( ENSPIRE Business ) DEUIT Founder Isis-Rae Goulbourne Helps Businesses Adapt and Innovate
ENSPIRE Contributor: Abby Ladner
The success of many businesses today is contingent upon their ability to adapt. With constant new developments in technology and the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies have had to adjust rapidly to meet the demands of a changing world. Enter DEUIT, a design and innovation firm making companies “future-proof.”
DEUIT, founded by Isis-Rae Goulbourne, works with businesses and organizations to push the limits of their creativity and revitalize their company. Using their Empowered Innovation Model, DEUIT helps businesses collaborate and innovate to meet their biggest challenges. Read the interview with Goulbourne below to learn more about how DEUIT is transforming businesses.
What did you do before founding DEUIT, and how did that lead to where you are now?
Before DEUIT, I was working. Over the past 15 years, I have made it my personal mission to cultivate a well-rounded skill set. I’ve held positions in both the private and public sectors. Over my career, I’ve held roles in sales, marketing, communications, user experience/user interface, and product development roles. Before DEUIT, I had just returned to America as I was living overseas working to get a start-up off the ground in Jamaica, West Indies. I lived in Jamaica for 2 years, and upon returning to American in 2018 I was focusing on being a stay-at-home mom with my two small kids. In 2020, I began looking for work again. I realized that all of the large agencies I was applying to were not run by people that looked like me. I decided that I would rather work in the space I wanted, and build in the space, start my own agency.
What is the mission of DEUIT? Who do you want to help?
DEUIT’s mission is to help people “do the thing” that they have been putting off. Solve the problem, create the prototype, build the program, be creative, and innovate. We give organizations, teams, and people the tools to finally stop talking and just “DEU-it.” I want to help people push past their boundaries and take actionable steps towards their goals in a big way.
What are some signs that a business or organization would benefit from your services?
Design thinking is a problem-solving technique. Despite the title, it isn’t only helpful for designers. All great innovators across all industries have used it and continue to do so. It is a creative and iterative problem-solving technique that any company with a problem can use to come up with creative solutions that put people first. We not only use it to help companies to solve their problems but we also use it to create strategies and to develop technical products and solutions for our enterprise clients.
Could you tell me about your Empowered Innovation Model? How did you develop it, and how does your company use it to help businesses?
As an intuitive entrepreneur, it’s important to me to work from my heart space in an intentional and forward-moving way. I believe that my purpose on this planet is to build vehicles of empowerment for others. I developed the Empowered Innovation Model (EIM) to illustrate the interlocking elements that must work together for optimal innovation to take place within organizations. In our new reality, encouragement is no longer enough. We have to build.
As such, the three core areas within DEUIT all tie together from a space of empowerment.
In order to have strong teams, you have to have strong and healthy team members. This is where our one-on-one creativity coaching comes into play. Pushing the individual to see their worth, to see their creative abilities so that they can show up as their best and most creative selves empowered to push forward as a strong part of a larger team. Once you have a team of strong people, we can then move into the teamwork phase of the model, which now looks at how best these strong individuals can work together in the most positive and collaborative way—solving problems with Design Thinking techniques in a way that pulls out the best of the best in ideas. We must empower the team with these tools.
Once you have strong people and strong teams, we can then finally turn our attention to the organization and the overall strategy. Does it support this type of innovative environment? It all must work together but with a focus on empowering the people, teams, and organization to set up an ecosystem of true innovative and forward-thinking processes and talent.
Could you tell me more about the DEUIT team? Who makes up the team, and how do you all work together to transform businesses?
DEUIT is a completely virtual, minority, and women-owned, design, and empowered innovation studio. The team consists of developers, designers, researchers, workshop facilitators, etc. Depending on the solution that we are targeting, we bring on the talent to satisfy the job. One thing that I was realizing is that people are always having problems, and they didn’t know where to start with the solution. Our forte: identifying the need and bringing in the right people.
Your mission of building “future-proof” workforces feels particularly important in this time. How has your business been impacted by COVID-19, and how are you working to help other businesses adjust to the pandemic?
While DEUIT is a virtual agency, this new reality has forced even us to change the way we do business. No onsite workshops, client meetings, in-person networking, etc. Managing virtual teams and encouraging creativity and collaboration has become a challenge, especially as I am working with teams across various time-zones and internationally. Because everyone is working from home, the lines of what a “typical workday” is have all been blurred.
How can others adjust? Finding ways to pivot. Getting everyone adjusted to a virtual collaboration space takes time, but, with the pandemic, organizations had to adapt and interact very differently with their teams overnight. There are tools to take all of our onsite workshops virtually, and in some ways has made the workflow even more productive. Tools come into play that we never used before such as virtual whiteboards for brainstorming sessions.
Are there any other projects you’re working on right now?
I also own a second company called Little Black Boutique. We sell all black items that help people raise their vibration and find their higher self. We launched last week with a journal line. You can learn more about that company here.
With DEUIT, I want to empower companies to elevate and innovate in new ways. With Little Black Boutique, I want to empower people to connect with their higher selves and show up fully as themselves and connect to their higher self. My mission: continue to build ways to empower at all levels.
Goulbourne is pushing companies to improve their creativity, collaboration, and innovation to adapt to an ever-changing business landscape. Learn more about DEUIT and its services, visit their website here. Find them on Instagram and LinkedIn. To check out Goulbourne’s newest company Little Black Boutique, visit their website here.