Creating a Culture of Collaboration

How might we better connect social services to employment services at the Montcomery County Jobs Center?


The Challenge
Administrators in Montgomery County, Ohio wanted to bridge the gap between social services and employment services at the Montgomery County Jobs Center. Annually, 500,000 people use the Jobs Center to receive benefits, but only 50,000 people accessed the center’s jobs services. By connecting more customers applying for benefits to employment services, the administration hoped to reduce the overall reliance on benefits in Montgomery County and improve the quality of the local workforce.


The Approach
We partnered with Montgomery County Job & Family Services (MCJFS) to build a staff-led initiative for interdepartmental collaboration that would improve customer outcomes.


The Details
Our work included:

  • Engaging a core team of 30 Job Center staff across multiple departments and leadership roles
  • Going deep with over 30 interviews, engagement sessions, and observations with MCJFS leadership, frontline staff, and customers
  • Coaching four teams through implementing prototypes


The Impact
The ideas that emerged through MCJFS –a staff cross-training program called “The Amazing Case”, a new Customer Host staff position, and a room makeover to simplify the form retrieval process – not only addressed pain points to vastly improve the customer experience, but built trust between different organizational silos, JFS leaders and frontline staff.


Montgomery County Jobs & Family Services
Montgomery County Commissioners


Organizational Change



Organizational development
Process design and facilitation
Team building
Capacity building
Strategic problem-solving
Qualitative research
Prototype implementation
Idea generation



2015 – 2016

I have re-invented my “why”, which has allowed me to expand on the services that I can provide a client. I have re-focused my position here, knowing that each day I have an opportunity at making a difference in someone’s life.


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