Derek Last and Kirstin Hammerberg want purpose to have meaning

The former Sid Lee strategic leaders have launched a consultancy to help organizations align their goals with the experience of employees.
Tangible - Group Shot

Derek Last and Kirstin Hammerberg are placing a big bet on their transformational and cultural expertise by departing from their senior strategy roles at Sid Lee to launch a new consultancy aimed at international clientele.

The practice, which the pair has named Tangible, aims to help international clients connect their organizational strategies and purpose with how their employees work. This will, they believe, create a more harmonious experience for those employees and one that better represents what an organization is working toward externally. The goal is to make the purpose of an organization more meaningful to that organization, and to help it activate toward that purpose from the inside, out.

And the right time to execute on that goal happens to be right now, in the wake of a global pandemic that has shifted the way every organization is working, as well as what employees are looking for when they seek employment, or expect from their current employers if they are planning to stick with them.

“The success of any business is made possible by its people,” explains Hammerberg. “That’s top of mind for every organization today as they compete to be a preferred destination for talent. Especially now, with open talent models and marketplaces coming to the forefront, it’s never been more important for organizations to design for what makes them distinct and turn how they work into their greatest competitive advantage.”

“There has obviously been a change in the relationship between people and brands and organizations, specifically in the world of employment,” adds Last. “And there is a clear and obvious opportunity for us to strike out on our own and really build a proposition that looks at starting to actually bring strategy to life, specifically inside of organizations, so that internally you can start to talk about the proof points, stories and new ways of working that are emerging, and make them work for people.”

The pair say they will work with businesses to address the “complex” challenges that they face by tapping a network of global talent as needed on a per-client basis. The talent in their network possess a wide array of skills and abilities, spanning “strategy, people, brand, creativity and innovation,” according to Last. Tangible is already working with a number of clients, in partnerships with several global advertising and marketing agencies, and with a leading management consultancy, he says.

“We really wanted to focus in on enacting purpose and bringing things to life, versus strategy for the sake of strategy,” notes Hammerberg. “We’re two strategists who got really tired of strategy.”

Prior to launching Tangible, Hammerberg had held several senior strategic and leadership roles at Sid Lee, most recently as its global VP of business and experience design. Prior to Sid Lee, she worked with global design and innovation consultancy Idea Couture on brands including Adidas, Lululemon, Samsung and Deloitte. Last, meanwhile, most recently was group strategy director for brand innovation with Sid Lee. He has held senior roles at Deloitte and Idea Couture prior to Sid Lee, and has worked on clients including FedEx, HTC, Novartis, Scotiabank and the Government of Canada.