Using design thinking methodologies to build the culture and employee lifecycle from the ground up


Team structure: 6 x designers (business, service, experience, interaction, researcher), HR leads, senior management

My role: organisational design perspective and initiative manager


THE brief

Kingfisher’s Innovation HUB scaled quickly. I realised that the culture and employee framework was not clearly defined and there was an opportunity to shape this.

I initiated and led a project to use design thinking methodologies to shape our work environment.


Enabled HR to design and implement systems that reflected the innovation environment and colleague profiles. Events and weekly social and learning activities now run autonomously in the office; they are engrained culture.

We presented the approach and strategy to Kingfisher’s CEO and C-Suite, in front of our whole office.


  1. I initiated a side of desk project with a small group of peers; we became the ‘culture club’. I arranged for us to meet every week create a framework for what we felt constituted a good culture; environment, people, way we work, activities we do, management infrastructures, growth and career progression, communication.

  2. We pitched this to Senior Management. They agreed that we would lead an employee experience initiative in collaboration with HR.

  3. We designed and led three co-creation workshops with all permanent members of staff, then seventy people. The aim was bring all perspectives together to define what constitutes good culture and employee experience. We collectively ideated solutions, meaning there was shared ownership. 

  4. The ‘culture club’ worked with HR to review the execution of formal solutions and ensured guilds and societies were upheld.

  5. We set-up and ran activities such as a weekly Think & Drink, Lunch & Learn, charity Hackathon and bake-off.

  6. I now have a monthly meeting with leadership and HR in which I feedback sentiments about the culture (I run surveys and people chat to me). This helps to inform HR activities and the messaging shared by leadership at monthly staff briefings.


The project was successful in its goal, but I believe that the feeling that we had defined the employee experience hinders its long term impact. Culture is not fixed; it’s a living thing and needs to reflect the evolving people and objectives of the business.