Attracted to the human side of business, Donna enrolled in and completed an evening MBA program at Northeastern University while working full-time for the international engineering firm Chas. T. Main (C.T. Main International). She learned a lot in school and was able to apply and refine business theory in her day-job. She advanced rapidly, was able to consolidate marketing and public relations functions as a single integrated department, and reported to the President of this 2000-person international firm. Her boss, a retired General, proposed her to as the first female Vice President, in the firm’s hundred-year history, just after her 30th birthday. She was on the fast track.
Donna left the engineering firm so she could have more direct contact with clients and repeated this formula of hard-work and rapid advancement at a national architectural firm. Her work was very stressful. Many of the senior leaders of the firm were often critical of each other and were always jockeying for attention. Her work involved travel and long hours. Work days involved many long, boring meetings that wasted lots of time. In addition to wasting time in the long, boring meetings, Donna often felt lonely and unsupported at work. It felt like helping this company grow was more important than having children…and that doing both would be impossible.
Donna knew in her heart that work did not have to waste time, be lonely and boring, and that she should not have to choose between work and family. She began searching for people and processes that could make work better. She partnered with people at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who started the Space Planning and Organization Research Group (SPORG). This workplace research group was using various types of design games to engage ALL employees in the redesign of work processes and work settings.
Donna approached the LEGO Group as a partner to help commercialize design games. Working along parallel paths, the LEGO Group had already developed the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methodology. For Donna, connecting with the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methodology felt like a dream coming true. If felt as if the people at LEGO had read her mind and found a way to make sure everyone at the table participates equally and speaks directly, instead of beating around the bush.
In addition to games and processes that level the playing field, Donna, her colleagues and clients are interested in cross-cultural communication and have designed programs and events that bring people together to meet, exchange information and have fun. The 2013 Learning Exchange to the IBA Exposition in Hamburg. Germany is a current example of a program providing cross-cultural learning and exchange opportunities.
S&D Global Partners puts the heart back into the business environment with great enthusiasm .We create experiences that break down the barriers between people and make life productive, healthier and fun.