One week during the summer of 2005, Steven found himself simultaneously writing (and in a few cases, ghost-writing) strategy for McKinsey, Deloitte, The Cartoon Network’s Futurama, Lockheed Martin, Harvard professor and author Clayton Christensen, and Burton, a prominent snow board maker. That week he had an epiphany. The through-line for all his work was an idiosyncratic viewpoint about the broader experiences organizations wanted people to have. For the first time, this realization went beyond conventional and calculated sales and marketing machinery to increase product and service consumption and into holistic examination of experiential ecosystem design. In the decade before that, Steven was finishing school as a first year guinea pig at University of Iowa’s Literature, Science and the Arts interdisciplinary program which allowed students to design their own curricula. Steven chose to focus on the escalating tensions between Genetics and Theology. Upon graduation, he wrote for Morningstar, Inc. and then later co-founded Gorilla, a Chicago-based internet commerce agency. Steven has ‘shoplifted’ post-graduate degree work in psycholinguistics from Northwestern University, marketing strategy from the University of Chicago, neurobiology from MIT, and behavior sciences from Stanford University. Today, Steven runs CX Pilots, a consultancy providing organization transformation counsel to professional services firms who want to become more experience-led.
How would you define HX and why it is important to your life’s work?
HX to me is a barely mappable genome capable of plotting the seemingly boundless and completely subjective array of stuff that drives people to be, do, make, see, say, think, and feel the way they do. The more we understand this HX genome, the more meaningful connections we can help make to increase ‘net human flourishing.’ It is important to me and my work because the goal in all that my company does is to help each person and organization become the very best version of themself/itself through a systematic focus on the experiences of all human beings involved.
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