How this President and Founder used her strategic plan to change everything

Oct 23, 2020 | Hot Mess Hotline Podcast, Strategic Planning

If you’ve ever asked yourself, “so why is strategic planning important to a small company?” Sam Julka has your answer.

As the President and Founder of DORIS Research, Sam’s own strategic plan called for specific service areas with a focus on 1-on-1, in-person, in-depth interviews and research to work with clients on their employee  culture within the context of their physical space.

And then we all went home.

And we all stayed home.

For months.

For a company like DORIS Research, and many others, one of the top frustrations of small business owners during this time was that there was no end in sight. So when the Sam began to reassemble the DORIS team after their furlough, they turned their attention from physical spaces to what was happening as employees thought about re-entering them. They researched who was ready to come back, and who wasn’t. Who felt comfortable, and who didn’t.

As Sam discusses in this episode of the Hot Mess Hotline, she and her team had to figure out how to use tools in new ways to bring the same level of communication they had with clients previously. They invented a new service area.

The team was able to do this thanks to a long history of working well together, collaborating, and communication.

So why is strategic planning important to a small company? Because sometimes, having a great plan in place means you have the ability to change it all on the fly.

Listen to this episode now.

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About Sam Julka

Sam Julka is the President and Founder of DORIS Research. Sam started her career in Indianapolis as an Interior Designer at RJE Business Interiors, before returning to school in 2010 to earn her MFA in Design Thinking & Design Research from Indiana University’s Herron School of Art and Design. In 2012, Sam founded DORIS Research.  Since the founding of the company, Sam has worked with hundreds of organizations in many different industries across the country. In 2019 DORIS franchised and now operates as a franchise in three locations across the country. Sam is an alumnus of the forty first Stanley K Lacey (SKL) executive leadership class and was named a member of the IBJ’s Forty under 40 class in February of 2019.

About DORIS Research

Organizations enlist the help of DORIS when they are trying to work out complex problems related to their workplace. The types of problems DORIS helps organizations sort out include things like how to make their physical space work better for their employees in the future, how to make change to enhance effective collaboration or simply just understanding through data what isn’t working with their space today and what might be a better solution in the future.

DORIS is comprised of a team of design researchers who use a unique design thinking process that enables the solving of the challenges similar to those listed above. DORIS actively involves many employees while following their 8-step process that begins with listening and leads to a  plan with continuous engagement throughout the process. Because of their inclusive methods at all levels of the organization, leaders are empowered to make meaningful decisions and enact innovative solutions for their organizations that will last long into the future. Learn more about DORIS here.