A search on Amazon shows 62,000+ books on leadership but almost nothing to help creative team leaders build and sustain a creative environment. Creativity and innovation can be delicate and emotionally fraught processes. Leadership theories are helpful, but what do you do when your star designer suddenly starts mailing it in? Or a project team is frozen in infighting? Or one of your designers just can’t find their footing in a new project? When you got your big promotion for being an amazing designer, no one told you that you needed an entirely new skill set.
Sink or swim, baby.
For this session, Sarah B. Nelson gets practical on the topic of creative leadership. From vision development to team alignment, from bottom-up empowerment to top-down intervention, Sarah will inspire you with practical ideas to motivate your team and rouse them to greatness. She will draw on her extensive experience leading creative teams at Adaptive Path and Hot Studio — and inform the discussion with research and interviews from organizational psychologists, experienced managers, and successful creative leaders.
Design doesn’t happen inside a vacuum. It happens inside teams, inside the context of relationships, inside physical spaces, inside organizations with very particular cultures. Ignore that intricate ecosystem, and you might as well give your project a death sentence.
Teresa and Kate will draw from their experience bringing this holistic outlook to the design process. Pulling from methods used in filmmaking, fine art, design research, facilitation, improv, and UX design, they craft “intentional environments” for their teams and clients. These literal and figurative environments cultivate work that is actionable, co-created, co-owned, and much more likely to succeed in the world.
They’ll discuss the benefits of intentional environments and walk you through how to design them and methods for keeping them activated throughout the design process. You’ll walk away understanding how to cultivate intentionality, co-create without compromising output, and inspire teams and clients along the way. But more importantly, you’ll have a powerful new framework that will enrich your entire design process.
At many companies, user experience (UX) activities are performed by specialists and occur in distinct phases: user research, design, specification, development support and usability testing. Blending this linear process into an agile or Lean Startup team creates handoffs, bottlenecks and frustration. In this talk, I’ll share techniques to help teams collect and make better decisions based on user feedback by adapting some familiar UX techniques to be more quick, visual, collaborative and continuous.