Kristy Tillman was the Design Director at Society of Grownups and a designer at IDEO in Boston before making her way up to become the Head of Communication Design at Slack, a messaging tool for teams. This is a recent position for Kristy, who is real and honest about being “in process.” Her insights on building strong and diverse teams are powerful, especially if you’re considering becoming a manager.
As a black woman in design, Kristy offers advice for those who feel like they don’t fit into the dominant culture of their company. She also talks about holding out for the right opportunities, the qualities that make strong managers and designers, and her unique formula for success.
-Kristy growing up: From a precocious girl in a bike gang to a vulnerable teen who had to learn to become self-assured and independent. [3:20]
-Figuring out what she wanted to do in her college years, internships at Nasa and elsewhere, and discovering her love for design. [10:21]
-Some of Kristy’s bigger career transitions, and the unique approach she took with her application to IDEO that helped her get noticed. [17:40]
-On her favorite projects at IDEO, building her own design teams, and the discomfort she’s occasionally felt as the only black woman in her work culture. [22:48]
-On accepting uncomfortable situations, her love for building teams and bringing people together, and her advice for when you don’t feel like you fit into your company's work culture.
-Kristy shares insights from her first experience building and constructing teams and how she fell in love with it, plus her advice to anyone considering management work. [31:03]
-How Kristy finally transitioned to Slack after the right role presented itself, and her unique recipe for success. [35:58]
-On what the last six months at Slack has looked like and building the culture of a new team, plus what Kristy looks for in a designer. [40:42]
-Kristy’s final thoughts, her 99U talk on “inviting yourself to the table”, and future goals. [49:12]
Kristy’s blog – http://www.tomorrowlooksbright.com/
Her 99U talk: “Inviting Yourself to the Table” – http://99u.com/videos/53998/kristy-tillman-inviting-yourself-to-the-table
Slack – https://slack.com/
Lingo App – http://bit.ly/lingo-app
TuneIn – http://tunein.com/
Music by Lucia Lilikoi – https://lucia.bandcamp.com/