Inclusive: not excluding any of the parties or groups involved in something.

Facilitation: helps a group of people to work together better, understand their common objectives, and plan how to achieve these objectives, during meetings or discussions.

As everyone continues to adjust to the technology and routines necessary to facilitate work meetings, retreats, and other events virtually, company cultures — and thus, company ideation and output — are suffering. In fact, research from Slack states that nearly half of remote workers, and particularly those workers who belong to BIPOC populations, have experienced a decrease in belonging, inclusion, and productivity. …

Mark your calendars: National Fun at Work Day is January 25th!

2020 was a tough one for businesses and their employees in a variety of ways. In particular, innovation — the lifeblood of consistent company success and growth — plummeted, even though productivity, in some cases, went up, according to Forbes.

In fact, a recent survey of 9,000 managers and employees across Europe found that, “Executives say their remote teams have been highly productive, with 82% saying they saw productivity levels either hold steady or increase as people shifted to remote work. At the same time, companies’ spirit of innovation has declined precipitously as their workforces got dispersed this year.”


The evidence that fun boosts the health of individual employees — and workplace performance — is overwhelming. A 2015 study from BrightHR found that, “employees that have fun in the workplace, from belly laughs and birthday celebrations to Xboxes and massages, take less sick leave, work harder and are more productive.” Additionally, Harvard Business Review reports that “Research shows that when people work with a positive mind-set, performance on nearly every level — productivity, creativity, engagement — improves.”

But, how do we have fun at work when everyone is working remotely from home these days? We’ve put our brains to…

By definition, inclusive design is an empathetic, human-centered design process in which a product, service, or environment is created with consideration of a broad range of people and perspectives.

The events of 2020, which have exposed design flaws in national systems and prompted widespread discussions about how to better instill diversity and inclusion into our work and world, have also highlighted the necessity of inclusive design. After all, as design ethicist Mike Monteiro once said about in explanation of systemic racism: “The system is working exactly as designed.”

With that in mind, here are a few ways to get started…

Before COVID, establishing and maintaining a supportive, employee-first company culture wasn’t always easy, but it was within reach. You could always stock the office kitchen with everyone’s favorite goodies, provide ping-pong tables and shuffleboard for lunchtime fun, even give staff the benefit of working from home as they pleased.

During the COVID pandemic — when working from home feels more like a sentence than a perk, office kitchens sit empty, and company pinball machines gather dust — things aren’t so simple. Maintaining a human-centered company culture from afar may seem impossible. And, to make matters more challenging, there has never…

Photo by Iris Wang

If you are like me, you have been inundated with essays, articles, and tip sheets about how to make our new work from home (WFH) reality more productive and efficient. Soon, managing virtual tools and collaboration software like Zoom will be old hat for everyone. But given the stress everyone is under and the uncertainty of what lies ahead, it’s never been more important to also approach your remote meetings and collaborations from a human-centered, people-first mindset. After all, according to a Forbes report, 96% of employees believe showing empathy is an important way to advance employee retention.

As our…

I wrote what follows for Mindhatch’s March newsletter sent to subscribers on 3/15. It got such an overwhelmingly positive response and so many people asked that it be made public, I wanted to do so.

Greetings from Seattle

First, please read the above image again! And go to this CDC website where you can learn more details about how to do each of these things effectively. I can only hope that by now you are exhausted of hearing and reading these things. If you are, go wash your hands. If you aren’t, go wash your hands.

Also, here’s an easy to understand quick…

It’s the beginning of a new year, which means that everyone has “new” on the brain. You’ve likely heard “new year, new you” more times than you ever thought possible. And while we understand your frustration with the sentiment — we weren’t SO bad last year, were we? — there are actually plenty of scientifically-proven benefits to trying something new, even just for the sake of it.

In fact, research shows that embracing the new can lead to:

  1. A healthier you. Trying new things can lead to meaning and purpose, both of which have been linked to better health outcomes

This time of year is when most of us start to think about where to donate to make a difference. I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite organizations that are specific to bringing innovation and creativity to those who may otherwise go without it in their lives. I hope you’ll be as impressed and inspired by the work these places are doing as I am. Access to creative thinking and innovative problem-solving need not be a privilege.

When talking with potential clients who are interested in Organizational Improv™, I often hear “Oh we love ‘Yes, and …’ We use it all the time,’” which is great. The more people using “Yes, and …” the better. However, once we actually start working together, it quickly becomes apparent that they’ve got the “yes” part down but need some help with the “and” part, which in my opinion is the most important of the two components.

But let’s back up for a second: What is this “Yes, and …”? It’s a phrase and mindset used in improv comedy to accept…

Coonoor Behal, Mindhatch

Founder of Mindhatch // Design Thinking // Organizational Improv // Innovation Facilitation

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