Stories of strategic design: engaging with the system

Our passion and focus is on the challenges of shifting social patterns. But our roots are in design. In that role, a significant portion of our work in the past was with large companies as they navigated the shift from seeing their work as “making and selling products” to “collaborators in healthy systems.”

Here are three stories about such work, in comic form. Each is a long tall PDF, with a little commentary at the bottom.

What if we’re bad for the future?

In this story, an exploratory group from a car company immerses in the world they hope to serve in the future, which leads to a profound and challenging realization: “maybe we’re making the wrong thing.”

Download the comic as a pdf

“Trusty” the elephant in the room

Our work with a global appliances company gathered people from across their quality function, in response to a simple request. After spending time with customers and reflecting on the experience, they realized that something less simple lurked underneath that simplicity: purpose and trust.

Download the comic as a pdf

A local food system takes a look in the mirror

As practice in “helping a system see itself,” we spent a summer with the local food system in our region: farmers, buyers, markets, distributors, restaurants, grocery stores. It is rare for the people who live the life of such a system to have the chance to step back and look together at the big picture that’s made of them. It’s a revealing thing to do!

Download the comic as a pdf