Anne Hjortshoj is a product design leader with an accidental specialty in spinning up new teams. During her 20+ year career, she’s successfully led design and product teams in industries as disparate as automotive, cybersecurity, online education, financial services, politics, and advertising. Anne is currently Senior Director of UX at CarGurus, where she’s leading the team she founded three and a half years ago.
Leadership By Design 2022
Stage Zero: What to Know When Starting a Design Team from Scratch
Congratulations! You’ve accepted a job where you’ll have the great privilege of leading design at a company the way you’d like to lead it, by building a team the way you’d like to build it… for a company that has never worked with designers.
During this talk, I’ll share the lessons I’ve learned from my experience during the last decade of building three teams at three very different organizations. I’ll describe what to expect as far as ups and downs of the challenge you’ve just accepted, and will provide a playbook to help you and your team find success. Additionally, I’ll provide tips to help you select the right company to join in the first place.
Leadership By Design 2019
Baby Shark: Leveraging Organizational Politics for Design Team Success
It can be a struggle to make the practice of design truly influential. Between engaging with engineering methodologies, negotiating the boundaries of design ownership with product management, and arguing for the value of design-led business decisions (not to mention managing their own people), design leaders find it difficult to gain ground for their team.
There are approaches you can learn from and/or use to train your team to detect and leverage underlying organizational systems by tuning in to competing goals and process nuances. Armed with this–and a healthy sense of collaboration and allyship with other groups–your sharks can achieve influence in their own right and magnify yours.