Growing by Design

Success Stories

Solving The Issue At The Right Level

Situation: The complex skin care category confused consumers and they often went home with the wrong product which led to dissatisfaction.  The business framed this originally as a “fix the shelf” challenge.

Mind Opening Empathy:  The shelf was out of the brand’s control in the near term so action-ability was limited.  With exploration they redefined the issue as a “woman empowerment/confidence” opportunity.  She did not feel confident at shelf, but in the store might not be the best place to  fix the issue.  How might we empower her to walk into the store with confidence of what she needed?

Result: The brand prototyped and innovated an online interaction to get her to the right skin care “prescription” complete with a picture of the product package with a click to buy option.  The program was leveraged globally and led to improved business results and consumer satisfaction.

It’s Not About Performance

Situation Category leader was losing ground to local competitor, despite superior performing products.

Mind Opening Empathy:  Competitive users were seeking more than performance in their product choices… they wanted products that help them overcome their mundane life, that were experiential and fun to use, “magical” even.  In fact, they diluted the superior product because it was too good.

Result:  Implemented a new innovation strategy that delivered record growth for 3 years running, make this region of the category the top global performer.

Productive Work Environment

Situation: During the work week, half the office spaces/cubicles were left unoccupied, making the global services team question if they had too much capacity or perhaps the wrong work space capacity.

Mind Opening Empathy:  Exploring the modes of work that today’s globally connected, networked employee needs, the team realized that there were more than 5 modes of work  in today’s workplace, but the work space was only designed for 2 of them.  In order to get their work done, employees needed to leave the office.

Result:  Employees helped prototyped new modes of work and the needed work spaces with the architectural firm. This was then prototyped on a floor in the current building for additional learning.  And, then, iterated again for the final design in the new office building under construction.  The employee feedback has been outstanding and productivity strong.

Flexible Work Options

Situation:  Despite offering many flexible work options designed for working women, very few women took advantage of them.  Furthermore, women were leaving the company faster than men, but continuing to work afterwards, just for other companies.

Mind Opening Empathy:  The culture of the organization was one where there was a stigma attached to flexible work arrangements that made them “untouchable”.  They were seen as “off ramps” with no “on ramps” later.  What if we mainstreamed flexibility for all and normalized it?

Result As part of annual work planning, all employees, male and female, also reviewed their work schedule and flexibility needs for the coming year, making it more normal to take advantage of the options.

Sustainability Strategy

Situation: A Fortune 500 company achieved its 10 year sustainability strategy in less than 5 years.  Clearly it was not stretching enough.  Furthermore, its strategy had come under attack from sustainability watch dogs, etc. for not doing enough.

Mind Opening Empathy:  The strategy had been designed for “do less harm” but in reality the end game was “to do good”.  With that reframe of doing good, there were many exciting and stretching opportunities for the employees to support and deliver.

Result: A new strategy was deployed globally and within 5 years, a dramatic reduction in company footprint was delivered.  In fact, 45 plants worldwide had moved to zero waste and in some cases were creating useful products out of the waste.  A remarkably different result versus the original strategy of “less harm”. 

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