Alexandria, VA 22314 + 703-472-4327
  • Text Hover
Are your team and culture aligned with members/customers and driving growth?
Break out of cultures that keep you in "growth gridlock" with Design Thinking approaches.

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


They consist of one or a series of learning and development “laboratories” in which you and your team use Design Thinking methodologies and Anna Caraveli’s own work on the Demand Perspective to build customer-centric capabilities and modes of thinking and establish new, innovative and collaborative cultures.


During one to several days, you develop an innovative solution to a real-life member challenge by applying dramatically different approaches to problem-solving, concept and product development, and construct a prototype to test in the market. You then scale successes and apply lessons learned to transform your leadership capabilities, organizational culture and business results. 

In place of static approaches such as conventional "training" or "strategic planning..."

You will utilize the process of solving a member/customer problem to develop new insights and acquire proven and repeatable protocols that will enable you to create offerings that resonate more precisely with what most matters to members/customers/stakeholders and deliver unique but practical solutions to their needs, thus giving you a competitive advantage. For example new tools and methodologies for:


  • Drilling down to what most matters to people and uncovering the difference between what they say they want and what they truly want
  • Co-developing with end users and peers across functions
  • Innovating and rapidly moving from concept to market.

There is nothing more transformative than the ability to look at the familiar through the unfamiliar lenses of others.

By working backwards from the end-user, you and your team will see the world and your organization through customers’ eyes; understand what it takes to create and deliver value that makes a tangible difference; break out of silos, old habits and growth gridlocks and align people, culture and capabilities with your markets and growth objectives. 


Accelerators, and other consulting engagements, utilize one or a combination of 4 elements that are customized to suit specific objectives and 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