I grew up in Holland, MI. When my ninth grade teacher gave us the assignment to write about a possible career, I wrote about the profession of an architect. It stuck with me. When my family moved to Southern California, I finished high school and applied to architecture schools.
Soon, my restlessness kicked in for the first time. I was eager to go beyond the four walls of architecture and learn about urban design and master planning. I accepted a role as a forward planner with K. Hovnanian Homes, a national residential real estate developer. Over the next eight years, I led the forward planning department and then served as a profit & loss executive overseeing project teams with responsibilities ranging from land acquisition to customer service.
When the real estate market found itself in deep decline, I underwent a career transformation by becoming a licensed financial advisor with Waddell & Reed and then Merrill Edge. I learned the value of acting as a trusted advisor to clients who were looking for blueprints to make their financial dreams a reality. This experience helped to inform much of my approach to consulting today.
In 2013, I was recruited by a regional real estate development firm, Storm Western Development, to help lead several new projects in Southern California. In 2014, I joined the leadership team of Visioneering Studios, a national family of architecture, real estate development, and construction firms. Most recently, I served as the VP of Strategic Design overseeing strategy, story, and business development for the studios.
Additionally, I have served over seventeen years as an associate pastor where I helped develop and communicate organizational vision and strategy through leadership and teaching.
Currently, I serve as a Brand Consultant with Ideation Consultancy, an idea-execution company that hustles with disruptive people & their world-shaping ideas by co-creating custom solutions that deliver remarkable impact at the intersection of purpose & profit.
I work with visionary leaders passionate about impact and intent on transformation.
You know them - these are the ones who are leading the organizations, movements, experiences, products, and services that change the way people live. But the truth is that many of them feel frustrated, isolated, and stuck without a roadmap to future.
Here's the realization I have learned about leadership - leaders who want to lead organizational transformation must also undergo personal transformation.
If this resembles you, I can help you redesign the future - whether it’s becoming the next best version of yourself, transforming your organization, or catalyzing a movement of change in society. (For me, it’s most fun when it includes all three.)
I do this by designing strategies for transformation - those that have the power to change how you envision, lead, and communicate. I always take a people-led, purpose-driven, and vision-focused approach - thinking holistically and empathetically.
Visionaries who work with me feel that their frustrations are heard and understood, are equipped to communicate a focused vision, and are armed with a roadmap to lead change that makes an impact.
With transformation design, I help visionaries redesign the future with
- ORGANIZATION STRATEGY - Its sobering to realize that what brought you success today will not bring you success tomorrow. Your organization has a lifecycle that requires both the repositioning of today and the creation of a new tomorrow to avoid decline, and ultimately, death. As an Organizational Strategist, I help you redesign your organization and business models, products, and services which are redesigned to create innovative value propositions and transformative customer experiences.
- BRAND STRATEGY - Your brand is much more than flashy design or a well-written story. It’s about the emotional resonance people have when they experience your brand, products, and services. As a Brand Strategist, I help to advance and scale inspiring visions into a remarkable brand through effective brand development, communications, and creative services.
- COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY - Transformational leaders are the ones who know how to move people along on a path from vision to implementation. They are the best at telling persuasive stories that greet people with empathy and launches them into a preferred future. As a Communications Strategist, I help you compel your audience in seasons of change - whether it is a single, inspiring moment or mobilizing people consistently over time. Working with you to lead better, we can help your organization overcome the barriers that stand between your today and your vision for a better tomorrow.
- WORKPLACE STRATEGY - The great companies focus on both the customer experience and the employee experience. They understand that their cultural values should determine how they design their environment, but also that their environment has the power to shape their culture. As a Workplace Strategist, I help you align the story of your organization with your workspaces with strategies that inform space planning, interior design, environmental design, architecture, and landscape architecture.
As a speaker, writer and podcaster, I am passionate about sharing stories of transformation.
As keynote speaker, I am frequently called upon to speak to audiences around the nation to challenge paradigms and explore how design and leadership has the power to transform people, organizations, and societies. Using storytelling and research, I am passionate about delivering messages that do more than just inspire audiences but catalyze them to live different.
My Speaking Topics include -
- The Architecture of Transformative Experience - This talk explores how an organization can design and deliver experiences for their employees, customers, and partners that more than merely memorable - but are truly transformative by changing the way they think, work, speak, and live.
- The Leader as the Cultural Architect - this talk explores one of the most important roles of a leader, that of a cultural architect - one who envisions, designs, communicates, and leads to a better future for their organization.
- A Transformational Leader is a Transformed Leader - this talk explores the idea that in order for a visionary leader to transform their organization, they must be personally be transformed themselves.
- Hell in the Hallway - this talk is for frustrated visionaries who are stuck in the space between vision and fulfillment in their personal, professional, and corporate lives. Using storytelling and design principles, I provides strategies on how to take a vision from an idea to implementation.
I have had the opportunity to speak at the following conferences, corporations, and churches;
- Duarte, Inc. in Sunnyvale, CA
- Story Gathering in Nashville, TN
- AIGA West Michigan in Grand Rapids, MI
- River Valley Conference in Apple Valley, MN
- Influence Conference in Anaheim, CA
- Collyde Summit in Parsippany, NJ
- Forum for Theological Exploration in Los Angeles, CA and Atlanta, GA
- 7th Street Church in Long Beach, CA
- Fountain of Truth Church in Fontana, CA
- Celebration OC in Brea, CA
"Steve’s talk inspired the shop in a way no other guest speaker has. His content was smart, he was funny, and he brought fresh thinking to design principles that inspire the solving the universal human need for connection.”
"We were excited to have Steven speak at STORY to a room full of almost 1,000 artists, dreamers, and storytellers. We knew he'd be great, but he far exceeded the expectations of our team and our attendees. Everyone was blown away. People were clearly moved by his talk, which is rare with a room of sometimes cynical but highly creative people. He has been repeatedly named as one of our most-loved speakers, and I can't recommend him any higher."
"Steven is a winsome, passionate and insightful presenter who connects well with his audience. His talk to our gathering of church leaders from around the nation was highly rated by our participants."
In 2017, I launched The RESHAPED Podcast which is dedicated to helping vision addicts embrace the space between vision and fulfillment.
Each episode of RESHAPED features conversations with visionaries who tell their stories of how the things they have shaped have ended up reshaping them. Past guests have included Hugh Weber, Scott D. Anthony, Propaganda, Charles Lee, David Burkus, and Harris III.
I would love to connect with you as your embark on your own journey of transformation.
For inquiries about consulting, speaking, writing, or guesting, find me on social media, use the form below, hit me up via email at email@example.com or reach out by phone at 562-972-1024.
Let's redesign the future...together!
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