Talent Map in Power BI by Matt Smith for our Design Practice at OST

Build In Resilience

Christy Ennis-Kloote
2 min readMar 17, 2021

During the pandemic of 2020, insecurity was evasive especially for empathetic innovation and design teams with work based on a changing market. Consumers and businesses held on to what they had as we all waited for some vision of an end so we could breathe a sigh of relief. This macro-scale of disruption has permanently changed industries and amplified demand with a synced reset. Successful teams build-in resilience to manage unpredictable impacts of shifting demand–large and small. See below a hint to some practical insights, tools, and techniques (from personal success and failures) to grow your team at a time when others are cutting.

Even when changes are outside of a design team’s control, focus on what is in your team’s control:

  • Plan talent flexibility into design development and how to shift to opportunity. Lay contingency plans in your network and seed value of design to teams that could be your tomorrow but not your today.
  • Reduce hesitation and friction for new types of engagements by demonstrating through small experiments. Having shared experiences builds belief in what could be from new roles to new work.
  • Build up reserves beyond your team’s long-range measures and regularly diagnose the team’s health and ability to recover. A team already behind in their goals takes longer to recover.
  • Experience develops intuition but long-range visibility to predict what’s coming makes the unknown less abstract. Bring others along by mapping what you see.

No plan is perfect. There will always be the unknown, so lead with confidence leaving just enough room for the unknown.



Christy Ennis-Kloote

Local UX Leader and Managing Director, Experience Design @Argenta Park Kalamazoo, MI