Strategic Design

Creating Strategic Understanding and Competitive Advantage

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Strategic Design

Creating Strategic Understanding and Competitive Advantage

We help organizations and senior executives:

  • Make sense of complex, ill-structured, messy problems

  • Understand geopolitical & socioeconomic systems, regional conditions and trends

  • Understand alternative perspectives

  • Consider future potential situations and trending

  • Develop innovative solutions leading to strategic advantage

Our multi-disciplinary problem solving approach effectively blends:

  1. Systems thinking - Systems thinking provides a conceptual framework to think about and make sense of very complex systems.  Systems thinking enables investigation of a system more deeply by:

    • Recognizing dynamically complex and subtle structures

    • Seeing patterns where others only see events or forces to react to

    • Appreciating relationships, tensions, and trends in the system

    • Understanding how this information might be used to change the system

  2. Design methodologies - Design methods in the engineering disciplines tend to be "left brain-focused”, using analytic approaches. However, design methods in architectural, graphic, and environmental design tend to be "right brain-focused", leveraging conceptualization, synthesis, and intuition.  Our methodology effectively blends both approaches.

  3. Visual thinking - Seeing something drawn helps us think through tough problems.

  4. Group discourse / collaborative inquiry - By building multidisciplinary teams and bringing many different views to the table, we leverage your organization’s collective wisdom, experience, and expertise.

  5. Critical and creative thinking -  Critical thinking is deeply contemplating a subject, reflecting, giving careful consideration.  Creative thinking is, of course, thinking in new ways or directions.

Options we offer:


  1. Design Thinking Workshops (as many as necessary) with subject matter experts that build to a One-Day Executive Thinking Seminar

  2. Senior Executive Strategic Thinking Workshops and Retreats

  3. Three-day Design Thinking Workshops with your experts and best thinkers

Strategic Design experience:

  • Development and execution of more than 50 executive-level Senior Leader Strategic Thinking Seminars at both the US Special Operations Command and the Defense Intelligence Agency.

    • Various events attended by the US Attorney General, Secretary of Homeland Security, Director of the FBI, White House staff, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and the Combatant Commanders.

    • Example events (last three years):

      • 2014:  Countering Trans-National Organized Crime

      • 2015:  Counter-ISIL Strategy Review; Korea Senior Seminar; DIA Futures: The Middle East 2020;

      • 2016:  International Hostage Rescue; DIA Futures:  Russia 2020, Asia 2025; Department of State Messaging;   Korea Senior Seminar II

      • 2017:  DIA Futures:  Africa 2025, Iran 2022

      • 2018:  DIA Futures:  Russia 2022

  • Facilitation of more than 150 design workshops composed of multiple US government departments, multiple US government agencies, and international partners. 

  • Transformation of content generated from design workshops into executive level multi-media presentations that immerse senior leaders in a complex problem enabling strategic discussion, critical thinking & solution development.