About my consultancy
Over the last 20+ years, I’ve founded design agencies, worked in agency leadership roles and filled many interim design and product leadership roles in start-ups and large-scale organisations. As a practitioner, I’ve designed digital products, services and digital organisational structures. As a Design Leader and Director, I’ve built, re-structured and led Design and Digital Customer Experience teams, and trained and mentored design and non-design professionals. I’ve worked with different models and methods to deliver strategy, design, delivery and transformation to organisations from start-up to enterprise. I have built strong working relationships over the years with other digital specialists and – from time to time – bring in others to work in collaboration to meet the needs of my clients.
Areas that I specialise in, include the following:
Product and service design consultancy
You may want to get some independent experienced design thinking or insight to verify or challenge your own thinking around your digital products and services. You may be wary of engaging an agency, because you’re not interested in the constant up-sell and cross-sell that you know will come with the engagement. There are experienced digital design leaders out there who can engage with you and your team, and help provide that level of objectivity and challenge. Whether it’s reviewing a design strategy or direction, the capability or effectiveness of your design team, recommending strategic models or approaches that your design team can take in engaging stakeholders, or helping shape a design team for the future, it is good to know that there are options available to you.
Having built and led design teams and agencies, and worked many years as a practitioner, I can help you through these moments. Sometimes an extra experienced pair of eyes and hands can be incredibly helpful.
Organisational design is tricky! It impacts culture, structures, process, method, but most of all people and relationships in the organisation. It is different to building teams from scratch, as it requires a “shake-up” of the status quo and a necessity to weave the new team back together in a way that builds confidence in the organisation and collaboration amongst the newly re-formed teams. Each effort is different and requires clear direction and vision to see it through. There is preparation in advance of evolving an organisational model, a great deal of hard work during the actual process, and then a programme of activities after the event to ensure the new team is able to settle into its new structure with a new focus and sense of purpose. And all the while, you need to “keep the wheels on the bus” as work doesn’t stop just to accommodate change.
I have led and contributed to re-structuring and organisational design in the digital space for numerous organisations, designing structures, ways of working, process, method and models for teams of up to 280 people. It requires collaboration with leadership teams to understand the evolving needs of the organisation, and participation of members of the team to see it through.
Digital capability and team building
Building new capability within an organisation requires patience and a plan. You need to understand what problem you are solving or need you are fulfilling. You need to understand the areas of the business this new capability will both support and impact. You need to design the team structure, being careful not to “over egg” the structure or shape, start lean, and plan to iteratively grow the team as needs manifest in the business and teams become used to engaging with your new capability. New roles descriptions, lean processes and then a plan to “sell” the team into the business need to be developed.
Having built design and research teams inside of existing organisations, and designed all the requisite process, engagement plans, roles, etc. that go along with building a new capability, I’m able to assist your organisation in setting up new digital design or research practices that can help you to successfully grow your organisation – whether growing/maturing start-up, or mature enterprise in scale.
Training, workshops and seminars
In every organisation I work with, the subject of further education and training are always high on people’s list of expectations from their employer. Often, when it comes to digital teams, standard in-house training programs offer very little in the way of relevant training for those who work in creative fields. I can help to design workshops or seminars for all levels of your design organisation, including training and seminars for senior design leaders and c-suite leaders that enable them to better understand how to work with and engage a design team within your organisation. I am able to offer a range of training topics, or can work with you to develop training suitable and bespoke to your organisation.
Coaching, mentoring and advising
Sometimes you require a personal touch from someone who is deeply experienced. This can entail remote or on-site sessions and is designed and tailored to suit your needs. As a senior leader in an organisation, who works in a non-digital position, you may not feel comfortable engaging with someone inside your organisation to better understand how digital, technology, design and delivery work. I can help you to gain a better understanding of these important areas of your organisation and give you a foundation for engaging with your peers. Likewise, you may be a digital leader, but want the advice of someone deeply experienced who can help coach and advise you in your role. These sessions can be flexible and built around your time and needs.
It’s easy to get so close to your design and user journeys that you can’t see the forest for the trees. Having an experienced design leader conduct an independent assessment and review of your designs and journeys and then feedback the findings in a simple, easy to understand format, can help immensely with unblocking Customer issues or opportunities. And the best part is it can all be done remotely. Being a design practitioner, and having led and built design teams for over 20 years, I can provide more than just the usual review. I look at journeys in their context and try to get under the skin of what you are trying to accomplish, as well as providing a detailed review of the designs themselves. Sometimes it’s good to just have someone provide that outside/in insight and feedback to help you shape your future.
If you are undertaking any of the above activities in your organisation, and interested in whether I am able to provide the kind of advising you seek, would like some advice or consultancy, or just a discussion about pitfalls and success factors, please get in touch.