Design, as a methodology, can be applied to many scopes.
I apply Responsible Design principles and methodologies to organisational design, culture design, business design, experience design, service design and more.
I work together with leaders and teams to create environments that are safe, where people know what they are contributing to and feel like they can grow.
I use Regenerative Design and co-design to involve people in the imagination and implementation of the future they want.
Regenerative Design applied to the wellbeing and growth of a design team
In 2023 I worked with the design department of a large financial company in the Netherlands.
Designers were distributed across several product teams. The kind of work required by each team was very different and so was the experience of each designer, including their opportunities to grow. Designers were meeting once a month but struggling to feel like one team.
We adopted a Regenerative Design approach and presented everybody with the metaphor of the design team as a garden. Instead of seeing people like cogs in a machine, we explored the idea of individual members being plants of this imaginary garden, the team a portion of the garden and the company the larger garden.
We reflected on the role of the weather and the environment, we observed individuals thriving in a position of the garden and suffer in another.
We run a qualitative research across the team and learnt about what was supporting people’s regeneration and what was detrimental to their wellbeing. We involved the whole team, every member of the department, in a co-design journey that brought them together in discussing the current status and defining the common vision and values that would inspire and motivate them. Then we translated the values in initiatives and projects, whose ownership and benefits were distributed across the team.
This collective work converged in the strategic priorities for the department and the implementation of the initiatives brought the culture to practice in a distributed manner. The team members are now better supported in their growth and everyone is more invested the team’s collective future.
Co-designing an organisation
I worked with an international online-based community of designers, run by a group of co-founders volunteers.
The community offers valuable content and people are continuously joining, but, as many communities, it is then difficult to engage these people in volunteering for the community. At the same time the core team would miss clarity and structure in their involvement and responsibilities, beside struggling to make the necessary time for the community.
The co-founders value collaborative leadership and collective decision making.
We run several sessions where we explored what was working and what required more attention. When discussing these areas we realised that the team needed alignment and space to negotiate a common vision for the future. We explored together several spectra of possibilities and finally came to an organisational structure with roles and responsibilities that would support the common vision.
Achieved a common vision and a supporting organisational structure, each member of the core team started taking ownership on specific areas and devising strategies and tactics to bring forward. Those generated projects both for the core team and a plan for the involvement of the larger community where volunteers can be involved more structurally.
The team is still struggling with their availability, but feels better structured and working toward a common vision and equipped to ask for help to the rest of the community.
We are more a team than we though we were.
This exercise really helped bringing clarity about the present and what we need to do to move forward
I never realised we all had so similar experiences