In a sentence, my unique value is simply being able to creatively engage diverse teams around corporate challenges that involve human emotion and market appeal.
With a background in engineering, design and business, my approach melds problem solving with opportunity creation. I help analytic business leaders break through orthodoxies. I help creative directors connect their genius to reality. I help executives in both startups and established companies in tech, consumer and medical to blend design thinking, business analytics and technical constraints for outcomes that deliver against corporate objectives.
I call it Design for Impact.
CUSTOMER DRIVEN DESIGN
How does a technology leader create winning products that get the highest consumer ratings?
I helped a first-to-market tech leader in smart home technology who was facing significant headwinds from a charismatic entrant with better funding and more enticing products. By designing an approach that anchored on customer motivation and emotions, I helped the client create a vivid customer persona that guided all new product design and development.
The design impact was clear: the highest rated product among stiff competition and a 10X company growth over five years.
DESIGN FOR GROWTH
How do you leap into a technology disruption rather than be swamped by it?
A storied leader in premium home entertainment equipment facing technology disruption asked me to help them shape product improvements and create new products that would be competitive in market and consistent with their brand.
In a 16-week Design for Impact sprint, the team I assembled completely defined a new offering through a collaborative process anchored in understanding consumers, new technologies and market trends.
More than 100 consumers were engaged globally through a variety of ethnographic approaches to understand their unmet needs in home entertainment, alongside their adoption of new technologies. With the insights we developed combined with market analysis, we fueled client co-creation sessions and an immersive concept garage to coalesce insights, develop concepts and build prototypes. We identified dozens of signature moments for improvement to existing equipment and prototyped new offerings around the leading value propositions, which we then validated and finalized into a winning product definition.
The impact is real: the resulting concepts won the board over, promise revenue growth of 30% over 5 years, and lay the foundation for a resilient future blending improvements to legacy products and a roadmap for distinctive new products.
Business development in large organizations selling systems worth tens of millions is a complex dance of interpersonal relationships and institutional memory.
I deployed Design for Impact to help ten senior leaders enliven their connection to their customers. Together we designed bold workshops that put team members in the same room with their customers to surface their needs — and to generate meaningful new ways of working. I led the group in the design of prototypes for new processes —including a “listening tour”, town halls and the deployment of existing digital solutions — to quickly activate and refine new behaviors.
The impact is “dramatically increased focus and ownership of outcomes that matter for clients across the organization.”
PRODUCT AS BRAND
How can a company with 5-star product reviews leverage their success for an even bigger prize?
A $5B consumer goods manufacturer was enjoying success in creating home care products targeting a competitive price/performance formula. But little value had been given to brand building nor to the benefit of a cohesive look and feel across products. I created consumer research that revealed not only did people have little awareness of the brand, they also couldn’t identify the rich product feature sets because the designs unintentionally hid them.
Through customer insights, stakeholder interviews and rapid ideation workshops, I led the team quickly toward a Portfolio Atlas that defines a living brand architecture for the product portfolio. Designs now reinforce the brand elements and express the rich feature set of each product.
The impact is fourfold: greater brand awareness, increased feature recognition on shelf, lower product costs and streamlined product development.
SENSORS TO SYSTEMS
How do you define a successful service solution for a leading manufacturer of electromechanical sensor components?
A manufacturer of electronic sensors imagined a potential opportunity to combine sensors with services to offer customers a broader solution at a much higher value than sensors alone.
I led a mixed design and analytics team to blend understandings of market sizes and use cases with on-the-ground insights about how these services could create relevant and valuable offerings to potential customers.
The impact in 12 weeks is a validated end-to-end concept spanning sensor families, new hardware, business partnerships, back-end software and mobile interfaces that provide meaningful solutions to existing and new customers of the company.
When the City of San Francisco approached me to help prepare residents for the next disaster, they had assumed the answer would be a more compelling and attractive personal “earthquake kit” of emergency supplies. I led our team in a process that would challenge that assumption by understanding more deeply the reasons why residents are not prepared.
The key insight is that emotional barriers — fear and apathy — are preventing people from taking preparedness action. I led the design of a subscription service that is easier than 1-2-3 and that contributes to a lifestyle of preparedness, going far beyond having food rations stocked in the cupboard.
The impact is a dramatic shift in the way that San Francisco approaches residents about being prepared.