Cooperative Results

What do you get when you combine three Zelos facilitators, the leading local government innovation organization—the Alliance for Innovation, and a committed group of local government staff from 11 different localities on a Friday morning in November?

You get energy.
You get creativity.
You get IDEAS.
You get a hands-on experience that you can apply in your job.

In fact, a couple of weeks after the Workshop, one of the participants told us: “This workshop was a very unique opportunity for me. Never in my career have I been able to immediately apply the concepts of a training/workshop. I feel very energized and ready to use Design thinking in my day to day projects.”

In other words, you get the latest Design Thinking Workshop experience, facilitated by our resident expert, Chuck Appleby; supported by colleagues Stacia Aylward and Andres Marquez-Lara; sponsored by the Alliance for Innovation; and hosted by Chesterfield County. You get a morning of intense learning, practicing and engaging with each other. And later, after the Workshop, you get the opportunity in a webinar to brainstorm how to apply what you learned and to share successes and ideas.

Workshop Inspiration

On a more personal note, this particular Workshop was special for Zelos. Lou O’Boyle, Zelos founder and former CEO, was an active participant in the Workshop in her role as Strategy and Performance Coordinator for Chesterfield County government. At the start, Lou noted that it was her first ever time as a participant in a Zelos Workshop, and during the Workshop, she had an “a-ha” moment about how to incorporate Design Thinking into her ongoing strategic planning initiative in the County.

Inspired by the Hasso–Platter Institute of Design ( at Stanford, the method transforms how people develop products, services, processes and even strategies; participants in Design Thinking workshops and projects report that it increases their ability to empathize with customers and boosts their “creative confidence” in producing innovative services, process, strategies and products. Design Thinking concepts apply directly to the service and program challenges faced by local governments, and Zelos has created and facilitated Design Thinking projects for local government challenges like improving community engagement and enhancing library services.


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