Bamboo Crowd | Faces of Innovation: A Conversation with Change-Maker Lisa Lindström about the Magic of the Design Industry

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There’s a range of scenarios where a larger consultancy firm can successfully acquire a smaller, independent agency. But what is gained in the move, and what, if anything, is lost? 

After running Doberman in Scandinavia for over 20 years, Lisa recently brought her agency under the umbrella of EY, a global consultancy firm that aims to build a better working world by realizing business transformation through the power of people, technology, and innovation.

Lisa is a true change-maker in her field and she attributes her motivation to do this work “because I’m obsessed by all the opportunities that sit in our society, in our people, in individuals, and in organizations. But also in the assets that we have around us. And when we act upon these opportunities and apply it  to societal change, I think it’s magical,” she said.

For Lisa and Doberman, the move to join EY would allow her to continue this magic at a broader scale.

We decided that the tools that we have, using technology and design to amplify product development, should be used in more places in the world. By teaming with EY—who are already working with very interesting business opportunities across the globe—we felt that our arena to explore what creative people, like ourselves, could do to create more impact becomes much, much bigger.

Lisa Lindström, Chief Experience Officer EMEIA & CEO Doberman Nordics at EY

Now at EY, Lisa acts as a design and innovation ambassador, to connect people across the EMEIA region around a shared mission of making the world a little bit better.

Bamboo Crowd Distills a Myth

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At EY, Lisa seeks to hire even more great people to join her. “When you’re on a mission to find the best people in design-driven innovation, design-led transformation, you need to have the people who know and can translate exactly what you are after,” she said.

“I look for people who have matured in a design capacity,” Lisa said. She explains how, early on, this experience was limited to a user experience perspective, which was then followed by a shift toward customer experience and service design. “And now, we’re into the next stage of really having system-led and design-infused sustainable innovations. That is for a mature person, but also for someone who is anchored in themselves,” Lisa said.

While EY’s acquisition of Doberman unlocked that “magic,” it also presented a bit of a head-scratcher to Lisa in terms of how it might complicate her hiring goals.

I wouldn’t say it was the challenges that led us to team up with a recruiter like Bamboo Crowd, but the opportunity to work with someone who can challenge you, represent you, and who can attract the right candidates. Because in the industry [we are faced with the question of:] Is it really true that an independent firm could flourish in an EY context? That is going to be top of mind among the people that we’re looking for.

Lisa Lindström, Chief Experience Officer EMEIA & CEO Doberman Nordics at EY

The question at hand: Can a successful independent agency blossom within the context of a larger consultancy or corporate? We believe the answer is a resounding yes. Likewise, the talent who come onboard have an opportunity to flourish as well, especially when an agency is working with the right recruitment partner. 

“Teaming up with someone who could represent you in a good way, and explain that this could actually be a pretty interesting hypothesis, is one of the core reasons for teaming up with Bamboo Crowd,” Lisa said. “Also, having more dedicated time to really find the smartest [people] and not to forget that challenging us sharpens us to have better discussions with the candidates.”

“I think you need to have your own tone if you’re going to flourish in a complex world, and also in a bigger system like the one we are in now with EY. Yet you need to bring in originality,” Lisa said.

Lisa shares a notable explanation of originality: “For me, originality is being close to your soul. It’s being very free in your mind. Some people call that creativity. I think it’s more spiritual, more close to craft and connected to your own beliefs. I would call this person a grounded designer with aspirations to [have] more impact in the world.” 

Lisa mentions another attribute of the EY and Bamboo Crowd partnership: discussion.

It’s a personal experience, [it’s] dedicated people who resonate [with you]. It’s different if you have someone who delivers compared to someone who discusses. I think Bamboo Crowd is tuning into your personality and understanding that and just having a good discussion.

Lisa Lindström, Chief Experience Officer EMEIA & CEO Doberman Nordics at EY

In partnership with Bamboo Crowd, Lisa has been recruiting people in Finland, where hiring is off to a good start. “We are in the first stages and already meeting candidates from Finland,” she said. Next, EY and Bamboo Crowd will expand the recruitment to Germany, France, and Spain. 

As designers, “I think it is our responsibility to build brilliant, beautiful, meaningful products and experiences that can move people. Just because it’s important and responsible work, doesn’t mean that it’s less joyful or less attractive. I think it’s the opposite,” Lisa said. To us, this really is the magic of our industry, and the benefit of carving out your space within it.

Advice for Applicants: Just Be You

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Are you interested in joining EY Doberman as they ramp up hiring in the EMEIA region? We’ve got some helpful tips from Lisa herself.

“I’m always looking for personalities. I think it’s more interesting if you have reflected on who you are and your own drivers, what you bring to the table and how you collaborate and what you need to flourish. Rather than your academia, or academic level- life experience,” Lisa shares. “Openness and willingness to share who you are, for me, is so much more important.”

On the day that we’d spoken to Lisa, she had interviewed a candidate that morning. The candidate was very clear on the things she was looking for. “Instead of trying to fit into my puzzle, she was explaining what part she wanted to play. And that makes it easier for me to see if there’s a good fit or not,” Lisa said.

“So, I would say, be you,” Lisa said.

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“Our company is a bunch of super ambitious and kind people that want to achieve substantial change. I think it’s fortunate to be with people who are wanting to build something larger. I also think it’s super fascinating to be in a company like EY who respects design to the extent that I feel that we are respected,” Lisa said.

I don’t think that we can talk about our uniqueness, but I think that we can talk about our extreme will to use design and innovation and technology to make a real impact. And that takes you a long way.

Lisa Lindström, Chief Experience Officer EMEIA & CEO Doberman Nordics at EY

Do you represent Lisa’s definition of originality? Are you ready to be YOU? Be sure to reach out to Drew Welton to learn more about current open positions at EY. Designers, job-seekers, or just plain curious people can also register for the insider scoop here to learn of other opportunities, no matter who or where you are.