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Weekly Inspirations: May 4th, 2018

Here are the things that I think are worth reading and checking out this week: Redesigns As The Anti-Amazon

Amazon’s unstoppable growth has set the entire world of retail back on its heels, but at least one company has the footprint to stand in its way. With $500 billion in annual sales and 11,700 locations across the world, Walmart is still more than three times the size of Amazon in yearly revenue–and it’s not about to be left behind. So over the past two years, Walmart has invested heavily in e-commerce. It snatched up, Bonobos, and Modcloth to expand its online footprint into hip millennial territory, along with the delivery service Parcel to expedite its shipping. More recently, it started offering Amazon-style conveniences like free two-day shipping with no membership fees, and one-button reorder options. Such updates have enabled Walmart’s online sales to grow 50% between 2016 and 2017, but that growth is already slowing. faltered as Walmart struggled to woo the urban market. Walmart may be the bigger retailer, but Amazon’s online revenue in 2017 was almost 10 times that of Walmart’s ($118.57 billion vs. $11.5 billion, respectively)–and Amazon is still growing at a faster rate despite this difference in scale.
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Empowering Leaders, Better Culture, Less Burnout

Leaders can and should exist at all levels in an organization. When you fail to lead, you’re at risk for burning out no matter where you are in an organization – even if you only oversee yourself. Daniel Garcia-Mont and Michael Samuelson from Arizona State University will share observations gleaned from being thrust into leadership via two very different routes and from years of working with Drupal in the United State’s “#1 university for innovation.” They’ll also clear up the haze that clouds the issues that arise when people talk “leadership and management.” $spoiler = (($managers !== ‘bad leaders’) && ($leaders !== ‘good managers’));
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Design thinking is a human-centric, iterative process to understand the user, challenge assumptions, and redefine problems. It’s made up of five core phases: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test. While more and more organizations are recognizing the power of design thinking, it naturally raises the question: how can you best introduce this mindset into a new environment? Here are a few ways to champion design thinking in your company:
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When it comes to creating an e-commerce store, Shopify is the preferred route for many. And when you’re looking for inspiration or ideas (like a DIY project, a recipe, or interior design inspiration for your kitchen remodel), Pinterest may be your virtual go-to. They share a common approach to design—one that has contributed to their success and is a model example for other organizations. They’ve both been built from the ground up to respect and revere design as an essential part of their ethos and their business. Shopify has grown a team of design leaders to evolve what design means, and the role it plays in everything they create. Pinterest has a designer as a co-founder, and they’ve created a designer-friendly culture that emphasizes humility and a focus on the user and the product. Together, both of these companies can teach us about the benefits of having a design-driven culture.
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Cultivating a Designer’s Mind

Incorporating the cultivation of our ‘“Designer’s Mind” into our design practice allows us to harnesses the power of engaging clearly in an interconnected way as we use design models and processes. I’m definitely not just talking about the brain. I’m thinking holistically. Without whole-systems introspection and integration, and an awareness of the state(s) of mind, our designs will be continually restricted and fragmented by day-to-day distractions, attachments, objectification, unconscious conditioning, limiting beliefs and unresolved traumas (personal and collective). Considering that list, we’re doing fair to decent; Still, there are so many shitty designs paved with good intentions. I think the field of design needs a reboot.
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