Turning potential into performance.
Charting the course with a clear vision of the future.
Aligning people with a greater purpose.
Design Thinking in Organization Development
Design thinking puts the individual at the center of learning, development, and change initiatives. The critical first step is understanding––empathizing––with the individual. What are their problems, needs, insights, and challenges? How can these be approached creatively and differently, in ways that defy the usual patterns of behavior that hold people back? And how can we test these ideas, explore them in action? It’s an iterative process, which means the emphasis is not on getting it right the first time, but on challenging assumptions, trying new ways, and testing the solutions to make sure they really work.
When strategy, learning, and culture align, great things can happen. If there’s a strategic opportunity on the horizon, our knowledge and skills help us capitalize on it. And a culture of engagement, innovation, and trust builds the courage to try, fail, and ultimately succeed.
The first part, getting the vision right, is hard work. And it’s worth it. Vision motivates and challenges—it motivates us to achieve something great and challenges us not to accept something less. Supported by a sound strategy (with clear goals, measurable objectives, and defined timetables) vision is the north star for developing people and defining the organizational culture.
The anthropologist Ruth Benedict called culture “a more or less consistent pattern of thought and action.” It’s not a set of rules or prohibitions, and you won’t find it in policy manuals. Culture is developed, encouraged, and reinforced in countless interactions every day. It’s personal and it’s collective. Most importantly, it develops either by chance or through thoughtful intention. Thoughtful leaders see culture as a source of tremendous energy when focused in the right direction.
Most people love to learn, but they don’t always like to be “sent to training.” Real learning is driven by the learner, not the trainer. Well-designed training builds on what learners already know and helps them apply what they learn to make their work more rewarding. It challenges them to make changes, motivates them to try something new, and rewards them with the confidence to say, “I can do this.”
Test Your Knowledge
Our work means staying current with leading authors, researchers, and executives. Sometimes our research validates what we already know. Sometimes it takes us in new directions. Either way, we try to incorporate the best information we find into our work with clients
This section features a revolving look at some of the things we found most interesting in our work. It’s an interaction/quiz because testing accelerates learning (one of those findings). See how your knowledge matches up with that of the experts.
Steve is very charismatic and personable, and I was glad to have him on board as a leader for our annual strategic planning session for my nonprofit organization.