Professional development; employer expectations (was RE: book recommendation for everyone)

15 Jun 2005 - 10:03pm
9 years ago
1 reply
647 reads
Dave Malouf
2005

Hi everyone,

Wendy laid out really well, her perspective on education and information
gathering. I don't actually consider those things to be related, but they
are both cost centers for any organization and all costs need to be budgeted
appropriately.

I work for an organization that is finally seeing value (mainly due to
competitive forces) in UX investments. Because this is slow going, they
realize that for designers this might be a frustrating ride, though they
believe firmly, and I've grown to drink the kool-aid myself, that they are
on a good path, towards integrating user-centered methods into the product
lifecycle.

That being said, one of the conversations I've had with my supervisors (not
designers), is around two areas that I believe are related--attrition among
designers, and professional development. I believe that the most important
qualities that designers crave are engagement and inspiration. They need to
feel engaged in designing and creativity, and they need to constantly feel
inspired. There are many many ways to achieve this, and when you are in the
slow route of cultural change in a corporation you can realize that one or
both of these needs to be satisfied elsewhere. So I have had my team go to
conferences, and I have been encouraged to also publish and speak outside
the organization.

I feel very strongly that employers are as responsible for this sort (what's
important to you?) career and lifestyle development, as they are for my
medical insurance. I'd even suggest that they meet me part of the way and
just allow me the time off, w/o paying for the rest of it, and that would be
just dandy.

I'd be curious how others feel about this relationship between employer and
designer. I would imagine this would be really different at the
consultancies than at the product development shops.

-- dave

Comments

16 Jun 2005 - 11:29pm
LukeW
2004

Dave,
Very relevant topic out here in the valley. Where innovative
companies that came into being through creative thinking grow up very
fast and turn into conservative bodies supported by "incremental"
rather than "disruptive" innovation. (granted there are some notable
exceptions). These companies have a hard time finding and keeping the
kind of creative talent they want. Which continually reminds me of
Richard Florida's book: The Rise of the Creative Class.

Florida’s research in the field of economics identified that contrary
to popular opinion, people did not move to where the jobs are, but
rather companies moved to where skilled workers lived. These skilled
workers have increasingly begun to march to a different drummer and
Florida has identified them as a new and vital economic class. His
creative class constitutes more than 30% of the American workforce
and is growing because creativity (the ability to create new
meaningful forms) has become the decisive source of competitive
advantage for virtually every industry. Characteristics of the
creative class include: strong individual identities; a desire for
flexible schedules, challenging work, and peer recognition; front-
loaded and horizontal career paths; and an integration of multiple
interests (people in the creative class identify themselves through a
tangle of connections to myriad creative activities). The creative
class has begun to blur traditional notions of time, work, and
leisure and (by way of their increasing value) instigated changes in
the workplace and the community.

The creative workplace replaces traditional hierarchical systems of
control with new forms of self-management, peer recognition, and
intrinsic forms of motivation. Creativity is now the key element of
global competition, more than the flow of goods and services. We must
begin to think of creativity as a common good, like liberty or security.

Interesting read for sure.

On Jun 15, 2005, at 8:03 PM, David Heller wrote:

> I believe that the most important
> qualities that designers crave are engagement and inspiration. They
> need to
> feel engaged in designing and creativity, and they need to
> constantly feel
> inspired. There are many many ways to achieve this, and when you
> are in the
> slow route of cultural change in a corporation you can realize that
> one or
> both of these needs to be satisfied elsewhere.

::
:: Luke Wroblewski -[ www.lukew.com ]
:: Principal, LukeW Interface Designs
:: luke at lukew.com | 408.879.9826
::

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