Is it possible to Design Culture for Humans?

Sara Doltz

Have you ever heard the saying ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’? If you’ve ever caught yourself thinking, “Oh well, that’s just the way things are at our office”, you’re in luck. Alla Weinberg, leadership coach and culture designer knows how to change that.

Back in August, one of our UX designers, Joakim Nemback, participated in Alla Weinberg’s workshop, Culture Design for Humans at UX Week in San Francisco. He liked it so much that he took her method and immediately put it to good use—he took the Stockholm office through a mini workshop on Alla’s take on Culture Design.

”It was an easy to understand, hands on approach on how to understand and influence your current culture. One example that came up in the workshop was how UX teams are often brought in too late in projects. It’s always a last minute patch where the organisation feels that they need to “add some design”. This means that the common misunderstanding is that design is something simple—something that’s easy to “fix”. How can we change that? And design a culture that is aware that UX is important and takes time” says Joakim Nemback.

Time for a change

What if you wanted to improve, shape, or design the culture of your organisation? Maybe you want your organisation to be more customer centric, creative, or simply more collaborative. It can be done, according to Alla Weinberg. You will learn how to do just that, but also how to create an experience map to identify and understand your current culture. After that, you move on to actually changing and influencing that culture to be what you envision.

The focus can be changing the culture of your design group, the department, or the whole organisation. You’ll be able to take what you’ve learned and apply it to your current challenges, big or small! The method works for both.

Alla Weinberg is one of the speakers at From Business to Buttons and she will also host the workshop Cultural Design for Humans on May 16 in Stockholm.

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