Most people have seen the 1993 movie Groundhog Day. It’s a staff favorite here. If you’re not familiar with the film, Phil Connors (Bill Murray), a Pittsburgh weatherman, is out to cover the annual Groundhog Day festivities from Punxsutawney, PA. He gets caught in a blizzard (one he did not predict!) and finds himself trapped in a time warp. He relives the same day, beginning at 6 a.m. (Groundhog Day) over and over again until he gets it right. For Phil, that means winning the heart of a lovely lady, being a good citizen, and helping people. Although no one is sure how long Phil is stuck on Feb. 2, all indications point to a very long time.

Then one day it happens. He finally gets it right.


Image by Forge Design Works

It’s easy for organizations to get caught in that “Groundhog Day Effect” – repeating habits, practices, functions that don’t accomplish business goals, don’t further missions, and don’t make people happy.

We humans are innately wired to find a way that works and then repeat, repeat, repeat. It’s natural. Sometimes, it’s not always the best way.

As a firm, what we try to do is help an organization answer fundamental questions about itself. To make sure there is a reason behind what they do and how they do it. And whether that reason makes sense or adds value. We ask questions to get clarity.

If you aren’t clear on who you are as an organization and what promises you are making to prospective students or customers, then those people will make their own assumptions, for better or worse.


Image by d-art-studios

We use human-centered design methodology to get to the root of an issue. We help organizations bring clarity to their brand promises, ensure delivery of those promises across every touch point and help them learn to assess the on-going ability to deliver on those brand promises. And make adjustments as market conditions change.

We call organizations who can do this “human-centered, experience-driven organizations.”

This process requires curiosity, objectivity, and empathy, with the goal of making intentional, meaningful change. It’s not always easy, but it works. It’s a bit like therapy. Like Phil Connors working his way through his endless number of Groundhog Days. Eventually he gets it right. And our clients do, too.


Image by HERO design

(Header image by Montygog)