Org Lifecycle

Working with technology is not a quick win. It takes takes time and patience over many years. This how we view the people we work with and the change they are trying to enable

The phases we describe below are intentionally abstract, as they represent the common mindset, focus, and potential pitfalls that individuals and organisations face during their journey towards implementing people-first solutions. These solutions can take various forms, from spin-out ideas within large organizations to newly-formed enterprises with the seed of an idea for positive change.

Regardless of the specific form, people involved in these solutions experience the same range of emotions and biases, such as optimism, despair, excitement, disappointment, and uncertainty. By understanding and acknowledging these phases, we can better equip ourselves to navigate the challenges and capitalise on the opportunities that arise during the journey towards creating sustainable and impactful solutions.

The seeds

We consider seeds to be the beginnings of potential action - ideas or challenges that can lead to positive outcomes for customers, employees, or the wider community. Opportunities for growth and improvement are constantly emerging around us, but not all of them are worth pursuing. The challenge is to identify which seeds will provide the most value with the least investment.

In the seed phase, we help people to navigate this challenge by exploring the seeds that have emerged and evaluating their potential. This process involves understanding where the seeds came from, who they affect, and how they can be leveraged to achieve positive outcomes.

By the end of this phase, you will have a clear understanding of which seeds to prioritise and which to keep on the back burner for future consideration.

Test the environment

Once you have a clear understanding of the seeds you want to plant, the next phase is what we call "test the environment." During this phase, you'll need to understand what the optimal conditions for nurturing early growth are. This can involve asking questions like:

  • Who are the right customers for my product/service?

  • What kind of team do I need to build to execute my vision?

  • What partners and suppliers do I need to collaborate with?

  • What infrastructure and resources will I require?

  • How can I balance financial sustainability with the social or environmental impact I aim to create?

While it's very rare to have all the answers at this stage, it's important to stay open-minded and be willing to experiment with different approaches. You may encounter setbacks or obstacles along the way, but these can also provide valuable learning opportunities.

Our role during this phase is to help to identify and design experiments that can test different hypotheses and assumptions. We also provide support to execute those experiments and document the insights and learnings that emerge from them.

By the end of this phase, you should have a clear understanding of what a successful version of your people first solution would look like in terms of its target customer base, intended impact, and resource requirements. This can serve as a useful guide for the next stage of development.


After testing the environment in the previous phase, it's time to focus on nurturing the seeds in that environment and bringing all aspects of the idea to life. As the idea begins to take shape, unexpected challenges will arise. Successfully dealing with these challenges by adapting and further testing will be crucial to this phase and to strengthening the overall essence of the solution.

While it can be tempting to move quickly and implement many tasks at once, the key to success in this phase is finding the right balance between learning and action. It's important to stay focused on the essence of the solution and to constantly reprioritize tasks based on their effectiveness.

During this phase, we provide support on production work and serve as a scalable set of resources that allow the organization to pivot and validate the essence of the solution. Having been involved from the early phases, we also serve as a useful sounding board as unexpected challenges arise.

By the end of this phase, you can expect to have answers to all the key questions you started out with on this venture. You will have created a new organisation, solution, department, or team that is starting to gain traction and success, even though there are still areas for improvement.

Careful growth

The seeds have sprouted, and the first leaves have emerged in all directions. It can be tempting to grow quickly and take in as many nutrients as possible, but it's essential for a people-first organization to reflect on what growth is needed and focus on effective and impactful growth in the right areas to ensure the best chance of thriving sustainably.

Our role during this phase is to help organizations instill best practices, explore new or refined customer groups, and hire and educate new employees on how to facilitate effective growth.

It's important to remember that growth isn't just about increasing profits or size, but about making a positive impact on your customers, employees, and the wider community. By focusing on impactful growth, you can achieve a more sustainable and effective solution that can thrive in the long term.

By the end of this phase, the purpose and direction of the solution should be clear to everyone involved, and the solution should be running efficiently. While you may not be at the ultimate thriving version of yourself yet, the path towards that goal should be clear, and everyone involved should be working towards it with a shared sense of purpose.


You've made it to where you wanted to be, although it may not look exactly as you envisioned it when you started out. The journey to get here was time-consuming, required a lot of hard work, and a great deal of learning. But hopefully, it was worth it.

However, just because you have arrived at your destination, it does not mean that the journey is over. The focus now is on enabling more positive change and ensuring that you can weather any storms that may come your way. As the environment around you continues to change, it's essential to remain vigilant and adaptable. Prioritize exploration, research, and innovation. Keep a close eye on employee and customer satisfaction, keep reevaluating the partners you use, and don't let things slip.

At this stage, our role is to design ourselves out of helping you. You should be well-equipped to handle everything yourself and have the necessary resources. However, we'd like to stay in touch and be a valuable sounding board. We can use our network to help you find new staff and customers.

By the end of this phase, you should be close to achieving your purpose and having a significant impact. However, the landscape may have changed so much that your solution is no longer needed. What's clear now is that you're ready for something new, a change is coming, and you're moving on to the final phase.

Endings and new beginnings

One certainty in life is that everything will eventually come to an end. While this may be unavoidable, it's important to consider how we want things to end and plan accordingly. Throughout all phases of the process, it's important to think about what success looks like, when we've achieved our purpose, and how we can give back to others who are following in our footsteps. It's also important to consider when it's time to call it a day and move on to something new.

By focusing on the legacy of what you've created and planning for a successful end, you can avoid losing sight of your purpose and prevent things from spiralling out of control. It's important to aim for a strong finish and take everything you've learned into your next venture.

Our role in this final phase is to help you reflect on the journey, celebrate your successes, and plan for a successful exit. We can also help you leverage your network and connections to find opportunities for giving back and transitioning into something new. By the end of this phase, you'll be able to confidently close this chapter of your life and move on to new endeavours with a clear sense of purpose and direction.

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