Christina Goldschmidt: The New Innovation Toolkit

Session Notes

In her Leadership By Design presentation, Christina Goldschmidt introduces an innovative toolkit that combines traditional design thinking with elements of mysticism and neuroscience. Serving as the VP of Product Design at Warner Music Group, Goldschmidt argues for the practical application of these unconventional methods in design leadership.

She provides concrete examples to substantiate her approach. One instance involves using a shamanic journey as a coping mechanism for ambiguous feedback from superiors. Another example employs a four-card tarot spread to assist a direct report in making a complex relocation decision during the COVID-19 pandemic. These cases illustrate the toolkit’s efficacy in enhancing creativity, decision-making, and team coaching.

The presentation concludes with an encouragement to explore these unconventional tools further. Goldschmidt asserts their potential to support design leaders in various aspects of their roles. Additional resources for a deeper understanding of these topics are available on her website.

Christina Goldschmidt

Christina Goldschmidt is an award-winning design leader who is known for transforming product design teams to work at enterprise scale while fostering cultures that drive both business and social impact. Before joining Etsy as VP, Head of Product Design, Christina spent 25 years gaining cross-functional experience driving digital innovation at Fortune 500 companies like Accenture, Morgan Stanley, American Express, Omnicom Media Group, The Discovery Channel and others.

Christina’s expertise extends beyond design into product and tech, helping teams innovate by focusing on the intersection of desirability, viability, and feasibility. With an equal focus on management, her key to helping designers unlock and empower themselves and their careers is a strong foundation in anthropology and customer behavior. As an advocate for mental health, she works to help managers lead from a place of authenticity.

Christina received her MBA from NYU Stern and a B.S. in design from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is passionate about education and is a leading instructor and guest lecturer at NYU Stern and General Assembly, to name a few. She has also been featured at SXSW, Fortune Magazine, Ecommerce Design Summit, InVision’s Inside Design and HR Transform. Outside of work she loves to focus on craft, be it in millinery, ikebana, cooking or the perfect cocktail.

The New Innovation Toolkit

With the magical promise of Design Thinking starting to lose its shine, as Design Leaders how are we to help our teams – and ourselves – solve problems, build products and get to real solutions? There are untapped methods for accessing your subconscious for brainstorming to solve creative problems and business problems that can help you unlock your decision making. Using data to prove that this is a trend sweeping society, this talk will detail practical methods for accessing the subconscious to help make decisions by looking at problems differently and alleviating anxiety and stress around decision making. The surprise twist is that these practices are traditionally considered mystical and not usually used in business: the tarot, breathwork and shamanic journeying.