Winning organizations understand that “how” their employees work is equally important as “what” their customers buy. But, we all know that 1-day bootcamps and a 2-day off-sites will not be enough to rewire the mindsets, beliefs, and behaviors that define how your organization operates. We have found incredible impact applying our proven design process and tools to redesigning internal processes, systems, and cultures. We love a good personality assessment, but our approach goes infinitely deeper, designing (or re-designing!) new ways of working at an operational level. Whether it’s designing new ways for cross-functional teams to play nice together, rethinking a stale onboarding experience, fixing the employee retention problem that keeps you up at night, or taking your values off the wall and figuring out how to actually see them in action, our belief is simple – when your organizational experience is optimized, that dynamic will surely cascade to your customers.
We leverage our process and journey mapping expertise to objectively break down how collaboration happens across teams and identify areas for improvement. Our approach often involves initial discovery research that results in a robust mapping of the current ecosystem of interactions within an organization. We then highlight the key breakdowns that exist. We invite diverse groups of stakeholders to co-create new experiments for improving how the collaboration model can work. Then, we develop a future state model and help facilitate the new working models over 3-6 month periods. When evaluated in such a concrete way, we’ve found there’s little time for finger pointing because the team is able to focus on their mutual shared business objectives.
We have helped hundreds of organizations and trained over 20,000 people on new mindsets, tools, and facilitation practices. Our approach is highly experiential in nature, always integrating much more practice than classroom style learning. Similar to working out, we’ve learned that impact doesn’t come in a single session or bootcamp. We work with leaders who see the value in working to develop their team and leaders over time, and we’ll customize the program that works within their constraints and concretely supports the strategic goals the team is working towards. Our experience has found that impact is most often sustained and measured with programs that are built in 3-month, 6-month, and 9-month structures.
Our approach to change management is deeply rooted in our expertise of human centered design and revolves around the three questions every human is wired to consider when being faced with change: Where is the organization going? What is the impact on me? How can I support it? We emphasize our research expertise to find the intersection of your employee’s needs, your leader’s needs, your business objectives, and the impact on your customer. These insights inform the places where we emphasize our creative approaches and engage the workforce. Our change management services may include executive facilitation and coaching, employee research, stakeholder management and workshops, employee co-creation, workplace experiments, communication planning, accountability and role definition, and event/offsite design and facilitation.
We have helped numerous organizations to take an employee-centric approach to navigating hybrid and return to office challenges. Our approach focuses on defining the underlying needs of the business, the leadership, and the employees, and then leveraging co-creation techniques to develop pilot programs to test new policies and practices. In a world where these topics can get polarized and tense very quickly, we’ve found inviting the organization into the “learning journey” as opposed to the “rollout roadmap” has yielded high-impact and often accelerated outcomes.
Our culture and leadership work is often most successful when we are eventually able to step aside and watch the organization absorb the programs. These services vary depending on the needs of the organization but may include training in-house teams of facilitators and trainers, developing customized toolkits and curriculum, crafting scalable training modules, building internal communities of practice led by internal champions, and establishing measurement and evaluation dashboards that can be managed in-house. We have vast experience working across geographies and translating our work into various languages to intentionally include global voices.
I would have to say one of the highlights of my time here has been working with The Design Gym. Your team brings spark, style, and boundless energy to a brand that needs a little poke here and there.”
CMO, Leading US Grocery Retailer
Successful organizations don’t approach culture as the “soft” side fo the work. We orient all culture and leadership work in service of the organization vision and strategy that is in place, and measure the outcomes to prove it.
Successful organizations embody culture at the senior levels and activate at the employee levels. We work hard to translate culture into concrete behaviors, mindsets, and beliefs for each corner of the organization so that it manifests into action.
Successful organizations support their employees through change instead of pushing it on them. We help employees understand their role in larger organizational shifts, and win their hearts by helping them see their contribution to the progress. The same mentality applies to the senior most executives of the organization.
Successful organizations don’t treat change and culture as ‘one off’ initiatives. We work with our clients to translate large, complex visions into experiments that can be tested quickly.
Successful organizations hold space for every voice to be represented in the solution. Our process relies heavily on expert facilitation, co-creation, and listening practices so that every stakeholder actually has a stake.