Case Study

Ushering in The Next Wave of Nurse Leaders

What We Did

  • Engaged by the Vice President of Nursing Practice and Clinical Informatics
  • Created series of workshops, consisting of subject matter instruction and a collaborative design challenge
  • Followed the class through the rest of the curriculum, serving as project advisor
  • Co-designed digital product offering with nurse cohort

Our client recognized that being an excellent problem solver at the bedside doesn’t translate directly to solving the problems faced by leaders of healthcare organizations. They asked us to share some of the methods and models we use in our work with a group of leaders entering the organization’s Nurse Leadership Academy. After hashing out the structure with the client, our team put together a collaborative experiential learning experience based on our design process and best practices for problem solving.

Our first session was a hit. The first day was a classroom session, where CEO Mark Kandrysawtz shared theory and directly how we put it into practice. The second day was a themed design challenge crafted specifically to force universal engagement and application of the ideas that had been discussed. Leaders were broken into four teams and paired with a Benjamin & Bond facilitator. They were asked to design new ways the organization could better know its customers, and present these ideas to a panel of guest judges. The session was lively and informative, and the judges came away very impressed with the scope and quality of the ideas generated.

Equipped with new ideas and engaged nurses, the client wanted to keep up the momentum and turn those ideas into reality. Additionally, the organization saw the potential for broadening the audience of the leadership training to include physicians and different departments of operations.

Guy holding Gryffindor flag
Nurse team ideating

Now some of the rising stars within the organization are beginning their leadership journeys as role models and advocates for future generations.


Strategists faced three challenges: further develop nurse problem solving skills, guide the co-creation of a solution to apply new nurse skills, and equip the client with the organizational capability for sustainably delivering leadership training to future generations of nurses, physicians and staff.

Our team put together a leadership development story arc based on our typical design process over the course of a product development lifecycle. We created sessions focused on understanding problems and creating empathy, prototyping solutions, gathering consumer feedback and being influential by pitching ideas.

Each of these sessions was facilitated by skilled strategists who used practical examples and research-based approaches to share the curriculum. Supplementary educational materials were developed as take-aways for further engagement during the sessions and for future reference.

Each session followed nurses through the exploration of a specific problem, and over the course of a five session curriculum, our strategists and the nurses co-created a usable solution. The experiential learning was valuable for the nurses but even more so for the client because the staff with the most intimate knowledge of the inner-workings of the organization developed the solution to current problems in the organization.

It is not enough to give a man a fish, we sought to teach a whole village to fish. We also sought to teach that village how to teach fishing. We bundled up our curriculum and tools in a way that could be used repeatedly in the organization across different departments. Now some of the rising stars within the organization are beginning their leadership journeys as role models and advocates for future generations.

Sticky notes on the wall
ideas written on white paper
Woman drawing ideas on a white large sheet of paper
Winning team with their Harry Potter house flag
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