AUGUST 2014 Workshops

We held four workshops over two half days with the following attendees:  

  • Stacy Hale, HPT
  • Lindsay Patterson, HPT
  • Angela Cross, HPT
  • Erin Stolte, HPT (part time)
  • Tina Schweiger, Ascend
  • Meghan Murphy, Ascend

On day 1, 8/5/14, we completed the following workshops:

  • Abstraction Laddering 
  • Stakeholder Mapping

On day 2, 8/7/14, we completed the following workshops:

  • Storyboarding
  • Importance / difficulty matrix


January 2015 WORKSHOPs

We held three workshops over two half days with the following attendees:  

  • Stacy Hale, HPT
  • Lindsay Patterson, HPT
  • Angela Cross, HPT
  • Erin Stolte, HPT (part time)
  • Tina Schweiger, Ascend
  • Nathan Procknow, Ascend

On 1/5/15, we completed the following workshops:

  • Round Robin
  • Concept Poster
  • Concept Mapping

Workshop image gallery

Abstraction Laddering

 Overview of the Abstraction Laddering exercise process

Overview of the Abstraction Laddering exercise process

 Whiteboard image

Whiteboard image

We started with the draft value statement: 

HPT provides an assessment-based cultural renewal program to organizations experiencing growth, transition and crisis. From there, we build up the "why" top ladder, and ended up with a top line reason of "companies the believe purpose is making money, and people will take care of themselves."

We realized that was a very loaded, assumption based reason so we decided to rework the problem statement by simplifying it. The new statement: 

A Culture Turnaround will help companies through turbulence.

What we liked about that statement was that it was more specific, and it also included the term 'turnaround', which both speaks to the urgency of the matter as well as the common practice of a business turnaround. 

Our why statements: 

1. If you can improve culture, you can improve profits. (we define culture as collective behaviors and assumptions.)

2. Because leadership thinks they know what culture is, but they don't. 

3. Because people are the company and assuming that you know them is as short-sighted as a stereotype. 

Which brought us to an inarguable truth: People are always changing and organizations are dynamic. That's what we really solve for.

This led us to thinking about which companies have a sense of urgency surrounding managing and navigating change.

 States diagram

States diagram








We created an idea for a ‘company lifecycle’ chart that broke it up something like this, and also decided it would be great to create a White Paper to talk about these
— Tina

Stakeholder mapping

 Overview of Stakeholder mapping process

Overview of Stakeholder mapping process

 Our Stakeholder mapping whiteboard

Our Stakeholder mapping whiteboard

One of the main discoveries of the stakeholder mapping exercise, and what took up the primary amount of time, was identifying the relationship of HPT Development to the owners, to the other companies. The internal structure seemed to be the most muddy. 

What we came away with was that Doug and Alex, the owners, created a common infrastructure among HPT that could support a number of start-ups. What was discussed is that all companies are getting pressured to fast track revenue and become self sustaining. That's what's driving the pressure. 

We also identified possible target audiences, from employees to business owners, to internal team leaders. We discussed possible alliances as well, like the education system, authors, organizations, how we could leverage the data collected, and teachers. 

Day 2: Storyboarding

 Storyboarding methodology used

Storyboarding methodology used

The storyboard whiteboard drawing for Bob's workflow

This is a creative exercise, with the intended outcome to generate ideas on themes, initial website structures and theories to test. We chose three 'personas' to follow along a user experience path.

  1. Bob, a software developer who's bored at work, not motivated, and one of many. 
  2. Andrea, a motivated team leader.
  3. Penny, a stressed out entrepreneur.

Following Bob's path came up with some great ideas. We figured that if Bob wasn't happy, he'd be surfing job boards. That's when we thought he could be presented with an ad that says "Don't Quit, Fix It!" This could capture the curiosity of individuals who were thinking of changing jobs but weren't quite sure. If Bob's interest is sparked, he may land on the website and that led us to a potential wireframe positioned around getting people to take the assessment to get happier at work. 

Andrea's situation

We followed Andrea's path to see if the wireframe idea we had would hold up to a different persona. She knows trouble is coming, that turbulence is on the horizon and she's motivated to do something about it. She may be Bob's manager and know's something's up but doesn't know what. She would do a google search for happiness at work, check out articles on management or HR blogs, or ask her peers for advice. We determined that the happiness assessment would hold up for her as well, but she may be drawn to some information on sub pages as well. 

Penny's predicament

We talked about Penny, a stressed out CEO on the verge of some kind of company turbulence. In this predicament, she'd be meeting with Attorneys, CPAs, looking at books showing a loss. She'd be worried about people quitting or surfing job boards. She'd be calling her friends to ask for advice. She would hopefully have a big team meeting and talk to her team about the turbulence, inviting openness and trying to build trust. At this point, if any of her employees had taken the happiness assessment, they may feel free to share. Ultimately, we feel Penny may not be directly worrying about making her employees happy while she's trying to head off turbulence. To be tested / validated.

Importance / Difficulty Matrix

 Process we followed for Importance / Difficulty

Process we followed for Importance / Difficulty

 Lindsay adding ideas to the storyboard

Lindsay adding ideas to the storyboard

As we went through the storyboard exercise, everyone came up with lots of great ideas. We used the storyboard as a backdrop for plotting ideas in locations where they made sense. Everyone received a stack of sticky notes and wrote out every idea they had. The ideas were then placed over the storyboard and grouped together. This set of ideas became the data set for our Importance / Difficulty matrix. 

We created a grid with a range of Not important > Very Important along one axis and Not Difficult (time / cost) > Very Difficult (time / cost) on the other matrix. Each idea note was placed according to it's estimated importance vs. difficulty. 

Resulting Importance / difficulty matrix

We broke up the ideas and tactics into three sections to prioritize them. The following list represents a collection of the ideas: 

1) Easy. Do soon. 

Marketing / Branding


Sales pipeline

Define key messages

Target recently merged companies

Drip campaigns


Release our data as PR piece (happiest places to work)

Online Marketing

Set up social media

Google analytics on site

Connect with Linkedin groups

Data base with clients

Search marketing


Social media integration


Technology / product

User test a group of “bobs”

Build your team online and invite to the assessment

Curriculum DIY with instructors

Automated emails/reminders/etc

Position media assessment within our product

Assessment to measure progress

Make assessment fun

Segmenting questions

Multiple assessments

Get beta partner

Collect all possible useful assessments


New name for complexity model

Complexity model rename

Use test a group of “Andreas”

Intelligence tests (eq, sq, cq)


Thought leadership: blog writing


Intrinsically happy blog

Purchase/get data sets

Build “thought” leader authority

Thought leadership articles

Write posts on relevant platforms

2-min videos

Short videos of complete model

Tons of tools and resources

Wellness resources

Connect with thought leaders/champions

2) A little harder / more expensive and a little less important, do next.


Marketing / Branding

There is no balance campaign


Deck of cards

Booth at conferences


Post-conference hangover cure

Thought leadership panel discussion

Present/speak at conferences

Market research


Build relationships with consultants

Consultants model


Incorporate turnkey consultant model

Daily inspirational emails


Youtube channel (interview with well-know thought leaders)

Fix it ad campaign

Targeted sponsorship on relevant media


Technology / Product

Investor deck

Chose back-end software developer

On-site developers

People are happier

Team/org level user profiles

Individual user profiles

TM some of our processes


Build out tools and activities

Resource portal

Portal with subscription

Zen Campaigns (become experts in defining zen business)


Though leadership webinars

Become experts a knowing our knowledge gaps

Visual “infographics” populated by data

Case studies/white papers

White papers

Write case study

3) Do later. More difficult.

Marketing / Branding

University partner

Part of university learning programs

Sell licenses


Relationship with Caboh


Technology / Product

Robust website

Build our team

Doug: happy, proud, etc legacy

User profiles

Access to campaigns

User test a group of “Pennys”

User testing

Customized resource timeline

Product versions

 “Wayfinding” employee maps

Known stamp of excellence people want to ID with 



Own valuable data

Be thought leaders

There is no balance– write a book


HP (high performance) talk channel


Round Robin

What idea or concept might describe what the complexity framework is?

I see a bunch of lines turn from messy to straight and it’s called: NORTH POLE – we magnetize each filament (individual) and get them pointed to the right direction and the whole is useful.

Why it won’t work:

  • Abstract
  • Looks like the 1 Ching
  • Cuz organizations aren’t metal enough (LOL)
  • People love their individuality and aren’t motivated by collectivism
  • They’d have to have more investment in the company’s success than their own personal gain
  • People aren’t going to make the connection to profits and performance
  • Academic

An interactive website to help people get them from messy lines to straight lines with simple application.


Idea or concept might describe the complexity model

Radiate from one line as one goes to up

Existing factor you must understand already there under your nose

Campfire build

Pyramid with no mortor

Drystack stone wall

Campfires break down and disintegrate into ash

Pyramids were built by slaves

Not sure what drystacking is as a building method

A pyramid is the most stable structure there is.

You can build a solid foundation from which all other sides can arise equally, leaning on one another for support. The apex of the pyramid is a single point, facing upward.

Implies sacred knowledge, if we can forget about the association to pyramid schemes


What idea of concept would explain what the complexity model is?

  • The org as an organism
  • Real ideas
  • Holism
  • Organizational transformation via personal evolution
  • Integration
  • Another theory of everything
  • Unified field theory of business
  • Alignment
  • As above, so below

Silly ideas

  • Tie together unified field theory and hermetic law with organizational design. And clowns.
  • Math.
  • Everybody becomes a zen Buddhist.
  • Mushrooms

The org as organism

  • People might not know what an org is
  • Is it good to be an organism? I don’t know
  • What is the inherit meaning of organism?
  • Does this only apply to nonprofit organizations? (.org vs .com)

Create unity by designing better groupings

Unity by designing groupings

Create unity groups with smarter design/thinking

Groups as living beings

Find an example of an organism made up of many (aspen grove)



What idea or concept might describe what the complexity model is?

Lava lamp, weather shaping landscape and vise versa, plialko, recipes

Could be confusing

Hard to apply to everyday

Not enough time to try new “recipes”

Not seen as a benefit

Cant read recipes

Bad past experience, not bought in

Too “cookie-cutter” for success

How the sausage is made –

Learn how the sausage is made – when you understand how it’s made, you can develop ways to operationalize production, increase speed and efficiency. Even if it isn’t easy to understand – confidence that there is a process to produce results


What idea or concept might describe what the complexity model/framework is?

Clowns break into offices and force learning

Songs and interpretive dance

Free concert

Wine tastings and learnings

Have “juniors” tasked with teaching “seniors”


“Change the world” revealing at something global


Phone tree

Clown: possible legal issues

Song and dance: possible miscommunication, not noticed as pertaining to business

Wine tasting

Dance as graphic interpretation showing single distinct elements being joined as one


Which idea or concept might describe what the complexity model/framework is?

Embrace chaos

Dance while not knowing challenges

Meditations on work life

Guerilla events!

A line of snacks with sayings

Chaos implies the herd of complexity instead of the order of it meaning money

Embrace complexity or

Embrace intricacy or

Some other similar word with a more positive feel

Or relates more towards many (need thesaurus)

Mind is everywhere





High performance

Gap analysis

We are all one


Concept Mapping


Concept Poster