Alexandria, VA 22314 + 703-472-4327
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Are your employees and culture aligned with members/customers and driving growth?
Break out of "growth gridlock" with Design Thinking approaches.

Engagement & Culture Accelerators are not your usual executive retreats or strategic planning exercises.


Instead of starting with solutions for correcting a perceived problem—e.g. leadership training, strategic planning or product development — you will begin with the customer. By working backwards from the end-user, you will see the world and your organization through customers’ eyes; understand what it takes to unlock what truly matters to them and deliver value that makes a tangible difference to it.   


 The Linchpin of Growth & Culture Change


Uncovering the difference between what people say they want and what they truly want or need, and converting this insight into customer value, is the key to retention and growth, enabling you to create offerings that resonate more precisely to specific needs. Telling the difference requires the ability to drill beneath the surface to discern problems, even before they are fully articulated, and the underlying emotional nuances and motivations that shape needs. And these, in turn, require different cultures and ways of “doing things”– driven by people rather than products.


 This is why Design Thinking, Lean Start-Up and other human-centered approaches to value creation and growth invest at the front end: in-depth understanding of customers, co-development with them, experimentation and testing. 


The Demand Networks’ Engagement & Culture Accelerators use Design Thinking methodologies and Anna Caraveli’s own work on the Demand Perspective to help you and your team build customer-centric perspectives, capabilities and modes of thinking that can be scaled and used as gateways to new cultures and business models.


During one to several days, you develop a solution to a real-life member challenge by applying dramatically different approaches to problem-solving, customer research, concept and product development; and construct an innovative solution prototype to test in the market.


In the process, you will be using proven and repeatable protocols for co-developing with members, working across functions, innovating and moving from concept to market that will help you break out of old habits and growth gridlocks and align people, culture and capabilities with the market and your growth objectives.


The program includes 4 steps that can be combined, condensed, expanded or adapted in other ways to meet specific objectives and suit different situations. 

I. Crash Course: Design Thinking Workshop

Establishing a new mindset

Understanding Design Thinking and creating an Outside-In framework; learning about & practicing ethnographic research techniques which you will apply in real life interviews.

II. Fieldwork

Getting Out of Your Office

The heart of this program is a fieldwork experience in which you will put to practice the ethnographic interview techniques you acquired at the initial workshop with a small handful of members.

III. Concept & Prototype Development

Innovating Beyond the Familiar

In place of conventional planning and product/business development, you engage in guided and facilitated Design Thinking experience of rapid, collaborative idea generation. In it you are helped to make sense of, and organize, fieldwork findings; extract key insights, agree on a set of criteria for selecting the right solution to develop; build a shared mental map and, with the help of member feedback, construct a prototype solution be tested and further developed .

IV. Broader Engagement & Buy-In: The 'Shark Tank.'

Developing Partners & Champions for your Ideas

The idea is to engage a broader cross section of an organization–for example, decision-makers on various levels, employees at various stages of a product life cycle, etc. — in the design so that stakeholder experiences and perspectives can be incorporated and buy-in can be achieved. The process will also identify and develop internal (and external if desired) champions for the product or change.


For example, at the end of the last workshop, your team presents the prototype and business case to a “shark tank” group of “investors,” (such as potential customers. the CEO, board members, etc.) and incorporates their feedback. 


You will leave with a concrete action plan for an inexpensive, small-scape test of the prototype with a small member/customer group and plans for  integrating successful lessons learned in the organization, starting the next day.

What Makes this Approach Different & Effective for You


 By the end of this program you and your team will be better prepared to: 


Increase your organization’s market responsiveness and growth potential through new approaches and better targeted tools for creating and delivering value that are repeatable and scalable. 


Break out of self-defeating habits and inward-focused cultures by engaging in customer-centered approaches and co-development processes with members and peers.


Uncover members’ true concerns, motivations, emotions and unarticulated needs that others miss, using ethnographic and other qualitative methods for drilling beneath the surface.  


Create products, experiences and solutions that are highly tailored to member-customer needs and deliver valuable outcomes  


Draw on relationship-building skills,  increased capacity for empathy and psychological insight to engage and build sustainable relationships with members and stakeholders.


Expand innovation with collaborative, structured idea generation processes that tap ideas from all parts of the organization and members/customers.  


Test new ideas with minimal risk by quickly converting concepts and information into small, inexpensive and scalable prototypes. 


Capture and improve the entire member/user experience through your offerings and benefits.


Bring diverse stakeholders to the same page through collaborative processes and tools for reaching agreement.   


Usher difficult cultural and practice changes by allowing stakeholders to experience alternative approaches and draw conclusions from results

How to Get Started

Read questions and answers and find out how to become involved

What others have said about this approach

Past participants & comments