The Crazy One

The Crazy One

www.thecrazy1.com
The Crazy One helps you find new insights and breakthroughs in your career, creativity, and leadership. In every episode, Stephen Gates give you honest and actionable insights taken from his experience leading global in-house and agency creative teams,…


90 Career: The real reason why you aren’t getting promoted.
Dec 1 • 39 min
A look at the problem we are up against in getting promoted, look behind the scenes of the promotion process, understand why your current strategy probably isn’t working and give you a new way of looking at how to build your career to get better results.
89 Career: Trends in recruiting, hiring, and retaining the best talent.
Nov 17 • 43 min
A look at a few of the trends taken from the new Design Trends Report I co-authored that affecting how we find, recruit, hire, and train the best creative people.
88 Creativity: Trust is the key to everything.
Nov 3 • 50 min
A look at the different types of trust, understand where trust is important, look at how to assess the various aspects of trust, understand human-centered transformation, and some of the best ways to build trust.
87 Creativity: Supporting and empowering introverts
Oct 20 • 51 min
A new perspective and understanding of what introverts go through, why their way of work is really valuable, some tips for those of you who work with introverts, and some things introverts can do to find more support and understanding at work.
86 Career: How to make peace with yourself to improve your creativity.
Sep 29 • 41 min
A look at where some of the most common creative insecurities come from, and with that understanding talk through a framework that can help you have a new way of dealing with yourself and your work.
85 Creativity: How to get and give better creative feedback
Sep 8 • 48 min
A look at what makes bad feedback, how to give better feedback, and how to hear and act on all of that feedback.
84 Design: The need for ethical design
Aug 18 • 38 min
You may be tempted to skip this episode because ethics isn’t the most exciting topic, but the need for a deeper understanding of ethical design is a huge emerging design trend. In this episode, we will look at two examples that highlight the need for a…
83 Leadership: Your leadership maturity level, persona and communication style
Aug 4 • 46 min
We have talked a lot about leadership over the course of this show but this episode will focus more on concrete ways of measuring your leadership maturity, figuring out your leadership persona and look at 4 different leadership communication styles.
82 Conference talk: ’The Future is Creative’ keynote from HOW Design Live 2019
Jul 14 • 55 min
This episode is a replay of my main stage keynote from HOW Design Live 2019. This talk is a culmination of everything I have seen and learned over the past year and a half working at InVision. It is made up of three truths that I think affect all of us…
81 Conference talk: ‘Why innovation is rarely authorized’ panel from HOW Design 2019
Jun 30 • 49 min
Every company says they want more innovation and leaders who are able to deliver it yet they are often more afraid of extinction than the change that’s necessary. As a result, innovation often happens when teams go against the rules and even risk their…
80 Emotional intelligence: How to find and restore your confidence
Jun 16 • 40 min
Confidence is something we all seem to be constantly working on since it can be easily faked, lost, or thanks to design imposter syndrome always in short supply. Yet confidence is something that is critical for creativity, leadership, and happiness so we…
79 Listener questions: Design operations, start-ups, company “purpose”, your career and building a team.
Jun 2 • 38 min
In this episode, we will answer listener questions about clarifying design operations as a discipline, advice for designers who want to run their own start-up, how companies can make their purpose real and not just a marketing-induced pipe dream, dealing…
78 Teamwork: How improv can make your team more creative
May 19 • 32 min
At its best, creativity is about spontaneity, creativity, and collaboration. There are few places where we can all of these on display more easily than with improvisational comedy groups but what can they show us about how to improve our creative process…
77 Conference talk: ‘Building an In-House Design Powerhouse’ keynote from SXSW 2019
Apr 21 • 61 min
A replay of my sold out keynote ‘Building an In-House Design Powerhouse’ from SXSW 2019 that looked at how companies want creativity and design like never before, but very few of their internal creative teams have been empowered to take advantage of this…
76 Creativity: Why cognitive bias is the real problem with your work.
Apr 7 • 35 min
Why is it no matter where we work we run into the same frustrating behaviors in our team, our clients, and even ourselves time and time again? More than likely there are some fundamental psychological biases we all have that are causing and fueling these…
75 Career: How to survive corporate politics with grace and integrity
Mar 3 • 44 min
Dealing with politics is a necessary evil no matter where you work and at their worst can be so complicated that they can drive you out of a company or stand in the way of great work going out the door. In this episode, we will look at some of the…
74 Methodologies: Design Thinking isn’t bullsh*t. The way you apply it is.
Feb 7 • 28 min
Lately, I have seen some talks, articles and gotten some questions from people who are struggling with or just downright angry at using Design Thinking. It’s something I’ve been able to use with a lot of success throughout my career so I reached out to…
73 Listener questions: Design leadership, office environments, design authority. conflict and sharing.
Feb 3 • 31 min
In this episode we will answer listener questions about how to make the transition from design lead to design executive, how do you create a creative office environment, a look at where design authority should sit in a company, how to think abbot conflict…
72 Leadership: How to create REAL innovation
Dec 30, 2018 • 47 min
Innovation is easily the most abused word in the corporate lexicon because we all talk about it so much but so few companies and teams are actually able to create it. In this episode, we will look at why innovation fails, the traits of truly innovative…
71 Career: How to become a digital product designer
Dec 16, 2018 • 50 min
The number one question I get asked on a weekly basis is how to move from a marketing, branding or advertising role into a digital design or product design role. Its a tough question and I’ve found that there are PRETTY MUCH NO resources out there to help…
70 Emotional intelligence: Understanding and improving your emotional intelligence
Nov 4, 2018 • 59 min
To lead creative teams you need to be able to understand your emotions, understand how other people feel and how your emotions can have an effect other people. In this episode, we are going to look at the five different parts of emotional intelligence to…
69 Creativity: How to fight imposter syndrome
Oct 21, 2018 • 41 min
Even the most successful creatives a little secret we all share - from time to time we feel like frauds. It’s called design imposter syndrome and it is a psychological phenomenon where you have a belief that you’re inadequate despite evidence to the…
68 Your career: What’s the equation for doing great work?
Oct 14, 2018 • 44 min
There are so many elements that go into building a great career but what are those elements and how do you keep them in the right balance to be successful? In this episode, we will explore how craft, originality, impact, joy and other variables can come…
67 Creativity: How to give better design feedback
Sep 16, 2018 • 35 min
Creativity is all about collaboration which is why, whether you are leading a team or part of it, giving great feedback is an essential skill. In this episode, we will look at the two types of feedback, a model to give great feedback and some critical…
66 Originality: What to embrace, fight, stop and start to rediscover your voice and create your best ideas.
Aug 19, 2018 • 48 min
Everyone wants to let their work have a stronger voice and be more original but we have to deal with self-doubt, group think, and working for companies that demand conformity to a shared culture and way of thinking. In this episode, we will explore the…
65 Listener questions: Branding navigation, hamburger menus, design systems, inspiring change and more.
Jul 29, 2018 • 39 min
In this episode, we will answer listener questions about if main navigation should just get you around or project a brand image, if there such a thing as “necessary evils” in design, my take on having Design Systems in a large enterprise, how to inspire…
64 Teamwork: Best practices for remote work
Jul 22, 2018 • 40 min
As companies become more global and our work becomes more complex we are working, ideating and creating with teams all over the world and it can be very difficult to be successful using old approaches in this new way of working. In this episode, we will…
63 Creativity: The good and evil of data, research, and brainstorming
Jul 1, 2018 • 37 min
Combining data and research with your creative process is a tricky and frustrating thing for too many people. In this episode, we will look at data, research and brainstorming to see how powerful they can be when used correctly, the reasons why they can…
62: Listener questions: Advice for junior designers, activating empathy, work routine and more.
May 26, 2018 • 47 min
Answers to listener questions about content creation, the top 3 books I recommend to friends, advice for junior designers, how to get work done and my thoughts on being a “jack of all trades”.
61 Career: Portfolio, resume and personal branding refresher
May 20, 2018 • 38 min
Too many great creatives don’t have the careers they deserve and are struggling to find a new job because of a few simple, but huge problems. In this episode, we will look how you can better understand employment process, and some of the basic do’s and…
60 Methodologies: Understanding the power and potential of Design Thinking
Apr 22, 2018 • 38 min
Using Design Thinking successfully is about a lot more than just understanding the steps. In this episode, we will look at a what will help you understand the value and potential of Design Thinking through how it instantly empowers your team, allows you…
59 Career: Know when to quit and do it the right way.
Apr 7, 2018 • 35 min
Leaving your job is always a difficult decision but how do you know if you really should go after something new, if that new opportunity is being influenced by your emotions, and how do you leave the right way? In this episode, we will look at the seven…
58 Leadership: Confronting gender bias
Mar 4, 2018 • 48 min
We all need to start this conversation (especially men) because gender bias is a real problem that is very difficult to discuss and understand its conscious and unconscious expressions. Very few people understand it, have any idea how to confront it or…
57 Teamwork: How to fix all those useless meetings
Feb 4, 2018 • 35 min
Is there anything worse than having your entire day eaten up by meetings? They are often unfocused, filled to too many people who don’t need to be there and they don’t seem to accomplish the decisions that needed to be made. In this episode, we will look…
56 Podcast: How to get the most out of this podcast
Feb 4, 2018 • 14 min
Listening to this podcast and taking notes isn’t enough to having anything change for you or your team. In this episode, I wanted to share the one thing that I think is the missing manual for this show that will help you get more out of the information I…
55 Career: Know what fights to pick and how to fight them constructively
Jan 14, 2018 • 42 min
Fighting for what you believe in and what your team needs are critical parts of leadership. The problem is that if you to do it too much then you are a real pain to work with but if you don’t do it enough then you aren’t an effective leader. In this…
54 Emotional intelligence: The importance of honesty for your work, your team and yourself
Jan 6, 2018 • 41 min
The most difficult emotion in our work, teams and ourselves is honesty. In this episode, we will look at honesty vs. candor, how to apply it, and deep dive into it in your career, your personal life, your work and yourself.
53 Podcast: The Crazy One podcast’s biggest lessons of 2017
Dec 24, 2017 • 54 min
A look back at some of the most important themes we discussed over the past year of the podcast. In this episode, we will look at the show’s common themes of creativity, your career and leadership to dig deeper into the things that I think are important,…
52 Career: 6 ways to screw up your career
Nov 26, 2017 • 35 min
Navigating your career can be hard with so many traps and obstacles that can cause problems you won’t see until it is too late. In this episode, we will explore 6 of the most common career mistakes and explore a few different ways you can be sure you…
51 Leadership: How to work with underperforming people and teams
Nov 11, 2017 • 31 min
One of the toughest things you will ever do as a leader is to have the tough conversations with a person or team that is struggling to deliver. In this episode, we will look at the different ways you need to work with an individual person versus an entire…
50 Conference talk: ‘Building your personal brand’ from Adobe MAX 2017
Oct 29, 2017 • 74 min
A replay of my sold out session from Adobe MAX 2017 that asked can you tell people why you are different and better than every other creative out there? This session will highlight the power, importance, and difficulties of creating your own personal…
49 Conference talk: ‘In-house powerhouse’ from Adobe MAX 2017
Oct 22, 2017 • 74 min
A replay of my sold out session from Adobe MAX 2017 called ‘In-house Powerhouse: Building, Managing an Empowered Internal Creative Team’ that looked at how companies want creativity and design like never before, but very few of their internal creative…
48 Leadership: 3 steps to help you coach and grow your team members
Oct 8, 2017 • 27 min
One of the biggest challenges is how to coach and grow your team to make them a more valuable part of the team and meet their career goals. In this episode, we will look at how you can apply that leadership to people on your team and get the results you…
47 Creativity: Understanding and applying empathy in your work
Sep 24, 2017 • 37 min
Empathy is a simple phrase but very few people understand it, how to incorporate it into their work or how to find real empathy with their customers. In this episode, we will look at what empathy entails, the things people mistakenly think is empathy, how…
46 Leadership: Why creatives quit and what you can do about it
Aug 27, 2017 • 46 min
They say that people quit bosses, they don’t quit jobs. Leading creatives comes with its own set of challenges that can drive people to leave your team or for you to find a new job. In this episode, we will look at some of those unique challenges, what…
45 Leadership: Become a better leader with the 10/80/10 rule
Aug 20, 2017 • 17 min
Leading a creative team is hard because you have to balance giving your team enough freedom to come up with their own ideas while still leaving room for your influence and leadership. In this episode, we will look at the 10/80/10 rules which will give you…
44 Your career: Make your own luck
Jul 29, 2017 • 19 min
Too many people think that luck has something to do with success but nothing could be further from the truth. In this episode, we will take a look at what people really meany when they say ‘lucky’, how preparation defines success, and talk about the…
43 Creativity: Understanding and breaking through creative slumps
Jul 16, 2017 • 44 min
We all have had times when you struggle to find ideas and you feel like you are in a slump. In this episode, we will look at the different types of creative slumps, the reasons why they happen and the techniques you can use to break out of them.
42 Design: How to design a great mobile app
Jul 7, 2017 • 46 min
Teams make some basic mistakes in the way they are design their apps. In this episode, we will go through everything I have learned designing multiple iOS and Android apps that have gone on to be included in Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines and more.
41 Emotional intelligence: Understanding and embracing insecurity
Jun 25, 2017 • 40 min
There is a lot of nuance and emotion that goes into creativity and part of your success will be determined by how well you understand and control those emotions. Insecurity and frustration play a huge part in helping or hurting your creative process so…
40 In-house design: Who owns creativity: In-house or agency teams?
Jun 18, 2017 • 38 min
There has been a huge growth of in-house creative teams which has resulted in a changing relationship between companies and their agencies. In this episode, we will look at the pro’s and con’s of in-house and agency creative teams, the different ways they…
39 Mentoring: How to find or become a mentor
Jun 4, 2017 • 49 min
How to do approach someone who you want to learn from, how do you know what type of mentor you should be and how do both sides do it successfully? In this episode, we will look at how to find or become a mentor, start a productive conversation and set…
38 Teamwork: Building stronger relationships with your clients (even the difficult ones)
May 14, 2017 • 44 min
The relationship and trust between creatives and their clients is one of the most important parts of the creative process. In this episode, we will look at how to build a solid foundation with your clients, the importance of trust, how you can training…
37 Creativity: How to stop executive interference in your creative process
May 7, 2017 • 36 min
One of the biggest challenges comes from company executives who throw out ideas that are blindly followed instead of taking the time to understand the real problem. In this episode, I will walk you through the most common places where this happens and how…
36 Listener questions: When do you ask for a raise, making remote teams work and valuing creative talent
Apr 16, 2017 • 46 min
Answering listener questions about how you can pick the right time to ask for a raise or promotion, the best way to negotiate your raise, how you can get remote teams to work together more seamlessly, and a discussion of how companies should value and…
35 Methodologies: Design Thinking P3 - Implementation phase and how build it into your culture
Apr 8, 2017 • 50 min
In this third in a 3-part series, we will look at implementation which is the final phase of Design Thinking where you bring the insights and concepts to life in prototyping, testing and final delivery. Then we will look at some of the ways you can bring…
34 Methodologies: Design Thinking P2 - Ideation phase
Mar 31, 2017 • 44 min
The second in a 3-part crash course in Design Thinking. In this episode, I will teach you how to take the insights you found through your research in the inspiration phase and start to brainstorm ideas by learning how to craft ‘How might we’ statements…
33 Methodologies: Design Thinking P1 - Overview and Inspiration phase
Mar 18, 2017 • 49 min
This is the first in a 3 part series in Design Thinking that will teach you all the important parts of this methodology that I learned while becoming an IDEO certified Design Thinking trainer. In this episode, I will give you an overview of all of the…
32 Creativity: Create game-changing ideas by seeing opportunities before anyone else
Feb 26, 2017 • 37 min
The world is always changing around us and we need to be able to see these changes because they give us the opportunity to create disruptive ideas. This episode will teach you lessons in non-traditional disruption from different industries and how you can…
31 Listener questions: Setting your salary and showing the value of an in-house team
Feb 12, 2017 • 33 min
Answering listener questions about how to figure out what salary you should ask for, and how to show your company the value of an in-house creative team.
30 In-house design: How to fix broken in-house creative teams
Jan 29, 2017 • 50 min
Companies want creativity like never before but very few of their internal creative teams have been empowered or supported to be able to take advantage of this demand. In this episode I share everything I’ve learned from my career about how to…
29 Speaking: How to become a great public speaker
Jan 21, 2017 • 49 min
Presenting to your team is one thing but speaking in front of a crowd of strangers is a whole different challenge. In this episode I share everything I’ve learned about crafting presentations and some of the tips and tricks I’ve learned that will help you…
28 Career advice: Everything important I’ve learned in my career so far
Jan 15, 2017 • 52 min
I’ve had a lot of successes and challenges over the course of my career but they all taught me some important lesson. In this episode I share the most important lessons I’ve learned in 6 different areas to help you have a more successful and creative…
27 Emotional intelligence: The importance of happiness in creativity
Jan 7, 2017 • 42 min
I ask people “Do you know what you need to be happy” and very few of them can answer the question. This episode looks at why happiness is an important part of creativity, understanding how being happy is a part of your process, and understanding decision…
26 Creativity: Better ideas through insights and a more developed palette
Dec 17, 2016 • 48 min
A continuation of Episode 1 ‘Lightbulbs are bullsh*t’ that goes beyond understanding your creative process to look at how to better develop your palette to measure your work, find new areas of opportunity for ideation and judge the quality of your…
25 Design: What are atomic design systems and why are they the future?
Dec 11, 2016 • 50 min
This episode walks you through the basics of building all the pieces of an atomic design language and how to roll it out and scale it in your organization.
24 Methodologies: How to make design work with agile methodologies
Dec 3, 2016 • 41 min
Getting design to work with agile methodologies can be a real challenge. This episode walks you through the basic of agile methodologies, common problems creative teams have, and tips for how you can make agile work with your design process.
23 Conference talk: My talk with Scott Morrison at the 2016 Fifteen Seconds Festival
Nov 13, 2016 • 19 min
A replay of my conversation with Scott Morrison, formerly head of marketing at Levi’s, Activision and Diesel, at the Fifteen Seconds Festival about leadership, creativity and how we approach our work and careers.
22 Teamwork: 5 Ways to Build Rapport with Your Clients
Nov 13, 2016 • 32 min
If you can’t build rapport with your clients then your best ideas will never see the light of day. This episode explores 5 things you can do to build stronger leadership and partnership with your clients and team.
21 Conference talk: ‘Success is a choice’ from Adobe MAX 2016
Nov 6, 2016 • 67 min
A replay of my sold out session from Adobe MAX 2016 ‘Success is a choice’ that walks you through how to foster a culture that creates strong leadership, grow creativity and understand the most common leadership blindspots and what you can do to overcome…
20 Creativity: Insights from my dinner with chef Thomas Keller on creativity and culture
Oct 30, 2016 • 41 min
Insights on creativity, leadership, building culture, hiring and more from my dinner with luxury retail developer Ken Himmel and chef Thomas Keller at Per Se in New York City.
19 Design: 4 trends that will define the future of UI/UX design
Oct 23, 2016 • 35 min
Digital technologies are constantly changing so how do you create experiences that stand out from the crowd? This episode looks at 4 emerging trends you can use to create better digital experiences for web sites, mobile apps, social media, wearables and…
18 Teamwork: The 7 rules to running a better brainstorm
Oct 14, 2016 • 25 min
Every team wants to be more creative but how do you get better? This episode shows you how to frame your creative strategy using ‘how might we’ statements and the 7 rules to run a better brainstorming session.
17 Hiring: What do you need to look for to hire better creatives?
Oct 9, 2016 • 42 min
Every team wants to hire the best talent but what do you look for, how do you get better at its and what should you avoid? This episode walks you through some of the questions I’ve learned to ask, look for and some of the tests I’ve developed to find the…
16 In-house design: The secrets to being a successful in-house creative
Oct 2, 2016 • 37 min
Working as a creative team member or team leader for an in-house design team can be challenging. This episode looks at some of the insights I’ve learned over my 10+ years building and leading award winning client side creative teams.
15 Creativity: Insights from my conversation with Ferran Adria, the world’s greatest chef
Sep 25, 2016 • 39 min
Ferran Adria has been called the world’s greatest chef because of his restaurant ElBulli. This episode shares the insights on creativity, inspiration and more I got from my conversation with Ferran Adria and visiting his private workshop in Barcelona.
14 Speaking: Understanding your audience, the aftermath and keeping it sold
Sep 18, 2016 • 43 min
Building on the presentation basics in episode 13, this will teach you to better understand how to present to your clients, and what should happen after your presentation to keep your work sold.
13 Speaking: Building, setting up and giving a great presentation
Sep 6, 2016 • 48 min
Episode 12 covered the basics of becoming a great presenter and this episode continues the series by teaching you how to build better presentations with actionable tips, tricks and insights on setting up and giving great presentations.
12 Speaking: Selling, presentation style and better storytelling
Sep 2, 2016 • 54 min
Great ideas only see the light of day if you can sell them to your clients. This episode will teach you the critical things you will need to become a great presenter who can sell your work through understanding what you are presenting, your presentations…
11 Design: Fashion, technology and shoes that may change everything
Aug 28, 2016 • 42 min
Trend spotting can be a powerful tool to help you find breakthrough ideas. This episode looks at the intersection of fashion and technology, and a trend in technology that could disrupt the entire fashion industry.
10 Creativity: How to build a creative strategy
Aug 21, 2016 • 48 min
Great ideas start with a great strategy. This episode will look at the 8 essential question you need to use as a basis for any great creative strategy.
9 Hiring: The biggest opportunities, secrets and mistakes
Aug 12, 2016 • 56 min
This episode will teach you the 5 things you should do and the 3 things you should never do in your design portfolio from creating my portfolio site and reviewing thousand of other portfolios.
8 Hiring: The lost art of the job interview
Jul 31, 2016 • 47 min
You never get any feedback on why your last job interview didn’t go well and you didn’t get the job.This episode will help you learn the most common interview mistakes, how to be more prepared, sell your brand and get better results in your next job…
7 Career: Bringing your personal brand to life
Jul 31, 2016 • 46 min
Start building your personal brand ecosystem by understanding the secrets to bring it to life in your portfolio, resume, business cards, social media and more.
6 Career: How to create your own personal brand
Jul 27, 2016 • 40 min
Have you thought about why you are different or better than every other creative out there? This episode will help you understand the obstacles, power, and importance of creating your personal brand and two different techniques you can use to start…
5 Listener questions: Should designers code? Is platformification killing design?
Jul 15, 2016 • 31 min
Answering listener questions about if should designers should learn to code, making developers a bigger part of your creative process and talking about if digital platforms are killing design.
4 Design: Potatoes and power of experiential currency in social media
Jul 15, 2016 • 34 min
Social media has turned everyone into a little brand who is concerned about their image, voice and much more. This episode looks at the importance of using unique insights in your work and the underlying social currency that really drives social media.
3 Teamwork: Culture, beliefs and the power of ‘What inspires you?’
Jul 13, 2016 • 51 min
Culture is created either by default or by design. This episode will look at how to evaluate your team’s culture, the steps you need to take to create a strong culture and understand the power of asking ‘What inspires you?’.
2 Leadership: Common obstacles and 7 steps to becoming a better leader
Jul 13, 2016 • 37 min
Companies are desperate for more creative leadership but few of the know how to coach them to become better leaders. This episode looks at the most common leadership obstacles you will have to overcome and the 7 steps you will need to work on to become a…
1 Creativity: Lightbulbs are bullish*t
Jul 13, 2016 • 50 min
Most people believe that ideas are lightbulbs but nothing is further from the truth. This episode has insights and tips on how you can be more creative, and get a better understanding of your creative process.
Welcome to the crazy
Jul 13, 2016 • 9 min
An introduction from the host and award-winning Creative Director, Stephen Gates on his background, what inspired him to create this podcast and previews some of the topics that will be covered in the show.