What I’ve been reading lately: the not-so-weekly digest (#5)

Presenting another installment of a collection of most-highly-recommended articles and websites that shaped my thinking throughout the past few weeks on the following topics: design, research, business, organizational culture, technology, careers, and culture [change] and society. Design A panel of UX professionals dish on UX certifications | Elaine Matthias, UX Magazine An interview with Zeesha … Continue reading What I’ve been reading lately: the not-so-weekly digest (#5)

Selling value by understanding values: advancing ethnography through client empathy

As a UX researcher, I get questions from time to time about the art, science and practice of user research from people who do not fully grasp its fundamentals. And that's understandable, because as researchers, we can't expect everyone to be familiar with the inner workings of what we do and how we do it. … Continue reading Selling value by understanding values: advancing ethnography through client empathy

Insights from a Discussion of the Non-Linear Path to Practicing Business Anthropology

At the recent Society for Applied Anthropology annual meetings in Albuquerque, NM, I had the opportunity to participate in a panel session with three other up-and-coming anthropologists who work in business and design. The session, entitled “Coming of Age in the Corporate Context: Exploring the Non-Linear Transition from Student to Practitioner and Back Again,” was … Continue reading Insights from a Discussion of the Non-Linear Path to Practicing Business Anthropology

Anthropologists in Practice: An Interview with Paul Klipp, Design Anthropologist and Business Consultant

Anthropologists in Practice is an ongoing series of interviews featuring anthropologists (and professionals with anthropology training) who work outside of the academy. The goal of the series is to provide a source of information and inspiration to other practitioners and (potential) students of anthropology, and to illustrate the wide variety of jobs, skills and competencies … Continue reading Anthropologists in Practice: An Interview with Paul Klipp, Design Anthropologist and Business Consultant

What do dinosaurs have to do with insurance? A lesson in advocating for anthropology in the workplace

Rummaging through some old folders recently, I came across an artifact from my last job that gave me a good laugh. It's a "business card" that a colleague made for me one afternoon during what was apparently a really boring meeting. I recall having number of conversations with this colleague about what exactly I, an … Continue reading What do dinosaurs have to do with insurance? A lesson in advocating for anthropology in the workplace

Culture, Pushing Boundaries and Change

The Narcissistic (American) Anthropologist

plant-breaking-through-bricks

Recently in my professional career I have been yet again posed the question of “why study cultural context” – not so much from a “prove your value” perspective but from a “help us sell this stuff” perspective.

I got to thinking about the connection between “values” (broad term for not-so-easy-to-measure sociocultural “stuff”) and value (the “dolla bills”) and how the way we (at my company, in my profession) help create meaningful change by solving human-centric problems.

Essentially it really all comes back to identifying the need for and efficiently managing the process for change.  Change is what helps us grow – both socially and  – in business terms, financially.   And it all comes down to understanding the boundaries so you can bust them.

It took me back to my go-to explanation of the meaning of culture:  what happens when humans collectively respond to constraints (the big stuff on a social…

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Anthropologists in Practice: An Interview with Christin Reeder, Family Support and Community Impact Specialist at Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis

Anthropologists in Practice is an ongoing series of interviews featuring anthropologists (and professionals with anthropology training) who work outside of the academy. The goal of the series is to provide a source of information and inspiration to other practitioners and (potential) students of anthropology, and to illustrate the wide variety of jobs, skills and competencies … Continue reading Anthropologists in Practice: An Interview with Christin Reeder, Family Support and Community Impact Specialist at Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis

Anthropologists in Practice: An Interview with Beth Schill, Research Program Manager at the Partnership for Public Service

Anthropologists in Practice is an ongoing series of interviews featuring anthropologists (and professionals with anthropology training) who work outside of the academy. The goal of the series is to provide a source of information and inspiration to other practitioners and (potential) students of anthropology, and to illustrate the wide variety of jobs, skills and competencies … Continue reading Anthropologists in Practice: An Interview with Beth Schill, Research Program Manager at the Partnership for Public Service