Applying a values framework in career decisions

Red Flag by Ben Sutherland Understanding your personal and professional values can be a really useful tool for making career decisions and figuring out the suitability of a job, team, boss or workplace. You can use values as a framework for thinking about questions such as, "What kind of company culture will I thrive in?" … Continue reading Applying a values framework in career decisions

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

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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