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Studies show that inclusion boosts innovation and the bottom line. How can you make your virtual meetings more inclusive?

By Yukari Yamahiro, Strategist, frogNY

Inclusion means that the thoughts, ideas and perspectives of all individuals are embraced and celebrated. More often than not, however, meetings are dominated by the loudest voices, putting major decisions and opportunities in the hands of the most vocal person or group. This lack of inclusion in meetings, whether in-person or virtual, can result in unengaged and unsatisfied participants and hurt an organization’s culture and bottom line.

That’s why, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to design new approaches to virtual collaboration. Working remotely provides an environment to experiment with more inclusive practices that can also translate back to traditional meetings. As we work with leading organizations to push digital boundaries during these unprecedented times, we are learning how to better foster inclusion and engagement in a virtual world. …


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By Halle Kho, Executive Design Director, frogNY

In recent years the philosophy of design thinking has gained adherents across industries and sectors, and rightly so — it’s a powerful tool for reframing entrenched assumptions and patterns of thought, identifying unseen opportunities and developing innovative solutions to human problems. However, for an organization to successfully integrate design thinking principles and habits of mind into its culture, it must embrace design leadership. In short, design leaders must aim to practice and project the tenets of design thinking in all their official interactions and capacities—whether as a teammate, a supervisor, a subordinate or a service provider. …


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Design Leadership needs empathy and understanding more than ever right now

By Halle Kho, Executive Design Director, NY

I can only speak for New York.

In retrospect, we knew it was coming. But it still felt like everything changed overnight. All of a sudden our city, our rhythms, our habits and our daily experiences had to change. And we changed. We sheltered. We left. We stopped.

Farther apart but closer together

Immediately after the lockdown, I felt it was important to maintain the feeling of “bumping into people” to make sure that everyone was okay. I reached out randomly to people, projecting confidence and positivity about social distancing and sheltering in place. After the first week of lockdown, I decided to share a more public post on our studio Slack channel. I felt desperate to connect with my fellow frogs. I missed seeing them, listening to their intelligent debates, solving problems with them and feeling the bustle of our studio. …


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Finding ways to celebrate stories of diversity, equity and inclusion during times of global pandemic

As an editor, I like to plan. It’s part of my job to have a full quarter’s worth of content planned out at any given time to ensure that frog is keeping up on all the important conversations our audiences care about. So with March being Women’s History Month, we had big plans for sharing stories about the women shaping design, innovation and our world at large.

Then the world stopped.

Well, no — it did not actually stop. But the working, social and economic world as we know it changed, perhaps irrevocably so. With only the first few cases of COVID-19 appearing in New York in early March, we watched one by one as our studio spaces — first Shanghai, then Milan, London, Munich — were forced to close, turning frogs around the world into remote workers. On conference calls with teammates in Madrid, I heard how people were out at bars and restaurants one day, and not able to leave their houses the next. …


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With businesses becoming increasingly global, it’s not always possible to have everyone in the room at the same time. Here are some best practices for getting the most out of remote workshops.

By Rhishiraj Neog, Program Manager, frog

In an ideal customer engagement workshop, all stakeholders (external and internal) will be collaborating seamlessly by being in the same room, strategizing towards a common goal, contributing to defining requirements and eliminating ambiguity while focusing on customer centricity.

However, the business realities of today make it difficult to conduct an ideal engagement workshop since end users, clients, service providers and other stakeholders often reside in different locations across the globe with varied time zones, budget limitations and limited availability.


Two Firms, One Partners’ Meeting

By Ethan Imboden, VP Design & Global Head of Ventures

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I’ll start with the bottom line.

I’m very excited to announce that, as Fast Company shared, frog and Tuesday Capital have significantly expanded our long-standing collaboration. From here forward, qualified early-stage startups can receive direct investment from Tuesday to cover the costs of engaging frog for strategic design support. Participating companies will benefit from the combined expertise, experience and network of both firms, working to support their growth as committed, long-term investors. This is a major step forward for frogVentures.

If you’re a founder interested in reducing your time to market, execution risk, financing risk, or all three, you can get in touch with us here. …


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How studying a foreign language strengthens the muscles of flexibility, empathy and humility needed for the creative process

By Samara Watkiss, Senior Interaction Designer, frog

There seems to be no end to the personal and professional benefits of learning a foreign language. Scientific researchers will tell you how it can make you smarter, better able to solve problems and less likely to suffer from Alzheimer's later in life. Business coaches will tell you speaking a foreign language creates the ability to connect with clients who are native speakers, to conduct business more comfortably abroad, and to open new possibilities for clients, colleagues and research participants. As a designer at frog — an international consultancy with studios on three continents and clients around the world — these are huge benefits. But studying a foreign language, I believe, is especially valuable to those of us doing innovative and human-centered design because it strengthens the muscles we need for the creative process — and those benefits are true at any level of fluency. …


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By Irisa Ona, Visual Design II, frog

On July 24th, AIGA Eye on Design hosted a debate titled: “Can Anyone Be a Graphic Designer?” The debate featured Natasha Jen (Pentagram), Rik Lomas (SuperHi), and Aliza Dzik (McKinsey) who shared their perspectives on the current climate of design. The debate covered hot-button issues around the democratization of design and its effect on the industry and its designers.

Last Thursday at frog, we hosted our own discussion in the New York studio during Creative Forum — a weekly gathering centered around the pursuit of creativity and learning outside of our respective disciplines. …


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Four human-centered tactics to design for the emotional experience of self-care

By Viral Shah, Strategy Director, frog

Rising costs are making traditional healthcare options unsustainable and creating the case for more significant disruption in the healthcare industry. The US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that by 2026, the healthcare industry will employ over 23 million individuals — more than any other sector, including the retail industry, and state and local government. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) estimated that US healthcare expenditures grew nearly 4 percent in 2017, reaching $3.5 trillion, or $10,739 per person.

We are now seeing government step in to essentially force legacy players to find new ways to both raise the level of care efficacy and significantly reduce costs. As a result, CMS continues downward pressure of reimbursements, and the White House is reportedly preparing an order to cut drug prices for Medicare. This follows on the heels of an executive order recently passed aimed at encouraging adoption of lower cost, home-based alternative treatments that have the potential to reduce the billions of dollars spent on treatments for those with chronic kidney disease. What this means is that companies and providers who can create effective technology-enabled solutions, and build value-add ecosystem partnerships for self-care will be the likely winners over those who find difficulties innovating on their business and care models. …


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A conversation with J Reuben, Director of frog Cross Studio Operations, on celebrating Pride, people and love.

As we celebrate a month of LQBTQ+ Pride, we are also thinking about how we can ensure these conversations don’t stop at the end of June — but rather continue to effect change throughout our culture, company and world at large. We sat down with frog veteran of 15 years, J Reuben, to discuss his journey, both personally and professionally, and what it means to keep the conversation going around how we engage and support a culture of real inclusivity.

Tell us a little about your first day at frog.

About

frog design

frog is a global design and innovation consultancy. Learn more about us: http://frogdesign.com/ | IG @frog_design

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