Human Design has hired Christof Meyer as chief strategy officer to add more human insights, depth, and inspiration to its work, co-founder and CCO John Weiss announced today. Christof’s hire also marks a change in how Human will define itself going forward: The agency is making strategy a core competency - its third along with creative and communications. As a result, it is growing its employee base, moving into a larger space and repositioning itself as a brand transformation studio.
In the role of CSO, Christof will implement a long-range growth strategy for Human, serve as the chief strategy resource for all projects and direct and inspire a smart team of design-thinkers. As the first step in that initiative, he will expand the agency’s research capabilities and hire additional talent to support the agency’s research-based approach to client problem-solving. He will bring over clients from his independent consultancy, provide strategic recommendations to existing Human clients and guide the firm’s strategy as it adapts to manage its recent and rapid growth.
“I’ve followed Christof’s impressive work for years, and now the stars have aligned to get him on board,” CCO John said. “Early on, Human was primarily known for its savvy integration of technology and design, but as our client list has grown, we’ve realised that business leaders need more than just great ideas and beautiful design - they need to have confidence in our ideas, and for this they increasingly rely on the kind of research that the strategy world provides. Christof has done this for some of the biggest and best companies in the world.”
Christof is an integrated strategist-designer who has key client expertise in financial service innovation, new product development and consumer research. He began his career as an innovation specialist at Prophet in Richmond, Virginia, where he conducted qualitative research and innovation workshops. As his career progressed, he branched out into quantitative segmentation and naming strategy and split his time between San Francisco and New York. Working his way up to practice head, he started the Financial and Institutional Clients Practice at Egg Strategy before launching his own studio with a roster of financial tech and consumer clients.
Among his career highlights: helping a mass CPG company create, model, test and roll out five successful $100-million businesses simultaneously; working with a financial-services company to evaluate the impact of a more human and empathetic sales force, and creating a new-to-world bakery brand from the ground up.
Boulder-based Christof is also an Infantry Officer in the Army National Guard, and he was impressed by Human Design’s unique strategy of hiring and encouraging specialists. He says the agency builds an A-Team - a term borrowed from the military - to work on each assignment.
“If you’re only bringing six people on a project, they all have to be very good at what they do,” Christof explained. “We only staff someone on a job if they’re exactly what the client needs, and everyone’s personality and past experiences are a critical part of the staffing conversation.”
Christof is Human’s first-ever CSO, and the strategy practice is expanding from two to four employees. The emphasis on this discipline is a key part of their growth plans - as is their decision to move into a new office with double the square footage. Both practical decisions flow out of their commitment to strategy as a core tenet of their business.