Design Thinking Makes It Safe for Employees

Design Thinking Makes It Safe for Employees

I was fortunate enough to help out on the first hr.hackathon in Detroit, an idea launched by Nicole Dessain of talent.imperative.

Christina Chateauvert and other volunteers believed in the idea enough to take it to Detroit with the first topic being, “How might we collaborate with employees to co-create an improved employee experience?”

What was the top idea from my breakout group in the hr.hackathon? Making it safe for employees, of course. Not “safe” as in body harm but “safe” as in psychological safety. Being able to give direct feedback. Being able to say what you think without fear or repercussions. Eliminating this fear and building trust.

Meet Atlanta's HR.Hackathon Host: Karan Ferrell-Rhodes

Meet Atlanta's HR.Hackathon Host: Karan Ferrell-Rhodes


In both by personal and professional lives, I am a maestro of problem-solving and collaborative action! My life’s motto is “carpe diem”, whose Latin meaning is “seize the day”. I try to embody this philosophy as the Founder and CEO of Shockingly Different Leadership (SDL), a global human capital professional services consultancy that provides organizations access to the best consulting expertise in the areas of Talent Development, Organizational Development, and Human Resources – on an on-demand, project or contract basis. At SDL, we are changing the way HR-functions scale up their teams during peak periods of work.

Meet Detroit's HR.Hackathon Host: Christina Chateauvert

Meet Detroit's HR.Hackathon Host: Christina Chateauvert

Who are you and what do you do in your “day job”?

Inspired by the quote, “she designed a life she loved,” I’ve created my life as a design thinker, educator, and creativity whisperer. My personal mission and passion is to educate others in using human-centered design to discover solutions to their business challenges and adopt design thinking mindsets in their leadership styles. I am fortunate that I get to accomplish this in several ways:

How HR.Hackathon Inspired Me

Kelli Koschmann, VP of Talent at Sittercity, shares in this brief video how attending hr.hackathon events and taking Nicole Dessain’s “Design Thinking 101 for Talent Leaders” Skillshare online course inspired her to experiment with design thinking inside her organization.

Check out which challenge she “hacked”.

Practical inquiry, learning and the DisruptHR Chicago Hackathon

Practical inquiry, learning and the DisruptHR Chicago Hackathon

Nicole Dessain is a colleague who, among other roles, is founder of DisruptHR Chicago. This past week the organization held its second hackathon event, where a group of 50 people sign up to spend 2.5 hours brainstorming potential ideas to address an organizational challenge. The most recent hackathon focused on how to increase diversity in recruiting for Chicago startups, a challenged offered up by Shayna Harris, COO of Farmer’s Fridge.

What I Learned From My First HR.Hackathon

Allie Temkin was Chicago’s very first hr.hackathon challenge winner. The topic she submitted was “How might we better engage and retain employees at a small, national non-profit?”

The community rallied around this challenge and generated nine top ideas for Allie to consider.

A few months later, Allie shared some of her initial experiments around employee engagement in this inspiring DisruptHR Chicago talk.

How might YOU apply some of these ideas to your own employee engagement and retention programming?

What's Your HR.Hackathon Story?

We want to hear from you!

Have you attended a hr.hackathon event and then experimented with either the design thinking method or an idea generated during the event?

Share your story!

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We are excited to hear your story!