Design is How it Works

Steve Jobs once said:

Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. People think it’s this veneer – that the designers are handed this box and told, “Make it look good!” That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

This quote is not only a perfect fit for objects such as iPhones, watches (both digital and analog) but also for organizations.  A perfect watch design and movement makes the complications flow without friction to the gears, creates the longest life/power reserve, serves a purpose for the user and is aesthetically pleasing to the eye adhering to certain design principles that may not guarantee acceptance but greatly increase the likelihood.

Good org design cannot be focused only on appropriate spans of control and minimization of layers but it needs to address interaction between humans, the speed information can travel, optimization of learning and development across an organization and reduces friction where possible.   Recreating an org structure is equivalent to building the movement of a watch.  If done right, it perpetuates momentum. If done wrong, it is an expensive waste of time and money.  

A Tale of Two Headshots

People often give me flack for my two headshots, one that is used for my professional profile and the other for my personal profile. They were taken on the same day and one is more serious than the other. Take a guess which was the less serious one… one hint, rubber chickens are not generally seen as serious props. 

My professional headshot is a good mix of smug and patronizing with a hint of lightheartedness.  While I can see the humor in it, I clearly like it and feel it portrays me in the image I’d like the world to see me.  That’s the beauty of a great headshot photographer.  They accentuate the things that you like about yourself, hide those you don’t and make it look authentic while at the same time the entire experience is completely contrived.  The day that shot was taken I remember showing up in a bulky fall sweater, jeans and sneakers.  I changed into my nerd gear and posed for a bunch of photos.  There were at least three changes of clothing and more haughty, arrogant looks than most people could fit into a lifetime.

How do you see the world seeing you?

A tale of two headshots

Credit: Special thanks to Rick Bern for all of his great photography work over the years.