What We Do:
Big brands hire Mindhatch to solve complex business problems, boost customer value, and improve team performance through our customized solutions:
- Drive business growth with Innovation Strategy
- Turbocharge employee engagement with human-centered experiences
We believe your path to business growth is through your people, employees and customers alike. We’ll achieve growth together, all while keeping a keen eye toward inclusive and equitable practices, with our exclusive combination of: Design Thinking, Organizational Improv™, and Innovation Facilitation.
Who We Are:
- We believe that all work is human-centered and that people are your business, which is why we help organizations put the human experience at the center of their thinking.
- We inspire, play, experiment, and take a “yes and” approach to everything we do. At our core, we are born testers of assumptions, lovers of the counterintuitive, and embracers of change.
- We are one of the rare firms that is equal parts business and creativity, strategically balancing real-world requirements with “what if” possibilities.
- We are dedicated to creating equitable and inclusive work cultures where difference is viewed as the asset that it is, where all voices are welcome, and—as a direct result—businesses and individuals thrive.
How We Work:
When you work with Mindhatch to innovate and grow your business, you will work directly with Founder & CEO Coonoor Behal. As a boutique consulting firm, we provide a high-touch, “white glove” service to our Innovation Strategy clients because we walk the talk and work in a human-centered way.
While we may bring on excellent subject matter experts to provide additional capacity to your project where needed, Coonoor will always be your main advisor.
We love evidence and the data is in: diverse, equitable, and inclusive practices are better for innovation and bottom lines. That’s why we make sure your products, services, and experiences are designed to avoid unintended consequences that diminish market success.
About Coonoor Behal
Mindhatch Founder & CEO
Coonoor is a constellation thinker, interdisciplinarian, dot-connector, capable of seeing things others cannot – all while bringing the rigor of social science to business innovation.
She’s motivated by her past experiences with broken organizational ways of work. She learned from the inside how politics and bureaucracy can get in the way of producing quality work, and how the old “factory” mentality at the office doesn’t help people to thrive or create the best conditions for innovation. Her mantra then and now is “It doesn’t have to be this way”. She firmly believes that if any of her previous workplaces had systematically used the people-centered methodologies she now uses with Mindhatch, she may never have quit working in those organizations.
Lucky for you, Coonoor did quit and founded Mindhatch in January 2014 after a career that spanned the entertainment industry, international nonprofit development, and Big 4 strategy consulting.
Design Strategy Expert & Consultant:
Coonoor is an innovation strategist with deep expertise in using human-centered and design thinking methods to make sure organizations are solving the right problems with their customers’ needs in mind. Coonoor brings rigor and intellectual tenacity to areas that all too often seem too “squishy” or “ambiguous” to be prioritized. She guides her clients to question their underlying assumptions, test hypotheses, and use empathic methods to more deeply understand their customers – resulting in improvements to both solution development and organizational culture. She excels in evangelizing human-centered design ways of thinking and building the capacity of organizations to adopt them. When working within teams and organizations, she deftly persuades and inspires newcomers to the methods.
- Deloitte GovLab Innovation Fellow
- StartingBloc Social Innovation Fellow
- Adaptive Path Service Design Intensive Certificate
- Design Thinking Instructor: School of Visual Concepts, O’Reilly Media, General Assembly
- EPIC Ethnographic Research Design and Innovation Certificate
- Agile Certified ScrumMaster, Scrum Alliance
- Board of Advisors, Tombolo Institute at Bellevue College Design Thinking Program
Organizational Improv™ Expert:
Improv comedy has been a big part of Coonoor’s life for over a decade, both as a performer and teacher. She first made her mark as a performer and instructor at Washington Improv Theater in Washington DC and by being accepted to the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre’s Advanced Improv Program in NYC. Now in Seattle, she performs and teaches with Bandit Theater and maintains a connection to Washington DC by serving on the editorial staff of The Cherry Swamp (think The Onion for our nation’s capital).
When she was a strategy and innovation consultant at Deloitte Consulting, her colleagues learned of her after-work hobby and began asking her to facilitate improv workshops that improved critical business skills and/or made existing professional development content more lively and memorable. Coonoor continues this work via Mindhatch, now trademarked Organizational Improv™, a name that reflects this valuable convergence of art and business.
- 13 years performing and teaching
- Applied Improvisation Network, Member
- The Cherry Swamp, Editorial Staff
- Creative Problem Solving Institute, Conference Presenter
- George Washington University’s School of Business, Guest Lecturer on “Improvisational Leadership”
- Creator of FIVE THINGS by Mindhatch creative improv facilitation game
Coonoor is expert in getting groups to work collaboratively and creatively to achieve consensus. She favors experiential activities to get people thinking and producing in new ways, often utilizing her Organizational Improv™ methods. She brings both the creative know-how to get groups to think outside the box, and the business strategy chops so that smarter decisions are made. As a facilitator, Coonoor believes her primary role is to create the conditions for business success.
Speaker & Thought Leader
Coonoor inspires action and shares her expertise through interactive talks, panels, podcasts, expert interviews, and writing. She is most often sought out to share insights on topics such as workplace innovation, creativity, leadership, DEI, and organizational culture.
Coonoor is the author of “I Quit! The Life-Affirming Joy of Giving Up,” a book that helps readers rethink and reframe quitting by sharing stories from everyday people who summoned the courage to quit things in their lives. It is strongly influenced by her own journey from being a risk-averse perfectionist to someone willing to take big swings in life, love, and labor. The book has been endorsed by luminaries like Adam Grant and Sonora Jha.
Coonoor values positive, productive change in the world that helps those left most vulnerable by the systems we have created. She supports her clients’ DEI efforts with White Privilege, Black Power, an innovative improv experience that helps audiences explore difference. She is a frequent donor and volunteer for causes deemed “progressive” in America.
Career Background & Education
A quick scan of Coonoor’s circuitous educational and career trajectory might inspire disbelief or even confusion – she is aware, but also proud! But it all makes sense to Coonoor that she pulled the various threads of her background into Mindhatch. To wit…
- Her BA in Journalism from New York University (summa cum laude) makes her a very adept asker of probing questions to get to truth, which is essential when she conducts research interviews with customers and stakeholders.
- Her MA in International Relations from The University of Chicago made her an excellent critical thinker, for example to be able to clearly identify correlation v. causation. Ever the interdisciplinarian, Coonoor chose this MA program because it allowed her to take classes across all graduate courses, including law, business, religion, anthropology, etc…, making her an excellent dot-connector. Coonoor’s graduate studies allows her to bring the much-needed rigor of the social sciences to business innovation.
- Her brief, unhappy stint in the world of international nonprofit development opened her eyes to the importance of organizational culture, and made her aware of her natural instinct to listen to end users and solve the right problems creatively. Without knowing it at the time, Coonoor was trying to do human-centered design!
- Her longer, happier tenure in Big 4 management consulting exposed her to methods such as Design Thinking and Organizational Improv™. It also fueled the fire she has to find better, more efficicent ways of working and doing innovation, ultimately leading her to found Mindhatch.