The Crazy One

The Crazy One
A podcast on creativity, leadership, design and innovation
75 Career: How to survive corporate politics with grace and integrity
Mar 3 • 45 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 Process: Design Thinking isn’t bullsh*t. The way you apply it is.
Feb 7 • 29 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 • 30 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 Leadership: Understanding and improving your emotional intelligence
Nov 4, 2018 • 58 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 • 43 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 • 43 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 • 36 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 • 40 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 Creativity: Best practices for remote work
Jul 22, 2018 • 38 min
Increasingly 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…
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
In this episode we will answer 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 Your career: Portfolio, resume and personal branding refresher
May 20, 2018 • 37 min
Too many great creative talents don’t have the careers they deserve and are struggling to find a new job because of a few simple, but huge problems are the reason why. In this episode, we will look how you can better understand employment process, as well…
60 Design Thinking: Understanding the power and potential of Design Thinking
Apr 22, 2018 • 39 min
Using Design Thinking successfully with your team is about a lot more than just understanding the steps of this increasingly popular methodology. In this episode, we will look at a number of things that will help you understand the value and potential of…
59 Your 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, see if it is a great opportunity that isn’t being influenced by your emotions, and how do you leave the right way? In this episode, we will…
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 Culture: 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 too often unfocused, willed 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…
56 Missing manual: 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 Leadership: Know what fights to pick and how to fight them constructively
Jan 14, 2018 • 41 min
Fighting for what you believe in at work and what your team needs are a 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…
54 Creativity: The importance of honesty for your work, your team and yourself
Jan 6, 2018 • 41 min
As we continue to explore the relationship between creativity and some of our base emotions we move on to one of the most difficult for your work, your team and yourself - honesty. In this episode, we will look at honesty vs. candor, how to apply it, and…
53: The Crazy One podcast’s biggest lessons of 2017
Dec 24, 2017 • 54 min
I wanted to close out 2017 by looking back at some of the most important themes and issues 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…
52 Your career: 6 ways to screw up your career
Nov 26, 2017 • 35 min
Navigating your career path can be extremely hard as there are a lot of traps and obstacles that can cause real problems you won’t see until it is too late. In this episode, we will explore six of the most common career mistakes and explore a few…
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 creative leader is to come up with a plan and have the tough conversations with a person or team that is struggling to deliver great work. It is the leadership question I am asked the most so in this…
Thank you for supporting 50 episodes!
Nov 5, 2017 • 3 min
A quick thank you to all my listeners for all the support, feedback and love across the first 50 episodes of The Crazy One podcast.
50 Your career: ‘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 Leadership: ‘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
Over the course of this show we have talked a lot about how to lead creative teams because there are many unique challenges for this type of leadership. One of the biggest challenges is how to effectively coach and grow the members of your team to make…
47 Creativity: Understanding and applying empathy in your work
Sep 24, 2017 • 37 min
Empathy is a simple phrase that’s increasingly popular thanks to methodologies like Design Thinking, 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…
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 and this is mostly true. But leading and working as a creative 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…
My new course ‘Leading Creative Teams’
Aug 20, 2017 • 2 min
My new course ‘Leading Creative Teams’ I recently launched a 2 1/2 hour, 24 episode course on and LinkedIn Learning called ‘Running a Design Business: Leading a Creative Teams’. It covers how creative leadership is unique, why it’s…
45 Leadership: Become a better leader with the 10/80/10 rule
Aug 20, 2017 • 17 min
Leading a creative teams 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…
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. You need to make your work luck and in this episode, we will take a closer look at what people really meany when they say people are ‘lucky’, how…
43 Creativity: Understanding and breaking through creative slumps
Jul 16, 2017 • 44 min
Creativity ebbs and flows for everyone. We all know that the times when you are struggling to find ideas and feel like you are in a slump are the most frustrating but what can you do to break out of it? In this episode we will look at the different types…
42 App design: How to design a great mobile app
Jul 7, 2017 • 46 min
Since apps were introduced with the launch of the iPhone app store a decade ago, every business wants to have a great, impactful app but many creatives still make big mistakes in the way they are designing those apps. In this episode, we will go through…
41 Creativity: 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 Creativity: Who owns creativity: In-house or agency teams?
Jun 18, 2017 • 38 min
Over the past 10 years there has been continuous investment the 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…
39 Mentoring: How to find or become a mentor
Jun 4, 2017 • 49 min
As your career grows, it’s natural to want to learn from people who are older, more experience or more successful than you are. 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…
38 Creative Direction: Building stronger relationships with your clients (even the difficult ones)
May 14, 2017 • 44 min
The relationship between creatives and their clients is one of the most important parts of the creative process because to be able to do great work, your clients need to trust and respect you and your creative process but it doesn’t always happen. In this…
37 Creativity: How to stop executive interference in your creative process
May 7, 2017 • 36 min
Creative teams are at their best when they are given a problem to solve instead of a solution to be vetted. In this episode, I will walk you through the to most common and problematic places where this happens and how you can overcome it to let your team…
36 Listener questions: When do you ask for a raise, making remote teams work and valuing creative talent
Apr 16, 2017 • 46 min
This episode answers listener questions about how can creatives can pick the right time to ask for a raise or promotion, what’s the best way to negotiate your raise, how you can get remote teams to work together more seamlessly, and a discussion of how…
35 Design Thinking: Part 3 - 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 from the inspiration phase and the concepts from the ideation phase to life into prototyping, testing and final…
34 Design Thinking: Part 2 - Ideation phase
Mar 31, 2017 • 44 min
The second in a 3-part series that’s a crash course 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 teach you how to take…
33 Design Thinking: Part 1 - Overview and Inspiration phase
Mar 18, 2017 • 48 min
Everyone is talking about Design Thinking but not many people understand or know how to use this methodology. This is the first in a 3 part series thats a crash course in Design Thinking that will teach you all the important parts of this methodology that…
32 Disruption: Create game-changing ideas by seeing opportunities before anyone else
Feb 26, 2017 • 37 min
The world is always changing around us and as creatives we need to be able to see these changes before they happen because those changes give us the opportunity to create disruptive ideas. But changes doesn’t always happen to an industry because on a…
31 Listener questions: Setting your salary and showing the value of an in-house team
Feb 12, 2017 • 33 min
This episode answers listener questions about how to figure out what the salary if you should ask for on your next job interview and how to show your company the value of an in-house creative team. If you have questions you want answered you can ask them…
30 Client-side creativity: How to fix broken client-side creative teams
Jan 29, 2017 • 49 min
Companies want creativity and design 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 have learned leading client-side teams…
29 Public Speaking: How to become a great public speaker
Jan 21, 2017 • 49 min
Presenting your work to a small group of business people is one thing but speaking in front of a crowd is a whole different challenge. In this episode I will share everything I’ve learned going from being terrified to speak in front of small groups to…
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 all of those challenges taught me some important lessons. In this episode I share the most important lessons I’ve learned in 6 different areas in the hope that they will be able…
27 Creativity: The importance of happiness in creativity
Jan 7, 2017 • 42 min
I ask creatives “Do you know what you need to be happy” and its amazing how few of them can actually answer that question. This episode looks at why happiness is an important part of creativity, understanding how being happy is a part of creating versus…
26 Creativity: Better ideas through insights and a more developed palette
Dec 17, 2016 • 47 min
A continuation of Episode 1 ‘Lightbulbs are bullsh*t’ that goes beyond understanding your creative process to walk you through how there is more to being creative than your creative process. This episode looks at how to better develop your palette, how to…
25 Digital design: What are atomic design systems and why are they the future?
Dec 11, 2016 • 50 min
The days of creating pixel perfect designs on small teams are long gone so how do you make sure that can create consistent branded experiences without compromising creativity? This episode walks you through the basics of building all the pieces of an…
24 Process: How to make design work with agile methodologies
Dec 3, 2016 • 40 min
If you have ever tried to be creative on a team using an agile methodology then you know how challenging it can be to have ideas in this dynamic and focused environment. This episode walks you through the basic of agile methodologies, a look at the common…
23 Leadership: 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 in Graz, Austria earlier this year talking about leadership, creativity and how we approach our work and careers.
22 Business: 5 Ways to Build Rapport with Your Clients
Nov 13, 2016 • 32 min
If you can’t build rapport with your clients and your team then they won’t trust you and your best ideas will never see the light of day. This episode explores 5 simple things you can do to build stronger leadership and partnership with your clients and…
21 Leadership: Success is a choice from Adobe MAX 2016
Nov 6, 2016 • 67 min
A replay of my sold out session from Adobe MAX 2016 that looked at how companies are finally starting to see the true value of design but few understand how to foster the leadership that can deliver greater creativity, innovation. This episode will walk…
20 Creativity: Insights from my dinner with chef Thomas Keller on creativity and culture
Oct 30, 2016 • 41 min
I recently had the opportunity to sit down for bucket list dinner with luxury retail developer Ken Himmel and chef Thomas Keller at Per Se in New York City to discuss their insights on creativity, leadership, building culture, hiring and more.
19 Digital design: 4 trends that will define the future of UI/UX design
Oct 23, 2016 • 35 min
Digital technology and form factors are constantly changing so how do you create experiences that stand out from the crowd? This episode looks at four emerging trends you can use to help create better digital experiences for web sites, mobile apps, social…
18 Brainstorming: The 7 rules to running a better brainstorm
Oct 14, 2016 • 25 min
Every company and every team wants to be more creative and have better ideas. But how do you get better? This episode shows you how to frame the opportunity given to you by your creative strategy using ‘how might we’ statements and the 7 rules to run a…
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 people but what do you look for? How do you get better at it? What should you avoid? This episode walks you through some of the questions I’ve learned to ask, some of the things I’ve learned to look for and some of the…
16 Client-side creativity: The secrets of how to be a successful client-side 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. He is certainly one of the most creative. This episode shares the insights on creativity, inspiration and more I learned from my visit to elBulli Taller and my conversation with Ferran Adria, the…
14 Presenting: Understanding your audience, the aftermath and keeping it sold
Sep 18, 2016 • 43 min
Episode 13 covered the things you need to do to create a powerful presentation and this episode will teach you how you can better understand the clients you are presenting to and what needs to happen after your presentation to keep your work sold.
13 Presenting: 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 Presenting: 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 your the critical things you need to know to become a great presenter who can sell your work to any client through understanding what you are presenting,…
11 Trends: 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 • 47 min
If you want to have great ideas then you need to base those ideas in a great strategy. This episode will look at ways to build a better and stronger creative strategy using the power of empathy and 8 question that will give you the answers you need to get…
9 Design portfolios: The biggest opportunities, secrets and mistakes
Aug 12, 2016 • 56 min
This episode will teach you the insights I’ve learned from creating my award winning portfolio site and reviewing thousand of other portfolios to learn the 5 things you should do and the 3 things you should never do in your portfolio.
8 Your career: The lost art of the job interview
Jul 31, 2016 • 47 min
Most of the time 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 common mistakes, how to be more prepared, sell your brand and get better results next time.
7 Your career: Bringing your personal brand to life
Jul 31, 2016 • 46 min
Episode 6 helped you define your personal brand and this episode will help you start to build your personal brand ecosystem by understanding the secrets to bring it to life in your resume, business cards, social media and more.
6 Your career: How to create your own personal brand
Jul 27, 2016 • 40 min
Can you tell people why you are different and better than every other creative out there? This episode will help you understand the obstacles, power and importance of creating your own personal brand and how to start building it today.
5 Listener questions: Should designers code? Is platformification killing design?
Jul 15, 2016 • 31 min
This episode answers listener questions about should designers learn to code, making developers a bigger part of your creative process and talking about if digital platforms are killing design. If you have questions you want answered you can ask them by…
4 Social media: Potatoes and power of experiential currency
Jul 15, 2016 • 33 min
Social media has turned everyone into little brands who are concerned about their image, voice and much more. This episode looks at the importance of using unique insights in your work and a look at the underlying currency that really drives social media.
3 Leadership: Culture, beliefs and the power of ‘What inspires you?’
Jul 13, 2016 • 51 min
Team cultures are created either by default or by design. This episode will look at how to evaluate your team, the steps 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 people on becoming better leaders. This episode looks at the most common leadership obstacles you will have to overcome and the 7 steps to help you become a better…
1 Creativity: Lightbulbs are bullish*t
Jul 13, 2016 • 50 min
Most people believe the myth that ideas are lightbulbs where we get all the answers to the problem all at one. Nothing is further from the truth. This episode looks at insights and tips on how you can be more creative and get a better understanding of…
Welcome to the crazy
Jul 13, 2016 • 9 min
This episode is 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.