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Rhea Insight

Insightful Thinking

All learning happens in conversation. Contrary to common sense, insight is a team sport.


Rhea Insight

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Over 30 Years of Experience

Darrel has developed processes and tools that integrate the disciplines of social science, business analytics and design methods, contributing significantly to the reinvention of business and design consulting practices. To learn more about what Darrel views as cutting edge issues in leadership, innovation, strategy, design management, or design research, contact us.

Making Meaning

In Making Meaning: How Successful Businesses Deliver Meaningful Customer Experiences, my co-authors and I explore the dimensions of customer experience and discuss how focusing on meaning can produce the most value possible in a relationship. While creating economic and functional experiences are critical, and emotional experiences can create delight — meaningful experiences reinforce people’s values and connect to their identities in ways that create deeper, lasting relationships. We show how companies can use meaning as an organizing principle for pursuing innovation and value creation.  


Leading innovation is about coordinating change in a changing world. In order for change to happen, something must catalyze it. That something is always a someone: leaders catalyze change. They create energy (stimulate the system), harness energy (sanction it), focus energy (prioritize it), activate it (authorize it), and diffuse it (mobilize and empower others). It is never just cerebral. It is never about decision making. Change requires leadership to inspire human agency and action.

Even the most introverted leaders can learn to light fires. The key is engaging your teams in conversation about why to change, what to change, and how change — but do it in a safe, structured, productive way. Let Darrel show you the required moves.  

Design Thinking

First, let’s say what it isn’t. Design Thinking isn’t just a buzzword describing a structured development process, nor does it mean designing with Post-it Notes. It should be a way of leading with creativity, a deposition for being deeply insightful and empathetic. It means embracing ambiguity and uncertainty in a state of curiosity and wonder, playfully engaging with your inquiry, asking bold and nuanced questions from your customers’ perspective, and being fully present to the ideas that emerge. Design Thinking leverages dialogue, sharing ideas, challenging and being challenged, evolving a clearer, more forceful articulation as ideas develop. If you or your organization is trying to innovate, let Darrel show you how you can add this deposition to complement your current skill sets.

Strategic Risk

Increasing turbulence and uncertainty in our environment demands that our innovation strategies produce not just great products and services, but build resilient and adaptive organizations that can avoid the catastrophic effects of structural changes over time, and leveraging that change to renew competitive advantages.  Strategic Risk offers a new paradigm of Strategy that is especially relevant to Design practices concerned with business innovation. The framework, the processes and the tools derived of this paradigm are useful for both evolving a core business and for aggressively designing its future states. Boards and key decision makers can use this approach to governance to assume direct responsibility for strategic innovation initiatives that produce resiliency over time.  Let us show you how.

From the Blog


The Evolution of Experience Design

While marketers, brand designers, and software designers have throughly embraced the importance of focusing on user experience, the world of hardcore technology development, industrial design and engineering hasn’t. I’m not saying there has been outright resistance to the concept, just that the relevance has been a secondary consideration. That has been slowly changing, but it […]

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