Autodesk Designs Effective Hybrid Work with MURAL and the LUMA System™️

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CHALLENGE

Autodesk makes software that helps their customers design and make a better world for all. When Autodesk made the decision to become a hybrid-first company, the goal was to bolster its reputation for innovation while continuing to attract top talent. Current Autodesk employees had expressed a clear preference for flexible work options, and the leadership team believed that attracting future talent meant not telling people where work should get done.

Rita Giacalone, Vice President of Culture, Diversity, and Talent Development at Autodesk, is very clear-eyed about the potential challenges of hybrid flexibility: “You need parity to the face-to-face experience to sustainably adopt hybrid working, so that being remote is not a barrier to productivity, inclusion, and belonging. And that requires a healthy work environment with a strong foundation of trust and safety.”

You need parity to the face-to-face experience to sustainably adopt hybrid working, so that being remote is not a barrier to productivity, inclusion, and belonging. And that requires a healthy work environment with a strong foundation of trust and safety.

Rita Giacalone
Rita Giacalone
Vice President of Culture, Diversity, and Talent Development
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Autodesk
SOLUTION

Fortunately, Autodesk had been investing in a strong foundation for inclusive collaboration for years. Discovered and driven by internal champions on the AutoCAD User Experience Team, Autodesk began adopting the LUMA System in 2014 — identifying the ability to turn a problem into an innovative, people-focused solution as a differentiator for its employees and software solutions. The LUMA System training program quickly scaled company-wide at Autodesk, creating internal champions in both everyday practitioners and certified facilitators. These experts apply the system’s approachable design thinking principles in meetings, customer engagements, and collaboration sessions of all sizes.

When the pandemic halted in-person classes, the LUMA System program at Autodesk was reimagined for remote — and now hybrid — work with both training and structured collaboration projects taking place within the MURAL platform. Autodesk’s flex-forward, hybrid work recommendations were even designed by following LUMA System practices for human-centered understanding and decision-making, notes Giacalone.

“I see MURAL and the LUMA System as a Venn diagram of the tool and methods that enable our employees to do their best work from anywhere — together. MURAL is the technology and LUMA System is the mindset that facilitates great outcomes,” says Rob Dickins, Vice President and Chief of Staff at Autodesk, “Together, they’ve made transitioning to hybrid work more frictionless for us.”

MURAL, which acquired LUMA Institute in 2022, has become a significant collaboration platform for Autodesk. Autodesk employees can search for education and inspiration on LUMA Workplace and then seamlessly open a pre-built template with the LUMA System activities they want to run with MURAL. Autodesk also created custom MURAL templates for large projects, making it easy for employees to repeat successful collaboration practices and ultimately achieve predictable positive outcomes.

“MURAL and the LUMA System are now part of our culture. The LUMA System has created a common language for collaboration that we just didn’t have before, and MURAL has given us a rich canvas for collaboration,” says Lindsay Hunter, Senior Manager on the Change and Culture Transformation team and one of the earliest adopters and champions of the LUMA System at Autodesk.

I see MURAL and the LUMA System as a Venn diagram of the tool and methods that enable our employees to do their best work from anywhere — together. MURAL is the technology and LUMA System is the mindset that facilitates great outcomes. Together, they’ve made transitioning to hybrid work more frictionless for us.

Rob Dickins
Rob Dickins
VP & Chief of Staff to the CEO
 | 
Autodesk
IMPACT

Today, more than 5,500 Autodesk employees use LUMA Workplace to plan and design collaboration sessions. That number represents 150 groups of employees who’ve received training in a customized version of the LUMA System for Autodesk. 

The Autodesk team reports higher output quality from collaboration, significantly increased confidence in employees when they facilitate meetings and workshops, more diversity of thought, reduced synchronous meeting time on video calls, and many more emotional and cultural improvements from the combination of LUMA System thinking and MURAL.

“MURAL and LUMA System practices are deeply embedded at Autodesk, and we collaborate better and differently as a result,” affirms Giacalone.

Dickins believes the best way to see the impact of MURAL and the LUMA System together is to jump in and experience them on a project. “I’ve never convinced anyone to adopt MURAL and the LUMA System by talking about metrics; instead, I find someone’s pain point on a project and come at it with this toolset — showing how you can accomplish something in three hours that would normally take three months.”

MURAL and the LUMA System are now part of our culture. The LUMA System has created a common language for collaboration that we just didn’t have before, and MURAL has given us a rich canvas for collaboration.

Lindsay Hunter
Lindsay Hunter
Senior Manager, Change and Culture Transformation
 | 
Autodesk

TAKE ACTION

Free MURAL templates for popular LUMA System practices are easy to incorporate into your daily work and include completed examples and step-by-step instructions. You can also sign up to get certified on the LUMA System. 

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