transformation by design

What we do

Design Thinking and Creativity

In an era of work that’s being called the “4th Industrial Revolution” and the “Era of Creativity”, innovation and creativity will be a part of every employee’s job description. Catalyz enables your organization to make and sustain this transformation. From leading Innovation Bootcamps to developing custom innovation catalyst training programs, we work with you to build the foundation of a culture that embodies the mindsets and behaviors of human-centered design and equips participants with a toolkit for Creativity, Communication, Collaboration, and Critical Thinking.

High Performing Teams

There is a wide body of evidence based research on what makes some teams more effective than others- through workshops and consulting we introduce teams to a set of shared vocabulary and concepts inspired by research from Harvard, Google and others to help them set up new teams, workgroups and steering groups to work more effectively and leverage the full potential of all individuals.  

21st Century Leadership and Leading Change

Our Change Agent Training equips and enables participants to lead change for themselves, their teams, and their organizations. Our 21st Century Leadership Training supports leaders in developing talent and building teams in the modern workplace.  All programs are grounded in evidence based approaches and focus on a human-centered approach that build soft skills such as empathy, experimentation and effective communication.  

Culture and Employee Engagement

In an increasingly competitive marketplace for top talent, companies are being evaluated on their culture, core values and investment in positive work environments and employee experience.  We’ll work with you to ensure that your employee experiences from onboarding to career development and performance reviews are relevant to how we work today and authentic to your brand.  We can also work with you to develop programs, experiences and a work environment that differentiate your company and help you engage, attract, and retain top talent.

How we do it

Consulting and Coaching

Catalyz offers coaching and consulting to leaders and teams. We can help you think through challenges and opportunities around leading change, developing cultures of innovation, developing strong teams and leadership practices. We offer evidence based tools, research and frameworks to support you, in addition to extensive practical experience in these areas at multiple prior companies.  

Experiential Workshops

Catalyz offers workshops and experiential learning programs that introduce shared vocabulary, mindsets and tools to participants that support leadership, high-performing teams and design thinking cultures. Our programs are grounded in evidence based approaches and reflect established and emerging research from academia and corporate research studies, as well as practical case studies and a focus on application in the workplace. Our learning programs are hands on, interactive and combine experiential learning exercises with group discussion and reflection.  

Design Sprints

Interested in bringing a human-centered design approach to your product, program or service? Catalyz can design and facilitate a design sprint for your team- we’ll help you get out of the building and talk to real users/customers, identify key needs, insights and opportunities, and quickly bring ideas to life through rapid prototyping and testing.  

Training Programs

For teams and organizations ready to make a deeper commitment to capacity building and transformation, we offer longer format training programs that create a deeper level of engagement and mastery of concepts than a single workshop.  We can create custom programs to help your teams learn how to lead human centered change, become design thinking catalysts for your organization, or offer a cohort based leadership program to develop skills around developing individuals and leading high performing teams.  

Our Approach

We believe that design thinking is not just a process for innovation, but offers a different way of communicating, collaborating, and creative problem solving together.
We believe in modeling the behaviors and mindsets we are teaching.  We approach conversations with clients and partners through the lens of “How might we…” and “Yes, and…”
We believe in evidence and measurement based approaches, and incorporating ongoing evaluation of participants to gather data on what’s working and where learning experiences can be continuously improved.
We believe in a hands on, experiential learning approach. We don’t just teach design thinking, we teach design DOING.


Transformation Design Firm

Catalyz was founded to help individuals evolve their cultures, leadership practices, and mindsets because we believe that organizations don’t transform; people transform. Our team has over 40 years of collective experience leading teams, leading change, and empowering individuals to design and deliver innovative products, services, and workplaces. We believe that successful change is rooted in strategy and culture and that by engaging both employees and leaders in adaptive leadership and the human-centered approach of Design Thinking that organizations can move forward in bold new directions.

Ben Grossman-Kahn

Ben Grossman-Kahn

Co-Founder & Principal

Ben Grossman-Kahn is Co-Founder of Catalyz, has an M.Ed in Learning, Design and Technology from Stanford, and is a graduate, former lecturer and coach at the Stanford d.School. Ben has 8 years of experience consulting, facilitating and leading innovation engagements, and has built programs and teams at Fortune 500 firms, nonprofits, and educational institutions. Ben was an early member of the Nordstrom Innovation Lab and founding member and Director of the Nordstrom People Lab. Ben is Co-Founder of the Seattle Design Thinking and Innovation Collective, and is a frequent guest presenter at the University of Washington.
Zachary Smith

Zachary Smith

Co-Founder & Principal

Zachary Smith is Co-Founder of Catalyz and is a technology, design thinking, and innovation leader with more than 19 years of product development and client services experience, serving a wide range of industries and organizations including startups, Wall Street banks, automotive manufacturers, enterprise software platform providers, creative studios, and consulting agencies. Zachary is a Partner with Social Venture Partners and is Co-Founder of the Seattle Design Thinking and Innovation Collective.
Tim Schmuckal

Tim Schmuckal


Tim has worked as an attorney, strategist and executive in the technology and creative service industries for over 20 years, with a common thread of helping people and organizations thrive. He brings an operator’s perspective on mergers, with experience at Expedia and Digital Kitchen LLC on merger negotiations and integrations. He serves on the nonprofit Boards of Washington Lawyers for the Arts and the Live Music Project and continues to grow and learn through his work with Ben and Zach.
Melissa Chevalier

Melissa Chevalier

Creative Director

Melissa has worked as a designer, creative leader and advisor with nearly 20 years experience within Fortune 500 companies, design agencies and nonprofits. She has a passion for bringing out the best in people and has influenced team culture for companies like Apple, Publicis and Citrix. Melissa has helped develop and design custom playbooks, toolkits and on-boarding resources that have transformed teams best practices, innovation engagements and sustainable workflow for numerous organizations.

1122 E. Pike St. #767
Seattle, WA 98122

+1 (888) 322-8259


transformation by design

 Copyright © 2017, Catalyz LLC, All Rights Reserved