Effective Creative Leadership, UX Week 2011

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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.

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Effective Creative Leadership, UX Week 2011

  1. 1. effective creative leadershipSarah B. Nelson, Tapir & Tine human-centered product, service, & organization design
  2. 2. #creativeleadershuman-centered product, service, & organization design
  3. 3. on being creative...human-centered product, service, & organization design
  4. 4. “The frightening and most difficult thing about being whatsomeone calls a ‘creative person’ is that you haveabsolutely no idea where any of your thoughts come from,and you have no idea where they’re going to come fromtomorrow.” — “Art and Copy” documentaryhuman-centered product, service, & organization design
  5. 5. what’s your job?human-centered product, service, & organization design
  6. 6. “You would think that as a producer, your job wouldbe to churn up creativity, but mostly your job is topolice enthusiasm.” — Tina Fey, “Bossypants”human-centered product, service, & organization design
  7. 7. “The bosss unstated job is to go andget the pizza for his/her people.” — John Maeda, Twitter, Feb 24th, 2011human-centered product, service, & organization design
  8. 8. to start, something concretehuman-centered product, service, & organization design
  9. 9. Sean Kristy John
  10. 10. Sean Kristy JohnGoals Goals Goals1 1 12 2 23 3 3
  11. 11. Sean Kristy JohnGoals Goals Goals1 1 12 2 23 3 3FEARS FEARS FEARS1 1 12 2 23 3 3
  12. 12. Sean Kristy JohnGoals Goals Goals1 1 12 2 23 3 3FEARS FEARS FEARS1 1 12 2 23 3 3EXPECTATIONS EXPECTATIONS EXPECTATIONS1 1 12 2 23 3 3
  13. 13. Sean creative lead Kristy PM John UX LEadGoals Goals Goals1 1 12 2 23 3 3FEARS FEARS FEARS1 1 12 2 23 3 3EXPECTATIONS EXPECTATIONS EXPECTATIONS1 1 12 2 23 3 3
  14. 14. Sean creative leadGoals1 Add a new e-commerce piece to my portfolio2 To increase our experience with research projects3 Try out a new analysis technique for our research
  15. 15. Sean creative leadGoals1 Add a new e-commerce piece to my portfolio2 To increase our experience with research projects3 Try out a new analysis technique for our researchFEARS1 That I won’t be able to spend enough time with the team2 that the client’s expectations are unreasonable3 That the project is underscoped
  16. 16. Sean creative leadGoals1 Add a new e-commerce piece to my portfolio2 To increase our experience with research projects3 Try out a new analysis technique for our researchFEARS1 That I won’t be able to spend enough time with the team2 that the client’s expectations are unreasonable3 That the project is underscopedEXPECTATIONS1 Of Sarah: That she is as accessible as possible2 of the team: That people communicate honestly with each other3 of SaRAH: that she has the team’s back
  17. 17. just because you wrote it on the boarddoesn’t make it truehuman-centered product, service, & organization design
  18. 18. emotional literacyhuman-centered product, service, & organization design
  19. 19. “Emotional Literacy is made up of the abilityto understand your emotions, the ability tolisten to others and empathise with theiremotions, and the ability to expressemotions productively.” — Charles Steinerhuman-centered product, service, & organization design
  20. 20. “To be emotionally literate is to be able to handleemotions in a way that improves your personalpower and improves the quality of life aroundyou. Emotional literacy improves relationships,creates loving possibilities between people,makes co-operative work possible, andfacilitates the feeling of community.” — Charles Steinerhuman-centered product, service, & organization design
  21. 21. Self-awarenessthe ability to read ones emotions and recognize their impactwhile using gut feelings to guide decisions.Self-managementinvolves controlling ones emotions and impulses andadapting to changing circumstances.Social awarenessthe ability to sense, understand, and react to others emotionswhile comprehending social networks.Relationship managementthe ability to inspire, influence, and develop others whilemanaging conflict. — Daniel Golemanhuman-centered product, service, & organization design
  22. 22. know yourselfhuman-centered product, service, & organization design
  23. 23. Fearhuman-centered product, service, & organization design
  24. 24. HungryAngryLonelyTiredhuman-centered product, service, & organization design
  25. 25. know othershuman-centered product, service, & organization design
  26. 26. “Just being able to be there for others and to listen to themis one of the most important capacities a leader can have.” — Joseph Jaworski, “Synchronicity: The Inner Path of Leadership”human-centered product, service, & organization design
  27. 27. human-centered product, service, & organization design
  28. 28. thank you!sarah@tapirandtine.com@sarahbeeewww.sarahbnelson.comwww.tapirandtine.com human-centered product, service, & organization design

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