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Weekly Inspirations: May 18th, 2018

Here are the things that I think are worth reading and checking out this week:

Google Just Remade Its Brand Again

Google announced a major new initiative called Material Theming. It’s a sequel to its Material Design system that allows companies to easily apply their own colors, typefaces, shapes, and other branding elements directly to an interface in perfect visual harmony. While Google was building out Material Theming, the company enlisted itself as its first customer. So if you’ve seen initiatives like the new Gmail, you’ve already seen a taste of how Google is using Material Theming to remake its own apps and websites. Google VP of Material Design Matias Duarte walked me through the process the company used to refine own brand using its new tool–and how it applied the familiarity of its iconic primary color logo and Search bar to its many other interfaces and products.
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Three Steps To Fix A Broken Culture

Our world is in a constant state of change and organizations are evolving to create exceptional cultures.  Is yours According to Gallup, “The world’s best organizations don’t simply promise a great employee experience; they create a culture of engagement in which employees can continuously develop and thrive. Leaders at these world-class organizations treat their workplace culture as a powerful competitive differentiator. They set the tone for their desired culture, communicating consistently and holding managers accountable for team engagement and performance.” Gallup awarded 39 organizations the prestigious Gallup Great Workplace Award for 2018. What did these organizations do that placed them at the top? They created outstanding workplace cultures. How did they do this? By discovering what their people craved, assessing their current culture and implementing a GAME plan. These three steps create alignment, foster communication, focus on strengths and leverage trust. Let’s dive in so you can have an exceptional organization.
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How to get a job at X

In this series we talk to people at some of the most admirable companies & studios out there, simply asking: How do I get a job on your design team?
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Lobe’s ridiculously simple machine learning platform aims to empower non-technical creators

Machine learning may be the tool de jour for everything from particle physics to recreating the human voice, but it’s not exactly the easiest field to get into. Despite the complexities of video editing and sound design, we have UIs that let even a curious kid dabble in them — so why not with machine learning? That’s the goal of Lobe, a startup and platform that genuinely seems to have made AI models as simple to put together as LEGO bricks. I talked with Mike Matas, one of Lobe’s co-founders and the designer behind many a popular digital interface, about the platform and his motivations for creating it.
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4 Examples That Will Confirm You Were Born to Be a Leader

Ever wonder if you’re true leadership material? Perhaps you’ve been told you are, but the question is, by what standard? Thousands of leadership books are written each year, many of them with marketing agendas to rehash and repackage what has been talked about for decades. What is true about leadership that will remain unchanged through the centuries is this: It’s about people and relationships. And that requires that leaders have a natural bent for both. If you’re not into either, you’re not a leader. And you can start with the proven fact that great leaders aspire to lead by serving the needs of their people. You don’t need flavor-of-the-month books and expensive formal training to learn this concept. But you do need to develop and measure yourself against the standards of great leadership (which I strongly propose to be servant leadership). Here are four top leadership characteristics I have witnessed that float to the top. Do any describe you?
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Amazon’s Director of Learning Science shares 5 hacks to help you learn anything

Whether you’re a student, an entry-level employee or an entrepreneur with your own company, learning is a vital part of getting ahead. Warren Buffett says he still spends 80 percent of his time reading and learning. “You don’t really start getting old until you stop learning,” said Bill Gates to Time in 2017. But some people seem to be better learners than others. Stanford professor Candace Thille is an expert in learning. She previously taught at Stanford’s Neurosciences Interdepartmental Program, directed the Stanford Open Learning Initiative and co-directed the Stanford Lytics Lab. Currently, Thille is currently taking a leave of absence from teaching in order to serve as the Director of Learning Science and Engineering at Amazon.
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The CEO of IDEO explains how your “creative capacity” is the key to surviving automation

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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