Approximately 61% of women are planning a significant career change post pandemic, according to a recent Forbes article, which says: “Women are emerging from these unprecedented times with a career shift on their minds, and one in four are planning to set up their own business.”
According to Lisa Thee, the Lead of Data for Good Practice at Launch Consulting, “It’s exciting to see how many mission-based companies will transform the tech landscape over the next decade as more voices are represented in leadership. Companies who have focused on profit only, are finding that it is not a zero-sum game anymore.”
Thee herself is no stranger to female leadership. In 2018, she left an 18-year career working for multinational corporations to launch her own social impact SaaS company Minor Guard, a safety-focused AI software startup that helped scale a cybersecurity AI company to a $40M valuation and influence the cell phone industry to make the internet safer online for children.
“As a working mother and technology company executive, I was on the fast track to burnout,” Thee says. So she shifted her priorities and changed the focus of her career from “success to significance” and joined Launch Consulting.
Why Launch? “People. Positivity. Purpose-driven,” Thee says. At first glance, these words may not seem so scintillating, but when melded together as one, they hold enormous power. The power of uniting these words has been embraced by Launch, a 600-person Veteran-owned small business that serves as “navigators in the age of transformation.” The proof is reflected in the companies that Launch has worked with: AT&T, Disney, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Starbucks.
Thee’s background as an entrepreneur — along with many of her colleagues who have also been founders with successful exits — provide experience that enables Launch to help companies “focus in immediate and incremental value, learning and adapting, and the right people and partners to drive innovation.”
“People, positivity and purpose-driven are the principles of Launch and the ground upon which it has built success for so many companies,” Thee says.
Launch’s Data for Good Practice helps the world’s most novel firms improve digital safety, increasing representation for diversity in STEM leadership and demystifying Artificial intelligence (AI).
The growth of companies, coupled with the advancement of technology happening at such a rapid pace, has made it difficult to predict and even see the effects that these elements have on humans. At Launch, that is one of its main focuses.
“We are obsessed with the human impact of the work that we do,” Thee says.
For example, Thee is working with a medical research institute to “define a product roadmap for a startup to accelerate AI decision support tools for doctors in clinical settings to improve care.” Part of this includes reducing bias in models to “ensure they perform as well on a middle-aged man in India as they do for an elderly woman in Indiana.”
The work she and her colleagues do is to “help people go from an idea to having a service blueprint of how to get there. Today’s companies do not have a shortage of vision, but oftentimes there is a shortage of knowing how to get there.”
To help companies navigate through the complexities of everyday life and the usage of their products and services, as well as unexpected interruptions like the pandemic, Launch created a methodology it calls Experience Design Engineering™ (XDE™). XDE helps companies fundamentally change the way consumers engage, experience, and interact with brands across every touchpoint in the connected ecosystem — physical, digital, in-store, online, mobile, wearable and Internet of Things — across the entire lifecycle.
Remember the Magic Bands that Disney created that gave it a way to collect data about various elements in the park? “We designed and developed the system that made the data from MagicBand actionable,” Thee says. “It is examples like that where we go in and help companies innovate so that they can build a better future for themselves and their customers.”
That’s where Launch comes in: “We help companies find wisdom in the oceans of data and leverage everyone’s unique talents,” Thee says. “AI ethics is one of the large challenges of the next decade as machines expand their footprints in daily life.”
Though AI simplifies lives and makes it more convenient, it is important that we, as Thee shares, “accelerate diversity in all areas of leadership and product development.”
To guide people and companies — and provide insight into where the future takes us — Launch has unveiled an innovative 2021 podcast series that focuses on (1) making smarter choices in a rapidly changing world, (2) investigating the challenges of being at societal and business crossroads and (3) finding opportunities that arise out of disruption — such as elevating the human experience and evolving the businesses and technologies that power the age of digital transformation. Here is the Navigating Forward podcast URL: bit.ly/3bzy16M.
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