Annelie Alm Bagå

Välkommen Annelie Alm Bagå!

När jag tänker på Annelie Alm Bagå så är det tre saker som verkligen sticker ut:

💎 Inlevelse: Annelie har en snudd på unik förmåga att leva sig in i situationen på nolltid, oavsett om det handlar om en liten och relativt enkel utmaning, eller om det handlar om ett myller av komplexa system i en otydlig organisation.

☀️ Värme: Annelies inkluderande sätt, och förmåga att möta också större utmaningar med ett skratt och ett leende gör att allt känns möjligt.

🧠 Kompetens: Jag har haft lyxen att se Annelie utvecklas på nära håll, från junior designer till en självklar auktoritet inom framförallt innovationsledarskap, tjänstedesign, research och strategi. Idag finns det få andra som är på samma nivå.

Annelie – jag är så otroligt glad över att få arbeta med dig igen.

Välkommen till Ambition! Let’s make magic! 🦄

Vill du också vara med på vår resa – som kollega, kund, eller samarbetspartner? Följ Ambition på LinkedIn, och skicka ett meddelande till , så tar vi det därifrån. 😊

Johan Salo

Välkommen Johan Salo!

🚀 Ambition växer ytterligare när vi säger välkommen till… JOHAN SALO! 🎉

Vi fortsätter att knyta till oss de allra bästa inom UX- och produktledarskap, tjänstedesign och verksamhetsutveckling.

Hej Johan! Du har jobbat med UX framförallt inom lärande och hälsa, i snart 20 år. Hur kommer det sig att det blev just design av digitala tjänster som fångade ditt intresse från början?
– När jag började så var det väldigt mycket fokus på tekniken. I stället för att fokusera på vad verksamheten eller användarna behövde, så var det som att man bara kopierade tekniska lösningar från andra, och utgick från att det skulle bli bättre bara för att det blev annorlunda. Jag ville förändra sättet digitala tjänster utvecklades på, och fokusera mer på det som användaren själv ville uppnå i stället för att skapa komplexa tekniska lösningar bara för att det gick.

Vår kollega Jessica Bjermer har haft dig som handledare en gång i tiden. Hon beskriver dig som otroligt kunnig, med massor av spännande erfarenheter från olika sammanhang, men hon säger också att du är oerhört ödmjuk, och att man måste dra saker ur dig om man vill få ur dig de mest spännande grejerna. Så, om jag drar lite extra här, vad är du mest stolt över hittills i ditt arbetsliv?
– Wow, tack för de fina orden, det värmer! Det jag är mest stolt över är att jag successivt byggt upp ett kunnande kring att kunna lösa komplexa problem där processen varit stökig och där utkomsten ofta är osäker till en början.
– Jag är också stolt över de små tillfällena då det märks att jag designat med fokus på det som ska uppnås utan att gränssnittet stått i vägen. Ett exempel är när jag skulle skapa en lekfull lösning för att motivera synskadade barn att gå med käpp ute på stan. Det var en härlig känsla när resultatet blev att synskadade barn fick friheten att leda följeslagaren i stället för tvärtom.

Snyggt. Verkligen fint att byta perspektiv på det viset. Vi ser så otroligt mycket fram emot att bygga Ambition, tillsammans med dig!

Välkommen till Ambition! 💜

Claes Källqvist

Välkommen Claes Källqvist!

🤩 Ambition växer ytterligare den 1:a februari, när ingen mindre än CLAES KÄLLQVIST ansluter! 🎉

Vi fortsätter att knyta till oss de allra bästa konsulterna inom UX- och produktledarskap, tjänstedesign och verksamhetsutveckling.

Claes är en kreativ och driven UX-lead, tjänstedesigner och verksamhetsutvecklare med en otrolig bredd. Han har jobbat med allt från mobiltelefoner och flygledningssystem till webblösningar och och riktigt komplexa administrativa system.

”Claes is not only a skilled, structured and innovative designer but one of the most supportive, considerate and reverent persons I’ve worked with. This – of course – makes him a truly nice guy, but also a person that makes his colleagues perform better than they even know they could!”, Johan Thoresson, fd kollega

Claes inkluderar människor i sin omgivning, och lyfter dem så att de växer i sin profession och presterar bättre än de själva trodde var möjligt. För Ambition – där kärnan i vår verksamhet är att hjälpa andra att växa – är så klart dessa egenskaper helt avgörande. 💪

En annan av Claes främsta styrkor är att förstå komplexa samband, och visualisera dem på ett sätt som gör det enkelt för alla att förstå hur det hela hänger ihop. Få människor, om ens någon, som jag träffat har samma förmåga att helt obehindrat kunna röra sig från strategi till detaljdesign.

Claes. Du är en riktig stjärna. Vi är så otroligt glada att få möjlighet att arbeta tillsammans med dig igen. 🌟

Välkommen! 

Gymkompisar på Empower

Hej Hanna Åslund! Du och Tobias Björnudd jobbar med UX och innovation. Ni är också “gymkompisar” på Ambition Empower. Vad betyder det?
– Ha ha! Ja, kompetensutveckling är lite som att träna. Det blir både bättre och roligare om man gör det tillsammans!
– Att lära tillsammans med andra är ett bra sätt att växa. Extra bra blir det när det är tillsammans med personer som man jobbar med till vardags. Det gör det enkelt för oss att relatera det vi lär oss till vår egen vardag på Tillväxtverket, och snabbt omsätta det i praktiken.

Vad tycker du om upplägget som helhet, och hur gör ni rent praktiskt när ny “gymmar” tillsammans?
– Jag gillar verkligen upplägget. Det är bra att det är varje vecka. Det blir inte som en kurs, utan man lär sig något nytt hela tiden.
– Tobias och jag bokar upp en timma i veckan tillsammans för att gå igenom och diskutera veckans material, eller för att reflektera kring det livemöte vi var med på senast.

Det låter som att ni har fått till er löpande kompetensutveckling väldigt bra. Vilka tips har du till andra som också vill få ut maximalt av Ambition Empower?
– Om du inte redan har det, så försök få med dig någon mer från din organisation. Man får ut så mycket mer när man kan diskutera det man lärt sig tillsammans med en kollega.
– Boka upp gemensam tid. Det är precis som med träning. Det är så lätt att man sugs in i allt annat som är viktigt, men om man har bokat tid med någon så blir det av, och man tar sig tid att investera i sig själv.
– Försök inte att följa alla spår. Det kan vara lockande, men det blir för mycket. Välj ETT. Jag följer Kim Goodwins spår, och sedan plockar jag delar av annat om jag hinner med.
– Till sist. Ta gärna anteckningar tillsammans. Tobias och jag använder Figjam, men det går så klart bra med vad som helst. Vi klipper in det vi tycker är viktigast, och skriver kommentarer. Det blir som ett gemensamt minne av våra reflektioner och det vi gått igenom.

Stort tack Hanna! Och lycka till med er fortsatta utveckling med Empower!

Ambition Empower är en medlemstjänst för kontinuerlig kompetensutveckling inom design och produktledarskap, optimerad för dig som vill fortsätta utvecklas trots att du har mycket att göra.

Gör sällskap med kollegor från H&M, SVT, Bosch, Hemnet, Atlas Copco, ASSA Abloy, Arbetsförmedlingen, Zington, Electrolux, Recorded Future, Tobii, Sectra, Stratsys, Skatteverket, Qlik, och många många fler.

Lär av de bästa! Utvecklas under ledning av:
🌟 Kim Goodwin – Design + Product Leadership
🦄 Susan Weinschenk – Design Research loves Strategy
🤖 Chris Noessel – AI Mastery for Design Leaders
💚 Per Axbom – Design Ethics is Good Business

Häng med du också! 🚀

“Nice backgrounds! Where can I get mine?!”

“Nice backgrounds! Where can I get mine?!” – Initially we thought that having these backgrounds would help everyone identify who’s working at Ambition, but last week one of our members, Francesco, made the very good comment that if we all have similar backgrounds it would feel like we’re all in the same room, and part of the same journey.

And, why not? The more the merrier, right?! So, of course, feel free to download (right click, save image as…) and use them!

Enjoy! See you in an online session soon!

If you’re not already a member, join Ambition Empower to get continuous competence development within design- and product leadership from such thought leaders as Chris Noessel, Kim Goodwin, Per Axbom and Susan Weinschenk! It is optimized for your busy life, allowing you to spend as little as one hour per week, and still stay ahead of the competition.

7 ways to maximize your value from watching online presentations

Think back on the last online presentation you attended. Were you sitting at the same desk where you had been sitting all day? Did you remember to bring your coffee or had it already gotten cold from the previous video calls that day? Did you find yourself drifting off, checking your email or chat, maybe picking up your phone and discretely browsing that feed (again)? If so, you are not alone. But – luckily – there are ways to help you stay focused.

I don’t know how many times I’ve found myself wanting to pay attention during online presentations but drifting off anyway. Actually, researchers at Stanford University recently published a report with arguments that nonverbal overload due to extensive videoconferencing causes exhaustion. The phenomenon is widely known as “Zoom fatigue” and describes why we’re prone to lose focus and feel drained after virtual meetings.

But what about those presentations during meetings where you really WANT to stay focused and really take in the content, like the Empower streaming sessions? Now, our track leaders are extremely experienced, and will do all they can to keep you focused and involved, but there are things that you can do too. After all, this is what you came for! 😌

So, what can you do to maximize the value you get from really important presentations? I’ve spent a couple of months trying different things and these are the ones that has helped me the most:

1. Remove distractions!

Perhaps a given, but this is the most important one. Turn off notifications on your computer, close the chat and email and put away your phone. Preferably far enough away so you can’t reach it during the meeting.

Consider covering your keyboard and trackpad with a piece of paper. This will prevent you from reaching for that distraction from old habit.

2. Bring out your (analogue) notepad

Take notes like you did in school, with pen and paper (or at the very least, in a different medium than your computer). Notetaking will help you remember and understand the information better, and hey, you even get something to come back to later! I use different colors when I take notes, because life is always better with colors 🌈

Another useful tip if you want to push yourself can be to draw your notes, so called sketchnoting. By using both words and images, you use more parts of your brain to process the information.

3. Focus less on the slides and more on the speaker

If/when you can, bring up the presenter’s video bigger than the slides, the slides are a fallback, it’s the person’s face that will give you the emotional connection and the body language that is memorable. Also, what’s more important, is that the intent of the speaker is best understood through video. Our brains tend to misunderstand that when we only listen or read.

If possible, turn off self-view too (this is possible in Zoom but not (yet) in Teams ). Constantly having that image of yourself, like a small mirror in the corner, induces anxiety and makes it difficult to focus.

4. Make the picture up big (enough)

If you have an external display you can bring up the video there and move away from the keyboard. Why not try the TV for long presentations? I’ve done this during digital conferences and it’s really amazing how much you can take in when you get that movie-ish experience. A plus is that you can actually put your laptop away!

A small warning though, full screen video of a person’s torso up close might screw with your brain’s unconscious interpretation of the room and the distance to things around you, which can add additional stress to your brain. So, make the video big enough to cover other things on the screen, but don’t necessarily use full screen mode if you need to sit close to it.

5. Make use of the pauses

Leave the screen, stand up, move around, and let your eyes and brain get a welcome break from the screen. Everyone knows by now why giving your body and mind a break is a good thing, so I don’t need to go into any more details here. Just remember to actually do it 😉

If it’s a long session, like a conference, try to prepare snacks for the breaks beforehand. Maybe a banana for one and a piece of chocolate for another.

I do have two additional tips if you would like up your game even more:

6. Let the breakout room be a break-away-from-the-desk-room

During a meeting or presentation that involves breakout sessions, use them to move around like you would during a live session. Sit at another table or even on the coach for the duration of the breakout session, then move back. This will give your body an additional break and energy boost for the continuation of the meeting.

7. Show the speaker that you’re listening

It is good to keep in mind that the one you’re looking at/listening to also sees you. So, if you want to give your focus and energy back to the speaker, make sure to show with your body that you’re listening. Nod when you agree or lean forward if you feel something is particularly interesting. This is a win-win for everyone because a more engaged speaker is much easier to focus on!

So next time you watch an online presentation, put some effort into making it memorable and free from distractions, your brain will thank you for it 🧠😃

If you want to learn more about how to connect to people in a virtual world, the book “Can you hear me” by Nick Morgan is a great start!

If you’re not already a member, join Ambition Empower to get continuous competence development within design- and product leadership from such thought leaders as Chris Noessel, Kim Goodwin, Per Axbom and Susan Weinschenk! It is optimized for your busy life, allowing you to spend as little as one hour per week, and still stay ahead of the competition.

Why is AI critical to the future design leader?

I’m probably steeped in AI more than most designers. My day job at IBM is to design AI for a suite of supply chain software, to build patterns, and to foster the community of practitioners there. I published one book on it, am working on three other books about it, keep a sci-fi blog that discusses it a lot, back in the pre-pandemic days I spoke about it on stages around the world, and have of late been writing fiction about it as a very nerdy hobby.

I expect all design leaders and leading designers, for that matter, are aware of AI. You just may not be ready for how quickly it’s going to go from a flow to a flood. AI is one of those rare things that grows exponentially. When demos of AI capabilities are first released it’s all hahaha that’s so dumb until suddenly it’s daaaaaamn, AI can do that? You don’t want to get caught unawares.

And while I am very hesitant to get into the business of prognostication, I feel strongly about this bit: AI is going to touch everything. Everything against which human intelligence has been brought to bear in the past, and, eventually, much more. And while there are very important reasons to keep it contained, it’s very much like a force of nature in that there is massive momentum—that no one person or group is in particular control of—that are motivating its continued development and evolution. For this reason, I believe that human-centered designers need to be deep in the mix of people developing it, helping to make sure this tech is discoverable, smart, conversant, helpful, deferent, consistent, ethical, humane, and effective.

You need to learn it. Most of the texts out there discussing AI are loaded with confusing jargon and technical terms. (Classifiers? Clusterers? Regressors?) But it is possible to sift through the material to find what is of issue to users, and thereby what is of issue to designers. It’s complicated, but tractable.

You need to know how to design for it. Because AI can exhibit behavior and agency, it’s unlike any design material that has come before. If you’re designing conversational interactions in natural language, the rules are different than the GUI you’ve been steeped in, right down to the psychology and linguistics of the person using it. And its constraints are often uncanny, confounding the usual ways we solve problems. Our intuitions in this space will only take us so far. You have to begin to learn this new material and build a craft around it.

You need to know how to lead for it. AI is rarely implemented in one-person teams. Rather it’s a partnership of stakeholders, engineering, data science, business, design teams, all working side-by-side and hopefully collaboratively with users. Once you get into team efforts, it raises a host of leadership questions: What investments should an organization make around it? Do you roll-your-own or buy off the shelf? How do you structure research and user testing around it? How do you train existing designers? How do you hire? How can AI be made useable and useful for your users, and your organization?

Rather than be blindsided, or even responsive to executive requests, design leaders can get out ahead and champion this change. It’s coming, and if you, the user-centered design leader, carry the banner, it’s more likely to be a user-centered (and world-centered) implementation. As Alan Key said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

  1. AI can optimize for many things. As a design leader, you can ensure teams are optimizing for humane, ethical experiences as well as business outcomes.
  2. An organization inherits its ethical stance from the top. As a design leader, you can ensure that your organization keeps its AI 
  3. Designers have traditionally been translators between business goals, development capabilities, and user needs. With AI we bring data science to the table. As a design leader, you can help translate between these disciplines to keep teams focused and communicating as you incorporate AI.

As with any new-ish and evolving technology, no one person will have all the answers. I won’t have all the answers. But I have a lot of research, experience, and practice to share with you as we ourselves adapt to it and lead the way.


Join AI Mastery for Design Leaders with Chris Noessel at Ambition Empower to learn all you need to know about AI. Ambition Empower is optimized for your busy life, allowing you to spend as little as one hour per week and still stay ahead of the competition. Join now!

Leadership as mindfulness plus precision medicine

The best product and design leaders don’t just help their organizations deliver a great experience. They cultivate skills, motivate teams, improve processes, strengthen human-centered values, and build relationships – in other words, they foster sustainable systems and cultures that will continue delivering great experiences over time. Sometimes, I think the best measure of a leader’s impact is what happens (or no longer happens) once they leave the organization.

What determines the impact we have as leaders? There are plenty of fundamental skills, like communication and coaching, that always make a difference. However, I would argue that there are four meta-skills necessary to bring all the other leadership skills together:

  1. Accurately assessing the multiple factors that influence a situation.
  2. Adapting our approaches to what’s most likely to work in that situation.
  3. Knowing when we are not suited to lead in a situation – whether we lack the skills or lived experience, have conflicting values, or just find it too draining – so we know when to step aside and let someone else take it on.
  4. Being mindful enough to do all of those things, consistently and over time.

In healthcare, where I often work, there is a growing belief that some of the hardest problems–like defeating certain cancers or convincing people to get a vaccine–require individualized solutions. One person might be able to prevent a disease with more access to fresh vegetables; another may require an individually tailored drug. Our genetics, environments, behaviors, goals, and other factors all combine to determine which approach is best for us. This is the promise of “precision” healthcare.

Leadership in an organization is a sort of precision health intervention, too: promoting strength and resilience, identifying dysfunction before it becomes a problem, and treating any major concerns that exist. As in medicine, the thing that works for me may not work for you. The approach that worked in your last job may not be effective in this one.

Consider just a few examples of why this is the case:

  • Large, mature organizations need us to be good at optimizing: using data to fine-tune an established process or important metric. Using an optimizing approach when we don’t yet have product-market fit, though? That’s a disaster in the making.
  • Coaching team members requires understanding not just their skills and goals, but also their confidence level. An uncertain team member might need a small success to keep them motivated; an overconfident one may need more room to fail and learn.
  • What works to ship a consumer app feature in a sprint can fall apart in a specialized or regulated industry. Co-designing with subject matter experts, navigating multiple internal and sometimes external approvals, and thorough documentation can be burdens or benefits, depending on how we approach them.
  • An organization that’s just invested in a high-stakes “transformation” can be dogmatic about process; a team that’s digested things for a while may be more open to adapting.
  • Our relative power (and societal privilege) affects how others perceive us, what leadership risks are safe for us to take, and how we perceive and influence others. Who we are affects whether the same action is considered assertive or abrasive, bold or reckless, confident or arrogant.

Contextual differences like these are why I often see people struggle when they change jobs. The product manager who can’t let go of how they did things at another company. The big-company executive who struggles to build new capabilities in a startup. The front-line manager starting a director role and not being sure how to empower their management team. The engineering whiz who thinks they’re going to “fix” government by making it more like tech. These people aren’t making good assessments about the situation (or themselves), so they’re not adapting as they need to.

Being able to assess and respond appropriately to varied situations starts with understanding the evidence. What makes people trust leaders? Are job simulations (like design exercises) usually good predictors of success? What factors lead to improved decision-making? Most of these questions are not new or unique to technology teams. Other disciplines, like industrial/organizational psychology, can teach us a great deal about what works and why.

The second ingredient in developing these meta-skills is practice. Have you ever worked with someone who made leadership look effortless? Somehow, they can wrangle stakeholders one minute, handle a tricky coaching situation the next, and never seem to sweat. That’s because they’ve encountered similar situations a dozen times already, so they’re more prepared to diagnose and intervene in a constructive way. What we don’t see is the first three or four times when they got it wrong….or all the behind-the-scenes effort it took to set up that effective meeting agenda.

Leader-context fit is an essential but often neglected aspect of any conversation about leadership. Knowing when we’re not the right person to lead is a matter of introspection and willingness to be honest with ourselves–which can sometimes be the hardest part. We need to normalize the idea that no leader is the right person for every situation, and that a mismatch is not necessarily a judgment on that leader’s skill or value.

Finally, effective leadership is not just a skill set. It’s a conscious daily practice. Bringing our best leader-selves to work every day is far more difficult than learning how to lead. Do you have a mental list of times when you weren’t the leader you wanted to be? I certainly do. We mess up as leaders when our minds are on other things, when we forget that conversation IS our main deliverable, or when some need of ours is not being met. We may know the most effective approach, but that knowledge doesn’t help if we aren’t in the right mental space to apply it.

What makes a leader successful in one place? It depends. What makes a leader successful for a whole career? In my view, it’s the meta-skills: developing an observer’s perspective on ourselves and our situations, applying the right approach for the task, knowing where our limits are, and doing what it takes to bring the best, most mindful versions of ourselves.


If you’re not already a member, join Ambition Empower to get continuous competence development within design- and product leadership from such thought leaders as Kim Goodwin! It is optimized for your busy life, allowing you to spend as little as one hour per week, and still stay ahead of the competition. Get your 1-year-membership now!

AI Mastery for Design Leaders – with CHRIS NOESSEL!

Artificial Intelligence is rapidly becoming a fundamental part of many of the products and services we use: everything from email to vacuum cleaners to music services. Yet, if there’s one phrase that is sure to give design leaders anxiety and imposter syndrome, it’s “AI,” followed closely by its subcategory “machine learning.”

This technology is everywhere and more is coming. What is it? How do you design for it? What are the pitfalls? How do you sift through the jargon to know what’s real? How do you hire for it? The short answer is that it’s a rapidly-changing field, and these answers are changing all the time. The long answer is to join Chris Noessel, AI designer at IBM and author of “Designing Agentive Technologies: AI That Works for People,” as we try to get designers and design leaders comfortable with this new normal.

The AI Mastery for Design Leaders track will continually adapt to the needs of the members, but likely topics include:

  • Time to lean in – how to generate AI possibilities for your organization
  • What are practical, useful definitions of AI for designers? What’s hype and what’s reality?
  • So, your boss (or marketing) has asked you to “add some AI in there.” What next? How are AI design processes different from traditional design processes?
  • What is an AI Design skillset? How do you hire for it? How do you train staff?
  • How do we collaborate and what are the “boundary objects” between UX Design and Data Science?
  • How do we equip our teams to advocate for everyday AI ethics? What examples should you have on hand for discussions?
  • What are modes of agency? How do we design for them? What is conversational design?
  • How do we help ensure that the AI we put into the world doesn’t worsen inequality and community problems? Global problems? What do you do if you discover that’s part of your mandate?

Designing AI solutions for IBM by day, writing books and novels on AI and sci-fi by night. No designer, anywhere on the planet, gets AI and design the way Chris Noessel does.

Chris is a former leader at Cooper in San Fransisco, co-author of Make It So: Interaction Design Lessons from Science Fiction (Rosenfeld Media, 2012), co-author of About Face, 4th Edition (Wiley, 2015), and author of Designing Agentive Technology: AI That Works for People (Rosenfeld Media, 2017). Recently he’s begun publishing sci-fi short stories, and he’s is currently contemplating books about meaning machines and interfaces that improve their users.

Join Chris, and the rest of the fantastic track leaders, and get your own 1-year Ambition Empower membership now!

Hi Dan Kindeborg, UX Director at Hemnet

Hi Dan Kindeborg, UX Director at Hemnet. You were one of the first to sign up for Ambition Empower. Why?
– I think it seems like the perfect format. Conferences are fun but the talks often just scratch the surface of things. Courses are usually time-limited and expensive. This seems like something in between, I can learn new stuff and reflect every week.

What would you say are the greatest challenges in your own professional growth, and how do you think Ambition Empower can help you with them?
– I am really curious but there is so much available to read, watch and listen to. I hope this can help me to learn about things that matter to me continuously without having to choose so much what to learn about. I want to be spoon-fed. 😁

The program starts in September, and you’ll have complete access for a full year. So far we’ve only revealed Kim Goodwin and Susan Weinschenk as track leaders. What are you most excited about?
– Kim! I’ve been a fan since I saw her talk about organizational culture in 2014. The topic Design + Product Leadership is right up my alley.

🙏 Thanks Dan! We’re really looking forward to having you with us this fall!

Sounds interesting? You should join too! Check out Ambition Empower to find out more!

Join The List

We help designers and innovative organizations to grow – both in capability and confidence. Sounds interesting? Sign up for our newsletter, and let’s keep in touch.