Van LAi-Dumone

Building stronger teams - creatively

By cultivating idea sharing through creativity, everyone has a chance to have their voice heard. This is the foundation of Van Lai-DuMone’s work as the founder of worksmart, a progressive team and leadership development consultancy that activates creativity and experiential learning to enrich company culture and skyrocket performance. She activates her clients' creative capacity through hands-on learning with LEGO® Serious Play, Creative Problem Solving tools, and crafting custom artifacts.

Born in Vietnam and raised in Southern California, after her family fled Vietnam as war refugees, Van watched her parents pave a new life for themselves; exemplifying how creative thinking, innovation, and curiosity can help people overcome their circumstances. In her talks, she often references her mom's role in trailblazing the Vietnamese manicure industry. An industry born through the unlikely teaming up of a Hollywood movie star and 20 Vietnamese women at a refugee camp in 1975; a story that touches on lessons of women empowerment, compassion, diversity, curiosity, and determination.

She studied Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara and earned her MBA from Pepperdine University. With over 15 years of corporate and start-up experience, Van actively works to rewrite the way we apply creativity in the workplace, instilling brave thinking in clients who are willing to disrupt traditional thinking. Her clients include game changers such as Google, LinkedIn, and Pandora.

What if?: The Life Changing Power of Curiosity
This inspiring talk is a call to action for each of us to follow our curiosities to create possibilities seen and unforeseeable.
Integrate Creativity to Transform Your Work
Companies have historically used creativity as a break from work, for team building or improving morale.
Stronger Together
What sets us apart, and the sum of our differences, not our similarities - makes us stronger together.
Van spoke at our Global Events Council and her session re-energized the group! Van is a pleasure to work with along every step of the way. Her style is unique, authentic and inspirational. I highly recommend Van to anyone looking to engage their teams to think differently and collaborate together in an innovative way.

Jane Maine,Global Program Manager, Illumina
My team and I brought Van in to give a talk/workshop on creativity in the workplace to our Revenue Organization. Van was an absolute delight to work with, and delivered one of the most highly-rated sessions in the series we were running. Van is an excellent facilitator, and her talk was a perfect balance of information with fun creative exercises sprinkled in. Participants had a ton of fun in the session, and found it helpful for unleashing their creativity! I myself, have been putting some of her exercises to work since. :) Our team highly recommends Van, and hope we get the opportunity to work with her again!

Willa Fogarty, Training & Enablement Manager, Pandora
Van led our global team through a fun day of Lego building & team bonding. Together we celebrated our past accomplishments and shared what is on our personal and professional bucket list. Van did a wonderful job of bringing our vision for the workshop to life in creating some custom content that was important to our team! She brings a great, fun and personable energy to the workshop. I can't wait to find a way to work with her again.

Clarice MacDonell, Executive Assistant | Wellness Program Manager, LinkedIn
Van presented a workshop at XPRIZE Foundation for International Women's Day. After a couple consultations, Van was able to create a workshop that met all of our objectives and truly exceeded expectations. She was able to create a playful and creative experience for us to have meaningful conversations around creating a more gender balanced work environment. Her ability to bring out creativity and creative thinking in us was something I wish everyone had the chance to experience. After the workshop, my colleagues and I continued to talk about how beneficial that day was for all of us.

Haneen Khalaf, Principle Project Manager | Office of the CEO, XPrize
Van partnered with me in facilitating a portion of our Management trainings at both Media Arts Lab & TBWA\Chiat Day, by running a Lego Build session focused on creativity and collaboration. From planning the session to running it day-of, Van was a trusted and flexible resource. The lego-build was a participant favorite and helped us achieve our intended outcomes in a fun, unexpected way. I’ve since partnered with Van on multiple trainings and highly recommend her for any organization providing development opportunities for employees.

Emily Race, Co-Founder, Say Space
I partnered with Van to deliver the keynote address at our quarterly company-wide learning day at Cornerstone OnDemand. The theme was "power to transform" and Van's dynamic point of view on the power of play was a perfect fit! As a learning company, we've had dozens of presenters in the past who've spoken on a variety of topics but Van really stands out in the crowd. Her presentation was engaging, interactive and fun! Her use of visuals, storytelling and hands-on play with Legos kept the crowd intrigued and curious about what was going to come next. Her insights has got us rethinking how we can intertwine work with play so that they aren't separate activities, but instead complementary to get our brains and hand creating.

Kalia Waits-Smith, Change & Communications Leader, Cornerstone on Demand