Who are you and what do you do in your “day job”?
Inspired by the quote, “she designed a life she loved,” I’ve created my life as a design thinker, educator, and creativity whisperer. My personal mission and passion is to educate others in using human-centered design to discover solutions to their business challenges and adopt design thinking mindsets in their leadership styles. I am fortunate that I get to accomplish this in several ways:
Working in the Global Talent area for an automotive company, my focus is on building capability for design thinking in the organization.
Teaching in the Learning Design and Technology graduate program at Wayne State University, my concentration is on design thinking for performance improvement and instructional design.
Launching c.c.design LLC, my motivation is to provide consulting services using design thinking to help others architect their futures, whether navigating their professional journeys or launching small businesses.
What is your creative superpower? Tell us more…
Abstract to Action. I teach abstract concepts in a way that makes them come to life. This superpower is used to help others develop their businesses, their creativity, or their life direction. I enjoy educating others on using design thinking mindsets and methods to design their future through experimentation. This recurring theme shows through in career consulting, in showing teams how to work differently, or in believing in others when they don’t believe in themselves.
When and how did you discover your passion for design thinking?
Six years ago I was introduced to design thinking by Dr. Monica Tracey, my professor at Wayne State University. Dr. Tracey showed me that, as an instructional designer, we could learn so much more from having a wider, multi-disciplinary view of design. From an initial presentation she gave, I was inspired and wanted to know more. I constantly looked for ways to learn and immerse myself in design thinking experiences. This led me to take many of the IDEO U (global design firm) online design thinking courses and participate in their six-month fellowship program in 2017 to strengthen my coaching skills in human-centered design.
Why are you excited about design thinking’s power in the field of Human Resources?
If there was ever a field that could benefit from design thinking, it is Human Resources. We are positioned to be advocates for employees, especially when they do not have a seat at the table. In the organizations I’ve worked for, HR is one of the few areas that touches the enterprise with its policies, methods, and mindsets. For this reason, we have the opportunity to facilitate cross-functional and diverse interactions that improve the employee experience. We have the benefit of using design thinking to not only affect our customer-facing products and services, but we can make significant, innovative change internally to produce a meaningful impact to our employees.
What is your favorite design thinking resource or hack?
I curate design thinking resources regularly so it was hard to just pick one. I went with two that are top on my list.
The first is the book Creative Confidence by Tom Kelley and David Kelley. The book provides an overview of the ways in which teams can work differently to achieve creative and innovative results. It also provides great thought starters to build your own creative confidence. I often hear people say after reading it that they understand design in a new way.
The second book that I fell in love with last year was Herding Tigers by Todd Henry. There are so many myths to leading creative people and this book does a great job at dispelling each of them. It also provides practices leaders can put into place to allow their teams to thrive and embrace creativity.
Why did you raise your hand and become an hr.hackathon event host for Detroit?
Detroit is a resilient city. I have seen the design community grow even stronger and reach across industries and fields. The energy is contagious and inspiring. I want to be part of the movement and provide a supportive environment for people to push their thinking. Anything that encourages growth, holds a place for empathy, seeks experimentation at its core, and connects people in the process – which the hr.hackathon covers all four - sign me up.
What is your vision for hr.hackathon in Detroit?
My vision for hr.hackathon Detroit is…. Together, as a community of HR professionals, we will:
Bring abstract concepts to LIFE.
Make meaningful IMPACT.
Contribute NEW IDEAS to the world.
Connect people to their new-found PASSION – design thinking!
Stay tuned. You’ll see more coming in the second half of 2019.