top of page

Speaking & Workshops

Inspiring speaker

What Karen brings


In her speaking engagements, Karen draws upon her 20+ years of experience as a high-performing leader in the financial services industry and non-profit world to deliver an inspirational message of what an innovative human-centered business can accomplish. Over ten years as a professional writer, speaker, and coach has given her an abundance of knowledge and insights to effectively inspire and teach the skills of leadership, design thinking, and innovation. She connects with audiences through the power of stories supported by the power of her research and education in the cutting-edge field of design thinking. The originator of Leading by Design - applying the innovative principles of design thinking to challenges today's leaders face.


Overwhelming challenges of today's organizations


Organizations today are faced with the incredible challenge of developing a strong leadership bench, increased adaptability in a fast-changing world, and creating innovative capabilities that keep them relevant in the marketplace. These overwhelming leadership challenges are compounded by internal and external factors. Externally disruptions, regulations, and competitive pressures often knock organizations of track. While internally employees are demanding their work be as human-centric as the service they provide clients. Organizations will meet their needs, or they will move on.


Experience the design thinking difference


Unlike traditional speaking engagements, Karen brings the power of design thinking to customize your event. Through the power of casting vision and phase 1 of design thinking (empathy) Karen connects with her audience through user interviews (one-on-one interviews for groups 25 or less, and through surveys for 25+) to understand their pain points, potential disconnects between organization vision and boots on the ground experience to show the power of design thinking to forge a way forward. Canned speeches are available - by why choose canned when creative is available.


The way forward


To succeed going forward requires reinvention of leadership thinking, which Karen defines as "leading by design." Equipping today's leaders with the innovative principles of design thinking creates innovative ecosystems within the organization, making it resilient and adaptable to handle any challenges they face. Let Karen introduce you to the power of design thinking to transform your leadership bench and ultimately your organization.


Potential speaking topics include:

  • The future of leadership is leading by design - designing the future of how your company works

  • Purpose is personal - aligning organization and employee purpose for greater impact

  • How to create culture, connection, and loyalty in a virtual world

  • How to tame egos to keep collaborations on track

  • Growing adaptive leaders in an always-changing world

  • Mental fitness for today's leaders

  • Leadership challenge or your choice

Leaders' Mission-Critical Challenge 

What's holding you back from achieving your goal?


Every organization or team has at least one issue that holds them back from achieving and exceeding their goal. Likely, it's pervasive and a problem that you have previously gone round and round over. You've read the reports, formed the committees, and even perhaps attempted swinging change initiatives to no avail. You've heard about design thinking, and you're curious as to whether it could be helpful for this leadership challenge. If this sounds like you, then this workshop is for you.


What you can expect in this workshop


This workshop tackles a mission-critical challenge your team or business unit is facing through the lens of design thinking. You choose the challenge, and we bring Karen's decades of design thinking experience to the table. Whether the challenge falls under people, processes, or performance, this workshop provides valuable insights into:

  1. What key user brings to bear on the topic.

  2. How it helps your team define the problem and align with the vision.

  3. Ideate potential solutions that your team can run with after the workshop.

A glimpse of what you'll experience:


  • Karen will provide a personal coaching session with the leader to develop a clear vision. In this session, you'll discover how to create a vision that pulls the team forward, avoiding the human tendency to choose an "away from" goal that falters and fizzles out quickly.

  • Pre-workshop user experience interviews. With a clear vision leading the way, Karen conducts user experience interviews (leader and up to 25 people). These interviews introduce you to the first and second steps of design thinking utilizing empathy to define the obstacle(s) standing in the way of your vision.

  • Karen delivers a custom workshop that covers the missing links, untapped perspectives, and the power of design thinking to move forward to innovative solutions that have the buy-in of everyone.

  • Walk away with a definitive action plan that the team is energized and enthusiastic about completing post-workshop.

Creativity + Purpose = Unleashed Potential

In this workshop, the focus is on helping leaders tap into the creativity and purpose of their employees. Beyond tips for being innovative, we support leaders and their team members in uncovering their unique creative gifts. Here are just a few of the experiences you can expect


  • Explore real-time work scenarios and routines that the team uses.

  • Examine the creative gifts of individual team members based on personality type.

  • Job craft the strengths of each person and where they are underutilized

  • Utilize the power of design thinking to redesign work to increase performance, raise engagement, improve job satisfaction and reduce employee turnover rates.

creative workshop.png
bottom of page