, and as a parent too.  It’s often a messy and non-linear choice, but it’s the only way I know to ultimately thrive in whatever changing conditions may come next. I am founding this company with the hope that some of you may want to adapt as well and may need a trusted partner along the way.

Care to join me?



Is your organization ready for a change?

Stephanie Blackburn Freeth is the creator of The Strategy Tango.


The Strategy Tango is designed to move through seven tried and true planning steps while also accommodating the unique needs of your organization in each moment.


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