Quantity trumps quality (at first)

I found the following excerpt on Derek Siver's blog. It's from a book called Art and Fear: The ceramics teacher announced he was dividing his class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio would begraded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right graded solely on … Continue reading Quantity trumps quality (at first)

There is no such thing as UX strategy

2013 saw a lot of discussion around the topic of UX Strategy. In fact, there was at least one conference on the topic and a string of articles. However, all of this activity around a topic doesn't actually mean it exists. The reality is that there is no such thing as UX strategy. There is … Continue reading There is no such thing as UX strategy

Democratize creativity

In the industrial-era model of managing a company creativity was reserved for the executive suite. Only leaders and managers were allowed to determine what the company was going to build and how to implement it. These decisions were then pushed down to the execution teams who took this direction and executed it to the letter. … Continue reading Democratize creativity

Turn Left!

  Change is hard and often scary. Change in the enterprise is even scarier because it involves changing the way people work, how they're compensated and incentivized, how they manage (and are managed) and what determines success. Whenever I work with organizations undertaking a significant change -- like becoming more agile or building in lean … Continue reading Turn Left!

Designers — an untapped pool of Agile leadership

Implementing an agile product development process has many challenges. One that is not regularly addressed is who will lead each of the scrum teams. Many organizations default to the, seemingly obvious, answer of the scrum master. Often ill-defined (even with "certification") this role is essentially the Agile version of the project manager. But Agile teams … Continue reading Designers — an untapped pool of Agile leadership

Purity vs. Pragmatism

  “That’s not Agile!”   “We’re not being lean enough.”   “We’re not supposed to make deliverables!”   Sound familiar? I hear these statements all the time from teams moving towards a more evidence-based approach to product discovery, conception and production. Somewhere, someone made a decision for the teams to now “do Agile & Lean” … Continue reading Purity vs. Pragmatism

Building In-House Innovation Teams: When to Stop Innovating and Start Scaling

In parts I and II of this series I discussed the qualities that make up successful in-house innovation teams and the need for those teams and their colleagues to foster a culture of transparency if they are to succeed. In this article I want to discuss how to decide when these in-house innovation teams need … Continue reading Building In-House Innovation Teams: When to Stop Innovating and Start Scaling

The Human Cannonball – A Story of Untested Assumptions

In May of 1995 I graduated from James Madison University with my bachelor’s degree. It was a Saturday. On Sunday I packed all of my worldly belongings (essentially a mattress, a dresser, a Bob Marley poster and my 1984 Suzuki GS550 motorcycle) into a tiny storage unit. On Monday, I was on the road as … Continue reading The Human Cannonball – A Story of Untested Assumptions

Building In-House Innovation Teams: Transparency

In the first post of the series I discussed the basic building blocks of a successful in-house innovation team: small, dedicated, collocated and self-sufficient. In this post, I’m going to talk about a key philosophy for these teams: transparency. It’s not in our nature to be transparent in the business world (or in the personal … Continue reading Building In-House Innovation Teams: Transparency

Designing with remote teams

I will be speaking on working and designing with distributed teams at this year's IA Summit in Baltimore, MD. As the author of a book on collaboration – a book that touts the benefits of collocated teams – the reality of distributed teams is not lost on me. In fact one of the main questions … Continue reading Designing with remote teams