I've been working on launching a new organization with Susie Wise called Workswell. As a first step we've built a prototype for a mini fellowship concept that we're calling the microLAB.
The basic idea is that workplace culture matters, and no matter what your role - you are the person to take it on. You know when culture feels good and when it feels bad. Building off Playworks 23 years of experience building culture in schools, lessons learned at the d.school about design thinking, and a career of storytelling for change, Workswell is an effort to support corporations in seeing these things as critical design levers in creating effective culture.
At the heart of the microLAB is Organizational Experience Design – OXdesign – looking at workplace experiences such as new employee engagement, meetings, space, feedback and performance reviews as critical design levers. OXdesign is an actionable approach to ensuring that people understand that culture matters and have clear opportunities to put it into practice daily.
HOW IT WORKS
The microLAB is a curated four-month experience designed to support you in developing the habits and mindsets to transform your work culture. Through easily accessible strategies employing play, design thinking and storytelling, the microLAB introduces proven practices that transform individual performance and culture to build the capacity of your team. Composed of four all-day sessions supported by workplace engagements “back at the ranch,” the microLAB offers a group of 8-14 individuals an opportunity to learn about culture from diverse participants and for workplaces to invest in change that is designed to be embedded in the day-to-day realities of work.
Hosted at Playworks’ national headquarters and training facility in downtown Oakland, the microLAB is an experiential learning opportunity. Over the course of four months, you explore – and, most importantly, test – new ideas, tools and approaches, based on your workplace’s specific needs and opportunities. Key to the microLAB experience is the overarching theme of finding and telling your own story, and each microLAB culminates in a community-wide celebration where participants tell their story at a gathering they design.
Session 1: EMPATHY
An intro to your cohort and the best practices of play, design thinking and storytelling
+ QUICK WINS (back at your office)
Empathy interviews with co-workers and leading a new game with a team
Session 2: SYNTHESIS
Experiment with new tools, rituals and games to support sense-making
+ DIG IN
Leading staff in a brainstorm session around meeting design
Session 3: PROTOTYPE + TEST
Deep dive into giving and receiving feedback and an intro to the use of artifacts
+ LEAD A SPRINT
Take your team at work through a rapid design cycle
Session 4: TELL YOUR STORY
Your chance to take the reigns from games and design thinking activities to the final celebration and talks!
+ BUILD ON!
Interested? More information can be found here
People need meaning, the opportunity for mastery, and community to thrive. Creating opportunities for people to contribute, and to find their best selves is some of the most important work we can do.