OUR CAPABILITY CONSULTING EXPERT GUEST
Kursty is a Workplace Strategist, Innovation Consultant, Author and Podcast Host. She has a Master’s in Engineering and a background in industrial design.
She calls her career “squiggly,” referring to her various passions leading her to new places. Capability Consulting is a relatively new term that Kursty is making her own. Also known as a “Space Coach,” Kursty implements the ideas as opposed to merely suggesting them.
Kursty takes all the macro and micro factors of designing a space, from the physical limitations to the requirements of personas, and sees it through to the end.
Listen to the following clips on how Kursty keeps all these balls in the air:
CAPABILITY CONSULTING IS IMPLEMENTATION AND COLLABORATION
“Just having someone who’s got your back, who’s not inside the organization, who is not encumbered by the day to day… is hugely valuable.” – Kursty Groves
Kursty doesn’t come in, audit, and instruct. For her, it is all about co-creation. She works alongside, or sometimes behind, to give companies tools to navigate through this ever-changing world of work.
Internal viewpoints might differ between senior stakeholders, employees, and peers, but if it is collaborative and well thought, it will be successful.
CAPABILITY CONSULTING IS ABOUT EMPLOYEES ALSO
“One of the insights that came from Tim Aras was the notion of ‘yes, we want to provide environments so that people can be their best selves and do their best work’, but also that it’s about being the best colleague. So, it’s not just about the individual, but also considering what’s good for the organization.” – Kursty Groves
In addition, Kursty hosts The Office Chronicles, a five-star business podcast with bite-sized conversations from various company leaders.
Being a great colleague can be overlooked in a work from home culture. Thanks to the format of her podcast, Kursty can uncover other great insights from work leaders.
CONSULTING ON A SPACE ISN’T ALWAYS OBVIOUS
“One of the key insights is that out of ten factors that go into an inspiring or creative space for innovation, only three out of those ten are what you’d consider to be the typical physical spatial attributes.” – Kursty Groves
In 2010, Kursty consulted with a company making a major move. They had their company dialed in, but could not account for whether their new physical space would offer more productivity or creativity.
Out of this came conflicting narratives about whether a space should inspire or not. So Kursty set out to solve this problem.
While the first three attributes were more obvious, the remaining seven were harder to define. Those turned out to be more specific to each company’s ethos and mission statement. Kursty now approaches challenges with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in mind.
CAPABILITY CONSULTING IS ABOUT ‘ENVIRONMENTAL RESONANCE’
“When an organization can find its inspiration and [link] its purpose and the experience they want the workplace to deliver, then that will ultimately give what I call environmental resonance.” – Kursty Groves
There’s a quote from the innovative design book Make Space by Stanford’s The D School: “space is the body language of an organization.”
If people can plug in and keep their heads down, they’ll do it at home. On the other hand, if the rhythm of the organization resonates with people, if the space inspires the employee and makes them feel they are a part of something bigger, then that intersects culture with the organizational raison d’être.
ORGANIZATION VERSUS INDIVIDUAL PERSPECTIVE
“You’ve got two things going on, where you’ve got the organization, almost drawing people on to site for specific organizational group activities, then you also have the individual’s perspective and ‘the why’ they might choose to go into the office as a destination.” – Kursty Groves
The employee perspective is asking what will motivate someone to come into the office. In some cases, that is role dependent. In other cases, it will be personality or situation dependent. So, look at personas of employees rather than their job titles.
But don’t forget the organization’s perspective – what key things require people to gather and how often? In what format and for what purpose? Then you can define what those group activities might look like on site.
CAPABILITY CONSULTING IS VITAL
Kursty advises focusing on alignment. What if a company has unlimited resources or the power to see the future? Do either matter if they aren’t in step with their company’s mission and its employees.
Pre-pandemic, companies didn’t pay attention around space and how to optimize, redesign, and innovate it. After Covid, she is now approached by cross-functional teams looking to change things up.