December 2019

“Being able to tell a story about what the world could look like and what the world should look like is a really important personality trait for a founder.”  


Kanyi Maqubela

Entrepreneur & Venture Investor

Resources to Fuel Your Creativity

[Webcast] Get Started with Storytelling at Work — Resident IDEO storytellers Zena Barakat and Brian Janosch share tips for using narrative to persuade and motivate others in common business scenarios.
Thursday, December 12 @ 10am PT / 1pm ET

Learnings from Looking Inside Thousands of Businesses — How a prolific investor spots business and leadership potential. Listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

Adopt a Musical Mindset to Tap Into Your Creativity — Stories from Radiohead, Bjork, and My Bloody Valentine on experimenting and connecting with your senses. Listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

All Prototypes Are Not Created Equal — Five examples that fueled very different ideas.

Try This Now

Reflective self-awareness
The Japanese concept of ikigai—your reason for being—finds the sweet spot where what you love, what you’re good at, what you can be paid for, and what the world needs all overlap.
Ask these questions to put yourself in a reflective mode as you prepare to make the most of 2020.
  • What do I value?
  • What are things I do no matter what because I just can’t help doing them? 
  • What am I really great at—better than anyone else? What do others seek out my help for? Once you’ve answered this for yourself, source opinions from those around you. 
  • What don’t I want to do? What do I only do because I have to? 
  • How do I separate my identity from my work?
Read more: When Are You at Your Best as a Leader?

What We’re Reading

Podcasts loved by designers at Apple, MoMA, IDEO, and more.

For change movements to succeed, leaders need to invest time in early listening.

5-Hour Workdays? 4-Day Workweeks? Yes, Please.

A methodical approach for group problem solving.

A book on how to find a more creative way of working in a world obsessed with productivity.

Expert Picks

Coe Leta Stafford is IDEO U’s Managing Director, a mom of two, fervent gamer, and legendary prototyper. She turns to this book and podcast to fill up her inspiration tank. 

The Curiosity Daily Podcast
I start EVERY morning with this podcast through my Alexa. The topics often make me sit up and laugh or tilt my head in amazement: usually a bit of both. A great burst of inspiration and information about our world, presented in a way that keeps me curious and optimistic. 
Daily Rituals: Women at Work, by Mason Currey
Inspiring stories of 100+ creative women and the routines, mindsets, and obstacles that made up their day. This book gives me a grounded appreciation for effort and persistence that goes into creative success. The key takeaway? Just. Keep. Doing. 

Work with IDEO

We’re seeking creative problem solvers to help us tackle big challenges in innovation, education, and more.

Teaching Program Specialist — Tokyo

Senior Director, Health Portfolio — New York

Content Marketer (Moon Creative Lab) — Palo Alto

See more jobs.

Courses Starting January 16th

IDEO U is an online school created by award-winning design firm IDEO. Through accessible online courses, IDEO U equips you with creative problem-solving skills, easy-to-use tools, and leadership mindsets to stay resilient in our fast-changing modern world.

What creative skill do you want to sharpen?

See the IDEO U course calendar for the complete schedule of courses. 

Was this newsletter helpful?
Yes  or   No
Copyright © 2019 IDEO U, All rights reserved.
IDEO U Pier 28 Annex The Embarcadero San Francisco, CA 94105 USA
Update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.