How Live 2014 / Be Like Bob the Builder

23 Jun How Live 2014 / Be Like Bob the Builder

Bob the Builder. Yup. When asked a question or preparing for something, we have to help eliminate the fear. We need to pause before the freak out or answering the question right away. Dan Pink discussed this in our noon session. He said that really, Bob the Builder has it right because he changes the way he looks at things. Bob’s catchphrase is “Can we fix it?, to which the response is “Yes we can!” This is brilliant. Dan Pink discussed To Sell is Human. He discussed how as designers, really we are selling something. We are persuading others to give up something of value for something we offer. Like it or not. So when we think of this, we sometimes have to sell to ourselves as designers to give that perfect pitch or to stand behind our design. If we stop to think it through with simplicity and clarity, we can talk ourselves through the design change we are trying to introduce…just like Bob!

Well, the day didn’t start there. It was kicked off with a fantastic talk with Hamish Campbell of Pearlfisher and David Hartman of Target.  Wow. How crazy is it that those of us sat in a room while one of the the top independent design agencies talked with one of the largest brands that focus heavily on design. The presentation was fantastic! The visual candy bar was delicious! I started thinking about where I am working and how stoked I am to be at Slalom (check out our redesigned site…it rocks!) I was then think big…huge…that I want to be part of a great brand like that. As I was sitting there, glanced at me email and boom! There was a message from my manager that I’ve been requested to go in to the office of one of those type of clients on Monday. My mind was blown, yet again. So far what I’ve seen, learned and been inspired by…will all be brought into that client interview in the morning! So these presentation and the words they shared really meant a lot to me!

From there went to see Ken Tanabe talk about non-profits. He was really an energized speaker with a lot of motivation to be able to create at low cost great design for causes to improve the world around us. Good design should be everywhere and should be available for all to be able to do. Check out Loving  Day for yourself just to see what he did. It is inspiration that each one of us as designers should take on at least one project in our design lives. I take that back, we must do that. At least once. Give back and give good design to those that can’t afford. So pick a cause you are passionate about and reach out to a non-profit. Or, better yet…really get those creative juices flowing and start one!

Next on the full day of awesomeness I went to a tips & tricks session on Adobe. I’ve gotta a lot of new skills in my adobe design toolkit now!

So then it happened. Crazy time. It was time to punch our introverted heads in the face and cross our convert zone. Maria Giudice, Facebook, killed it with her talk on Rise of the DEO / Leadership by Design. She was hilarious, genius and motivational. She started it off by having us introduce ourselves to the person on the left of us and talk for 10 seconds. Then…she did it…she made us take a huge awkward…oh hell no I am not going to do that thing…you know the thing. She had us then hug that same person for 10 seconds. Holy cow 20 seconds is long. Haha. My stranger, knowing I was from SF was funny and said, I am not used to these Silicon Valley ways! Love it. So she went on to discuss the importance of the the Rise of the DEO versus the CEO. The Design Executive Officer. Bloody brilliant and so true. There are so many companies now that are run by DEO’s and the are extremely successful. There are some design brands that could use a DEO instead of a CEO. It make a huge impact to have a design visionary leader in the highest executive position in a company. She discussed how it needs to be the “we” not “me” culture in design. That we can not create without collaboration. True dat, Maria. True dat. We have to also live in other peoples shoes and champion our creative culture. Work must be fun. It brings rewards and helps develop creativity. We all have the responsibility as designers to do these things and promote creative chaos. Share meals. Drink booze. Get shit done. We also have to take risks as designers. Be our authentic selves.

Phew. It was only 3pm at this point.

Next I went to see Nathan Sherdroff of CCA talk about How Design Enhances Business Strategy and Total Value. He discussed the importance of looking at the total brand value of companies and people who focus on this, create more of it. So it is Functional Value + Financial Value / Quantitative and Emotional Value + Identity Value + Meaningful Value / Qualitative all = Total Value.

Now onto the exhibit hall. As I discussed yesterday, still searching for the magic. And realizing that being an extreme introvert was my weakness…I forced myself to walk up to strangers and talk. Okay, well…I kinda cheated because they were all the vendors in the exhibit hall. Ha! But…I walked up, told myself…yes I can and just started asking questions. Now, it was easy because in a way I had a script prepared for me of what to ask because of what they were presenting. Nonetheless, this was a baby step that I am really happy about. So, lets see what I can do with Thursday. Can I network and talk to strangers…not strangers but other designers? Time will tell and I’ll let you know on the flip side.

Oh…almost forget…the day ended with Johnny Cupcakes and his talk on How to Start or Grow a Unique Biz, Passion, or Idea with Little or No Start-up Money.

Happy designing!

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