NYC Design Summit 2012 Recap

We're happy to say that the Design Summit 2012 at the Knoll Showroom was a smashing success! Presented in a collaboration between IDSANYC and Yeh IDeology, creatives from around the Northeast enjoyed an engaging conversation between our panelists and a fun connectivity event. Thank you so much to our wonderful panelists Gaz Brown, Cordy Swope, Tiffany Threadgould, and Dan Fogarty. Thank you for coming and we hope to see you at the next IDSANYC and/or Yeh IDeology event! Video of the event will be up in just a bit.

NYC Design Summit 2012

On February 9th 2012, Yeh IDeology continues our strategic relationship with IDSANYC, presenting our second annual Design Summit at the Knoll showroom. This event will present a panel of top designers and business leaders who will be discussing the elements and issues impacting the current state of design and sharing their unique insight on how to approach 2012. Check out the specifics and learn about our panelists below:

You can RSVP here, but move quickly, space is limited!

After the panel discussion, we invite everyone to participate in a Community Connectivity Workshop, it's a great way to come and meet people throughout the design landscape and network, not to mention pick up some cool prizes from Quirky and TerraCycle.

The Panel Discussion will begin promptly at 6:30pm and the event will go on to 9:00pm EST. Come out and enjoy!

DesignBoost’s “Design Beyond Design” Event at Cooper Hewitt: Part Two

Our second day at Designboost was comprised of lectures by leaders pushing the boundaries of the design world. Of all of the lectures I was able to attend, I enjoyed the playful energy Philip Tiongson’s company Potion has been bringing to the interaction design & technology space.

My absolute favorite was Aaron Dignan’s lecture entitled “The Future of Work is Play.” He talks about the formula for creativity and play and how business has to understand the fine line and balance between boredom to creativity to anxiety. It’s exciting to hear because this is one of the main aspects that Yeh IDeology analyses when we match talent with our client’s opportunities. We look for that fine balance of variety and challenge so that the right candidate will be as ideally enthralled by the opportunity and the company energized by a committed new member with initiatives that are aligned to their creative team’s mission.

See Aaron's lecture below:

See part one of our coverage of the Designboost event here!

Resource Directors Association: Annual "Career & Money" Meeting with Yeh IDeology

Last week Monday I spoke to the Resource Directors Association for their annual Career & Money meeting. I met Eileen Rasgdale, the president of RDA at last year's Cooper-Hewitt Teen Fair that Yeh IDeology has been asked to participate in for the last several years. Eileen asked me to come speak to RDA regarding the changes impacting the architecture industry and give advice on how to adjust and navigate these changes. The RDA is a not-for-profit professional network of resource persons working in the Architecture and Design community and their mission is to share knowledge of new products, specification issues and news and changes within the industry. They have chapters in Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia and Seattle.

As everyone went around the room sharing their backgrounds and their top concerns in this intimate group setting it quickly became apparent that this group of creative professionals were dedicated and passionate about their field. We talked about how the shift in this new economy had affected their industry as well. For some members' companies had either down sized or taken on more account but overall the main impact was that the work load and responsibilities were doubled. We talked about ways for members to prepare for these changes and how to position themselves to take advantage of these new shifts and yet set reasonable expectations for those around them as their responsibilities change. Having been actively involved in organizations like IDSA and being on their board of directors, we also explored various solutions and ways RDA the organization could support the members individually.

It's indeed challenging time these days and regardless of the industry, the ways that companies have been structured and have always done business has changed. Yet at the same time these drastic times of change in history are often the ripest moments to implement change for the better and improvement. Status quo has been upended and everyone is more receptive to change.

I talked about how the new normal in this new era is "adaptability" and those that will make it in this new era will be the ones that look ahead to predict the next industry shifts, adjust to them and be ready to embrace them. Collectively this was a strong dedicated community and it was refreshing to see that many great ideas were already there percolating waiting to be acted on. I look forward to seeing how the members of RDA collaborate and navigate this new era.

Here I am with a few of the members as we lingered after our lecture admiring the gorgeous furniture at Suite NY, who generously hosted the event.

Thanks to Eileen Rasgdale and the RDA for having me come speak.

IDSA.NED Conference: A Community of Leaders

This year's IDSA Northeast District Conference at the Rhode Island School of Design and as always I was blow away by the speakers, content and the energy of the conference. Throughout the conference, more than anything was this feeling of excitement to influence and change the world by everyone in their own way. In all the years I've gone to conferences and industry trade shows I often found the most inspiring and forward leading individuals populate this space the most. Of course there's a variety of reasons that people attend conferences. Those that are promoting their brand or company, those that are looking for new business or career opportunities. But many are there to either share best business practices and connect. I often find those that attend industry events tend to be more current, and leading the industry trends, the ones that are most connected and connecting others. It's especially interesting during times of economic challenge when you notice the few that push ahead while most stay in safety mode.

One impressive talk John Maeda moderated was a collection of the leading young creatives pushing the boundaries of innovation and business. Several of the other speakers, like Scott Wilson of MINIMAL, Mike Branson of PearlFisher, Richard Watson of Essential Design stuck around to stay around and talk to the local professionals, students and other speakers.

The students and young professionals I meet year after year are also the ones that I notice tend to find their career opportunities through the connections they make at these events. I also know companies that track the attendance list to seek out talent and to see who's out and about in the industry. It's so impressive to meet people like Sam Aquillano who was a merit award winner many years back quickly swept up by Bose Corporation and now the Co-Founder & Director of Design Museum Boston as well. And Sami Nerenberg I met a few years ago at the IDSA.NED conference as a budding graduate and this time she was a speaker sharing her new initiative Design for America that's sweeping the universities across the US. This is where you meet the new leaders of an industry.

For Yeh IDeology I have to attend various industry events, conferences and organizations. I have to admit many are dry and boring yet necessary. Few have the collaborative atmosphere of sharing best business practices I find at industry events like IDSA and DMI. Here I feel like the community is collaboratively trying to advance and improve. Collectively we can do so exponentially faster and better.

A Night to Connect: The IDSA.NYC/ Yeh IDeology 5 Year Celebration

Whew, what a great night Yeh IDeology's 5 Year Celebration turned out to be. In all the years meeting the best of the best in every industry category we've heard some of the best business practices and advice on running businesses, building and investing in design and strategizing career paths. Wanting to do more than just celebrating, we brought together some great friends and colleagues to share their insights with everyone and inspire us as we enter the new year.

Our Speakers Yasemin Bernardete of Springs Global reminds us you have to identify and respect what makes each brand unique and hold true to that element. Brand strategy and brand management is becoming more critical than ever.

Brad Lacey of Converse reminds us in this new day and age to never rest on your laurels and always have a healthy does of paranoia, always learning something new to stay current. Brand strategy is key here as well and Brad shares how critical it is to work with other divisions and collaborate.

Joe Moya of MindsInSync talks about having been on both corporate side and consultancy side that knowing your core values is key as you represent yourselves to your clients and customers. Even firms need to stay true to their value proposition and know how to best represent their brand image.

Cliff Kuang, the Founder of Co Design, tells us that with the uprising of technology and new crowd sourcing organizations now is the time to invest in that amazing idea that you had. Cliff cites how too many creatives are panicking and diluting their identity by accepting and taking on everything not standing firm to what they excel at.

The panel discussion inspired us to venturing into 2011 with a new outlook, as we all reflected about representing ourselves and our true value propositions, we turned to the networking portion of the night. We were 150+ of the most talented individuals in the creative industries gathered in one room and here was a perfect opportunity to connect, learn about each others goals and initiatives and help each other in our mutual endeavors.

As a fun exercise to spur the merriment, we gave out YehID magnets and an award was given to the first guest that successfully swapped magnets to meet 3 people, the individuals that the winner met also won prizes as well, rewarding the connections made. Meryem Tangoren was the first one to come up to us having successfully swapped and collected 4 of her 5 magnets and in the process she reconnected with old friends and met new ones. Meryem reconnected with old classmate Janet Villano of SkipHop, and met Dina Romanko as well.

We then put a shout out to all of our friends and thanked everyone for coming out that night to celebrate and we broke into our delicious beautiful cake by Heather Barranco-Machado who has just opened DreamCakes. Think of Ace of Cakes and incredibly delicious in the tri-state area. Another great connection through her husband Jason Machado whom I've know in the industry for years.

Right after the prize giving and cake cutting we couldn't stop the crowd going back to their feverish networking and merriment. It was amazing. So many friends and clients from past and present, as well as new came to congratulate us bringing along their friends they insisted that we just had to meet as well.

I've planned parties and events all of my life. It's an incredible feeling when you've successfully created just the right moment, energy and vibe, and when you scan the room everyone is having a blast. That was this night.

It's the bonds that you make that help you make things happen. And this night would not have been an absolute success without the great partnership and friendship of Stephan Clambaneva and his dedicated IDSA.NYC team (Courtney Hewitt, Jerry Mejia, Anthony Puleo, Daghan Perker) and their introduction to the Knoll team and the gorgeous expansive showroom.

Let me say too that planning a party at the last minute on the fly, not everything goes right and my deepest apologies to all of our friends that were not able to make the guest list as we had a limit we had to keep to. I suppose we'll have to plan to get a bigger place next year. ;-)

And take a look at the articles about our celebration, brought to you by the good folks at Core77 and IDSA!

Core77: Yeh IDeology 5-Year Celebration

IDSA: Yeh IDeology Celebration Followup

Yeh IDeology 5 Year Celebration!

Hi Folks! So 2011 has started out with a big bang for us in many ways. First, traditional clients and leaders in various industry sectors have been looking to invest in design and have been reaching out to us to help them build their teams. Secondly, I'll be teaching at Parsons another semester as well as guest lecturing at Pratt and Georgia Tech, along with hosting a "Branding You" Workshop at at the IDSA's Northeast District Conference in April. Great networking connections have also led to collaborations on a Motivation Survey that we're excited to be sharing with you both the research and the results, a podcast interview with Total Picture Radio, and an upcoming video podcast, just to name a few.

Needless to say we're on a roller coaster of progress and it's exciting to start the year in this spirit. On top of all that, Yeh IDeology is turning 5 years old this month. We're so busy we almost didn't realize but on the insistence of friends and colleagues we've decided to have a little party to celebrate the occasion. We're asking you to join us in celebration of Yeh IDeology's five years of collaboration with the design community. After all, without you we would not be here today. And we're grateful that we're able make a difference, doing our part in helping the design industry continually evolve and grow.

So Save the Date! In collaboration with IDSA|NYC, Yeh IDeology will be celebrating our 5th year Anniversary on February 24th at the Knoll Showroom in New York City. It will be a content rich, content sharing, connection building event, with knosh, drinks, and a panel discussion on the State of Design in the New Economy, with:

Brad Lacey - Creative Director of Converse Yasemin Bernadette- Design Director at Springs Global Cliff Kuang - Sr Editor CODesign of FastCompany Joe Moya - VP Product Development at Minds In Sync

Hope to see you there!


Bill Taylor's "Practically Radical" Book Signing Launch Party

Back on January 5th, 2011, I attended Bill Taylor's book signing Launch Party honoring the release of his new book "Practically Radical: Not-So-Crazy Ways to Transform Your Company, Shake Up Your Industry, and Challenge Yourself." It was hosted by Fast Company and TBWA. Attending this event was a perfect example of networking. Over all it was a great intimate event with some of New York's most interesting thought leaders and game changers and I ended up making some random connections and amazing events spun off of them.

My dear friend Meredith Goodwin, Lighting Design Manager at Nulux invited me to this event and we ended up met some new and old friends. Here she is meeting Jean-Luc Mege and Brandon Williams, Senior Vice President at TD Bank, who she introduces me to.

Jean-Luc Mege is a very well established photographer here from France making a new name for himself in NYC, no doubt it won't take long.

Who would think that I would get to meet I get to meet the heads of my bank TD Bank at a book signing? Brandon Williams and Joseph Paradise, VP, Retail Market Manager of TD Bank not pictured here quickly put me in touch with my local branch manager Sheldon Berg, who within weeks came to my office to meet me. Little known facts- TD Bank is open on Fridays from 7:30am till Midnight. And they are the only banks with police officers stationed there. I do love how convenient they are, and for an entrepreneur business owner those extended hours really help me manage my time.

This is the serendipity of networking. Randomly introducing myself to new interesting game changers at the party I met Peter Clayton founder of Total Picture Radio and Jobs In Pods. Within a few seconds we realized our circles overlapped as we're both about promoting careers and leadership. The best unexpected thing that came out of this was Peter Clayton's invitation to interview me for his podcast interview for Total Picture Radio which we recorded a month later (you'll get to read and hear about in my subsequent blog).

I was lucky to have my copy of the book signed by Bill Taylor and in honor of the event, I had a blast standing up on the "Practically Radical" Soapbox together with Meredith declaring my "Practically Radical" New Year's Resolution. I declared my resolve to transform Yeh IDeology, shake up the industry, and challenge myself in 2011.

Over all we had a great time catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. Here's Kofi Aidoo on my team with our industry friend JooYoung Oh, and our friend Ayse Birsel was there as well.

Networking can deliver some great serendipitous results but it won't happen unless you get out there. I always find too that it's a lot more fun if you go with friends and collaborate helping each other meet people.

A Network of Friends

This December, while teaching my Careers Strategy students about networking as an adjunct professor at Parsons New School, I asked them, “What Makes Work Fun?” In my lecture, I told them that most people view networking as a business task and a necessary evil. But in reality, if you approach and treat people properly, your business world can become your world of friends as well. It’s a simple matter of taking the time to recognize the people with whom you work as unique and important individuals. It’s human nature to choose people you know and trust, and in fact research shows that people do this when hiring, choosing vendors, partners, services etc…. So in business, networking is essential. But beyond that when you make it a point to get to know those with whom you interact, you can transform your business world as well and work becomes fun when those with whom you work become your friends.

As I reflect on 2010, I realize how over time I have found great friends in the clients and candidates we know, regardless of whether we're working together or not. On the client side, I have such an appreciation for all the people with whom I engage in companies, from the HR and hiring managers, to the secretaries, bookkeepers, and assistants. As a business owner, I value the vendors and people with whom we work to keep our business running: our web and branding consultant, our tech guru, our bookkeeper and accountant, to name a few.

Finances are not my forte, but finding an accountant and bookkeeper I trust unequivocally AND enjoy working with has made handling these tasks practically enjoyable. When you find great people appropriately skilled for your business needs, whose values and work styles resonate with your own, work becomes almost effortless and enjoyable.

People want to matter, but the world at large feels so impersonal. People don't expect to be recognized or acknowledged as individuals. I make it a point to notice people as much as I can when I interact with them, no matter how brief or incidental our time together may seem. I greet my bus driver, dry cleaner attendant, deli cashier, mail carrier, and bank teller by name if possible, and inquire about their day, and I don't forget the people who support the people with whom I work, including my doctor's secretary and my client's assistant. I love the startled looks and smiles I get when people realize I really see them. It's a great feeling to make someone’s day by acknowledging them unexpectedly, and it can make my day.

When you respect and acknowledge people, they become more than just acquaintances. They truly become your network of friends, which improves your quality of life and makes the world and your experience in it more enjoyable

Company Holiday Party at SPiN

We’ve been so busy this year with so many projects on our plates that we almost forgot to plan our company holiday event. In the past we’ve gone to dinner, but we wanted to have a great company party and to do something different this year.

Last year the ping pong bar/club SPiN opened up on 23rd Street off of Park Avenue. Ending a romp around town during an ICFF (International Contemporary Furniture Fair) event in May ’09, we ended up at SPiN. My dear friend Arthur Young-Spivey, the man about town who led us there, pointed out one of the club’s owners, Susan Sarandon, as she was showing Demi Moore & Ashton Kutcher around the bleachers to a dark corner lounge chair. That proved to be one of my best celebrity sightings ever!! As savvy New Yorkers, we satisfied our furtive glances, then turned our attention back to the two dapper pros whipping balls back and forth across the premier table.

We couldn’t get a table to play that night because the reservations have to be made way in advance but I knew we had to come back and try it. So this year after mulling over bowling, ice skating or billiards, we booked us a table at SPiN.

Just about everyone has played ping pong at some point in their life. Some contest their expertise, some challenge others, and some down play it.. Got to watch out for those. haha Either way, we were having a blast whacking those orange balls around. The best thing about this company holiday event is that there are so many great people who have helped us make Yeh IDeology what it is today. We were able to invite quite a few friends to the table (pun intended) and celebrate.

A little decadent detail about this club was that we never had to pick up any of the balls we were letting loose. Roaming the club were special attendants with nets on sticks who deftly scooped up all the ping pong balls. It was a good thing too because we played singles, doubles, and sometimes we were just trying to shoot as many balls at each other as fast as we could. We laughed so hard our cheeks ached.

One game I’ve always wanted us to try is Round Robin ping pong. There were seven of us, each with a paddle, rotating around the ping pong table. As one person hit the ball, the next person would step up to hit the ball. It got to a point where we were dizzy from circling the table, skipping sideways. There are ways to make the game more challenging, like sharing only two paddles between everyone and reducing the numbers down to two as people miss their shots, but this was about letting everyone have fun and we had a blast.

We noshed on delicious food from the restaurant Ducks in the back of the club. The sliders were delicious and the vanilla popcorn addictive and not at all as saccharine sweet as you’d expect. They had a great selection of beers, wine and cocktails too. What you don’t realize is what a workout you get from ping pong. Definitely have those waters ready.

All in all a fun company holiday party. Can’t wait to figure out what we do for next year.