Do I Qualify?
Michelle Hayward's avatarPerson

Michelle Hayward

CEO & FounderBluedog

Chicago Area

Member Since March 2022


Brand Building
Social Entrepreneurship


I was raised in a community where actual frozen deer had a second life as lawn ornaments during Christmas. My escape at 16 was through a congressionally funded scholarship to Germany. These early years informed my proudest moment in 2020 when my business earned B CORP certification. Doing business with community, people and the planet in mind matters to me and informs how we behave with the large, multi-national businesses we support. Today, I live in Chicago in a restored municipal bath house with my life partner and a needy cat.

Published content

How to invest in the right business technology even on a limited budget 

expert panel

Business leaders share their best strategies for implementing technology solutions at work without breaking the bank. Whether you are an early-stage startup organization with limited capital or a large company that is suddenly facing financial uncertainty, no matter how you look at it, the ability to utilize innovative technology to advance your team's capability to serve client needs will move your company forward—but this can be difficult to do when working with a limited budget There are still steps you can take, however. Below are 11 methods that Fast Company Executive Board members recommend implementing when searching for the right technology to invest in, despite any current budget constraints.

10 key factors to finding a reliable product distributor 

expert panel

Consider what's at stake if you want the best bang for your buck. When you are searching for a manufacturing distributor to do business with, it's never a good idea to take everything they say at face value. You have to do your research first. In addition to creating a short list of your best options, it's key to follow up with reference checks and pay a visit to the facility location. This will shed light on core value alignment and quality standards in real-time—and not just on paper—because at the end of the day, it's all about the client and customer satisfaction rates. To help company leaders find the right partner to elevate their brand further and make a good impression on every user's experience, experts from Fast Company Executive Board address 10 top qualifications to consider for the best return on their investment.

9 ways business teams can boost their energy performance levels

expert panel

If you're on the edge of burnout, apply these tips. In the business world, it's important for managers and their employees to self-reflect and gauge when it's necessary to ramp up their performance during a busy time of the year or pull back to take a short break when needed.  In addition to work stress, employees may also be juggling personal responsibilities at home. While it's understandable to not always be 100% energized or inspired to get through your workload every day, Fast Company Executive Board members have nine tips that can help leaders and teams manage their energy levels to stay in optimal peak performance mode throughout the entire year.

Networking blunders: Ditch these bad habits to improve relationships

expert panel

10 experts share how to put your best foot forward and make impactful business connections.  The art of networking in business comes much easier for some entrepreneurs than others. If you want to do it correctly you've got to be willing to open yourself up and communicate your pitch, realizing it's a two-way street when it comes to examining a proposition value that benefits each potential stakeholder.  Furthermore, there is a pattern of behavior patterns that every professional must learn to shed if they want to attract the interest of industry colleagues and build authentic relationships that are founded on mutual respect. Below are 10 best practices courtesy of Fast Company Executive Board members.

13 factors companies should consider when creating a PTO package 

expert panel

Is your team truly benefiting from the current paid-time-off policies in place? In a hybrid work world where place and time flexibilities are a growing priority among current and potential employees, some employers are weighing in on the topic of PTO benefits. While it's important for companies to create work-life balance options and address the needs of their people, department leaders must also have candid conversations with their teams on performance expectations and the amount of time spent away from the office to prevent any business disruption.  Trying to decide on whether to create individual policies or vacation, sick time, and other forms of leave versus offering an all-inclusive unlimited PTO package? Here are 13 details to keep in mind, courtesy of Fast Company Executive Board members.

14 tips to build brand awareness this holiday season (and beyond)

expert panel

Implementing these top strategies may help your business stand out during one of the most competitive selling cycles of the year.  The holiday season is the perfect time to nurture your established brand relationships with loyal customers and clients and possibly develop some new ones. Whether your company is targeting B2C or B2B, it's also a chance to come up with other creative concepts to grab people's attention, make them smile, and show them that you truly care.  If you focus on the humanization of your company, highlighting the effectiveness of your employees, you'll connect effectively with the community at large. Here are 14 ways that Fast Company Executive Board members are successfully keeping their organizations in the public eye not only in November and December but throughout the entire year.

Company details


Company bio

WE DELIVER GROWTH THROUGH PURPOSE-LED TRANSFORMATION. Bluedog Design delivers clear and enabling strategies that grow markets, businesses and the most highly valued brands in the world. Bluedog’s repeatable, scalable methodologies are rooted in the principles of Design Thinking. While delivering decades of returns for our clients, we've mastered the art of uncovering insights, the discipline of iterative design and innovation, the practice of organizational buy-in and adoption, and the gift of translating complexity to clarity. We are known not just for inspiring progress, but for throwing ourselves into each client's context to make it happen—all within a journey that brings our partners a more intuitive understanding of their consumers, businesses, and organizations.


Marketing & advertising

Area of focus

Digital Marketing

Company size

11 - 50

This member is no longer active.

Connect with innovative industry leaders in Fast Company Executive Board.

Click below to learn more about membership and publication opportunities on
See What We’re AboutDo I Qualify?
Fast Company Executive Board is a vetted professional network of company founders, executives, and leaders who are defining the future of business through innovation, creativity and design.