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If you’ve ever had the privilege of naming something, you’ll know it can be a daunting task. Parents will eternally debate whether a child owns their name, or the name shapes the child. And as I’ve learnt in recent months, similar pressure surrounds naming a business. Its name will forever influence first impressions, preconceptions and expectations. While I’d hope – like children – the ultimate measure will be its contribution to the world, there is no doubting a name can set your business off on the right foot.

So why ‘Propel’?

It all started with the Wall Street Journal, a dinner table conversation and the dry suit. Fifteen minutes later, we’d landed on ‘Propel’. Bear with me…

What led to that moment, of course, was weeks of planning, discussion and debate – it wasn’t a straightforward process. We went through words, objects, Greek words, Greek objects. Then we tried Latin words. We listened to podcasts for inspiration. We wore out synonym searches on Google.

Then one morning over coffee, my wife and I were brainstorming ideas that represented the characteristics of this business: collaboration; partnership; innovation; perspective; congruence; simplicity. A new way of approaching and resolving challenges within organisations.

She mentioned a conversation she’d had with a writer from the Wall Street Journal a few days’ prior who, as a passionate diver, explained the importance of the dry suit. Simply by looking at an existing challenge in a new way, this humble invention changed how humans would see and explore the ocean and its many hidden mysteries.

‘What about ‘Dry Suit’?’


But we were absolutely on the right track, and after discussing other inventions that had provided global communities with a new way of seeing the world, we landed on the propeller.

More than 200 years ago, John Fitch recognised the limitations of a single oar to move across the water. He discovered that, by attaching a multitude of them to a rotating shaft, the limited arc motion was enhanced to 360 degrees.

Vessels adopting the propeller operated more effectively and efficiently. But that was just the beginning: what the propeller enabled, and subsequent industry applications, was limitless. Machines could operate more effectively. Transport could move faster and go further. People could explore beyond their known horizons. Minds were opened to the possibility of what could be.

Solving business challenges in partnership

What the propeller represents excites us, but we are not focused on things or objects to solve business challenges. These challenges require action. They require ‘doing’.

We are inspired by minds that look at the way things are and seek a better alternative. We are inspired by people who ask ‘why?’ to improve situations and outcomes. We are inspired by ideas that empower people to achieve great things.

We are Propel. We are a team of consultants who see the world differently and won’t accept ‘the way things are’. If you share this attitude, we’d love to partner with you and find a better way.

Author: Roger Christie

Roger Christie is Founder and Managing Director of Propel. He understands the importance and value of a customer-centric approach to business, and has worked with a range of public and private sector organisations to help them leverage data, technology and operational change to deliver practical business solutions. Over the past decade, Roger has advised boards and executive teams across government departments and ASX top ten corporations, and understands the challenges facing organisations looking to excel and remain viable in an increasingly competitive, discerning marketplace. You can connect with Roger on LinkedIn and Twitter, and follow his thoughts on Medium.

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