Reuben Png | IndegoX

Reuben is the CEO and Founder of IndegoX, a consultancy that specialises in Design Thinking to approach businesses from a different perspective and build in empathy in organisations. Reuben shares about the challenges of growing a team, the importance of rest, and the delight of bringing "aha!" moments to clients.

1. What's your story?

I’ve had a highly varied career, working in a neuroscience lab, architecture studio, software design team and even started businesses including a social media agency, cafe and an e-commerce site. Yet one thing has always rung true: putting people first and understanding their needs.

So I founded IndegoX in 2018 to help organisations, systems and people get unstuck. We use Design Thinking, which is an innovation framework that puts empathy for people at the heart of how we redesign systems, products, workflows and even workplace culture. Since then we have helped to change mindsets and culture in many (confidential) places, redesign experiences and create new business models for an amazing list of clients.

2. What’s the most satisfying part about what you do?

In our work we see lots of transformation through the design process, yet the most rewarding form of transformation is when we see old mindsets change and become open to growth. It’s thoroughly satisfying because it’s the hardest thing to change and clients often feel it is impossible within their organisations. Some clues that this is happening might be when people finally start to feel safe enough to share their thoughts, ideas and challenges in front of leadership, or when “aha!” moments of clarity bring breakthrough to struggles that were previously insurmountable. I truly believe that if mindsets are transformed positively (over products, services and systems), then culture will indeed eat strategy for breakfast. 

Even though it will work us out of a job, our heart is to see sustainable innovation in an organisation, long after the consultants (like us) have left the building. 

If mindsets are transformed positively... then culture will indeed eat strategy for breakfast. 

3. What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced and how did you move forward? 

I used to think that finding projects to work on was our biggest challenge. However after 5 years I can say that the biggest challenge has actually been growing from a 2-person setup into a larger team. They say that complexity hits when a team grows beyond 4 people, and that has truly been my experience. I made many mistakes after we added more people to the team, realising that new structures for communication, vision, roles (and more) were critically necessary. 

The first thing I had to do was gain awareness of the problem and it impact it was having on everyone in the team. This was not an easy process and emotions ran high. We organised retrospective meetings to make a space to talk about the challenges we were facing, get as much clarity as possible, and then figure out a way forward. I think this feedback process has to be a constant regardless of how well we are doing, because leaders will always have blind spots.

4. What's the best piece of business advice you would like to share?

As a leader, maintain your time and commitment boundaries to ensure you get enough rest. Rest is not just sleep, but can also relate to moments where you are not thinking about work in order to recharge mentally, spiritually and physically. In the midst of a growing team and increasing busyness with projects, I discovered that I was lacking rest and started to behave reactively instead of strategically. I was anxious about many things because I felt like I was doing everything poorly. 

After coming back from a holiday where I took a week off, everyone noticed changes in me. It quickly dawned on me that I functioned much better after rest. So I’ve made quite a few changes in the past year to carve out more rest in my life, and this has immediately brought about many improvements already. Being rested helps you do better work!

So, do yourself a favour and get rested.

Rest is not just sleep, but can also relate to moments where you are not thinking about work in order to recharge mentally, spiritually and physically.

5. How has working with Harvest Accounting and using Xero impacted your business / life?

I love that Harvest Accounting is able to troubleshoot any issues with my numbers because they have full visibility via Xero. So it has made life much simpler with regards to keeping our records tidy. I also love how responsive they have been with my queries, so I have confidence that they will be able to help me resolve any accounting related issues!

6. Shameless plug for your business:

With over 18 years of experience in solving challenges relating to humans, systems and services, we have successfully helped to bring clarity, confidence and new mindsets via a proven and rigorous design process. Our work has translated into the development of new automated products, positive workplace culture, improved alignment in organisations, user-friendly applications that work more elegantly and even new business models. 

So if you are facing impossible challenges that involve staff, technology, customers, service or communication, come and have a chat with us to see how we can help!