Yogi Tea: Branding and Service Design

Yogi Tea is a popular tea brand found at places like Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and more. They have great tea blends/flavors and there is nothing particularly special about the product – it is organic but it is not the only one. So how does Yogi Tea differentiate itself? It’s at the intersection of branding …

Lessons from Improv (Foundation 1)

I recently completed an Improv Foundation 1 course at BATS by Rebecca Stockley. It was a fantastic experience I’d recommend for anyone. I want to take a moment and share some of the most important things that improv taught me. These are applicable to anything and everything we do in life. Make your partner look …

Influencing Markets Through Air Mozilla and Designing for Participation

Last week, during a student affairs meeting at San Francisco State University, the committee members were asked for input on the general education redesign. I championed the idea that the design students should be engaged in helping design a better experience for students – it’s a winning combo of student and design perspectives. The committee …

Don’t Jump To Solutions: One of the Most Important Things I Learned from Design School

When I was in design school I was quick to jump to solutions for my design challenges. I followed general design process guidelines but I always got a little antsy in the define the problem and research stages. (I like to build and ship.) As I’ve been able to go through design thinking processes in …

Two Kinds of Process

There are two kinds of process: process that encourages creativity and process that slows solutions. In all organizations, it is important to ask whether your processes encourages or slows. The easiest way to think about this is to classify a process as either a way of doing things (encourage) or the way of doing things (slow). …

Thoughts on Scaling an Organization

Here is a incredibly important management puzzle: how do you effectively scale? I define effective scaling as growth where what made the organization successful is not lost; growth in and of itself is not effective. The implications here are huge. Success means a growing, thriving business; failure can mean any number of things ranging from …

When Your Employees Take Too Long on Their Breaks

Here is a management puzzle for you: what do you do when you notice that your employees are taking too long on their breaks? The classic management model says, “these employees are slackers, they are wasting company time and they need to be disciplined.” To that I ask, “does that create the kind or work …