Welcome to Switch
Switch Innovation Lab was born from over 40 years of collective experience working with organizations, teams and individuals to enhance communications, develop leaders, design environments, build brands, and nurture culture. Regardless of which conversation we were having, we were driven and inspired by the spark and light that moved across a person’s face at the point of insight — that magical moment when people were ignited by a question or comment and saw what was previously unseen.
We recognized the power and specialness of these moments and we have spent our careers working to understand how to make these moments happen more often. Switch Innovation Lab and our Switch Innovation Process was intentionally created to take all that we have learned about the optimal environment, process and accountabilities and offer those to our clients. Our goal is to help you, your team and your organization see differently, innovate, get inspired, get unstuck and move forward. We are passionate about producing light bulb moments.
To Joe Watson, problem solving starts with curiosity and hope. Both together create an environment for exploration that embraces the possibility of change. That’s when the real magic of problem solving happens. That’s when it’s possible to inspire a team or an organization to explore new ways of thinking. That’s when insight can strike, when the lightbulb moment can occur, when suddenly it’s possible to see solutions that had not been seen before.
In both temperament and training, Joe is ideally suited to help make those moments happen. A designer by background, he has spent his 20+ year career applying the principles of design thinking to a myriad of challenges. Curious, engaging, a natural listener and dot-connector, he has the unique ability to both encourage exploration and critique without conflict. His interest in people draws them out and makes them very comfortable opening up while exploring questions and ideas. Drawing from diverse interests and passions, including a lifelong study of music and martial arts (he is an Internationally certified instructor in Isshin Ryu Karate), he uses the power of story, analogy and metaphor to make the abstract more concrete, relatable and tangible.
A sought-after speaker, Joe has given numerous presentations on Design Thinking to organizations such as the EDGE Foundation, the American Society for Quality and the Cleveland chapter of the Society of Human Resource Managers. He has also spoken at the National Real Estate Investors Association Midyear in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the XMPie User Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada and the AIGA National Leadership Conferences in Miami, Florida and San Francisco, California.
And as a teacher, Joe has served as the Director of XMPie Cross Media Lab at the University of Akron where he taught MBA classes in cross media marketing and as an adjunct faculty member teaching senior level design classes at Cleveland State University.
Joe has long believed that curiosity, empathy and a designer’s inquisitive nature are the cornerstones of solving any problem, and through Switch, he brings that belief to organizations looking for solutions to challenges they have not been able to solve.
In Kathy Wilcox’s world, the most important question is often the one that hasn’t been asked yet. Because to Kathy, asking what hasn’t been asked is how you can move beyond the easy answers and start to get to the real insights – the ones that stop people in their tracks; that can catalyze, empower, elevate, transform. For organizations struggling to answer tough challenges, those are the insights that can propel them toward new solutions, new opportunities, new growth.
Kathy has always had an innate curiosity, which goes hand in hand with a natural, easy calmness. When a person is truly open to exploring any solution, there is very little that can ruffle them, and Kathy is the very embodiment of that openness: “yes, and…” is her frequent response to questions and suggestions. It’s in part a reflection of her personality and in part an indication of her skills as a researcher, strategist and moderator trained in appreciative inquiry. Kathy channels all of this into helping teams examine how they think, interact and behave, and develop new strategies that improve the dynamics, culture and performance of an organization. She will gently push them to build on the work they are doing, often seeming to be a step ahead of the conversation in the room as she helps make sense of even the most complicated people, ideas, structures, processes and situations.
With a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Kathy began her career in advertising as an account manager, where she discovered that her true passion lay in understanding and exploring the relationships that drove high performance. She received her Masters in Organizational Development from Case Western Reserve University. She is also certified in FIRO-B assessments and is a certified leadership and health coach.
Those who have worked with Kathy speak highly of her depth of knowledge, thoughtful empathy and ability to create an environment where people can feel comfortable pushing beyond their familiar patterns and habits to find and define their vision. It’s the kind of purposeful change that is the essence of the work she does at Switch.