A few years ago, the Executive Director of an organization I had been working with, approached me about a contentious situation with a family. At the time, the agency was providing support to their daughter and they were undergoing some changes. The family was causing some resistance and concern. The organization was ready for a battle.

Here is what occurred…

Amidst some restructuring, the agency staff arranged for all of the revisions and adjustments to be in place, prior to telling the family. The goal was to have everything in place so that the family didn’t feel stressed and overwhelmed.

The first thing that I asked was whether the family was included in the planning. The answer was simply, “No”, explaining that the objective was to make the change easier and less stressful for the family. Unfortunately, this had the opposite effect.

When the family was notified of the change, they were not happy. They were disappointed that they weren’t asked to be part of the process. The staff couldn’t understand the family’s angst, for they believed that they made it easier for them by having everything organized and in place. Consequently, the result was tension between the organization and the family.

I understood the perspective of the staff, while done with good intentions, an attempt to involve the family or the young woman receiving support in the decision-making, was missing. Hence, the family felt left out and more importantly, trust was at risk.

I explained that when planning for a family member, it’s so important to include the family and the person in the conversation, right from the beginning. Indeed, it may take a bit longer to achieve an outcome, but what is established will be based on a more authentic and person-centered and user-centric foundation.

This increases satisfaction, trust and partnership.

Human centered design is a proven methodology to bring about desired change. It’s about sharing perspectives and finding common interests and goals among the user of service and the provider. The answers that transpire are based on what the people desire, what is organizationally feasible and what is financially possible.

It is an authentic way to involve, collaborate with and empower both the service provider and the people who are using the service. It works to get to a decision with minimal risk for conflict, emerging with greater trust and satisfaction.

I have seen many positive results using a human centered design approach. Going through organizational change or transformation? I welcome the opportunity to work with you.

~ Lisa