Humans Aren't Robots is a series of conversations with designers and creative thinkers uncovering the human elements of teams and modern business practices. We speak to inspirational humans from some of the worlds most successful companies about design means to them in and in particular how it can be applied to the workplace and leadership.
HOW DESIGN CAN TURN A HOUSE INTO A HOME – KATE FREEBAIRN
It was an absolute pleasure to meet and chat with Kate earlier this year at Pausefest. Kate has followed her curiosity and passion and found herself the director of design at NEST which is now a Google company. She studied industrial design here in Australia and had dreams of designing more human connections with computers. She started her career at Emu design in Brisbane at a time when there were only a handful of serious product agencies here in Aus. Her career has taken her to Finland working with Nokia and to the heart of silicon valley with Twitter and Amazon. We spoke about some of the differences in culture across these companies and how they let their employees flourish at work.
I am really interested in the bridge between industrial design and interface design. I think back to 2000 in my final year of high school, in my design class we worked on designing mobile phones, looking at new form factors (mine looked like a slightly slimmer 5210 🙂 I can't help but wish we had focussed on the interface design at that point in time. An industrial design ethos lends itself very well to UX / UI and Kate and I discuss these parallels and how they have helped shape her career across both hardware and software design.
If you would like to find Kate you can on LinkedIn or Twitter and also check out Google Nest
Season 2 - Creative Leadership Trailer
Welcome to Season 2 of Human's Aren't Robots. In this series of conversations we dive into the realm of creative leadership with humans from some of the worlds most successful companies. We have guests from Google, Atlassian, Nest, Phoria, The future of Sex, Up Bank and more - We touch on a wide range of topics with Creative leadership and Design as the central theme - but get into punk rock, skateboarding, sex toys and much much more. We were podcasting live from Pause Fest 2020 - just prior to COVID and the end of travelling podcasts as we knew it!
We hope you enjoy this season.
Empathy is key to leading a team through crisis - Jim Antonopoulos
Following another week of rapidly changing new stories, government updates and more uncertainty, I reached out to Jim Antonopoulos, a fellow designer and friend who's thoughts on leadership and teams I find extremely interesting and thought-provoking. Jim runs Tank, a strategic design & innovation consultancy - if you aren't already subscribed to his weekly newsletter I'd definitely recommend signing up here at marchfirst.com.au
Navigating The Economic Impact of Covid-19 with HT Capital
There is A LOT of information going around at the moment, some of it helpful, some less so. I got in touch with Michael and Tim from HT Capital, clients of ours who are perfectly positioned to offer a helpful perspective to small business owners in the same position as us.
We discussed the importance of small businesses really taking the time now to take a step back, look at their cashflow, pipeline (short and longer-term), different scenarios and how the situation could affect their individual business; rather than diving immediately into getting access to government stimulus packages. It's important to assess your own situation, as every business is unique. How can you shape your business to be in the best possible position in 12 months time?
Out Of The Tank, And Into The Tent - Steve Baxter
We were joined at _southstart by investor and entrepreneur - Steve Baxter. Most people will know Steve from Shark Tank Australia but his career is a lot more extensive than that. He has worked with many successful companies in leading roles over the last 25 years, roles that include Founder, Director, CEO and more.
We discussed the work ethic of young people and how it's changed since Steve's earlier work with start-ups; with an insight into the difference between millennials entering the workforce now vs the generation that were starting out just after the recession of the 90s.
I asked Steve how he maintains his teams, he likes to keep it old school - no ping pong tables and no working from home.
And of course, I had to ask Steve about his time on Shark Tank and whether, as an investor, it was beneficial. Also, touching on the Beer Pal pitch, an app we developed.
A great chat with some insights into an old school work culture in a modern environment. Enjoy!
How To Make Impact With A Purpose
In this episode from _southstart I sat down with three incredible people: Adam McCurdie, Mark Reading and Sarah Gun. They were a part of a panel called "Social Impact: The Time is Now", a really interesting discussion that dove into how we can align technology with humanity to tackle some of the most pressing issues that we face. We take a look into their worlds and what lies ahead for each of them.
Mark is Head of the Foundation and the Australian Lead for the Pledge 1% Foundation. This foundation encourages, inspires and assists companies to pledge 1% of either their equity, profit, time or products to a chosen cause.
Adam is the co-founder and director of Humanitix. A ticketing platform that allows events to make an impact as 100% of booking fees goes towards closing the education gap. They have programs helping girls go to school, scholarships available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, and give nutritious meals to kids who need it as well as educating them on the importance of a balanced diet for a healthy body and mind.
Sarah is the founder of GOGO Events, an Adelaide based company that employs those at risk of and facing homelessness. They run elaborate gala award nights, corporate celebrations, community festivals and more. They are also founding members of Carbon Neutral Adelaide, ensuring to take care of the planet by choosing local suppliers and producers.
This was such a great chat and really inspired me to want to do more. I have signed our team at Digital Noir up to Pledge 1% and everyone has really got on board with this and we're having some great conversations about how we can donate our time and expertise. Watch this space!