Our Story: Part 8 - Our Methods Accelerate Innovation: A 2018 Close Up

Our Story: Part 8 - Our Methods Accelerate Innovation: A 2018 Close Up

Our Story: Part 8 - Our Methods Accelerate Innovation: A 2018 Close Up

As part of our strategy to foster a design mindset, we invest in our employees by providing Design Thinking tools and training. My favorite event is our annual Summer Design Challenge where we challenge our employees to tackle big-picture problems, such as redefining the customer experience, using Design Thinking. This event engages our employees, encourages them to take risks, and offers them an opportunity to cultivate and sharpen their design mindset in a fun way.

We customize our Design Thinking method to the unique challenges presented by a dynamic, complex, and stakeholder-driven Government environment. This customization draws on the tools and expertise of our Strategy Innovation Lab (SILab). The SILab is a knowledge hub that provides access to our company’s strategy, design, and mission experts. Arc Aspicio employees use the SILab to collaborate with our team and test new ideas, which generates high-quality, innovative solutions for our clients.

At the beginning of 2018, our company embraced our #exploration theme and renewed our commitment to equip our employees with a design mindset and the tools needed to navigate common challenges in an innovative way.

About Arc Aspicio
Arc Aspicio is a management, strategy, and technology consulting firm that takes a mission-oriented approach to complex client challenges. Focused on innovation, Arc Aspicio provides services in strategy, design, human capital, operations, analytics and visualization, technology, and information sharing. The company is known for a strong, collaborative culture that values gratitude, provides leadership opportunities, and explores the future. Our teams use a human-centered approach to working with clients and are flexible and responsive within dynamic Government client environments that often have new priorities and evolving missions. We thrive on these situations and promote continuous improvement and new ideas. And, #welovedogs! Follow us on Twitter @arcaspicio or learn more at www.arcaspicio.com.

When working as part of a group, team members often shy away from experimentation. They tend to follow traditional problem-solving approaches that focus on predictability and control. While these techniques might help avoid risk, they also stifle innovation. They no longer work in our changeable, fast-paced environment.

The Design Thinking method, however, accelerates innovation. Design Thinking helps solve problems by emphasizing deep exploration of the issue at hand. It encourages many possibilities, which allows for a portfolio of ideas rather than a single solution.

While attending a Design Thinking Workshop at the Harvard School of Continuing Education in 2015, I was surprised to see participation from individuals across many industries, both public and private sector, including engineers, those in vocational careers, and arts and sciences professionals. Despite our disparate backgrounds, all of us shared a design mindset and used Design Thinking to tackle complex challenges in our work. Across many different industries, Design Thinking principles proved a common tool for problem solving in a complex world.

For Design Thinking to be successful, leaders should weave the design mindset into the fabric of the company and encourage employees to use it regularly. It is Arc Aspicio’s design mindset that sets us apart.

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Contributors

Cristina Cajigas |

Cristina is a strategy and communications manager with experience in strategic and organizational planning, communications development, data analyzing and processing, and document management. Cristina is passionate about homeland security and intelligence. She has specialized interest in international law, security policy, border protection, and emergency management. Cristina is bilingual in Spanish and English.

LeadersNest Names Lynn Ann Casey a FedFem Award Honoree

LeadersNest Names Lynn Ann Casey a FedFem Award Honoree

Washington, DC, October 19, 2018 — LeadersNest named Arc Aspicio CEO Lynn Ann Casey a FedFem Award Honoree. The FedFem awards salute high-impact women executives and leaders of the government contracting community. FedFem Award Honorees blend their entrepreneurial courage and Federal government support that effectively impacts the industry, national economy, and the local marketplace. 

Boosting the Mission: Developing Acquisition Requirements Guidance

Boosting the Mission: Developing Acquisition Requirements Guidance

To keep up with the fast pace of change in the field of Government acquisitions, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) components are developing their own acquisition requirements (AR) policies. However, without specific timeframes to finalize these policies, DHS agencies often lack guidance on how to develop ARs. Among DHS agencies, the U.S. Coast Guard is leading the way with their own formal policy to describe this process. To compliment the U.S. Coast Guard’s policy, DHS created the Joint Requirements Integration and Management System (JRIMS) to offer direction for agencies—to review, validate, and suggest solutions for capability gaps and requirements.

Top Qualities of Design Thinking Leaders

Top Qualities of Design Thinking Leaders

Design Thinking is on the rise in the business world. Design Thinking leaders focus on creating the best product for their clients and working with the experiences and insight of fellow coworkers. Some of the key characteristics of Design Thinking leaders present themselves in individuals who are open and subject themselves to vulnerability with clients and coworkers. These qualities help leaders to connect and build relationships with others. They also create an open flow of communication that allows for others to better share their knowledge to align with and understand the company's mission.

Think, Key, Speak: Purposeful Communications

Think, Key, Speak: Purposeful Communications

I spent the early years of my career in the United States Navy as a Naval Flight Officer on the E-2C Hawkeye, the Navy’s aircraft carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Command and Control platform. The various missions of the aircraft demand that aircrew monitor up to ten radio frequencies, and actively speak on three or four of those, at any given moment in flight.

How Can Communities Ready Themselves for a Major Power Grid Event?

How Can Communities Ready Themselves for a Major Power Grid Event?

Communities are often the foundation for an expedited recovery following major events. But how can communities strengthen their response to, for example, a major cyber-attack or natural event, such as an Electronic Magnetic Pulse solar flare? A United States electrical grid failure could destroy a number of the nation’s high voltage transformers causing widespread outages for several weeks, even months. A public health emergency could quickly ensue particularly among the vulnerable as the ripple effects cause significant societal disruption. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) strategic plan encourages and empowers communities to prepare for the inevitable impacts of future disasters. How can communities prime for major events?

Confessions of a Chief Strategy Officer

Confessions of a Chief Strategy Officer

I’ll admit it, I was a little smug. After more than 20 years in the consulting business helping clients develop, implement, and integrate their strategies, I thought… “how hard could it be to do the same things for my own company – a company of consultants?” I had the commitment of my leadership, a group of talented people, and a plan and resources to grow the company. We had energy and we had a great process and tools to successful. What could go wrong?