25—The Reckoning

In which Peter and Jesse take stock of emerging themes from prior conversations, trying to make sense of the crucial challenges of design and design leadership.

This will be the last episode for a while, probably until autumn. Please stay in touch!


Peter: I’m Peter Merholz.

Jesse: And I’m Jesse James Garrett,

Together:  And we’re finding our way

Peter: Navigating the opportunities and challenges of design and design leadership.

Jesse: Here we are at episode 25. We have had a whole bunch of interesting conversations that were just the two of us. We have had a whole bunch of interesting conversations that involved some other folks as well. We’ve definitely been chasing some threads. We have been following some emergent themes. And we’ve each had different things, I think, that have come out of these conversations that have resonated with us.

And so, I thought it would be a great way to wrap up the year here on episode 25 with a little bit of reflection and kind of riffing a bit on those emergent themes, and those big, outstanding questions that we still have about all of this stuff—the challenges and opportunities of design and design leadership.

Peter: I’ve heard about those.

I did my homework, and I came up with, like, probably 25 new truisms that I think I’ve got, well, I was just writing shit as it occurred to me. I basically went back over every episode, going back to episode one, and try to plug new truisms, that weren’t the same as the ones that I already had in my design leadership truisms thing. And then I did some filtering and prioritization and I’ve got, oh, eight to 10 that actually bubbled up.

Jesse: Hm. Wow. Well, you approach this task with a great deal more rigor than I did. I have…

Peter: You were always that kid who skated by in class, didn’t you? You’re like, “I’m smart. I don’t need to try that hard.”

Jesse: I’ll just wing it in the moment. Yes.

Peter: Did you also have heavy metal T-shirts? ‘Cause the kid in my school who did that was a total metalhead.

Jesse: I had the punk rock t-shirt. It’s not the heavy metal t-shirts but yes, yes, I was that kid.

Well, why don’t you kick us off with something that has bubbled to the top for you?

Peter: For me, I think if we have one piece of settled law, when it comes to the conversations we are having, it is that “Leadership is relationship.”

 Jesse: Yeah.

Peter: So often, I think leadership is thought of as vision. Leadership is thought of as something galvanizing or high and mighty.

And when we were exploring these concepts one-on-one earlier, and then as we’ve involved others in the conversations these last few months, it just keeps coming back for me that the medium in which leadership exists is relationships.  Yeah. That was new for me.

I gave talks and workshops on leadership and never talked about relationships. I talked about elements of relationships, communication, or managing down, managing across, managing up, diplomacy. But I never actually used the word relationship, I don’t think. Or if I did, I didn’t bubble it up to the top in a way that I would going forward, to focus on, in order to lead, you need to manage your relationships.

Jesse: Yeah. I actually just realized that I have the notebook here where I first wrote that phrase down. I was doing a brainstorm just trying to figure out, “What’s my territory? What’s my sweet spot? What do I really care about? What are the areas of challenge that I see myself focusing on?” and, man, this has gotta be at least two years old, maybe two and a half years.

Peter: Oh, no shit.

Jesse: Yeah, this is where it started. I did this brainstorm of the big topics that were floating around in my brain. And then I did some IA to those and that kind of boiled down to this big idea. So, yeah, yeah, totally, totally agree with that one.

And I think some interesting things have come out of that, that when I first wrote this down, I didn’t really appreciate at the time, that I’ve discovered through our conversation. Part of it having to do with trust, and trust being the foundation of those relationships, and the craft of leadership being in some ways, the craft of creating trusting relationships and being trustworthy and fostering and facilitating trustworthiness in your environment.

Peter: Yeah. 100%, we talked a lot about trust. It’s funny that you talk about that as a craft. ‘Cause one of my new truisms, related to a couple of things you just said, is, I wrote, “The crafts of (design) leadership are communication and information architecture.”

Jesse: Hm. Interesting.

Peter: And I, I did…

Jesse: I agree with that. I mean, yes.

Peter: Obviously, communication, you can’t relate without communicating and communicating here means all kinds of things, including as a means towards building those trusting relationships.

The information architecture piece though came about… It’s funny though, ‘cause you said you applied IA to your thinking. One of the words that I’m thinking about, it was spurred by some work I did with a client recently, is the word “enduring,” that which lasts, that which stands the test of time. And I think information architecture supports leadership that endures, and I use information architecture because I think, and maybe it’s been exacerbated by operating distributed and remotely through a pandemic, if leadership is about communication, leadership is then about information, and you need to be able to manage and structure and capture and make accessible that information that is your leadership. And you need to think about it intentionally. And that’s I think what led me to that architectural frame.

Jesse: I think also leaders are, of necessity, orchestrators of systems, and systems instantiate knowledge as information architecture within them. So, the IA that gets embedded and coded, baked into your systems, becomes the way that the organization understands the world. And so, it is on the leader to imbue, infuse, enrich that IA with as complex and nuanced and understanding as they possibly can. On that systems note, this brings me to something tangentially related which is the note that I’ve written down here as organizations eat design for lunch. And what I mean by that is that there is this constant pressure to take the wild messiness of the creative process, and standardize, componentize, compartmentalize that process into that which is predictable and repeatable. And this is going to be the natural tendency of all organizations. And it’s like gravity that design leaders are going to continue to have to pull against because that is what organizations do. They take these complex functions and digest them, break them down into…

Peter: Metabolize them…

Jesse: Yeah, there you go. Metabolize them. Absolutely. And, in order to preserve that wild spark of the creative process, the design leader has to find ways to prevent it from being digested and to prevent it from being standardized, componentized, rationalized.

Peter: So, number one was Leadership is relationship. Number two is, Your job is to help people cope with uncertainty.

Jesse: Very true. Very true.

Peter: And I was addressing exactly what you’re talking about in order for design to succeed.

You have to play in an uncertain space for a while, and that makes other people very uncomfortable. And so, a design leader needs to have ways of helping others live with that uncertainty, manage that uncertainty, be okay with that uncertainty, thrive in that uncertainty, whatever it is, because that’s the reality.

Jesse: …And to resist definitions of design that drive out uncertainty. To have design turned into a function that becomes all about certainty, it diminishes the value you get from design, because you aren’t doing that experimentation out at the edges. And it’s interesting, too, because you know, we’ve talked about the path of the individual leader and the way that when you are an individual contributor at a senior level, your credibility often is tied to your expertise and your depth of knowledge. And then you move into a leadership position, and the role is often asking you to weigh in in places where not only do you not have the expertise, no one has the expertise. And in fact, it’s on you to manage the dynamic that comes out of that. And it can lead to this undermining of confidence because we don’t know where our own credibility comes from as leaders anymore, if we have previously completely attached that to craft and haven’t attached it to the relationship building, the trust building and so forth.

Peter: Yeah, there was one that is related to what you were just saying. It is, “Design leaders should not lead as others do.”

Figuring out your leadership style is important. And that’s true for any leader, not just design leaders, but I think there could be an unfortunate tendency for design leaders to see, as models, other leaders Who lead toward certainty, and that would be harmful for design. So, we need to chart our own leadership path that embraces that which makes design interesting.

And there aren’t really many, if any, models of how to do that successfully,

Jesse: Yeah. Yes. And I think it’s on the design leader to be aware of the culture that they’re situated in, and its willingness to embrace or support multiple models of leadership. Because I think often design leaders get forced into, they get pushed into… this shape, according to what’s made leaders successful in other functions in the organization that are nothing like design, that have nothing to do with design, but have established the template for leadership in the organization as a whole. And so, this is part of what I mean about having to fight against those expectations of the organization as a whole. And I hate to frame it as a fight. There’s so much I noticed reflecting on the season, there’s so much, us versus them

Peter: Yeah, there’s an antagonism.

Jesse: Yeah. You know, the best stories that we’ve heard from folks in these conversations have been the stories of partnership. It hasn’t been about how I slapped down the head of engineering and put them in their place, right? Yeah. Yeah. Like that. Doesn’t get you there.

Peter: Well, one of the ones related to this is, Success requires shared ownership. And I think that came out in our recent conversation with Jen. It’s actually come out in some work that I’m doing. But to what you’re saying, and this is, I think, one of the hopefully temporary challenges of design leadership, is these two modes of needing to fight, to protect the space for the uncertainty of design in order for it to operate as impactfully as it can; while recognizing that ultimately in order to succeed, it’s not about a fight to protect, it’s about a way to partner and share and collaborate. And we’re caught between these two modes and I think design leaders find themselves vacillating in between them.

And I think that’s a particular struggle. I think more mature functions, particularly when you think about senior leadership, they become less and less about the function and they become more and more about a joint understanding of success.

But design has trouble committing to that joint understanding of success because there’s still work to be done to clarify the opportunity, and the role, and the potential impact design can have. And if you get too shared too soon, you blunt that. Design feels like it starts to accommodate to a dominant mode.

Jesse: Yeah. I think that’s true. and so much of this, it feels like comes back to. How do I, as a design leader, get permission to take some more chances and not be adhering to a script that was written for me by somebody else? But how do I get the space to explore around those edges and try some stuff that might not work?

Peter: Yeah, I think something that I’m not good at, and I suspect other design leaders have trouble with, is playing a long game.

We want to make the kind of change we desire immediately once given some authority to do so. And then I think often get rejected as being incompatible. When I was doing the work supporting Kaiser Permanente, the guy I was working with, who’d been there 30 years, had this model for, How do you get permission, essentially?

And in that organization, it didn’t matter what you did before you joined Kaiser Permanente. You could have run a big design team, even at another healthcare company, but it wasn’t Kaiser Permanente. And so when you joined Kaiser Permanente, the first thing you needed to do was demonstrate competence with what was expected of you.

Only after you demonstrated competence, then that allowed you to build relationships. There’s that word. Build relationships to develop the social capital. And only once you had that, could you then exhibit initiative, right?

And the issue that this guy saw was that people would try to get to initiative out of the gate, ‘cause they’re like, “What, I was super successful in these other contexts. I know what I’m doing. Things are not working as they should here. I want to do things in a new way for Kaiser, thus, I want to take initiative,” and those folks would inevitably get slapped back, slapped back, slapped back, and the people who succeeded were those who spent a couple years chopping wood and carrying water within the context, but not going native, not just becoming part of the machine. always maintaining that understanding of the long view, but realizing you have to build toward it.

Jesse: Yeah. So it sounds like even with the politics, you want to engage with them intentionally with your own ends in mind, and not allow the politics to take over what drives all of your choices, but to maintain a certain healthy distance from it as you’re playing that long game.

Music break 1

Jesse: Thematically, I feel like this quest for credibility is a recurring theme that I’ve heard in conversation with a lot of design leaders and it manifests in a lot of different ways. Often I feel once you find your way into that leadership position, your credibility is your currency among your peers. That credibility is what allows your peers to either align with you around the next crazy thing that you want to do, or at least to be able to say, “I don’t understand this, but you seem to, so I’m gonna step back and be hands off.” If you don’t have that credibility, then you aren’t able to get that broad web of support among that peer group. That web of personal trust among a group of empowered peers allows for the flexibility and permission to break all of the rules. Any kind of systemic intervention can be overridden by the choices made by that group of trusting empowered peers. They decide the rules of the game. They can do whatever they want.

Peter: Right, another item that bubbled up, was “Even leaders need cover.”

So yes, you need credibility. That credibility can often be enabled or enhanced, or even just simply established, by your leader. And that relationship that you have with your leader and,

Jesse: Well, leaders have the ability to bestow or convey credibility upon the leaders underneath them in the organization.

Peter: And I think a challenge for these heads of design is they often don’t get the cover from their leader, because their leader doesn’t understand what they do. Their leader often feels obligated to bring on someone in that role, but doesn’t necessarily appreciate what that role takes.

And so that design leader then isn’t awarded organizational credibility from their leader to then behave as they see fit. And that creates this constraint for this design leader’s ability to make the kind of change they want, because their peers are, like, “Your boss doesn’t quite know what to do with you. So why should we’d expect to know what to do with you?”

Jesse: Yeah. This goes back to a lot of what we talked about in the charter two-parter. For design leaders who haven’t done that charter work, they don’t know what their message is, they don’t know what their story is. They don’t know what their value proposition is.

And so, they’re not in a position to set their leaders up to be effective evangelists for them, effective salespeople for them, effective partners for them. If you consider the value of design to be totally apparent on its surface, then you’re going to have challenges as a leader because you are going to need to be able to articulate that at a deeper level than you have before.

Peter: Yes. this kind of relates to something else I wrote.

“Design’s true superpower is to make the intangible tangible.”

Jesse: Hmm.

Peter: This is one that I came to perhaps thinking a bit about our conversation with Erica and how “the business model is the new grid.”

A lot of times the challenge with models, business models, et cetera, is they are intangible, and there’s a role that design plays in putting shape to that which others are advocating, to help everybody understand the implications.

That ability to provide some something concrete to that which can otherwise feel very abstract, just brings so much clarity into an organization. And I don’t think we as designers and design leaders embrace that nearly enough.

We seem to think our superpower is in our craft of delivery. That is a power, but I think our superpower is that ability to take something fuzzy and uncertain and vague and nebulous and give it shape so that it can then be discussed.

Jesse: Yeah. I like this because it ties together what I’ve seen as this growing divergence in design practice across these different problem domains. As we’ve talked about, the way design is practiced in house is starting to look pretty different from how design is practiced in agencies. And the way that design is practiced when you are working on a product that is central to the revenue engine of an organization is a very different story from what design looks like when you’re working on value-adds or ancillary functions of the organization. And I do see that what they all have in common is this process of making the intangible tangible. But I think that the untapped value of design that we hear a lot of folks yearning to see realized is that process of making the intangible, tangible as a mode of inquiry, as a way of eliciting answers to deeper questions rather than shallower ones.

Peter: Hm.

Jesse: And in what I have thought of as the production UX world, where UX roles are really reduced to prototypers, Figma jockeys, the nature of the questions that are getting answered through that design work are pretty shallow. And meanwhile, you’ve got the agencies which are potentially doing concept development work, or other kinds of ideation work where they’re asking much deeper questions. But not a lot of organizations are synthesizing those. Not a lot of organizations are creating a holistic sense of design. Everybody is looking at design in terms of these narrow slices of value that it can deliver.

Peter:  There’s this missing layer of strategic design as a practice that I think was emerging 15, 10 years ago through practices such as ours and IDEO’s and Frog’s and other companies.

Much of design was happening within agencies and consulting companies. And then as design shifted in house, that strategic engagement has fallen off in favor of production because that’s the obvious value.

And there’s what we talked about with Jorge. There’s green shoots of recognition that this has been missing, but it’s, you know, it’s green shoots in a desert.

There needs to be a concerted effort to try to reinvigorate, go back to what Erica talked about, that critical role that design can play in thinking about futures and opportunities.

Jesse: Yeah. Well, if I think about the original dream of UX, the dream was that these practices would enable product strategy, product definition, product decisions to be made with experiential outcomes as the primary criteria for whether or not something shipped. And the idea implicit in that, being that value would naturally flow from optimizing for experiential outcomes, that has not really happened. The designers have been sort of sent back to their desks to make more screens. A few of the business consulting types have picked up some design language and maybe a little bit of design philosophy and stirred it into their practices to make their clients feel more creative somehow, yeah. And the promise hasn’t been realized. And there are a lot of the UX old school folks like ourselves who feel like something has been lost along the way, okay, and are getting pretty discouraged about what it’s going to take to recapture that or to fulfill that promise. But my question is, Was that promise one worth investing in, in the first place? Like was the dream of UX, really just a dream?

Peter: My short answer is no.

My slightly longer answer is, if we look back on the state of user experiences in 2001, when we started Adaptive Path, and we look at the state of user experiences, essentially 20 years later, I would say that on the whole things have improved, primarily with digital user experiences

Much has been done to allay the confusion and consternation and various obstacles that people faced trying to use tools to do things in their lives. And I think, on the whole, things are better. What I think we didn’t appreciate was a little bit of the, “then what?” part of that. Okay. Now you’ve made it easier to do your banking or pay bills or buy shit.

I think one of the things, as we’re getting towards the end of what for many people is quite possibly the single most difficult year, probably in my lifetime, is a feeling like, “Then what, what next, to what end?” Okay. So we’ve raised the floor for user experiences to enable more and more people to manage basic functions in their lives, but it feels like we did that with the sense, that as you said, simply by doing that, that was value in and of itself.

Jesse: Well, definitely experience design work needs to be a lot more contextual than it was 20 years ago. It needs to be more contextual than it is now, in taking into account the second order, third order effects of our design choices, the systemic effects of our design choices, looking beyond the individual user experience to the impact that has on experiences of families, communities, societies.

Additionally, a huge piece of the context that’s been missing, you know, thinking about that dream of UX as I described it, that was actually a dream of organizational change, a dream of changing the way that organizations make decisions to put humans at the center and to put human experience and human experiential outcomes at the center. And that organizational change is a deeper challenge to realize than simply getting better at turning metrics into design choices, into shipped product.

Peter: Jared Spool still has that dream. I was listening in on a talk he was giving yesterday, about agile practices and user experience. And, basically, what he was arguing for is, if you do not have literally the entire team operating as a UX team, and that includes product management and engineering and data folks, you will always be less effective in delivering on quality user experiences.

And as he was saying this, I’m like, “Oh my God, it just feels like a fairy tale. how am I going to get all these engineers, all these data scientists, all these other folks operating in a design way?”

You take what are considered many of the most design forward organizations, they don’t begin to do that.

Jesse: Well, I think that one thing that happened is that as design was removed from strategy and shunted toward production, it was also severed from research. And that partnership between research and design, I think, was such a powerful driver, especially those predesign insights. The research function, as related to design, that these production-oriented organizations have held on to have been quantitative analytics, metrics-oriented research, or evaluative post-design research. But that deeper research that asks the questions that can really inform strategy from a design perspective is lost. So you see, in organizations like Jen’s organization where they have, we have, a robust research function with its own mandate. They are driving a lot of that kind of questioning that a design group could be driving, but in most cases isn’t because they don’t have the connection to that research capability.

If you want to see that mode of inquiry come into play, there isn’t anybody else that you can really rely on who’s going to bring that.

Peter: Well, right. I think the role that design plays in that regard is going back to making the intangible tangible. These research insights are going to be intangible, they are going to be ideas. They’re going to be notions rooted in something tangible. There’s nothing more tangible than good thick data from ethnographic research.

But then you abstract that to realize insights, opportunities. And then to bring that back into the tangible, a role that design plays. And I think the point you’re making, so much of design within organizations though, wouldn’t know how to handle making research insights tangible.

There’s just too much distance between that kind of insight and the practice of UI design. and we’ve lost comfort with more conceptual forms of design internally, at least, because they’re not shipping. Design is valued to the degree to which it ships.

Jesse: Again, I think it comes back to the credibility of the leader. If you’ve got leader with high credibility, high trust among their peers, cross-functionally they can get the permission to do different things.

I think that it is challenging for designers to have the credibility, to step into those strategic conversations, if they don’t have strong pre-design qualitative research function to support them in that work.

It’s okay to just verbally agree with me. No, you refuse to do it verbally. You’re just going to nod at me. Yes. I agree with you. Yeah, that’s fine.

You’re allowed to agree.

Music break 2

Peter: You had said something earlier that was a little bit around the dream of UX, around the frustrations that maybe old school UXers are having, as that dream seems to be evaporating. There’s also, you introduced me to some of the thinking of younger designers and their frustration of having been sold what feels like a bill of goods, in terms of the potential of that dream of UX, and then they go in-house and they’re just turning your crank

There was a, I think it was a TikTok video that had gotten, pushed to Twitter…

Jesse: Oh, I saw it..

Peter: Of a young designer screaming about, Why did she think that UX design was going to allow her…

Jesse: …to fulfill her life’s purpose. Yeah.

Peter: Yeah, like “What the hell was wrong with me?” is kind of how she was phrasing it. Which, as I’m watching that, as someone who’s been doing this for 25 years, it just broke my heart.

Because I want UX design to feel like a purpose-driven practice.

Jesse: Well, because it is, and has been for so many people, but again, these other folks they are not having that experience.

Peter: Well, and that connects to the conversation with Vivianne, and probably my single biggest takeaway from that discussion, We do not take things seriously enough. We are not taking seriously the impact that our work has. We are not taking seriously enough our ethical responsibility to our users and customers, whether it’s indirectly through the product of our work, or directly when we engage them in user research conversations and those types of things. That was something Vivianne made very clear that I just had never really sat with.

And also what Vivianne made clear is, we’re not taking ourselves seriously. The effect that our work is having on who we are, and how we’re behaving in how we’re operating. Thus, it leads to things like this video of a young designer screaming, ‘cause that is like the only way that they can kind of handle the cognitive dissonance that they are operating within.

It’s just, this… what is it? The barbaric yawp, right? Like it’s just, What the fuck?!

The word reckoning has been used a lot in the last couple of weeks, and there’s some type of conversation to be had, coming to grips with our role, our practice, our context, our impact that we’ve just continued to kick that can down the road, just, like, make that somebody else’s problem.

Thinking about conversations around certification, conversations around professionalism, how do we establish a practice of what we’re doing, such that we can institutionalize some of these issues, so that not everyone is approaching them uniquely and individually, but there’s a collective understanding and response that people can lean on, can scaffold them, can support them with these different tensions

Jesse: Yeah. Yeah.

Peter: And it’s weird for me, cause I’m someone who tries very hard not to take myself seriously. Because you know, the world doesn’t need more of that.

Jesse: Yeah. Well, I think it’s a question of genuinely owning the responsibility that we have. The responsibility that we have for the experiences of our users, the responsibility that we have for the folks on our teams. You know, one of the most important things that has come to the fore for me, has been that leaders cannot simply turn their backs on the trauma that is rippling through their organizations. You can’t just look the other way and hope that that stuff all resolves itself. You have to take ownership, you have to take responsibility for the emotional experiences of the people on your teams. And that responsibility is one that people in all functions of business have been avoiding for way too long.

Peter: You mean forever? Like literally forever.

It was interesting to hear Vivianne talk about the counseling background, I forget what she called, the human services work, essentially social work…

Jesse: Yeah.

Peter: …not corporatist. And has a whole legacy and a foundation and a context of values and practices that have emerged to support the people working in that field. But it’s clear, as I think you just articulated, all of us would benefit from engaging with that understanding, regardless of the work we’re doing.

And there’s this, it’s not quite sociopathy. I’m trying to think of the right word for it, but there’s this thing that happens when we engage in more business contexts, where we’re just supposed to remove that part of ourselves.

Jesse: The machine is trying to dehumanize you as a leader. It needs to. And so all of the cultural pressure that you’re going to get is going to be to cut those pieces of your brain out and to bury it and not think about it. And that’s why it’s extra important for the leader, personally, to keep those things alive for themselves in how they interact with those around them and how they conduct themselves, in how they orchestrate the systems that they’re responsible for creating, because those systems can become mechanisms of harm on an ongoing basis. As you were talking about those systems are how leaders leave lasting legacies.

Peter: I like the alliteration. That’s good. That’s good. How do design leaders pursue an authentic rehumanization in their role, without it becoming the focus of their efforts. ‘Cause there’s still a job to do.

The work to be done feels daunting to me. When I start going down this path, it feels like you almost have to stop everything else for a while. This is where the reckoning concept comes from. Like, literally have to stop everything else for a while, and come to grips with all this shit, make that space to deal with it. And then once we’ve developed some new understanding, only then can we start to reengage with our work practices from this position of heightened awareness.

Jesse: Yeah, but you’re never going to get that. You’re never going to get that break. So, so then it’s a question of, How do you weave these things into your existing practices day by day, and start making incremental improvement, because you’re not going to get a chance to rethink the whole system. And even if you did, very few design leaders have the backing of their senior leadership to the extent that they can change all of the systems around them as well, because whatever systems you create as a design leader, you have to be able to interface with the culture that you’re situated in.

Peter: Right. What were your questions? You said you had some questions.

Jesse:  I did have that question about the lost dream of UX. it sounds like it still exists in pockets, but as a larger cultural force within the industry, it’s been lost. Moreover, for UX doesn’t seem to have a cultural center, so to speak in the way that it did when there were really, there were three conferences that you could go to. And the community does not have that level of focus anymore, the work does not have that level of focus anymore. And the dispersion of UX across these different contexts and therefore different models, I wonder at what point speciation occurs. And you’re now talking about an evolutionary path that’s so divergent that you’re really talking about an entirely different job, a different role. I think we’re getting closer to that all the time.

Peter: Well, what did you say? Speciation? Which I think is probably in this case, specialization.

Jesse: I’m not sure that’s true. I mean, I’m not sure that I would frame it that way, unless you consider startups a specialty, because startups have their own way of doing UX, which looks nothing like the way that agencies do it, which looks nothing like the way that large established organizations do it. And again, the way that you do it, when you’re working on something that is really core and central to the business, is going to look very different from somebody who is working on some kind of support system around the edges.

Peter: Or someone who is explicitly been tasked with charting new territory.

Jesse: Yeah. If you’re fortunate to have folks who have that mandate.

Jesse: So, in short, we’re under-prepared, under-skilled, under-resourced, blind spots all over the place. Got more enemies than allies. The challenge in front of us is daunting in its scale. What could go wrong?

Peter: The funny thing about all of that? Is, “And it’s never been better.”

Jesse: I couldn’t agree more.

Peter: I think that’s where we, I don’t think we can uh, end any better than that.

Jesse: Yeah.

Peter: Thank you, Jesse. Thank you for a year of eye-opening mind-bending thought-provoking conversations.

Jesse: Thank you. It has been a really edifying and satisfying journey for me as well. And I look forward to more in 2021, as we continue Finding our way.

 Peter: So, yeah. So, this’ll be the last episode for this season

Jesse: All kinds of new things in 2021 for all of us.

Peter: Exactly. So keep watching the skies. In the meantime you can find us on Twitter. I’m @Peterme. He’s @JJG. And even though we won’t be posting new episodes for a while, you can always reach out to us through our website at https://findingourway.design/ Use the contact form there.

We read everything that comes through. And something we haven’t asked for that I’m going to ask for, is for you to rate us on various podcasting platforms. I think that would be helpful for us. If you like the show please give us a rating, whether it’s Apple or Spotify or whatever these services are.

Jesse: Seven out of five stars.

Peter: All the stars, whatever, whatever the stars is, all of them. Help people find us help us stand out amidst what is a just immense ocean of material out there. And even during this break, we would love to hear from you. So don’t hesitate to reach out.

Jesse: All right. Thanks Peter. This has been great.

Peter: Thank you, Jesse.

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