As The Garage Group leans into its next phase of growth, we are thrilled to announce the promotion of Grace Cho to Head of Lean Research as well as our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) Ambassador! We sat down with Grace to reflect on her last 2 years at TGG, and to learn what drives her conviction for the future.
Tell us about the past 2 years at The Garage Group. What have you learned? In what ways have you grown?
I think I’ve stretched myself and grown so much in my time here more than I have in any other role. Previous to TGG, I was on our client’s side of the business, so I did not have any first-hand experience in client services, having only worked alongside agency and consulting partners.
One of the benefits of working at a small company is that you get a lot of freedom and flexibility to experiment and try new approaches, methods, and ways of thinking about client challenges. So with this flexibility, I would say one of the biggest ways I’ve grown is approaching challenges like an entrepreneur/start-up founder. We talk a lot with our clients about what it means to hustle like an entrepreneur, and we definitely live and breathe that internally as well.
This definitely did not come easy to me in the beginning because I was used to operating with a fixed process – which is not always a bad thing – but I let this limit my thinking in a lot of ways. Once I was able to let that go, I realized there are so many different ways to solve problems. By asking questions the way innovators do, I have been able to build strong relationships with clients, and help them solve problems in ways they weren’t currently thinking about.
How has working at TGG shaped your understanding of what it means to operate with courage?
When I think about operating with courage, it means it’s OK to not always know the answer. Instead, I try to shift my thinking and questioning to “I don’t have the answer but how do we figure it out?” I am definitely not perfect at this (because I love being the person that has all of the answers!), but I recognize that I can’t be the expert all of the time–but, what I can do is ask questions and learn.
I’ve learned how to lean into my curiosity as a strength, which has helped me better understand the range of client challenges we tackle. I think approaching challenges with curiosity allows for a deep level of empathy as well — I can put myself in our client’s shoes and ultimately feel like an extension of the team.
What are you looking forward to in your new role as Head of Lean Research and as TGG’s DEIB Ambassador?
As Head of Lean Research, I will be spending my time searching for new and cutting edge approaches to help solve tough business challenges, operationalizing the way we bring relevant research to our work, and ultimately helping teams deliver consumer-driven solutions.
I am also very excited to be championing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging efforts across all aspects of our TGG business as the DEIB Ambassador. Growing up as an Asian-American female, diversity, representation, and inclusion have always been top of mind and extremely important to me, both from a personal and professional perspective.
At TGG, we see firsthand the impact that diversity can have on driving meaningful change and innovation. In this role, I will be working to build a process that ensures diverse voices are increasingly heard, represented and reflective of the world we live in. There is still work to be done and I am so excited to continue on this journey!
If you need a partner to help you redefine the Jobs to be Done available for solving by your brand, category or portfolio, or need to rebuild your innovation pipeline in line with changing consumer behaviors, get in touch with The Garage Group. We help corporate leaders have the courage to uncertain strategy and innovation challenges via startup-inspired approaches. Get in touch with us >>>