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Jeni Herberger

executive advisor, entrepreneur,
author, podcast host

About Jeni

Creatively disrupting the status quo

I teach corporate leaders and their teams how to transform their methods of approaching product development and marketing messages with the purpose of enhancing customer experiences from start to finish. Whether a big or small company, non-profit or for profit, the customer is at the heart of success.

In an organizational context, transformation is a process of profound and radical change that orients an organization in a new direction and takes it to an entirely different level of effectiveness. Because companies are often caught up in bureaucracy and ill-formed systems slowing down development and killing effectiveness, guidance from an outside source is necessary. That’s where I come in.

Read More

I’m not an engineer or a scientist. I don’t believe data is king (albeit, incredibly informative). I don’t like celery or walnuts. I am quick-minded, resourceful, and have an uncanny ability to simplify complex ideas and connect seemingly unrelated concepts. And yes, I consider myself creative, but I see all people as creative. Some of us realize it openly while others mask it in science and analytics.

My earliest experiences taught me ease with uncertainty, a propensity for risk, and an undeniable partiality for action. Some may call these attributes entrepreneurial; my dad called me a “hustler.” From the earliest days of my career, I’ve sought opportunities that most would label impossible or disruptive.

I started my first business at 14 years old, cleaning house for vacationing families on the beaches of Southern California. Not glamorous but far more lucrative than working at a nearby fast food joint. Entering UCLA’s bio-medical program at 17, it took me just a few short months to determine my predisposition for biology, analytics, and diagnostics didn’t necessarily lend itself to a career as a physician. Instead, a single photography class was the catalyst for my entry into design.

Photo shoots spanning the globe included motorcycles, cowboys, fashion, hockey, and more. In 1994, I transformed my design studio into a multi-million dollar staffing firm. I worked with Fortune 500 companies helping them build their marketing, design, and technical teams during the infancy of the information revolution.

The early years of the new millennium was a time of dramatic change in how rapidly consumers wanted information, new technology, and innovative products. Design teams began creating experiences not just visual communications and products. Design leaders were asked to bring their sensibilities to the table offering strategic insights at the earliest stages of innovation. Over the past two decades, I’ve worked with amazing individuals and organizations to disrupt the slow and painful efforts for change. Simply put, I used my ability to see patterns to develop methods for creating successful organizational strategies and transformative cultures rooted in design.

jeni herberger official logo 2 - Home
  • "Transformation is a journey without a final destination."

    - Marilyn Ferguson
jeni herberger profile website profile image 1 - Home
  • Consulting
  • Speaking
  • Stories
  • Events
About Jeni

Creatively disrupting the status quo

I teach corporate leaders and their teams how to transform their methods of approaching product development and marketing messages with the purpose of enhancing customer experiences from start to finish. Whether a big or small company, non-profit or for profit, the customer is at the heart of success.

In an organizational context, transformation is a process of profound and radical change that orients an organization in a new direction and takes it to an entirely different level of effectiveness. Because companies are often caught up in bureaucracy and ill-formed systems slowing down development and killing effectiveness, guidance from an outside source is necessary. That’s where I come in.

Read More

I’m not an engineer or a scientist. I don’t believe data is king (albeit, incredibly informative). I don’t like celery or walnuts. I am quick-minded, resourceful, and have an uncanny ability to simplify complex ideas and connect seemingly unrelated concepts. And yes, I consider myself creative, but I see all people as creative. Some of us realize it openly while others mask it in science and analytics.

My earliest experiences taught me ease with uncertainty, a propensity for risk, and an undeniable partiality for action. Some may call these attributes entrepreneurial; my dad called me a “hustler.” From the earliest days of my career, I’ve sought opportunities that most would label impossible or disruptive.

I started my first business at 14 years old, cleaning house for vacationing families on the beaches of Southern California. Not glamorous but far more lucrative than working at a nearby fast food joint. Entering UCLA’s bio-medical program at 17, it took me just a few short months to determine my propensity for biology, analytics, and diagnostics didn’t necessarily lend itself to a career as a physician. Instead, a single photography class was the catalyst for my entry into design.

Photo shoots spanning the globe included motorcycles, cowboys, fashion, hockey, and more. In 1994, I transformed my design studio into a multi-million dollar staffing firm. I worked with Fortune 500 companies helping them build their marketing, design, and technical teams during the infancy of the information revolution.

The early years of the new millennium was a time of dramatic change in how rapidly consumers wanted information, new technology, and innovative products. Design teams began creating experiences not just visual communications and products. Design leaders were asked to bring their sensibilities to the table offering strategic insights at the earliest stages of innovation. Over the past two decades, I’ve worked with amazing individuals and organizations to disrupt the slow and painful efforts for change. Simply put, I used my ability to see patterns to develop methods for creating successful organizational strategies and transformative cultures rooted in design.

jeni herberger official logo 2 - Home
  • "Transformation is a journey without a final destination."

    - Marilyn Ferguson
jeni herberger profile website profile image 1 - Home
  • Consulting
  • Speaking
  • Stories
  • Events
About Jeni
jeni herberger profile website profile image 1 - Home

Creatively disrupting the status quo

  • Consulting
  • Speaking
  • Stories
  • Events

I teach corporate leaders and their teams how to transform their methods of approaching product development and marketing messages with the purpose of enhancing customer experiences from start to finish. Whether a big or small company, non-profit or for profit, the customer is at the heart of success.

In an organizational context, transformation is a process of profound and radical change that orients an organization in a new direction and takes it to an entirely different level of effectiveness. Because companies are often caught up in bureaucracy and ill-formed systems slowing down development and killing effectiveness, guidance from an outside source is necessary. That’s where I come in.

Read More

I’m not an engineer or a scientist. I don’t believe data is king (albeit, incredibly informative). I don’t like celery or walnuts. I am quick-minded, resourceful, and have an uncanny ability to simplify complex ideas and connect seemingly unrelated concepts. And yes, I consider myself creative, but I see all people as creative. Some of us realize it openly while others mask it in science and analytics.

My earliest experiences taught me ease with uncertainty, a propensity for risk, and an undeniable partiality for action. Some may call these attributes entrepreneurial; my dad called me a “hustler.” From the earliest days of my career, I’ve sought opportunities that most would label impossible or disruptive.

I started my first business at 14 years old, cleaning house for vacationing families on the beaches of Southern California. Not glamorous but far more lucrative than working at a nearby fast food joint. Entering UCLA’s bio-medical program at 17, it took me just a few short months to determine my propensity for biology, analytics, and diagnostics didn’t necessarily lend itself to a career as a physician. Instead, a single photography class was the catalyst for my entry into design.

Photo shoots spanning the globe included motorcycles, cowboys, fashion, hockey, and more. In 1994, I transformed my design studio into a multi-million dollar staffing firm. I worked with Fortune 500 companies helping them build their marketing, design, and technical teams during the infancy of the information revolution.

The early years of the new millennium was a time of dramatic change in how rapidly consumers wanted information, new technology, and innovative products. Design teams began creating experiences not just visual communications and products. Design leaders were asked to bring their sensibilities to the table offering strategic insights at the earliest stages of innovation. Over the past two decades, I’ve worked with amazing individuals and organizations to disrupt the slow and painful efforts for change. Simply put, I used my ability to see patterns to develop methods for creating successful organizational strategies and transformative cultures rooted in design.

  • "Transformation is a journey without a final destination."

    - Marilyn Ferguson
Consulting

The only constant
is change

Digital transformation is the buzz, but it requires more than creating digital products and capturing user data. DIGITAL transformation is centered on enhancing the customer experience. DESIGN transformation is using human-centered, interdisciplinary processes that seek to understand and fulfill customers’ unmet or unarticulated needs. Analytics form patterns that reveal what customers want and allow brands to align with the customer’s values. It’s empathy that gives it meaning.

Read More

The top-level criteria needed for transformation led by design is an ethos of empathy toward your users, a spirit of collaboration, and a vision to tackle business problems as design problems. This approach often requires a radical change in an organization’s direction and leadership must commit to becoming design-forward in their practices, structural organization, and business strategies. Becoming design-forward means using design as an integrative resource to innovate more efficiently. Successful transformation demands building a roadmap and avoiding certain pitfalls.

There are five compulsory steps to radical change:

  • Purpose: how is customer experience defined?
  • Capabilities: what is the role of design within the company?
  • Organization: how are teams structured and do they operate cross-functionally?
  • Communication: how is knowledge shared between teams?
  • Process: does a shared design language exist?

Attacking these steps allows us to discover the shared basis and formulate a roadmap to creating a truly customer-focused culture to deliver what the business strategy requires for success.

“From the moment I met Jeni I knew she was one of those rare individuals who truly gets it. After speaking with her for just a few moments you’ll feel as if she’s been working in your department or company for years. She brings the right balance between business smarts and creative problem-solving.”
– Scott Wadler, VP of Creative, Custom Ink

“Jeni is a powerful force of knowledge, resources, talent, organization, enthusiasm and fun. She combines those attributes, and more, to produce quality, needed and desired, end results for her clientele.”
– Jeff Fisher, Engineer of Creative Identity, Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Consulting

The only constant
is change

Digital transformation is the buzz, but it requires more than creating digital products and capturing user data. DIGITAL transformation is centered on enhancing the customer experience. DESIGN transformation is using human-centered, interdisciplinary processes that seek to understand and fulfill customers’ unmet or unarticulated needs. Analytics form patterns that reveal what customers want and allow brands to align with the customer’s values. It’s empathy that gives it meaning.

Read More

The top-level criteria needed for transformation led by design is an ethos of empathy toward your users, a spirit of collaboration, and a vision to tackle business problems as design problems. This approach often requires a radical change in an organization’s direction and leadership must commit to becoming design-forward in their practices, structural organization, and business strategies. Becoming design-forward means using design as an integrative resource to innovate more efficiently. Successful transformation demands building a roadmap and avoiding certain pitfalls.

There are five compulsory steps to radical change:

  • Purpose: how is customer experience defined?
  • Capabilities: what is the role of design within the company?
  • Organization: how are teams structured and do they operate cross-functionally?
  • Communication: how is knowledge shared between teams?
  • Process: does a shared design language exist?

Attacking these steps allows us to discover the shared basis and formulate a roadmap to creating a truly customer-focused culture to deliver what the business strategy requires for success.

“From the moment I met Jeni I knew she was one of those rare individuals who truly gets it. After speaking with her for just a few moments you’ll feel as if she’s been working in your department or company for years. She brings the right balance between business smarts and creative problem solving.”
– Scott Wadler, VP of Creative, Custom Ink/blockquote>

< blockquote>”Jeni is a powerful force of knowledge, resources, talent, organization, enthusiasm and fun. She combines those attributes, and more, to produce quality, needed and desired, end results for her clientele.”
– Jeff Fisher, Engineer of Creative Identity, Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Creativity can be seen at the core of every human being and every new idea. It’s this nature that drives us in life and in business. When I speak, this theme is at the core of every topic: leadership, design, organizational effectiveness, design transformation, managing change, and life balance. My goal is to offer audiences an unforgettable experience and unprecedented insight into designing a reality uniquely their own.

Read More

“I’ll never forget watching Jeni on stage at Las Vegas at the HOW conference way back when and thinking, ‘This woman gets in-house and is inspiring a whole generation of designers.’ I decided then and there that I wanted to do the same. Thanks for inspiring me to push the envelope professionally and personally.”
– Andy Epstein, Director Studio Operations, Merck/Cella Solutions

“I thought you were a great speaker, funny and lots of great energy! You had a lot of great points on how to take control of your job and your destiny as a designer, I think everyone left that room with plans to make some changes that following Monday!”
– Chad Thompson, Art Director, Dell

“Jeni, you did such a great job providing a synopsis of each presentation and added clarity to each round-table discussion—and your passion for our creed is infectious.”
– Bryan Dilts, Creative Director, Rayment & Collins

“I was thoroughly motivated by your ideas. You were by far the most motivating speaker, with the most relevant information at the conference. Many people I talked with afterward expressed the same thing.”
– Ted Holladay, Creative Services Manager, CTB/McGraw-Hill

“I saw you speak and I was quite delighted. ‘Relieved’ really is an even better word because I knew that it was your session that I was going to come back from and have something legitimate and helpful to show for the time I spent.
– Emily DeGruchy, UX Cirector, Zearn

“Your session was fantastic! You were on fire! All pumped up with a room full of wide-eyed in-house designers gazing up at you. I can’t begin to thank you for your words of wisdom.”
– Gregg Carnes, Founder of Truh’st

“As a conference producer, I have asked Jeni to give workshops two consecutive years. Jeni is a pleasure to work with, both professional and enthusiastic as a speaker. Attendees have described her workshop sessions as the ‘best session at the conference’; ‘engaging and memorable’ and ‘made the entire trip worthwhile’. Jeni is an engaging and memorable speaker. Her energy is contagious and her insights are very valuable and practical.”
– Amy Kritzer, Senior Conference Producer, Institute for International Research

Speaking

Speak from the
mind & deliver
from the heart

Creativity can be seen at the core of every human being and every new idea. It’s this nature that drives us in life and in business. When I speak, this theme is at the core of every topic: leadership, design, organizational effectiveness, design transformation, managing change, and life balance. My goal is to offer audiences an unforgettable experience and unprecedented insight into designing a reality uniquely their own.

Read More

“I’ll never forget watching Jeni on stage at Las Vegas at the HOW conference way back when and thinking, ‘This woman gets in-house and is inspiring a whole generation of designers.’ I decided then and there that I wanted to do the same. Thanks for inspiring me to push the envelope professionally and personally.”
– Andy Epstein, Director Studio Operations, Merck/Cella Solutions

“I thought you were a great speaker, funny and lots of great energy! You had a lot of great points on how to take control of your job and your destiny as a designer, I think everyone left that room with plans to make some changes that following Monday!”
– Chad Thompson, Art Director, Dell

“Jeni, you did such a great job providing a synopsis of each presentation and added clarity to each round-table discussion—and your passion for our creed is infectious.”
– Bryan Dilts, Creative Director, Rayment & Collins

“I was thoroughly motivated by your ideas. You were by far the most motivating speaker, with the most relevant information at the conference. Many people I talked with afterward expressed the same thing.”
– Ted Holladay, Creative Services Manager, CTB/McGraw-Hill

“I saw you speak and I was quite delighted. ‘Relieved’ really is an even better word because I knew that it was your session that I was going to come back from and have something legitimate and helpful to show for the time I spent.
– Emily DeGruchy, UX Cirector, Zearn

“Your session was fantastic! You were on fire! All pumped up with a room full of wide-eyed in-house designers gazing up at you. I can’t begin to thank you for your words of wisdom.”
– Gregg Carnes, Founder of Truh’st

“As a conference producer, I have asked Jeni to give workshops two consecutive years. Jeni is a pleasure to work with, both professional and enthusiastic as a speaker. Attendees have described her workshop sessions as the ‘best session at the conference’; ‘engaging and memorable’ and ‘made the entire trip worthwhile’. Jeni is an engaging and memorable speaker. Her energy is contagious and her insights are very valuable and practical.”
– Amy Kritzer, Senior Conference Producer, Institute for International Research

Speaking

Speak from the
mind & deliver
from the heart

Past Speaking Engagements

Past Speaking Engagements

Stories

One Design Story
at a time

Design is more than a plan, process, or pretty picture. It’s a way of thinking and disrupting the status quo. Hear stories from the boldest influencers about design and how it shapes the world around us. Guests include Doug Powell of IBM, Mauro Porcini of PepsiCo, Maria Guidice of Autodesk, John Couch of Hulu, and more.

Design Story is a weekly podcast, airing on Thursdays. Season 3 airs in February 2018.
Stories

One Design Story
at a time

Design is more than a plan, process, or pretty picture. It’s a way of thinking and disrupting the status quo. Hear stories from the boldest influencers about design and how it shapes the world around us. Guests include Doug Powell of IBM, Mauro Porcini of PepsiCo, Maria Guidice of Autodesk, John Couch of Hulu, and more.

Design Story is a weekly podcast, airing on Thursdays. Season 3 airs in February 2018.

xCHANGE is a revolutionary movement supporting creative leaders as they transform their environments through design-driven business strategy. Top design executives, invited from Fortune 1000 corporate and agency art departments, will gather for a refreshing day of networking with peers as well as thought-provoking presentations from leading industry experts.

Interested in bringing a design transformation workshop into your organization?
Events

The intersection of strategy & design

xCHANGE is a revolutionary movement supporting creative leaders as they transform their environments through design-driven business strategy. Top design executives, invited from Fortune 1000 corporate and agency art departments, will gather for a refreshing day of networking with peers as well as thought-provoking presentations from leading industry experts.

Interested in bringing a design transformation workshop into your organization?
Events

The intersection of strategy & design

Contact Me

It all starts with hello