Sticking to our job description and focusing on fulfilling it to perfection can mean that we sacrifice our long-term career potential. Don’t put your job ahead of what you want, ahead of your strengths or ahead of what you believe is right.

The ability to see the wood from the trees is a skill that comes with time in the workforce. Often when we first start working we simply want to prove ourselves in our role and strive for excellence. As time goes on however, we need to examine the countereffect this could have on our own sense of fulfilment and career progression.

Everyone has something to contribute to their workplace and everyone can affect change no matter what your job title is. Unfortunately, the way most organisations are structured means that only a few people are given formal opportunities to effect strategic plans and offer innovative ideas.

Developing human centered strategies is not only of benefit to our customer but there is this very positive by product. The human centered approach thrives off cross functional teams, diversity in thought and benefiting from the ideas of many rather than the ideas of a few within an organisation. It empowers those involved giving them a voice and a platform for their ideas to be heard.

So why not go a step further and take the theories of human centered strategic design and adapt these to our own personal development.

Climbing the corporate ladder isn’t on all of our agendas and it certainly shouldn’t be our primary motivation. Yet, we all want to be content in our roles and belong amongst the environment we work in. To really amplify our sense of achievement and belonging this can mean challenging ourselves to do things out of our comfort zone.

Let’s look at some methods that you can start with.

Look at the bigger picture.

If you’re not involved in board meetings or executive team meetings don’t let this stop you. Have a conversation with the CEO when they’re grabbing a cuppa in the staff room or ask for 5 minutes of their time, so they can share the organisations goals with you and where they see the big opportunities for change. Talk to your manager and ask them what their priorities are and how they want to improve the organisation. Having these conversations isn’t limited to a title. It’s guaranteed to give you new insights to what’s happening around you and it may help you improve efficiencies in your own role. Improve your understanding by knowing how what you do every day affects others in their roles.

Create alliances and strong relationships.

If you’ve done the first step guess what? You’ve already given yourself a head start. Having one on one’s and multiple conversations will help you get to know what’s important to other people and how you can help them. As a result, you’ll become a trusted colleague. If we look at the structure of ‘human centered strategic design’ you would hold a workshop involving a cross functional team from various departments in your business to work towards a solution. What’s stopping you from emulating this and having one on one brainstorming discussions. At the very least you’ll be the most proactive team member they’ve ever seen!

Present new ideas.

Having many conversations with colleagues and managers is going to give you some new ideas. Make sure you communicate these and share these. Bounce ideas off people and gain their insight. Prepare yourself though. You may be way off the mark but as Winston Churchill stated, “Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm”. At the very least you’ll have a better understanding of the challenges that exist, and each idea will get you closer to a winner.

Immersion.

So, you’ve done all the above and you’re feeling good. You’ve received positive feedback from your colleagues and you are respected by your managers. What’s next? If you really want to continue furthering your knowledge this step is the scariest yet most rewarding. Ask yourself a couple of quick questions.

  1. Who is your organsiation trying to serve?
  2. How could you as an individual get to understand them better?

To get any true understanding of customers or clients you will need to get out from behind a desk. The narrow focus of most job descriptions will mean that this is likely to be out of the scope of your role but now that you have the organisation behind you, talk to people about what you have in mind, what your objective is and how you think this could help the organisation.

Lastly, be brave ….

These steps can be daunting but take one small action at a time and build up it. You’ll find your confidence grows over time so try to tackle each day with something small that is outside your comfort zone.

“The road to success is still under construction” so disregard your title and give yourself the opportunity to find out what gives you personal satisfaction.

Actress Lily Tomlin

We’ve talked a lot about looking at the bigger picture for your organsiation but the most important thing to keep in mind through these processes is to look at the bigger picture and long term plan for yourself. By taking these steps and challenging yourself you will get a better understanding of your workplace and you will uncover some strengths you never knew you had.

Think about what personally interests you and drives you. Knowing this can help you develop your career and help you examine how to gain personal satisfaction from what you do day in day out.

I get it. The whole idea of a team building day is to get people to collaborates, bond and improve the way they communicate. From my experience these days can be great fun and let’s face it if there is a sun downer or night stay involved then chances are there’s going to be some stories about someone’s dance floor moves and a few sore heads. The banter in the office improves for the next few weeks and then what?

Is there any actual improvement to the culture? If there is my argument is that it isn’t a sustainable one. Sure celebrating success and celebrating learning is a need for any business but if you want sustainable cultural change there needs to be more.

1. Find Purpose

Help employees uncover why they come to work each day. How does what they do for 8 hours of each day contribute to the bigger picture? How does it drive their why?  

Employees with a sense of purpose are going to be more engaged and more willing to go the extra mile when they hit challenges at work.

2. No Customer Focus?

Corporate days can simply cement the ranked importance of the internally focused culture. Instead why not give employees a real sense of what they contribute to and the value they provide to your consumers or clients. Understanding our customers can be one of the most challenging things to do in business and when teams become silo-ed and insular never connecting with a customer then this understanding can be completely lost.

3. Real Common Goals

Sharing a common goal with others in our day to day role can help us be more willing to listen to others, take on feedback and offer new points of view. It’s all for the greater good.

4. Sustainable Collaboration

At the end of the day the collaboration that a team day can bring can add to strengthening bonds but what happens a few month down the track are we still reliving the mud challenge or how we tackled the puzzle in stage 3. No. Collaboration and team support shouldn’t be left to a team day. It should be part of each and every work day. How else do we achieve great heights, and no not literally but figuratively.

“Marketing is too important to be left just to the marketing department”
– David Packard, HP

A pretty harsh comment Dave! But before we get defensive let’s think about this. Marketing today needs to play a different role than it did only a few years ago. In order to achieve better outcomes marketing teams need to adapt the role that organisational change does.

We’ve always dealt with aspects of internal engagement. We develop internal newsletters. We send out emails updating the team on wins and positive stories. We are the go-to team for almost every other department. So why then do we continue to work in silos. Why do we await the news of the next big priority of the sales team? Why do we outsource market research in the hope that a third party will provide the depth of understanding of our customers that we need?


Marketing teams can be the busiest function in any organisation as it crosses over to the needs of almost all internal stakeholders. So if we serve all departments wouldn’t it be fair to say that instead of serving we instead lead? Sure we do this to some degree in that we can advise what our brand guidelines state and what fits in the realms of possible and not possible, however, there is a future, or should I say the present, that demands more.

“Marketing has the ability to drive organisation change.” – Olivia O’Connor


In the past we haven’t been able to address problems clearly. The issues often relate to sales challenges or customer service issues and they are all treated in isolation. We need to sift through the issues that are brought to us and instead look to the root-cause otherwise we might be treating injuries that need surgery with a band aid.


In the past we haven’t been able to address problems clearly. The issues often relate to sales challenges or customer service issues and they are all treated in isolation. We need to sift through the issues that are brought to us and instead look to the root-cause otherwise we might be treating injuries that need surgery with a band aid.


“Our jobs as marketers is to understand how the customer wants to buy and help them to do so.” – Bryan Eisenberg

Transformational marketing relates directly to the elements required for innovation. It starts with a customer focus and centricity that presents unmet needs and developing a strategy from here. Marketers need to accelerate their skill sets that help them unlock the ability for discovery.

Marketing not only needs involvement in the design of new services and products but marketers have the opportunity to be driving and facilitating these designs. By creating cross functional teams and guiding them through customer findings we unlock better results, create shared goals and create a sense of purpose for individuals and the organisation.


Transformational marketing is our bag at Liv By Design. We know we can help you and your team. Reach out if you’d like to chat more.

Make your marketing matter. The key to refining and authentic and successful strategy really comes down to one key element. HUMANS. Keeping a customer focus and having empathy for those you are providing products or services for can be a key differentiator to gaining results and developing new innovative strategies.

Marketing is a fast paced gig. You develop a strategy, implement it and before you know it the next market opportunity arises, and the gauntlet is laid down in front of you. Marketing professionals are adept at moving quickly onto the next campaign or initiative.

However, it’s important for anyone in marketing to honour the process of analysis and reflection. Without this our marketing budget can be wasted on repeating the same mistakes time and time again.

Keep the customer at the centre of your plans.

In short get the best understanding possible of your consumer. Only then can you unlock their true needs and tailor relevant marketing messages.

This could mean analysing sales data or market and industry trends but keep in mind these aren’t just numbers. They are there to tell you something. Become a master at seeking and interpreting key insights from data.

You may be working for a small to medium business that simply doesn’t have access to big industry data or even a client database. Don’t be disheartened. Talk to people in your organisation who liaise directly with your end consumer. For example, research incoming calls and enquiries and see what people are enquiring about. Are there any trends? Talk to people who are at the coal face. It might be a sales team or service delivery team. What questions and issues do they repeatedly face?

Have your customers talked to you lately?

Whether its via gleaming testimonials or complaints this is all vital information your customers are giving you. They are openly sharing their experience using your product or service and it hasn’t cost you a cent in focus groups or surveys. Never dismiss this feedback. It’s what can make your entire marketing strategy relevant or irrelevant to your audience.

Take a step back to see the big picture.

All marketing activities should align with the organisations overarching objectives. Take note of what your CEO is trying to achieve and check in with what your sales team are working towards. Joint team initiatives are always going to gain more engagement and traction than if you try to go it alone. Successful marketers do more than sit behind a desk!

Go live but keep your finger on the pulse.

Ensure you track and monitor your campaign as its happening. Gone are the days where our campaign goes to print or to air and we hope for the best. Create check points throughout your campaign to see what the results are looking like and make changes or build on this if required.

Give the odd shout out!

Keep your team engaged by demonstrating results of your initiatives and keep them inspired. Make it fun and about the collective achievement.

It’s never over.

Once your campaign is complete, dedicate time for you and your team to analyse your campaign. Share the outcomes and results but also spend time analysing what worked well and what could have been done better.

The only way to achieve continual improvement in anything we do is to take time to analyse and reflect. Use these tips to start your journey in creating an innovative marketing team. For more advise on a simple repeatable process you can implement to innovate your marketing initiatives reach out to livbydesign.com.au

Human-centered design, design thinking, customer centric strategies, human centricity. There’s so many terms for it but why are we hearing so much about it and what can it do for you?

Not only is the process proven but it is also repeatable and applicable to any problem. Any business can employ design thinking amongst their teams to achieve big results.

Many organisations face complex issues and its hard to know where to start. By following the design thinking process you can get a holistic view of your business and the challenges you face. From here you can follow a framework that will ensure an in-depth understanding of needs and then apply a creative process that will unlock your teams creative and critical thinking.

Design Thinking provides a solution-based approach to solving problems. It is entrenched in the theory of human-centered design which is simply a process that can be followed to find innovative solutions to create products and services.

Perhaps Steve Jobs defined it best… “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” Quoting the Apple founder is fitting given that Apple used human-centered design to develop some of their first protypes and continue to use it today. As we know Apple is a company built on true innovation but how have they done this? It’s not the capabilities of their products but their unrelenting ability to remain focused on the end-user and customer experience through HCD.

Here’s the best part. This process is not out of the reach of any organisation. You too can lead industry and create innovative solutions that can transform your business.

The reason why the process is so successful is because it creates a mindset focused on solutions, rather than the perceived challenges or problems. It starts with human needs and keeps teams focused on them.

No one person in an organsiation has all the answers. They say ‘the sum is greater than its parts’ and this is demonstrated with the design thinking process. The CEO or General Manager cannot experience or fully understand the intricacy of every challenge that their teams face. Delivery of a product and/or service involves many others within the organisation. To create an effective solution there’s more than just guess work required. Gathering a cross functional team will allow a more comprehensive understanding of issues and challenges but it will also allow for the creation of a more comprehensive solution. A multidisciplinary team that works together is your key to developing innovative solutions to take your business to the next level.

Too often we dedicate time and resources to solutions that we think might be the answer. With design thinking you can ensure that your time is spent developing innovative solutions that are much more likely to succeed and deliver results.

Start your journey to innovation. If you’d like our help to get started please reach out.

 

Is your organisation looking to create some innovative solutions that will take you to the next level? Are you going through a period of change or simply need your team to work better together and improve workplace culture and cohesion? Improving collaboration could be the secret to your success.

Getting teams to work effectively together towards better outcomes can be an overwhelming organisational challenge. By improving collaboration amongst your team, you will see the positive ripple effects that can transform your productiveness.

Here’s some starting points:

Welcome new ideas and feedback

Create an environment where new ideas are given air time. If a member of your team has had an idea for a solution to a problem, you can bet that they have been faced with an issues time and time again or that that issue has had a significant affect to them and/or the business. Either way it’s always worth exploring issues and prioritising the effect they may have on the organisation.

Bigger picture

By getting a team together to brainstorm and workshop challenges it forces them to look at the big picture. You’ll find discussions can quickly move to challenges the organisation is facing in the marketplace, consumer trends and positioning of your products and or services.

Share the wisdom

Creating platforms for collaboration ensures that you are gathering people with different experiences, knowledge and skill sets. By creating a forum where sharing is encouraged everyone learns from each other quickly.

Empowerment

Giving your team the opportunity to be involved in strategic plans for the business give them confidence in the contribution to the company and allows them to more confidently make decisions and improvements in their day to day roles.

Engagement

How much easier is it to engage a team around a strategy that they have contributed to rather than one that is handed down to them? The answer is well you guessed it much easier. By being able to contribute there becomes a sense of ownership. This means that when it comes time to implement it is done with a sense of ownership and enthusiasm.

Team stability

If your organisation has just shifted your engagement dial, then you’re in luck. If you have an engaged team this will directly result in overall employee retention and job satisfaction. Happier staff members who feel like they can contribute and have a voice are also more likely to continue to drive improvements and search for innovative solutions.

By simply having differing points of view, skills and experience you will reduce the risk of producing any kind of solution. This means faster and more aligned results and allows your organisation to move quickly to the next innovative solution that may transform your business.

At Liv By Design everything we do is based on collaboration. If you want to talk about some simple and easy to implement ideas for your business we’re here ready to chat! Simple contact us on 0437 201 660