Design Leader With Unique Cross-Functional Expertise.

I am a 👧🏻 👦🏻 father, 👩🏻 husband, 🗽 New Yorker, ️🚲 cyclist, 🤿 divemaster, 🌎 world traveler, and 👨‍💻 product design leader with a knack for connecting the dots between user needs and business outcomes.

Recent Highlights

 

Over 20+ years I've learned to deliver through ambiguity at scale ranging from timing startups to global enterprises by bringing together evidence-based insights, rapid prototyping, and progressive delivery. I've led teams ranging in size from 2 to 26 people through mergers, acquisitions, closures, and explosive growth. My unique career path has pivoted between leadership roles as a designer, engineer, and product manager thanks to an ownership mindset. I'm passionate about creating excellent products regardless of my title. I pivot back to design because of its unique power to amplify learning.

CV & Resumé

Design Leadership

A design leader is a human leader and functional expert who gives the business a competitive advantage by design.

A good leader has a clarity of purpose and the ability to rally others toward that cause. I believe it is a privilege to lead because it means other people are investing themselves in your purpose.

Team Leader

I find most of my design inspiration in lessons from nature, science, and history. The way I show up for my team is informed by Leadership Models in Nature that demonstrate mentorship, servant leadership, and distributed decision-making. Orca, Lion, Bee

Functional Leader

As a functional expert I try to support these three pillars to create a healthy design practice:

Puzzle

Culture

I believe culture can be designed by rewarding behavior that reinforces our values, intentional hiring, and clear performance management. Culture

Supporting Elements

 

Craft

Making things that meet high quality standards requires learned skills applied in a repeatable process.

Culture

Supporting Elements

 

Commerce

Design is a business function built on creativity. The acts of research, ideation, and delivery are used to make an impact.

Culture

Supporting Elements

Design Principles

Principles help guide consistent high-quality decisions. These are mantras that people have heard me say most often over the last couple of decades.

The Design Process Is Storytelling

Good product design is good storytelling. I believe in using story structure as a rubric for evaluating design work. There is a classic story writing tool called the Story Spine that can be very useful to designers:

Once upon a time there was  ,
Every day  ,
One day  ,
Because of that  ,
Because of that  ,
Until finally  ,
And ever since that day  .

An effective design depends on character development, conflict, and resolution; just like a compelling story. We need to understand our users (characters), frame their problems with evidence (development), ideate broadly on solutions (resolve conflict), and prove those solutions through testing (resolution).

Once upon a time there was User,
Every day User Story,
One day Problem Discovery,
Because of that JTBD,
Because of that Solutions,
Until finally Solution Validation,
And ever since that day Outcomes.

The true value of the Story Spine is unlocked when you use it in tandem with other design processes. There are many wonderful design frameworks to guide the design process such as the Double Diamond, Honeycomb, or The Loop™. These frameworks help designers navigate from ambiguity to clarity through a prescribed sequence of activities. There are more similarities than differences between them.

Many musicians will tell you that the loudest note in music is the rest note. Fine artists step back and squint their eyes. Athletes build recovery into their training. These moments of inaction provide intentional contrast to their respective processes. I've always thought design frameworks could assist designers more with the critical thinking that happens at junctures between each phase. The Story Spine provides a rubric for evaluating the continuity and efficacy of the work at each of these steps.

As a design leader, I focus on bringing together the right people at these inflection points to collaborate on making sure the narrative of the design makes sense. If the story makes sense, the design invariably follows.