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Weekly Inspirations: Dec 7, 2018

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

Why Seclusion Is the Enemy of Creativity

In 1545, Jacopo da Pontormo scored a major commission from Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici to paint the main chapel of Florence’s church of San Lorenzo. A contemporary of masters like Michelangelo, Pontormo was a distinguished but aging artist who was eager to secure his legacy. Pontormo knew he needed to make these frescoes the crowning achievement of his career, so he sealed off the entire chapel. He built walls, erected partitions, and hung blinds so that nobody could steal his ideas or sneak an early peek. Trusting no one, he chased away local youth and kept human contact to a minimum. He spent eleven years holed up, painting Christ on Judgement Day, Noah’s ark, and Creation itself. Pontormo died before his work on the chapel was done, and none of it survives, but the legendary Renaissance writer Vasari visited the site soon after the painter’s death. He reported a confused composition and unsettling lack of alignment, scenes that ran into each other every which way. Robert Greene writes, “These frescoes were visual equivalents of the effects of isolation on the human mind: a loss of proportion, an obsession with detail combined with an inability to see the larger picture.”
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What Designers Need To Know About Algorithms

As almost everything around you has gone through a design process, but algorithms need some design 💖 #too. I’ve been working with data scientists intensively over two years now, trying to bring both worlds a bit closer together.
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How Home Depot “Home Depot-ized” the design sprint

One of the great things about the design sprint is that it’s customizable. A design sprint is simply a framework around which to base your exploration into your most important product decisions. Especially when it comes to larger enterprises, some customization might be necessary. While writing Enterprise Design Sprints, in which Home Depot is prominently featured, I spoke to Brooke Creef, UX manager at the organization, about how they customized the design sprint for company use. Here’s what we learned based on their “Home Depot-izing” of the design sprint.
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HOW DESIGN BECAME BUSINESS’S BEST WEAPON IN TODAY’S DIGITAL ECONOMY

It’s no coincidence that McKinsey’ s latest industry research found a direct correlation between those ranking high in design index scores and superior business performance, with up to 32% higher revenue growth observed. The message is loud and clear: design is no longer a nice to have in business, it’s a must-have. As businesses begin to grasp the vital role that design can play in their organization, the practice is rapidly climbing the ranks as one of the key investment priorities for the c-suite and board today. Those who haven’t woken up to this yet risk being left behind amid rapid, industry-wide digital transformation.
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The 10 Best Instagram Tools for 2019

In June, Instagram reached 1 billion monthly active users worldwide, as reported by Statista. The process of liking photos, sharing stories and getting new followers has turned the platform into a social staple (even my grandma is liking cat memes on IG versus Facebook these days). More importantly, Instagram has become a goldmine for marketers, influencers and brands. Here are some of the best tools available for obtaining insights, driving results and leveraging Instagram in 2019. Happy ‘Gramming.
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How To Lead a Team With Empathy and Kindness

Empathy and kindness aren’t normally seen as qualities you need to lead a team. But I believe in them so much. A lot of people think of leadership qualities as “paternal” — qualities like being aggressive or stern. I think of them as maternal. I think the best managers have caring, empathetic personalities. Most people overlook the importance of being able to show emotion. Even if you think of yourself as an empathetic or kind person, becoming a leader will change how you exercise that empathy.
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