This year, 2019, marks BLOOM’s 5th year in business as a strategic design boutique consultancy. The consultancy was born as Business Design Co, in May of 2014 in Philadelphia, but has always been based in Detroit. In 2018, we created the brand, BLOOM Strategic Design Co., or simply BLOOM. In honor of our milestone birthday, this article is dedicated to explaining the BLOOM story.
What We Do
We consult, design, and facilitate training and strategy sessions that help organizations build innovation and creative capacity rooted in human-centered design thinking and lean business principles. The goal is to ultimately help our clients make a more meaningful impact for the people they serve, by developing their own internal methods for repeated innovation and creativity.
The BLOOM Story
The metaphor of a tree used to describe my work was an epiphany moment for me after going through industrial designer, Ayse Birsel’s Design the Life You Love process. The process itself was transformational, as is the intent of design processes, however it allowed me to gain more clarity around the benefit of my work. That clarity led me to create a deeper meaning and share aspects of the process people could connect with.
The name BLOOM further resonated after I went through the transformative process of completing graduate school, earning my Strategic Design MBA through Philadelphia University, and launching a consultancy that I didn’t quite feel ready for. After a series of deep introspection through Aryse’s design process, combined with my own reflections, the tree stood out as the appropriate metaphor for my life. It also connected my last name (“Burch”), in the sense that it is a type of tree when spelled differently (“Birch”).
The Tree Metaphor
I was in fact a tree. Trees are strong and beautiful, yet adaptable, and long-lasting, often weathering all kinds of harsh conditions. Trees need little to survive because they are aware that their original source of life comes from a higher power.
With that revelation, I sought to shift my consultancy to achieve my life’s work and to create a business based on my greatest talents, some of which include empathy, connectedness, and future vision planning, coincidentally, some key principles in the creative design process as well.
In thinking about the blooming process of a tree, flower, animal, insect, or even person, it’s apparent that we must all go through some sort of transformation or change to get better and evolve. BLOOM is a process, like design thinking, and further, a metamorphosis that needs to take place in order for significant growth and change to take place. This is what happens in our lives as we grow as humans and what we desire for the work we pour our lives into. This is the exact purpose of BLOOM.
Today, I love helping organizations use human-centered thinking to create their own meaningful connections and design the desired future of their organizations, by assisting them in moving through their own transformation as part of our BLOOM creative process, allowing them to Seed, Sow, Cultivate, and BLOOM.
Through years of work experience and collaborating with many client partners, including W.K. Kellogg, Kresge Foundation, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, Lawrence Tech University, and interior design studio RL Concetti, I’ve developed a system of shared values that also align with core design principles.
We are highly focused on the people we serve. Our research methods seek to understand our clients’ needs at deep levels and build authentic connections to add sustainable value for stakeholders.
All of us are better than one of us. We seek to create diverse and inclusive experiences that align missions and identify new opportunities together.
Design is a strategic tool and pathway to creative thinking, making new connections to product differentiation, and accelerating change for innovation.
Old models of thinking and doing no longer work. We approach challenges with a fresh perspective, beyond the status quo, driving forward toward a better future together.
It’s a Process
With these principles guiding us, I am constantly reminded that our life and work is a process. In order to BLOOM, we must plant seeds in the form of taking actions each day that lead to the growth, desired change, and outcomes we are working toward.
What seeds are you planting today towards the future state of your business or organization? How can BLOOM help?
“You will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water. You will yield your fruit in season; your leaves will not wither and whatever you do will prosper.”Psalm 1:3