Our Story, Part 3: Driving Innovation in the Federal Government
We tell our story to share who we are as a company. This blog is the third in a series that highlights how our strategy and culture lead to positive results for our clients and employees.
Innovation. Few words get head nods more than “innovation”. Everyone agrees that innovation is a good thing, but people often have trouble describing what specific innovation their organization brings to the table.
At Arc Aspicio, we use proven accelerators to jump start projects and tasks. Accelerators are repeatable processes with supporting techniques, tools, and templates to help us creatively problem solve and develop new ideas and strategies for our clients to specific types of challenges. For example, with Design Thinking, we developed a method that allows us to dig deeper to understand the root cause of our client’s biggest challenges with a unique focus on the complexity and issues in Government. We use this approach across projects to focus on empathy for the core stakeholders. Rather than create top-down solutions for problems, we consider input and experiences from the operators, users, or customers, seeking first to understand their needs (empathy!) and then developing solutions to address them. As one of our clients at the Federal Emergency Management Agency always says, “walk in our clients shoes” at the site of disasters to to open your eyes and gain some valuable perspective.
Recently, one of our clients came to us with a recurring problem and perplexing question: Why are users not taking advantage of their key service, and how can we increase usage of it? The Arc Aspicio team began with a Design Thinking approach, collaborating with the client to view the issue through a different lens. Rather than prescribe a set of rules to increase usage of the service, we stepped back to look at the big picture and ask: Why are we here? What got us to where we are? And what can we learn by empathizing with the user and learning about their experience?
This was a problem that lacked a clear solution, dealt with a national problem and a complex, diverse set of stakeholders. In other words, it was perfect for Design Thinking!
Our team began considering the user experience by asking a broad range of users about their interaction with the service. We interviewed and observed users, learned about the service’s benefits and drawbacks, and used this information to adapt our mindset and questions for future sessions. What began as an effort to increase usage of a national service evolved into an opportunity to better understand the user’s needs and specific actions to address their concerns. In this situation, our job as consultants wasn’t to change outcomes, but rather to understand the challenge and to better meet the needs of those most impacted.
Projects like this – where we find solutions then roll up our sleeves to implement them in total collaboration with our clients – is at the heart of the work our consultants love to do.
About Arc Aspicio
Arc Aspicio is a management, strategy, and technology consulting firm that takes a mission-oriented approach to complex client challenges. As a rapidly growing company, Arc Aspicio has a bold strategy for 2016-2018 that drives growth through new capabilities in strategy, design, human capital, data analytics, information sharing, cybersecurity, and strategic communications. The company is known for a strong, collaborative culture that values gratitude – for its clients and its great team. And, #welovedogs! Follow us on Twitter @arcaspicio or learn more at www.arcaspicio.com