Kind Design (Kind) is a small and inspirational design company based in North Devon. Having impressed clients with their capability, the owners Richard and Zoe wanted to look into the future with a clear focus. We agreed to work together during a two day MindplayTM workshop to build a strong Vision for the future of the business and develop a plan for making it a reality grounded in a deep understanding of the Purpose of Kind.
As is the norm in an owner managed and successful business, it was a struggle on the first day to allow the demands of the business to be put on pause so that proper attention could be given to the medium and longer term needs of the business.
Buoyed by recent successes with a large client, there was already a sense of the future direction of the business so we started with the Vision and used Serious Play for Richard and Zoe to build physical models of the ideal future of Kind in five years’ time out of LegoTM. Using physical metaphor in this way illuminated both the overlaps and the differences in the way that they each saw the future. A brief foray into selecting images to envisage and talk about the future gave Richard and Zoe a foundation on which to build a collective model that reconciled the differences.
Looking at the Purpose of Kind using an approach very similar to that used with Otter Surfboards (see earlier blog) produced an impactful, concise and heartfelt Purpose statement. The generation of an expanded list of the activities at Kind (obvious and more esoteric) that were viewed through a variety of lenses ranging from individual perspectives to the global view plus wordsmithing did the trick.
A synthesis of the outputs from the earlier visioning session gave us a draft vision statement by the end of the first day.
Day two started with a further synthesis of the vision that made clear the strands of the Strategy. Building out the details of the Strategy was more of a thinking process than an imaginative one. It generated a wall sized, structured and timed plan of the key actions that would allow the envisaged future of Kind to become a reality.
Using a structured approach to storytelling enriched by the use of story cubes and six word stories allowed Richard and Zoe to develop a set of narratives that will strengthen and enrich the marketing messages for Kind.
Overall, the MindplayTM workshop gave Kind what they were looking for – a clearer Purpose, a Vision of where the business could be in five years, a Strategy for delivering the Vision and compelling messages to take to clients. The willingness of Richard and Zoe to carve out time to put ‘skin in the game’ was a vital ingredient to the success of the two days.
Finding time in a hectic schedule to attend to and mobilise next steps to get momentum behind the changes is the priority of the next few weeks and months. Seeing how it develops will be exciting.