Speaking & Writing

We do a lot of both: sharing experience design insights with so many institutions. For a deeper dive into our human-centered point of view, check out our blog as well.


Beryl Institute Guest Blog Series

July 3, 2019

This Isn’t Rocket Science. In Fact, it’s Harder.
Members of the Beryl Institute are asked to provide their point of view on a variety of topics centered on Patient Experience. This is our second such article; the first was posted in January 2018.

Rocket scientists have the luxury to focus for a period of time on delivering a payload through the atmosphere and into outer space. But as complicated as this problem may be, it is a definable problem, with physical laws that determine constraints, that has a defined beginning and a definite end. In our realm, individual behavior is situational, truth is subjective and emotion and urgency trump all. Click on the article title above to read the entire text.


Igniting Courage Podcast Episode 34

June 24, 2019

Mark VanderKlipp, Courageous Thinker and Partnership Seeker
Igniting courage podcast is hosted by Anne Bonney, the leadership coach who ”pushed Mark off the ledge“ and helped him understand that a new life was waiting just around the corner. Today, Mark’s in a place that he never could have anticipated when he made his big move to a new career path in June of 2016.

Truly, the Universe is tuned to those who are ready to listen to it. We hope you’ll take time to listen to this podcast, then subscribe to Igniting Courage!


Beryl Institute 2019 Annual Conference

April 3-5, 2019
Dallas, TX

Read a summary of the presentation on our blog

Only You Can Prevent PX Wildfires
Systems Thinking and the Patient Experience

In 2017, the US Forest Service spent over $2.5 billion fighting fires. As a nation, we tend to focus on what the flames destroy: property, habitat and communities. But research suggests that proactive steps can mitigate the damage caused by naturally occurring wildfires: focusing on the fuel, rather than the fire, is key. The fires that PX professionals fight every day are the outcome of decades of cultural undergrowth, providing ample fuel: siloed organizations, disconnected communication systems, unclear lines of authority, disagreement on shared measurements. Cost constraints and compliance requirements only add to the tinder-dry conditions.

The victims? Staff, patients, families. The answer: systems thinking. Using examples from frontline experiences, presenters shared stories of patient experience in flames, their underlying causes and the systems that have been designed to prevent them.

Tiffany Fortin, Senior Patient Experience Officer, Munson Healthcare
Sheila Moroney, Patient Experience Officer, Hennepin Healthcare
Mark VanderKlipp, Founding Partner, Connect_CX


Pulse: Voices from the Heart of Medicine

April 1, 2019

“Caregiver Unaware”

Pulse is dedicated to telling the personal story of health care … by and for everyone — patients, health professionals and students of narrative medicine. Our story was accepted for publication, under the heading “Not Knowing.” We believe that harm can be informational as well as physical, and our story details one six-minute interaction proving our point.


Experience 50 Podcast

February 23, 2019

“Still Buzzing with Mark VanderKlipp”

Mark VanderKlipp shares his Experience 50 reality of pivoting to become a one-man independent consultant from the security of the President’s chair in an established design consulting firm.

Many midlifers, not just Mark, find themselves at the peak of their professional lives, having attained and then surpassed their initial career goals only to find that they are hungry (starving!) for a new challenge. Mark is not the first company man to want to try things on his own terms.

This is where things stand for Mark VanderKlipp two years after he made his pivot.

Incidentally, the original podcast was one of Experience 50s top 10 most downloaded episodes in its history!


Beryl Institute Encore Webinar

November 27, 2018

“Pit Crew: How Communication Fuels the Ambulatory Surgery Center Patient Experience”
Rated one of the highest sessions at the Beryl Institute’s 2018 International Conference, we were asked to present to a wider audience as part of Beryl’s 2018 Webinar series. Along with Tricia Wollam, PX Champion Co-Leader at the Copper Ridge Surgery Center (CRSC), Mark VanderKlipp reviewed the Healthcare Experience Design process and provided an update of the innovations that CRSC Champions have brought to their culture as a result of this initiative. 

Click here for an on-demand replay of the Webinar


Leadership Roundtable for Health Solutions

October 26, 2018
Houghton, MI

We were invited as guests to this roundtable discussion including leaders from across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula representing healthcare, insurance, education, government, philanthropy, social services, innovation centers and practitioners. This group has been meeting for three years - working together across geographic, competitive and disciplinary lines - to improve health outcomes in the U.P.; an excellent example of Collective Impact in action.

The discussion ranged from reducing hospital readmissions to creating a data-driven map of health and social services resources, from standardizing communications across EHRs to Advance Care Planning initiatives. Teams from this group of 20+ professionals work together to forward these initiatives throughout the year; the Roundtable takes place in October so that each team can report progress and receive feedback from the group.


Leadership at the Movies

October 25, 2018
Marquette, MI

Student-designed promotion poster

As part of the 4th anniversary of Invent@NMU, we delivered an encore presentation of this May, 2018 TC Chamber of Commerce event to students at Northern Michigan University and Marquette, MI community members. Using Marvel’s 2008 classic “Iron Man,” we engaged in an interactive discussion about leadership principles and entrepreneurial thinking, using design as the catalyst.

It was so well received, we’ve been asked to come back in Spring, 2019 to present to their Art & Design Department.


CS Mott Children’s Hospital CAN Conference

October 23, 2018
Plymouth, MI

“The Michigan Resilience Initiative: A Grassroots Child Sexual Abuse Primary Prevention Campaign”
Child Abuse and Neglect (CAN): Prevention, Assessment and Treatment 37th Annual Conference

Presented with Reggie Noto, MA, MSW, Michigan State University Office of the Provost, and Ginger Kadlec, Board Member, Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center (TBCAC).

Mark VanderKlipp, in his role as a Systems Practice practitioner, is working toward a research-based Public Will campaign as a contractor to the TBCAC. This was part presentation, part workshop where we facilitated a Q&A session for the 50+ participants of this breakout session. Their input was the basis for the beginnings of a systems practice process phase.


Beryl Institute 2018 Annual Conference

April 16-18, 2018
Chicago, IL

"Pit Crew: How Communication Fuels the Patient Experience"
A case study of the Copper Ridge Surgery Center patient experience process presented alongside  clients Gayle Bultsma, RN and LoAnn VandeLeest, CEO. 

“Patient Experience Roundtable: Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) Experience” 
Mark VanderKlipp served as event moderator to discussion groups totaling over 100 conference participants, each with an interest in ASC experience design. Participants were coached to develop topics based on thought starters, engage in discussion and present discoveries to the group.


Leadership at the Movies

May 31, 2018
Traverse City, MI

"Iron Man"
Hosted quarterly by the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce, this interactive event presents leadership advice through the storytelling arc of film. Connect_CX partner Mark VanderKlipp presented entrepreneurial leadership principles from Marvel's Iron Man (2008), one of his all-time faves.


Rotary Charities Professional Development Series

2017-2018
Throughout Northern MI

“Better Stories by Design: Crafting Narratives that Stick” – 
10+ workshops throughout Northern Michigan in 2017 and 2018

As part of NorthSky’s mission to provide support to non-profit leaders and staff, Mark designs, presents and moderates this interactive, 3-hour workshop. Participants receive instruction on story design process and concepts, then work individually or in groups on their own stories. Afterwards, those who wish can share their stories and be critiqued by the group.


Rotary Charities Systems Practice Curriculum

2017-2018
Traverse City, MI

Community Panel Moderation: 2017 and 2018 – Traverse City, MI

Systems Practice “Sherpa” Leadership: Homeless Youth Initiative (2017), Great Lakes Ecosystem Health (2017), Advocates for Healthy Communities (2018) and Waste Stream Awareness (2018)

Certified three times as a Systems Practice practitioner, Mark VanderKlipp uses design thinking to help visualize "Wicked Problems" as he leads groups through a 12-week Systems Practice curriculum, then presents Systems Thinking concepts to groups of community and nonprofit leaders from across Northern Michigan at the end of each learning cohort.


TEN: Tourism Excellence North Best Practices Mission

June 16-18, 2017
Traverse City, MI

Mark VanderKlipp partnered with client BC Hughes to plan, implement and facilitate an immersive mission to Traverse City involving tourism leaders from throughout Northern Ontario. We toured facilities, met with local movers and shakers, and experienced entertainment, civic and natural spaces in the full bloom of tourist season. As the official tour guide, Mark brought his perspective as an experience designer and 25-year local resident to the past, present and future of the region.


Rotary of Traverse City Luncheon Series

July 18, 2016
Traverse City, MI

“Changes in the Workplace: Millennials and Hope for the Future”

As a baby boomer, president of a design firm for 13 years and a father of two Millennials, Mark VanderKlipp was asked to share research and stories about his experience with hiring, mentoring, leading and raising representatives of this amazing generation of humans. 


Experience 50 Podcast

July 13, 2016

”Mark VanderKlipp’s Badass Midlife Pivot”

Mark discusses his midlife pivot, giving inspiration and advice to others feeling the urge to pivot in their profession or personal life. Did he suffer a midlife crisis? Hell no! He took control of his life, kicked convention to the curb and ordered himself a big cup of joy. Mark VanderKlipp will not just land on his feet, he’s headed for big things. He’s a badass, believing down to his bones, that at midlife he can do anything he decides to do.

At the top of his game,  Mark resigned from his position as president of a successful design firm without knowing exactly what would follow. What he did know was that he was ready to move on.