Cultural + Systems Transformation


In my work as an Org Designer, I am often embedded inside organizations — supporting leaders and teams at all levels — as they practice their way into desired shifts in their culture and systems. Together, we unlock their best work and version of themselves, starting by getting curious:

  1. How do we create the conditions for learning, innovation, inclusivity, and creativity at all levels of the company?
  2. How do we share power and better distribute hierarchy so people are seen, acknowledged, engaged and motivated to take action?
  3. How do we drive alignment with autonomy, principles and vulnerability rather than rules and policies?
  4. How do we work together across teams, departments, divisions, and geographies rather than in silos or against each other?
  5. How do we trade tired and afraid for courageous leadership?
  6. How do we better shape our systems so we’re getting the behaviors and the results we want?
As organizations, making desired shifts towards better requires consideration of both our WAYS OF DOING and WAYS OF BEING.
WAYS OF DOING are the actions our companies operationalize so we can do the work. It’s the systems, processes, and pathways we use to operate as a business. Ways of doing can include things like how we measure, prioritize, or design and disseminate vision and strategy. It can also be how we use money, budget, plan, make our products or services, hire, allocate resources, determine compensation, make decisions, or even do our daily work tasks in our own unique roles and on our teams.
WAYS OF BEING are the mindsets, behaviors, and belief systems we have as individuals. It’s how we are in relationship with each other;  it’s how we choose to be and work together.
You could say ways of being is our “inner work.” It’s typically the hardest work to do — especially at scale — and as humans and companies, we often find it to be the last thing we want to spend time or dollars on because it’s uncomfortable, arduous, slow, and difficult to quantitatively measure.
That being said, ways of being is a non-negotiable component for unlocking all the things we want like innovation, creativity, collaboration, trust, honesty, and empathy. Without it, our systems — our ways of doing — break down.
Most companies only do pieces or parts of ways of being and ways of doing. In order for our organizations to operate at its best in uncertainty and complexity, we need both the behavioral strengths of the ways of being work with the systems strength of the ways of doing work.
System-based frameworks like lean, agile, scrum, kanban, six sigma, and many others are helpful, but they are not the answer to the challenges we face. We can learn to constantly adapt and evolve our ways of working so we have the tools to operate at our best in uncertainty and complexity. We can learn to solve the right problems and work together to innovate, create, and steer towards our ever unfolding vision.
We can learn to align under that vision across departments, divisions, teams, and geography with autonomy, principles, and vulnerability, rather than piling on more rules and policies.

“Mack has taken a culture which had become stale and bureaucratic and opened it up to be innovative, self-optimizing, and wholehearted.”

Simon McEvoy
Head of Strategy at Omobono 


Mack has supported entrepreneurs, leaders, teams, and companies all over the world — from organizations like Apple, to those with hundreds of employees — redesign their systems and build braver cultures.

She is a Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator, trusted by Brené Brown, and published by the Economist. Connect on an initiative you’re supporting in your organization or industry event.