After almost 15 years of working in Silicon Valley as a designer in a variety of fixed, dedicated roles internally at large corps and start-ups (with some agency & freelancing, as well), I am now taking a slightly different tack to “delivering design value” to the industry and field at-large. How so?

My focus is now a self-directed “virtuous cycle” of consulting, speaking, and teaching, pursuing those opportunities I’m most passionate about as I consider the shifting of my own career, towards greater autonomy, flexibility, and —hopefully—opportunity for impact that’s way more rewarding than, frankly, battling novice PMs over inconsequential, short-sighted JIRA tickets or panicky feature timelines. I mean, who has time for that?? ;-) 

And yet, those difficult, burdensome questions I articulated in my previous post, coming out of my sabbatical journeys and discussions, still remain ever more present in my mind…They just won’t go away any time soon, for me or for my peers who are just as perplexed by those issues!

Regardless, I intend to stay true to the values & principles I re-discovered amid my journey:

• Pursue design strategically as a committed, equal partner with non-design executives

• Re-assert the intellectual primacy of design discourse in the workplace 

• Drive vivd provocations for new models of business & experience—yes, risky & scary! 

• Guide and educate peers about design process/strategy/culture with a sense of depth and ambition

Beyond that, how am I keeping myself busy these days with this new blend and focus? A variety of things.

• Helping co-organize Enterprise UX 2016 (San Antonio, TX) and supporting the website/marketing of IxDA’s Education Summit 2016 (Helsinki)—working with truly fantastic folks on both events! It’s always an honor and privilege to help stage the forums where inspiring and influential conversations about design can happen.

• Substitute teaching at CCA for undergrad IxD students, on a couple topics: Prototyping and Data Visualization

• Preparing various design talks, including the UX Strategies Summit in early November in SF (redux of my “designing with execs” talk from IxDA 2014) and Design Salon at Citrix

• UX Mentoring via Everwise with design professionals and other professionals seeking UX advice 

• Drafting proposals for design thinking & innovation workshops for various IT firms/clients

• Writing for ACM Interactions and essays on Medium

• Training up on prototyping and pixel tools like Pixate, Macaw, Sketch, etc. (hey, gotta keep those skills sharp!)

Whew! Lots going on, as I emerge somewhat rebooted from my much needed sabbatical…The best is yet to come, as they say ;-) Stay tuned.