“Massive Change is not about the world of design; it's about the design of the world.”
an uncertain description of me
I’m not really sure how I would describe myself because I like to do so many things.
Most would start by saying I have a Master’s degree in design; the thinking kind more than anything. An ever-growing student that used to study the inner workings of life, and nature, and science, and how we tell stories about them all. One that studies businesses, and learns new industries, works in the digital world but prefers the analog, and still insn’t quite sure how all of that adds up to some sort of a succint description of me.
Sometimes I'll say something about how I like to connect people and things and processes. In the past I've grown revenue, launched campaigns, led projects and ran meetings. I used to try and label it. The personal tags and identifiers ranged from digital marketing to analytics, research and thought leadership, to global product marketing, go-to-market strategy, and product development. But I'm not sure what that "is," and I'm not quite sure it describes me.
But I am a rock climber; a yoga teacher; a craft beer drinker; a coach. Wife, coworker, daughter, sister, friend. I'm curious and creative and insatiably hungry to learn about the next thing, it never really matters what.
Some days I feel like a scientist with a keen interest in understanding what makes good ideas tick. I like to dive into research and to read things I don’t understand. I like writing on white boards. I get excited by infusing my enthusiasm into others, and making progress systemic. Meticulous, day-dreamy, specific, and energetically attuned.
I found out that all of this means I might be a designer, so I think I’d like to be that.
Design can mean so many things, but in every manifestation of a well-executed practice, it has a magical way of solving hard problems. Those problems might be hard to identify, hard to define, or hard to see a path forward, but design thinking provides frameworks and principles that help designers charge ahead and create well-fit solutions at the root cause of the challenges that need to be resolved. I found out recently that the empathetic design process has been central to my work from the beginning, am not dedicating my time and talents to championing design in my work.
Systemic design thinks bigger - unearthing the full scope of the stakeholders, externalities, and impacts of a "system" to architect a more holistic view. When you look at a complex system - be it a company, community, government, or beyond - a systems design perspective helps identify the root causes of problems and create solutions that are better for every part of the system, both living and non-living. We live in a world where humans and the ecosystems in which we live are one and the same, and systemic design helps us build more effective and sustainable solutions for the whole.
Research and Storytelling
Curiosity and fresh perspectives can fuel new ideas, innovations, and approaches to business as usual. I bring design principles and empathetic inquiry to projects via research and storytelling to help teams explore trends, new technology, imagine a radically new future, and to shed new light on tasks that your team is too close to. When new insight is brought to life through a compelling story tailored to the right audience it can enact change within your organization and customer base.
Ushering in change can be hard - whether that change is procedural, communicative, a restructuring, or simply, a mindset. Applying the core principles of design thinking and leaning heavily into empathetic research, observation, and insights, makes transformational change not only possible, but more successful, fair, and equitable for the people and stakeholders it impacts most.
F*cked Up Problems
When most people run away from sticky, entangled, problems, entrenched in years or decades of "been-there-tried-that" attitudes, I find myself leaning in. Driven by insatiable curiosity and a healthy dose of pragmatic optimism, I thrive best when working in these ambiguous spaces that don't often come with a neat-and-tidy identifier. I am not a "rinse and repeat" kind of thinker, and although I LOVE business as usual because it means we've built something beautiful, I am motivated by the messy when it comes to my roles and projects.
(excuse my French!)