Needs Identification

  • Leadership development is a critical issue facing organizations today.
  • Level X is a way for emerging and experienced leaders to utilize design thinking to work through leadership challenges in an immersive, peer-to-peer environment.
  • Design thinking has been successful in solving “wicked” problems across a wide variety of industries, cultures, and markets.
  • Design thinking has been successfully implemented by Fortune 100 companies and organizations of all sizes to solve challenges ranging from product design to global human crises.

Program Description

  • Level X is a leadership program that uses design thinking for organizational development
  • Level X actively engages participants in the hands-on design and build of a custom electric vehicle
  • Level X uses the concept of velocity and metaphors found in vehicle dynamics (power, conflict, steering, traction, support, etc.) to prompt leadership discussions and activities
  • Level X features purposeful team-building activities and discussions that illuminate leadership challenges, provoke inquisitive, human-centered solutions, and produce outcomes-based results

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Learn how the concept of velocity and metaphors related to vehicle dynamics can help frame and address leadership challenges
  • Collaborate to build a tangible representation (the car) of their organization and culture
  • Use design thinking to uncover leadership issues within their organization — not just the symptoms of those problems
  • Learn how to creatively work through iterative processes to design solutions for leadership challenges
  • Practice empathy in discussions regarding specific leadership issues
  • Learn how to apply Systematic Inventive Thinking (SIT) as one model for problem solving
  • Create an actionable design brief and road map for implementation, complete with timelines

Success Benchmarks

  • Specific client outcomes are unique to each organization. Success benchmarks will be identified as part of the Level X program with outcomes defined in the design brief.
  • Participants will be held accountable for implementation by program peers as well as the Level X facilitator and/or coach(es)
  • Level X facilitator and/or coach(es) will follow-up with participants to measure progress. Standard follow up intervals are 1, 3, and 12 weeks after program date and can be modified as necessary

Design Thinking is:

Human Centered

  • Empathetic and seeks to understand people’s needs in order to creatively meet those needs
  • Asks “what makes life better?”
  • About understanding culture and context as much as information gathering


  • Seeks to ask the right questions in order to solve the right problems, rather than just symptoms of those problems
  • Starts with the “Why?” and  communicates inside out to drive behavior


  • Recognizes that problem solving is a cyclical process of understanding, exploration, prototyping and evaluation
  • Features rapid prototyping to speed up the process of innovation; building in order to think


  • Concerned with creating choices and exploring new ideas and alternatives
  • Asks “how might we…?”


  • Shifts from passive to active experiences that are about participation and not consumption
  • Requires and benefits from participation of all, even “non-designers”


  • Integrates opposing ideas and constraints to create new solutions
  • Solves challenges by utilizing the people who face them every day
  • Finds intersection between desirability, viability, and feasibility

Outcomes Based

  • A design brief is created to define desired outcomes, map out action plans, identify accountability benchmarks, and measure success criteria.