Strategy

Navigate a changing tech landscape with a strategic approach.

If your existing business strategy is leaving you overwhelmed or underwhelmed, you’ve come to the right place.
Trusted by

Let’s elevate your strategic thinking, align your team, and set you up for greater success.

We help companies, organizations, cities, museums, and entities of all kinds solve strategic problems arising from integrating data and emerging technology into their business model, operations, and experience strategy.

We do so by aligning the data model and technology deployment in these areas around human experiences meaningfully, respectfully, and profitably.

We get your team thinking about the needs and motivations of the real people you’re trying to do business with.

We help you craft meaningful messages and experiences to develop deeper customer relationships, and what’s more, help you get better at the process of doing it yourself.

KO Insights Kate O'Neill at IoD London
Kate being interviewed on-stage about transformation at Institute of Directors in London, 2016

Maybe your organization needs to model its data better to provide greater insights and offer more relevant customer experiences.

Maybe you’re struggling with the best way to implement emerging technologies like AR, or chatbots, or something similar.

Or maybe you’re experimenting with automation tools but you don’t yet have a strategy around it, or how it will impact your core business, or your workforce, etc.

The questions organizations face around data and tech are nearly endless, so the possibilities for value to your organization are nearly endless, too.

Kate O'Neill at Google
Kate O’Neill, Talks at Google, October 2018

Some past areas of focus for previous clients include:

“We continually refer back to the work you led us through. It helps shape our approach toward every aspect of the business.”

Former Client

Insights are the liminal space between questions and answers. They’re the key to exceptional strategy.

Questions are good. You need people around who ask good questions. Insights are where the transformation action happens. Questions lead us there.

We tend to think of questions as leading to answers. And yes, sometimes they do. But the best questions lead to insights. And sure, those insights can then steer you to the answers and solutions that serve the moment and the context, but insights often demand a little space of their own before they point the way.

Kate leading a United Nations panel
Kate leading a panel on using emerging technology to fight climate change at UN COP25 Climate Change Summit in Madrid, 2019
Kate O'Neill at DevLearn
Don’t hurry past insights

We help organizations develop their approach to data-rich experience design so that it is successful for the organization and more meaningful for the people who use their products and services.

Answers are mostly short-term patches anyway

They’re often Band-Aids on execution that no longer meets the moment. Everywhere that you’re currently facing transformation was a place where an answer used to be correct.

Insights sometimes feel obvious when you stumble on them

The insight that led you there is likely still true. It just may not be enough. Chances are you have to go back, ask new questions, see whether they lead you to new insights, and then let the insights guide you to the answers you need now.

Answers are mostly short-term patches anyway

That’s one way you know they’re true. They’re often a little ambiguous, but they also contain a degree of profundity that you can return to again and again.

People will feel a connection with things that are designed well

This insight may sound trite, but it’s part of what has made Apple a $2-trillion dollar business and made their products such a necessity for hundreds of millions of people. But the products themselves — the answers to the questions, so to speak — have had to change and evolve with the aesthetic of the moment. You might even argue that they often set the aesthetic of the moment.

Good insights tend to be timeless

Answers that serve the moment are bound to change over time, but good insights tend to be timeless.

And how do you get to good insights?

The insight that led you there is likely still true. It just may not be enough. Chances are you have to go back, ask new questions, see whether they lead you to new insights, and then let the insights guide you to the answers you need now.

Kate O'Neill at Mind the Product London
That’s the real value KO Insights offers

We go deep on the questions to come up with the insights that matter. And those insights pay off for our clients.

“She really made us think, but also gave us concrete takeaways we could use in our business.”

Former Client

Kate O'Neill Speaking

Meaningful Customer Insights

Your marketing efforts are supposed to generate sales. They’re also supposed to generate insights.

You should be getting smarter with every campaign. You ought to know more about your customers than you did a month ago.

Because companies need to understand their customers, and marketing is the knowledge center. It’s where everything the business understands about the customer resides.

That understanding creates meaningful relationships between brand and customer. Which is how value is created. And from value follows stronger sales, deeper loyalty, and greater profit.

If that’s not happening in your organization today, we can help.

We give your team clarity, a shared vocabulary, and, most importantly, a roadmap for insights so that your brand can be on its way to meaningful and sustainable growth.

Kate O'Neill at UX Australia

“She had the skill and wisdom to come up with good, and often novel, approaches, and the diplomacy to navigate a tense working environment.”

Former Client

Why “Human Experience” rather than Customer / User Experience?

Although in business lingo “experience” is usually discussed in terms of “customer experience,” “user experience,” “patient experience,” and so on, a more meaningful approach is to think of it all as “human experience,” and to help your company develop its own approach to meaningful touchpoints and technologies for the people who interact with your products, services, and brand.

Kate O'Neill at DevLearn

“What do I mean by “human experience” and human experience design? I think human experience is the natural successor to the narrower ideas of customer experience, user experience, patient experience, etc.— all of which point to a common need to understand, with equal parts empathy and strategic business-savvy, a person’s ideal path in interacting with a company, brand, product, or service.”

Excerpt from Pixels and Place: Connecting Human Experience Across Physical and Digital Spaces by Kate O’Neill

Pixels and Place book cover

Pixels and Place

Connecting Human Experience Across Physical and Digital Spaces

“It was refreshing & exciting to find a like-minded person who clearly knows the pulse and mind of the consumers“

Audience Feedback

This is an opportunity to work directly with strategic expert Kate O’Neill

Kate O’Neill has been leading innovative experience optimization and digital transformation initiatives for more than 20 years for companies of all sizes across industries around the world. Think: Netflix, USPS, McDonald’s, Coca Cola, and many more.

She has an uncanny ability to balance the needs of the company with the needs of the customer. She’s brand-savvy, culture-savvy, and data and tech-savvy.

Author of five books on the future of tech-driven experiences and top keynote speaker on digital transformation, Kate thinks deeply and dimensionally about how business can succeed while offering the most meaningful experiences to the humans inside and outside the company.

Kate can offer breakthrough insights about how to make your efforts more effective.

Kate O'Neill at Mind the Product London
Kate O'Neill at Yale
As she describes it:

“We discover the brand’s unique and organic elements of strategy: what really makes the company tick.

We develop frameworks — roadmaps, toolsets, style guides, whatever it takes — at a deeply integrative level, at a philosophical level, that tie together company purpose, brand value, and human motivations.

This process always surfaces opportunities for greater alignment, which means the organization can be more effective, and can accelerate growth and learning.

Once we have this understanding as a foundation, I work with clients to develop future-aware approaches to technology and data that position the company for growth and market advantage while treating customer relationships and data ethically and responsibly.”

“Kate is at once both a formidable expert and a warm, approachable colleague.”

Former Client

How we can help

1

It depends on your needs. But ideally, in the first stage, we’d meet over a whiteboard session to identify what we want to accomplish over the full engagement: what challenges you’re facing, how you’ve tried to solve them and what you’ve learned, what additional solutions and resources we might need, how we’ll recognize successes, and so on.

2

We’ll work on helping you articulate a strategy that guides your next steps to reveal opportunities to invest in customer experience technology and internal infrastructure, and ways to improve overall data collection and use.

3

Once you have a plan, you can begin to implement it right away. And when questions and obstacles arise, we can always meet again — even monthly — to realign.

Kate O'Neill Speaking

The goal is to help you navigate a changing tech and cultural landscape with the clarity of a strong strategic approach — one that ultimately provides a more meaningful experience for your customers and your employees, as well as a clearer path to profit and growth for the company.

“I would contract Kate again in an instant and certainly recommend her to anyone looking for a thought leader in her area of expertise.”

Former Client

Customized experiences to suit your needs

Strategic Facilitation

Facilitation needs are not one size fits all: your team is not the same as the next team, and we know that. We’ll work with you to develop the best format — onsite or offsite, in person or virtual, front-led or richly collaborative, etc — to deliver the outcomes you need the day to yield.

Transformational strategy often needs outside help: the nuanced input of an outside expert, sometimes in a session conducted outside your normal workspace.

During executive and team retreats, it’s key to have a facilitator who brings a wealth of insights from across industries and business models, who ushers the discussion along with nuance and respect.

Strategic Consulting

If your strategy is in chaos or you’re struggling to grow, or both, we offer one-on-one or small group sessions at your office or via virtual meeting to help you unpack the challenge, reframe it, and develop an action plan.

In a select few cases depending on availability and need, we can offer ongoing guidance and consulting through a retained arrangement.

Contact us, give us a little background and let’s discuss how we can help.

Kate providing a facilitated keynote for a Google retreat
Kate providing a hybrid front-led session — a facilitated keynote — for a Google departmental retreat in Lake Tahoe
Kate O'Neill facilitating a team-building session
Kate facilitating a richly collaborative creative UX and design team-building session with a lot of laughter and bonding

Does this sound like something your organization could benefit from? Let’s discuss.

Insights

Kate writes prolifically and contributes to numerous outlets on an eclectic array of topics, but her primary focus is the intersection of data, humanity, and meaningful experiences.

Get access to more insights in your inbox.

It’s time to create a human-centric strategy for a change-filled future.