What’s in a name? The meaning behind FOLD7

Choosing a name for your company is never an easy thing to do – we also wanted ours, like many more well-known businesses, to have some meaning behind it.

We initially tossed up a few ideas that had clear links to change but dismissed some as the name were either taken or others that would either have ended up with a long domain name and email addresses. We had one name in mind that we could all live with, but this was soon dropped when one of our ‘sounding boards’ told us it sounded like a government program! We were keen to get it right as this was one change we didn’t want to face later.

And then FOLD7 was suggested.

The name resonated immediately and we all felt the connection with the metaphor of how organisations are doing change – they stop after the sixth fold because that’s when it gets hard. You have to artfully apply pressure to fold it for the elusive seventh time and you usually need help to do it. Our aim is to help you achieve that seventh fold of change.

Interesting fact: If you could fold a sheet of paper in half 50 times, it would be 100 million kilometres thick!

But there were other reasons we felt connected to FOLD7 once we started looking into the meaning of the elements in our name.

Fold, apart from the obvious meaning to do with paper, means ‘a group or community, especially when perceived as having shared aims and values’. We like to think that when you work with the FOLD7 team you are part of our community where relationships and shared values matter. In cooking, when a recipe says for you to fold something, it means ‘to mix an ingredient gently with (another ingredient)’ – the way you mix sugar into whipped egg whites when you are making meringue so you don’t lose all the hard work you had to do to get the air in the egg whites in the first place. In the same way we help you integrate your change response without ‘deflating’ your people or customer/clients who are impacted.

And we are confident that with our help, we can ensure your organisation doesn’t fold (‘cease trading or operating as a result of financial problems’) or your teams fold under pressure and ‘suddenly stop performing well or effectively.’)

So, what about 7?

The number 7 according to numerology means ‘the seeker, the thinker, the searcher of Truth’ and it ‘doesn’t take anything at face value – it is always trying to understand the underlying, hidden truths’. Well, that’s us in change – trying to work out the real event and catalyst that has led to this change response, not the hollow reasons we often hear.

In Tarot, 7 indicates conflict and choice – something we all face during change. ‘Sevens take a stand based on an unseen but strongly felt inner truth’ – this is what we have seen when we work with leaders. They often have an intuition about what should happen.

In many cultures and religions, seven is seen as lucky or highly significant. There are seven colours of the rainbow, seven days in the week, seven letters in the Roman numeral system, the magnificent seven, seven wonders of the ancient world, the seven seas, seven deadly sins and seven virtues. And, who could go past the seven dwarfs – although I must admit I can only ever remember six of them!

Interestingly, even before we settled on the name, we had devised a sevenfold methodology and our philosophy has seven questions that need to be answered for the change. So, as you can see, we’ve been very purposeful in choosing our name and we’re in seventh heaven about it!


Welcome to the Fold!