Select Page

Organizational Design + Strategy + Change with Stephanie Gioia — DT101 E138

Stephanie Gioia is a founder at Future Work Design with a focus on strategic planning and organizational innovation. She also serves as the director of the Either/Org project and teaches human-centered design for organizational innovation at the University of Oregon’s Executive MBA program. She’s taught at Stanford’s, University of Michigan, and Pacific Northwest College of Art. She is the founder of, the world’s largest library of card decks for problem solving and creativity. We talk about organizational design and strategy, and helping organizations navigate change.

Listen to Learn About

  • Organizational design
  • Either/Org’s Inspiration Library for organizations
  • Prototyping organizational changes
  • Navigating and de-risking change

Portrait of Stephanie Gioia

Our Guest

Stephanie Gioia (she/her) is a founding partner at Future Work Design with a focus on strategic planning and organizational innovation. Stephanie was one of the earliest strategists to use the power of Human Centered Design to solve organizational design challenges. Stephanie also serves as director of The Either/Org Project, an organizational design inspiration lab. This project vibrates all her interests: organization design, practical tool-making, learning and inspiration, and a firm belief that we can change the whole world by changing the world of work.

Stephanie teaches Human Centered Design for Organizational Innovation at University of Oregon’s Executive MBA program. In the past she has taught programs at Stanford’s, University of Michigan, and Pacific Northwest College of Art. She is the founder of, the world’s largest library of card decks for problem solving and creativity.

Stephanie holds an MBA from the University of Michigan in Strategy and Organizational Sensemaking and earned her B.A. in History and Government from Georgetown University. She lives in beautiful Klickitat country (White Salmon, WA) with her partner Dave and is a mom to two fantastic kids.

Show Highlights

[01:59] Stephanie’s interest in organizational life led her to taking jobs in large organizations to see how they functioned.
[02:40] How can we make organizations operate better and be a better experience for employees?
[03:16] Getting an MBA in strategy and organizational sense making.
[03:52] Deciding to use design thinking to prototype and design better workplaces.
[04:55] Her time at IDEO.
[05:25] Co-founding Future Work Design.
[06:22] Working with clients at Future Work Design.
[07:54] Using Future Work Design’s Wayfinder card deck to help a team align and start working together.
[11:05] Helping clients get comfortable with ambiguity.
[11:23] Stephanie offers an example of a client project focused on reimagining how the client might make decisions better aligned with their core values.
[16:23] Reclaiming the “design” part of organizational design.
[20:18] The Either/Org’s inspiration library for organizations looking to innovate.
[22:57] Visualizing an organization beyond the org chart.
[23:57] Organizational prototyping.
[29:25] Helping organizations navigate and de-risk change.
[32:11] A project for an international NGP that entailed changing their entire operating model.
[34:07] Managing the expectations of change.


Stephanie on LinkedIn
Stephanie on Medium
Stephanie on Instagram
Stephanie on YouTube
Stephanie on UX Magazine
Future Work Design

Design Thinking 101 Episodes You Might Like

Civic Design + Innovation Ops + System Design with Ryann Hoffman — DT101 E62
Employee Experience by Design: How to Create an Effective EX for Competitive Advantage with Belinda Gannaway — DT101 E75
UX + Into, Through, and (Almost) Out of Design with Kara DeFrias — DT101 E103

Tell me how the show helps you.

Photo of Dawan Stanford

Your ideas support and develop the show. Tell the world how the Design Thinking 101 Podcast has helped you think and solve like a designer. Then, tell me how I might make it even more helpful.

Cheers ~ Dawan

Transform your career with breakthrough innovation skills.

Use Fluid Hive’s Breakthrough Innovation System to create change, impact or revenue in three steps. 

#1 Breakthrough Innovation Tools, a guide that shows you where to start, what to do, and how to do it. 

#2 Breakthrough Innovation Projects, an online course teaching you a simple way to launch innovation projects that get results. 

#3 Breakthrough Innovation Workshops, an online course giving you the ability to  help people do their best work in less time as you create new solutions.

Order Breakthrough Innovation Tools and take your first transformation step today!

Join Dawan in his Design Skills Workshops!

How to Become an Innovation Designer

A unique introduction to design thinking for innovation teams.

16 July 2024, 1:30 PM ET, 90 minutes, Notify Me!

Innovaiton Smart Start Workshop

08 August 2024, 1:30 PM ET, 90 minutes, Notify Me!

Complimentary workshops for teams needing to develop, practice and learn design skills for creating innovative products, services and solutions.

Live, interactive, practical experiences led by Dr. Dawan Stanford.

Your Ask Like a Designer Studio!

~ a free resource

You get Design Skills lessons and workshop invitiations, course discounts, Ask Like a Designer articles, podcast announcements, and more!
Cheers ~ Dawan

The Designing Facilitation Course

Are you ready to design outstanding events that will engage participants and get the outcomes you need?

Fluid Hive's Designing Facilitation Course is a step-by-step design thinking-fueled system for creating and leading events, workshops and meetings that solve problems, save money, and protect your reputation.

Find Better Problems Course

In this self-paced, online course, Find Better Problems: Creating Better Solutions by Framing More Valuable Problems to Solve, you will learn to create more effective solutions by understanding the problem you are trying to solve.

Creating effective solutions begins with finding, defining and refining the problem you're trying to solve. I help you do that and more with step-by-step instruction and practical templates.