For those that have already been working on their strategy in-house but are looking for a spark to initiate the change process, catalyze their team, and gather feedback and insights on what’s missing, we offer strategy facilitation sessions. These 1-3 day engagements bring together the key stakeholders in an organization’s ecosystem. While significant aspects of an organization or project’s strategy can be defied by leadership alone, we find that for organizations looking to deliver deep and lasting social impact, hearing the voices of the employees, outside stakeholders, and the individuals an organization serves results in strategies that garner the buy-in from people across the ecosystem.
We work with organizations to identify the stakeholders that should be in the room and conduct early interviews to understand more about their perspectives. We then use this information to develop an event timeline, craft materials to document the insights of the various stakeholders that will be present, plan the other event details needed to produce next level strategies, and personally facilitate the event.
These sessions are for those who want to make sure they’re getting it right and who see the value in hearing more voices. They serve to explore unanswered questions about the organization’s future strategy.
For those who want to deeply understand the needs of the individuals they serve and who want to make sure they aren’t missing any details that could make or break their offerings, we conduct user research. Our clients have often been working on the front-lines to create impact for a longtime. They have a deep compassion for the causes they work on and intimate understanding of the needs of those they serve. However, they’re also busy providing the day to day services of their job. That can make it hard to understand which needs have the greatest priority and ask those crucial “why” questions that lead to development of strategies that target the root causes of a given issue, be that issue incarceration, lack of healthcare, or any other.
We work with our clients to ask those “why” questions.
We conduct deep interviews with ten, fifty, one hundred or up to two hundred of the stakeholders affected by a problem to clearly define which needs are most important to address and in what order. Our User Research and Strategy Facilitation often go hand in hand, though not always.
Check out examples of our work below to learn more.
HACK FOSTER CARE SUMMIT
The largest foster care event in silicon valley history introduced youth, caregivers, social workers, child welfare agencies, advocates, service providers, and funders to “design thinking” – an approach to solving business and social problems that starts and ends with the user – in this case, children and youth in foster care.
The Hack Foster Care Summit also introduced technology specialists to the foster care experience, creating a real opportunity to understand the foster care system and the ways outdated technology burdens the system and those who are part of it. In doing so, we broke down boxes.
Number of participants: 250+ Stakeholders from across child welfare - Foster youth, foster parents, social workers, technologists, non-profit leaders, government official.
More than 1.2 million dollars worth of Microsoft operating systems donated.
Expanded on the 1 laptop program in partnership with Microsoft. As a result, 2,500 laptops are being delivered to foster youth in the Bay Area.
20+ project ideas captured from the event.
3 Silicon Valley Companies committed to hiring Foster Youth.
1 new company formed to take ideas forward.
STRATEGY FACILITATION AND USER RESEARCH:
SANTA CLARA COUNTY JAIL REENTRY
We started our year and half long work addressing jail reentry in Santa Clara County with a Strategy Facilitation Session. That session led to user research and impact consulting.
BACKGROUND: Five years ago, California faced a choice: build more prisons or figure out how to reduce its prison population. The number of incarcerated people in the state had increased exponentially with some prisons holding 300 percent of their capacity levels. California and Texas had the highest prison populations in the United States with each state exceeding 200,000 individuals.
In 2011, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a controversial bill called AB109: it mandates non-violent, non-sexual offenders be sent back to the criminal justice systems at the county level to reduce the burden on state prisons. The responsibility for inmate care shifted from state prisons to county jails. While the new legislation decreased the number of prisoners, counties faced a new problem. What were they going to do with all the new inmates that had just been sent home? Many counties around California responded by immediately building more jails. Santa Clara County, however, responded by asking what it could do to reduce the number of people locked away. Taking a bolder approach than other counties, Santa Clara formed the Reentry Network (REN), a group of 27 leaders from across the criminal justice system. These stakeholders would meet quarterly to share information, thoughts, and insights about how to best help former inmates positively reintegrate into society.
Strategy Facilitation Results:
We worked with these 27 leaders to identify 131 challenges in the systems,
We analyzed this information and sorted them into 12 challenge categories
We made 3 key recommendations, which Santa Clara County followed. Subsequently, we were rehired by Santa Clara county to conduct user research and co-develop their 3-year strategic plan for jail reentry. Click the accompanying link to see the outcomes from the Strategy Facilitation Session.
REIMAGINING THE ED
DC Design led the Reimagining the ED workshop in Austin Texas in collaboration with the Facility Guidelines Institute (FGI) and the American College of Emergency Physicians, DC Design hosted a one-day event, which included more than 100 doctors, nurses, architects, and medical students to develop new strategies for designing hospital emergency rooms. .
BACKGROUND: The Emergency Department is the “front door” of the US medical system, handling almost 50% of all care that takes place in the hospital. Over the last 20 years, EDs across the country have experienced a 23% increase in patient volumes with more and more Americans using them as their source of primary care. This rise in patient volumes has many reasons: the increasing age of baby boomers in need of medical care, people living longer with chronic diseases, nationwide gaps in mental health services, the hours during which primary care services are available, and issues involving affordable insurance.
While major shifts in how we think about healthcare and align medical incentives are needed to address many of the root causes, there remains an immediate need to make the emergency department work better as a place for providing quality patient care. At the Reimagining the Emergency Department (ED) workshop in Austin this October, we applied the design-thinking philosophy to challenges in the medical system. In collaboration with the Facility Guidelines Institute (FGI) and the American College of Emergency Physicians, DC Design hosted a one-day event, which included more than 100 doctors, nurses, architects, and medical students.
13 proposals addressing issues that negatively impact the Emergency Department.
The publishing of a white paper on designing emergency departments that may influence the FGI guidelines for hospitals and clinics around the country.