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The Relentless Climb Out of the Valley of Creative Despair: Getting Unstuck & Moving Forward—Caitlin Vlastakis Smith


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We all get stuck. This is especially true for teams tackling complex problems across business, design and technology ecosystems. This talk gives designers, creative professionals and technologists simple and applicable ideas to help them get out of the valley… that often lonely place of "What now?" and "How do we move forward?"

Talk delivered at Adobe Creative Jam in Raleigh 2019 by Caitlin Vlastakis Smith

Published in: Design
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The Relentless Climb Out of the Valley of Creative Despair: Getting Unstuck & Moving Forward—Caitlin Vlastakis Smith

  1. 1. Globant Raleigh // @caitvsmith Get g U tu & Mov F r a d
  2. 2. Globant Raleigh // @caitvsmith Hel ! Ca t Vla k S it Dir r, Ser Des & St a g @ Glo t
  3. 3. Globant Raleigh // @caitvsmith
  4. 4. Globant Raleigh // @caitvsmith How d u t al : Too little information Too much information Imposter syndrome
  5. 5. Globant Raleigh // @caitvsmith The w Sli To t e In m i
  6. 6. Globant Raleigh // @caitvsmith Des Y ur O Con r s 1. Frame the problem 2. Focus on the humans 3. Understand the money Bring your peers along with you; reshape them together!
  7. 7. Globant Raleigh // @caitvsmith A ve c hi . Al o t p o . Small kids have to master many things at once when learning to ride a bike. Balance is the most difficult. Design a way for kids to learn how to ride a bike. The Problem
  8. 8. Globant Raleigh // @caitvsmith Pro -Per s A e l a d Yo r e d The Humans
  9. 9. Globant Raleigh // @caitvsmith “Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.” - Kurt Vonnegut - The Humans
  10. 10. Globant Raleigh // @caitvsmith Get t e B n o C O More info: The Money
  11. 11. Globant Raleigh // @caitvsmith Determine what you’re impacting! ● Helping to sell more things/services to new customers ● Creating differentiated market value for the company ● Making it easier for current customers to buy more things ● Reducing time employees spend on mundane and menial tasks ● Decreasing amount of low-value customer service interactions ● Cutting out internal processes that drain resources More info: The Money
  12. 12. Globant Raleigh // @caitvsmith The ti S m e f To c I fo t o
  13. 13. Globant Raleigh // @caitvsmith How will we measure success? How do we execute? Ele on C k What are we trying to achieve? Why? Who’s benefiting?
  14. 14. Globant Raleigh // @caitvsmith Wad Th o h Det Ask yourself—and your team—broad questions to start distilling: What do we BELIEVE we know about the need/ask? What are we expected to deliver by the end of this phase? What’s everything we know about this feature request? Pro t: Pro t: Pro t:
  15. 15. Globant Raleigh // @caitvsmith Wad Th o h Det What do we BELIEVE we know about the need/ask? Pro t:
  16. 16. Globant Raleigh // @caitvsmith Wad Th o h Det Identify the riskiest assumptions. Prioritize. Validate.
  17. 17. Globant Raleigh // @caitvsmith The an ... ...IM T !
  18. 18. Globant Raleigh // @caitvsmith Winter 2015-2016 A Re l-li T t e g * Me → ← My ar r *Sha w pe s o
  19. 19. Globant Raleigh // @caitvsmith “Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you don’t belong.” - Brene Brown -
  20. 20. Globant Raleigh // @caitvsmith Winter 2015-2016 Let’s design and redesign the many broken and painful things around us. We’re living in a messy ecosystem of digital interactions, legacy processes, disparate technology systems, money, governance, power, culture, AI, and a world in need of systemic change. We need more YOUs—people who ask: What about the humans? Cli O t he V y. Let’s Ru t. (Ple !)
  21. 21. Globant Raleigh // @caitvsmith Tha s be h e!