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From Vision to Acceleration: AtkCo’s Approach to Modernizing Operations with Human-Centered Problem Solving in Mind

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In a world driven by rapid technological advancements and evolving market dynamics, Shayna Atkins and her company AtkCo are leading the charge in modernizing business operations for technology driven organizations. With a visionary approach that goes beyond problem-solving, the philosophy of AtkCo is not only informative but motivating, offering a roadmap for businesses to thrive in today’s dynamic environment.

AtkCo is on a mission to transform the way businesses operate. Going beyond the traditional confines of process optimization, AtkCo focuses on ushering in a culture of continuous improvement, digital transformation, and design thinking – with a lens on accessibility. Accessibility involves ensuring that all digital interfaces, websites, and apps are user-friendly and inclusive for individuals with diverse needs. Shayna Atkins’ strategic vision, combined with her commitment to embracing change, is a testament to the power of innovation in driving meaningful progress. AtkCo believes that partnerships in Higher Education also contribute to this. Recently, the team was selected to be part of University of Illinois prestigious DSDP program headed by Sharla Roberts.

Dr. Deana C McDonagh, Professor of Industrial Design, Director of the (dis)Ability Design Studio at Beckman Institute and Health Innovation Professor at University of Illinois, has made accessible and inclusive design her life’s work. Dr. McDonagh believes, “Peoples’ needs and abilities are ever changing. Responding to their current, emerging, and future needs are vital to ensure a flourishing culture and work environment for your team.”


Atkins mirrors Dr. McDonagh’s belief system, “We believe that at the core of all problems we solve, is how you solve it. That is how we take our clients from problem-solving to acceleration. We believe incremental improvements contribute to significant advancements over time.” Shayna Atkins passionately states. She spent time as an adjunct professor at Northwestern University, McCormick School of Engineering teaching Design Thinking. There she instilled a perspective rooted in the understanding that a shift in approach can lead to remarkable outcomes. Shayna respects Northwestern’s culture because they take problem statements head on – whether it’s students exploring wheelchair accessibility in Chicago’s legacy architecture, process improvement for a local engineering firm, or navigating the dynamics of rebuilding Ryan Field- the college football stadium. 

The journey now includes an unwavering focus on accessibility and design thinking. In the realm of empathic design thinking, AtkCo’s methodology extends not only to problem-solving but also to ideation, prototyping, and testing. This approach fosters a culture of empathy within the organization, ensuring that the end-users’ experiences, including those with disabilities, are at the forefront of design considerations. It encourages interdisciplinary teams to collaborate and brainstorm solutions that address accessibility challenges right from the outset. An inclusive mindset enables diverse voices that ultimately enrich the outcomes.

AtkCo’s vision is now more profound than ever: Shift the way you work, improve how you live, and ensure that everyone can participate. Their mission is to collaborate with global organizations, guiding them through the complexities of the digital world by implementing strategic improvements that embrace accessibility and design thinking. In contrast to traditional consulting firms that lean on static frameworks, AtkCo’s adaptive approach ensures that solutions are not only tailored to each organization’s unique context but also seamlessly incorporate accessibility and design thinking as integral components. Shayna Atkins emphasizes, “We adjust year by year, closely attuned to market dynamics,” a testament to their commitment to staying at the forefront of industry trends, market demands, and accessibility standards.  The frameworks behind accessibility transform seamlessly into process improvement.

Furthermore, AtkCo’s role transcends that of a consultant; they are dedicated partners in their clients’ success journey. With training, implementation consulting, and value-based contracting, they ensure that their clients’ growth aligns with their own success, all while fostering a culture of accessibility and design thinking within their client organizations.

Shayna Atkins’ journey adds a personal touch to AtkCo’s remarkable trajectory. As an active-duty military spouse, tech entrepreneur, and advocate for women of color in technology, Shayna brings a diverse perspective and unwavering determination to her role. “Being an active-duty military spouse scaling a business in the tech industry is a big piece of my life that makes me different,” Shayna Atkins reveals. Her resilience, combined with her ability to navigate personal challenges and business success, is a testament to her authenticity, determination, and commitment to accessibility and design thinking.


“I want readers to understand that systems can really impact your life and your health. My hope is that we scale as slow as we must,” Shayna Atkins shares. Her vision for AtkCo is grounded in sustainable growth, authentic culture, and fostering a positive impact that transcends the business realm. This week the AtkCo team is on their way to the Inc 5000 conference in San Antonio, Texas to celebrate AtkCo’s recognition as an Inc 5000 fastest-growing private company in America, ranking within the top third at 1395. They will take this time to balance, have fun, and be human- showcasing the fruits of their unwavering dedication to accessibility, design thinking, and inclusive modernization.

For more information on Shayna Atkins and AtkCo’s transformative services, visit

Connect with Shayna Atkins on LinkedIn and Instagram.


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