January 11, 2017
Believing design to be an integral part of business strategy, Bluewolf sent me on a life-changing trip to the AIGA Design Conference. How was it life-changing? It reminded me that designers can change the world. Or really, that whether or not you're a designer, we are all architects responsible for building a better world.
A better world is one filled with delightful, moving experiences. Ones that make you laugh, like Thor working for Amazon. Ones that make you cry, like getting an unexpected helping hand. Ones that make you say, "Oh, thank god," like a Fresh Direct delivery on Thanksgiving.
You may be asking why this matters to you: the marketer, the salesman, the IT rep, the VP. Maybe it's because you want to stay ahead in the marketplace. But at the end of the day, it matters because you are crafting this world with every move you make. Here are my top three tips to embrace your inner designer and start changing the world for the better.
Chase your curiosities.
We've all been asked this before: "What do you want to be when you grow up?" My 8-year-old self said, "Astronaut!" At 16, "Pharmacist!" At 20, "Graphic Designer!" Some people can be so fickle, and that's okay. We could have a million passions at one point in our lives, but then suddenly feel lost, asking, "What should I be doing with my life?" Passion comes and goes, but one thing we share as human beings is a sense of curiosity. So chase your curiosities, ask questions, challenge assumptions, and don't forget to reflect once in a while. It may lead to discovery of yourself, of new inventions, and eventually of a better world.
J. Dontrese Brown, designer and creative thought leader, reminded many of us at the conference to be bold in our actions, our work, our leadership, and in life. Women, minorities, and young professionals often doubt their abilities and authority in the workplace. More senior, executive leaders may feel nervous about embarking on new business ventures. Many of the other speakers at the conference also said, "I just went for it," or, "People thought I was crazy." So even though we all have our demons, trust your gut, be bold, and just go for it.
Teamwork makes the dream work.
Cheesy, I know, but I heard this piece of advice from almost every speaker. Chasing your curiosities and being bold won't get you as far if you don't invite others to join your journey. Hire people you like. Create a team with diverse skills. No matter your industry, unlock the creative potential of your organization by setting conditions to embrace failure, celebrate exploration, and execute new ideas. Encourage vigorous debate over concepts, knowing that nothing is personal because everyone admires and supports one another.
Every day presents new opportunities, challenges, and ideas. Meet them with an open, curious mind, take bold actions, and involve other creative thinkers in your journey to expand your reach and impact. If you're interested in learning more about creative problem-solving and design thinking, get in touch with our experts. And if you want to join our dynamic, design-driven team, we're hiring.