– Jag tycker att det är jättebra. Jag gillar verkligen upplägget, att det är kontinuerligt, och inte en punktinsats på några dagar. Då är det så lätt att man glömmer allt så fort man är inne i sprintarbetet igen.
Ett medlemskap i Empower ger ju tillgång till ALLT, just nu sex, och snart åtta olika spår inom allt från designledarskap till AI och tjänstedesign. Hur har du lagt upp ditt deltagande?
– I början tänkte jag att jag skulle följa allt, men det går så klart inte. Nu fokuserar jag på Susan Weinschenks båda spår, dels det om Behavioral Design, och dels det om Design Research. Jag följer också med i Per Axboms spår om Digital Etik. För att se till att jag hinner med brukar jag boka upp lite tid med mig själv varje vecka. Det är ju bra att det inte krävs så mycket tid, men det behöver finnas i almanackan.
Vad har varit bäst hittills tycker du?
– Jag gillade verkligen när Per pratade om sin Inclusive Panda, modellen för digital inkludering, och vi fick en chans att jobba med den. Den har jag sedan tagit med mig och gått igenom med mina kollegor. Frågor om digital etik är särskilt viktiga för oss som digital vårdgivare.
Har du några tips till andra som funderar på att gå med?
– Ja, jag tror att man skulle få ut mer om man var fler från den egna organisationen som var med. Så om man har chans att gå hela teamet så är det nog toppen! Då kan man enklare snappa upp och sprida sådant som är av värde både för teamet och för hela organisationen.
Tack Karin, och lycka till med ditt fortsatta deltagande!
… Ambition Empower är en medlemstjänst för kontinuerlig kompetensutveckling för dig som jobbar med digital produkt- och tjänsteutveckling. Upplägget är optimerat för att funka särskilt för dig som har ont om tid, och bara kan investera så lite som en timma i veckan. Häng med!
Jane och jag gjorde de 50 första intervjuerna med designers och chefer i februari och mars förra året. Vår viktigaste slutsats: För att verksamheter skall kunna skapa så bra produkter och tjänster som det bara går – och för att kunna anställa och behålla de bästa – måste man hela tiden utveckla sina arbetssätt, och hjälpa sina anställda att växa.
Kontinuerlig professionell utveckling är absolut nödvändig för både verksamhet och individ. Livspusslet är utmanande. Motivation är viktigt. Enkelhet är avgörande.
Vi bokade möten med några av våra främsta förebilder. Personer som hela tiden tänker ut nya modeller, som har skrivit böckerna, som har koll, och som alltid hjälper branschen att flytta fram positionerna. Jag minns fortfarande känslan när Kim Goodwin – som var först ut – sade ja, och när Susan Weinschenk sade “why didn’t we think of this”.
Anders skissade sedan upp enklast möjliga lösning för hur vi skulle kunna realisera det hela i en första version. WordPress, Woo-commerce, Zoom, Google docs, silvertejp, mycket manuellt arbete, och många långa kvällar.
Under hösten och våren testade vi oss sedan fram för att förstå vad som funkade och vad som borde förändras. Under ledning av Nathalie nyttjade vi interna konferenser och co-creation-sessioner till att kartlägga, idégenerera och utvärdera. Baserat på allt vi lärt oss prototypade vi fram en helt ny lösning – först på papper, sedan i Figma, och nu i en första version utvecklad tillsammans med våra vänner på Matic Tribe, och så klart Jonas på Appmost.
De senaste veckorna har ett tiotal medlemmar haft access till den nya appen. Självklart har vi hittat både buggar och förbättringsmöjligheter, men de inledande kommentarerna är mycket lovande!
Och… NU är det dags. Säg hej till nya Ambition Empower! Nu öppnar vi successivt upp den nya lösningen för alla – nästan 200 – medlemmar.
Om du är sugen på att haka på, så gör det. Vi lovar att det kommer att bli både lärorikt och roligt!
PS. I September börjar dessutom två helt nya spår; Service Design med Chris Risdon (som skrivit den grymt bra “Orchestrating Experiences”, och som har en bakgrund på klassiska Adaptive Path), och Product Management for UX People med Christian Crumlish, som precis kommit ut med boken med samma namn. Missa inte dessa! 🌟 DS.
Say hi to Nalla Faye, Director of Design at H&M, living in Paris, and Ambition Empower member since September 2021. Nalla is currently following 4 different tracks; AI & Design, Digital Ethics, Behavioral Design, and Leadership in Design and Product Organizations.
Nalla has a super interesting career. She started out in economics, specialized in journalism writing about Tech and media, and then turned to UX, working for Topshop, Testapic, and now H&M.
Hi Nalla! We’re so happy to have you with us. What’s your impression so far?
– I really like it! The combination of things to do, live meetings, and miro boards to collaborate is really powerful, and it makes the different tracks easy to follow. Also, I really like the leaders. Kim Goodwin, Chris Noessel, Per Axbom, and Susan Weinschenk are all super-skilled and very engaging.
Wow! We’re so happy that you like it! What would you say makes Empower different from other professional growth opportunities?
– What makes it different? That it’s easy and straight to the point. I learn a lot without wasting time. Conferences are often fun, but more inspiring and social than practical. Courses can sometimes work, but the Empower setup where we learn continuously in small chunks makes it very sustainable and easy for me to apply that new knowledge to H&M week after week. And that’s really what it’s all about – making use of what you learn. Right?
Absolutely! Is there anything else that you would like to add?
– Yes. The breakouts in the live sessions have been really useful. It’s so lovely to connect and talk casually to people outside your company. It brings new perspectives. Overall by listening in or interacting with others, I get a lot of “aha” moments from the sessions, which makes me feel more empowered and inspired.
Thanks, Nalla! I really appreciate talking to you! Good luck with everything!
Ambition Empower is a professional development service where design and product thought-leaders help you and your team grow. 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. Read more, and join Nalla and almost 200 other design and product professionals here!
Habits. The key to success in so many different situations… Last week I talked to Lyndon Craig, Head of Design at Electrolux APAC & MEA, and a member of our professional development program, Ambition Empower.
You’re in Singapore. When I start my workday here in Sweden, you’re nearing the end of yours. How has Empower worked out for you so far?
– Attending the live sessions has been a challenge, for sure, since they usually start around 10 or 11 pm my time. Although, the ones I’ve managed, with Kim Goodwin and Susan Weinschenk, have been great!
Succeeding with continuous professional growth is all about creating productive habits. When, and how, are you finding the time to get through the list of recommended articles, videos, etc.?
– Haha, my daughter is an early riser. She gets up a quarter past five. Way earlier than she needs to. I go up with her, drink my coffee, and catch up with Empower. For me, this works best. Once the workday gets going, I find it hard to take time for myself, and since I often have meetings in the evenings, mornings work best for me.
Going forward. Is there anything in particular that you’re looking forward to?
– Yes! Talking about habits… I’ve started following Susan Weinschenk’s new track on Behavioral Design. I’ve got a few things to catch up with, but it’s an area that I’m really interested in, so I’m very much enjoying this.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to me Lyndon, and thanks for being a part of Empower!
Ambition Empower is a professional development service where design and product thought-leaders help you and your team grow. 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!
– The setup, with a mix of live events and things to do on your own time, is perfect! Even when you forget to plan for it, you can always make time for some of the bite-size material, even when super busy.
– Yes, and it saves us time in finding great new material. We usually spend time reading up on new trends and methods anyway, but here we can follow in the footsteps of Kim Goodwin and Susan Weinschenk and get a curated list of recommendations!
Glad you like it! Our goal is to help all members to keep growing in a fun, efficient, and accessible way. So far, has Empower helped you change the way you work, or made you more efficient?
– Absolutely. We have been inspired to rethink how we work with internal stakeholders, seeing them as customers, or users, of our work. We have worked with UX for many years, but both Susan and Kim have given us valuable tools that have helped us become even better at aligning our research work with the company’s strategy.
– One concrete example is that we are looking into Continuous Discovery, working closer with the development teams, in addition to the more strategic projects we already do. This adds value both for our employer and for us.
– Ultimately, it is all about how we can build better products. We want to deliver a great experience for the customers, and create value for our business. Empower, and everything we learn, inspires us to explore new ways of working.
Finally. Do you have anything in particular that you would like to share with others who consider joining?
– Come along! All the methods we go through are very hands-on and easy to apply in our everyday work.
– Yes. Being two people from the same organization, who attend the same tracks, makes it easier to put what we learn into practice. We collaborate a lot and discuss what we picked up from a session or related to some of the shared material. Sometimes we decide to dive deeper into a topic, such as the Continuous Discovery method, where Ambition Empower led the way into this area for us.
Thank you so much for the great feedback, and for taking the time to talk to us! Best of luck going forward!
Ambition Empower is a professional development service where design and product thought-leaders help you and your team grow. 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!
How many products and services have you created? How many ends have you designed?
There is a gap in the consumer lifecycle that needs attention – the end. The problems are piled high in this gap: pollution, unwanted pictures on social media, risks to security…
– We talked to Joe Macleod back in 2017 about ends. Highlighting how companies are poor at creating ends… even poor at admitting ends exist… and scared to embrace endings as something natural. We focused mainly on highlighting the lack of good endings and that there was a gap to be filled. Then we talked to Krystal Higgins about onboarding in Episode 272. The beginning of a relationship, of adoption.
– Now it’s time to talk to Joe about offboarding, designing better ends. Endineering, as Joe calls it. What we can do – practically – to create good endings.
At Ambition, our mission is to help design and product professionals to grow, both in capability and confidence. Now, we’re starting up what’s probably our most important collaboration this year. Empower is growing, and it’s time to move beyond google docs, duct tape, and manual labor.
👋 So, say hi to Carl Rynning and Matic Tribe! Carl was one of our first Empower members, and Matic Tribe is a team of highly talented developers in Gothenburg. We’re so happy that they want to take Empower to the next stage together with us!
🥇 First up, we’ll implement a bunch of things to make it easier for Jane, Anders, Nathalie, and the rest of us to run the service. Later in the spring, we’ll also add several useful member features, not least making the service available as an app on your phone. So, yes, there will soon be an app for that!
🙋♀️ Right now, we’re getting ready for some really exciting co-creation and user testing sessions with members, so let us know if you want to help out!
With more than 2 million downloads UX Podcast is one of the world’s biggest podcasts for design and product people. There are just so many classic episodes with people like; Indi Young, Brad Frost, Erika Hall, Jeff Gothelf, Kate Rutter, Melissa Perri, Mike Monteiro, Alan Cooper, Brad Frost, and Luke Wroblewski. And more are coming!
Now… going forward… all the episodes will be recorded exclusively together with the members of Ambition Empower!
Join Ambition Empower and follow the UX Podcast track to get backstage access to James Royal-Lawson, Per Axbom, and guests. Get inspiration from a wide variety of the world’s most exciting design and product people – LIVE – at least once a month.
Psst. This track will not include weekly tasks or preparations, you just join the sessions and enjoy! 🌈
Knowledge about nudging, gamification, and behavioral psychology is absolutely essential. The more you and your team know and understand people and behavior, the better products and services you can create, and the more you can motivate people to take action.
I’m so happy that Susan Weinschenk, author of, e.g., “Neuro Web Design,” “How to Get People to Do Stuff,” and “100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People”, will be leading a track on Behavioral Design at Ambition Empower!
Topics will, e.g., include:
How to design to encourage particular decisions The impact of social norms and how to use them in your designs
Unconscious instincts and how your messaging, wording, and images might affect the urge to take action
Habit formation and conditioned responses – how actions become habitual, and how to design for habit formation
When rewards do and don’t work, why gamification often fails and what to do about it
How to encourage the desire for mastery as a motivator through your design decisions
Why some things grab our attention, and others don’t, and how to design to get attention
Generational differences in thinking and behavior and their impact on the design decisions you make
System 1 and System 2 thinking and how to design for one vs. the other
Professional development in the post-industrial world is broken. The old waterfall model Learn→Work→Retire no longer applies. As we advance as design and product professionals, we need to keep growing beyond what we learn on the job. We continuously need to improve our “soft” skills, like leadership, and conquer new areas, such as AI – and we need to do this while working full-time jobs and living our best lives with our loved ones. Continuous growth sounds great, but the calendar is packed, so… how can we make it happen?
From a national and corporate perspective, professional development is all about competition. Countries need to develop and keep the best talent to ensure a prospering society, and companies need to outrun or keep up with their competitors. Yet, there are no national structures or systems to ensure that academics in tech or design continue to grow and stay on top after they leave University. This responsibility lies solely on the employers and employees.
Demand for tech and design people has never been higher, recruitment costs are soaring, and employees stay shorter and shorter. Nevertheless, access to valuable professional development is still not a given.
– “What happens if we invest in developing our people, and then they leave us?”
– “What happens if we don’t, and they stay?”
This is an old saying, but it’s still true. Investing in your people is not only the right thing to do to ensure organizational development; it’s also a cheap way to attract and retain talent.
However, when companies do decide to invest, they often resort to internal learning platforms to teach you about… corporate values, sustainability, and GDPR. This is all good, but it doesn’t really address the challenge we’re focusing on here. In all fairness, sometimes these organizations will also provide access to a traditional video-based online learning platform, e.g., LinkedIn Learning, or send you on a conference or 2-day workshop.
This is… something. But, unfortunately, it doesn’t work.
Here’s what’s wrong
Online self-studies like LinkedIn Learning, Coursera, and others are not responsive enough to cater to the participants’ needs. And “do it when you have time” is often a bug, not a feature. Unfortunately, later often turns to never. On top of that, the content quickly gets old, and the quality is often so-so.
Conferences are great, for inspiration (and parties!). And don’t get me wrong, we really need that, but in terms of professional development, they’re the wrong solution. Believe me, I’ve organized quite a few.
Traditional 2-5-day courses… First, it’s tough for most of us with busy schedules to take that amount of time out from work and away from our families. Second, if we manage to get away, it’s really hard to remember what we learned a few weeks later. It’s a bit like cramming for an exam at Uni. A few intense days of study, pass the test, and… what did I learn again? And, back at work, we’re caught up in the same routines and ways of working as before.
Longer formats, with a few weeks of space between the course days/sessions, are also hard to prioritize. But since you get to reflect and practice between the sessions, they can work well when, e.g., shifting into a new role. But, change is constant, and we need to keep growing. Every day.
Ok. Professional development is broken. So what? Do we have a solution? I think so. It’s definitely not perfect yet, but we have a few really promising ideas.
Ambition what? Empower.
Ambition Empower is a subscription service for continuous development where thought-leaders within product and design help you and your team grow. 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.
It is still early days, and the service is changing and developing as we learn more about what works and what doesn’t. It’s not perfect by any means, but both our members and we are very excited about it so far.
Fundamental success factors
So, what does it take to create a continuous learning experience that helps people grow, if not every day, so at least every week? We’re currently trying out lots of ideas, but here’s a list of what we, so far, believe are fundamental success factors, and that we are experimenting with for Ambition Empower.
For professional development to really work, it needs to be:
Continuous. Learning new things needs to be continuous and integrated into our everyday lives. We need something new, if not every day, so at least every week.
Organized. It needs to be planned. We need that time blocked in our calendars, with elements that cannot be pushed to “later.” We also need weekly plans and to-do lists.
Supportive. When we get stuck or fall behind, we need an occasional supportive message or two.
Bite-sized. It needs to fit into a busy and fragmented schedule. We can’t dedicate days, but an hour is fine. Or at least a few minutes here and there.
Highly curated. Time is scarce, and we need to be highly selective. If you google, e.g., “design leadership,” you get 845.000 hits. With a 5-minute average reading time, that’s 3.000 years. We don’t have that. We need help finding and prioritizing what to consume, preferably from the greatest experts on the very topics we’re interested in.
Accessible. It needs to be online so that everyone can participate. Vilnius, Varberg, or the Vatican. It does not matter.
Live, and in real-time. Meeting other people, even if it’s online, is underrated. Doing together is growing together, also on a Miro board in a break-out session.
Agile. The topics and content need to continuously adapt to the latest insights and, of course, to the members’ needs.
Affordable. By coordinating and pooling our resources, we can make this happen and hire the best coaches and experts to help us develop our skills.
These are just a few thoughts, originating from our work with Ambition Empower. There’s much more to be said, but this will have to do for now.
What would you add to the list, and what are your thoughts on continuous professional development? E-mail me at . I’d love to hear your thoughts! Thanks!
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