Organizational Design   |   Appreciative Inquiry   |   Workshop Facilitation

Course: Leadership by Design
Instructor: Sharon Green, PhD, Organizational Consultant

Team: Donna Kwok, Joyce Lu, Dane Wetschler, Amanda Zielinski

KARTMA Street Cafe is a social enterprise developed by Downtown Streets Team (DST), which empowers individuals to take an active role in transitioning out of homelessness by working on beautification projects in their communities. Team Members who graduate from the DST program can apply to work at KARTMA where they can build additional skills for long-term employment success.


Our team was tasked with helping KARTMA prepare to expand operations from their first location in Sunnyvale, CA to other locations in the Bay Area. Using appreciative inquiry to draw out the positive elements of the organization, we developed recommendations to improve the organizational health of KARTMA so they can sustain their business and continue fulfilling their mission.


Traditional problem solving takes a deficit-approach. Appreciative inquiry focuses on drawing out the positive core and potential of organizations so people can grow towards a promising goal. It also allows us to design organizational practices and management processes that align with KARTMA’s mission.



1) Identify the positive core of DST to leverage for KARTMA’s culture
2) Gain insight into goals, strengths, and organizational needs
3) Uncover bright spots and areas of opportunity for solutions


Stakeholder interviews
Observations at team meetings & cafe
Co-creation session with stakeholders


DST Positive Core:

KARTMA Employee Journey:


We outlined recommended touchpoints for the Employee Journey that are designed to:

1) Support employees in leadership and professional development
2) Build a culture at KARTMA based on the positive core
3) Support KARTMA’s operational success


Increase integration with DST at team meetings and scheduled visits to KARTMA

Get to know applicants better with refined application and inclusive interviews

Introduce orientation day that celebrates new and current employees

Develop manual and have existing employees provide training at new locations

Regular quarterly check-ins with employees for feedback and goal-setting

Celebration with cake, coffee and gift to formally close employee journey

We presented the client with a starter kit to assist in the implementation of our recommendations.