Strategy 17 posts


We make things. You, reading this, make things; directly or indirectly. We work to make and support things.

Zen and the Art of Insight Generation

It’s not even really up for debate. “Insight” is one of the things we value most in the world of creative problem solving.

Planning isn’t just a phase I’m going through.

As a planner, the most intensive period for me on any project used to be in the kickoff and upfront strategic direction phase. Increasingly, and by design, I stay highly engaged throughout the creative process.

The Iceberg of Jobs-to-be-Done

When you're starting to design a new product, or redesigning an existing one, the most important thing you can do is validate that the problem you are trying to solve is meaningful, important, and shared by a large enough group of people that a solution is likely to succeed in the market. However, there are two significant challenges to overcome.

Why Does This Exist?

We work in a world where seemingly existential questions like this blog post title are not only essential, but entirely measurable. Asking, "Why does this exist?" is how we look beyond the myopia and make real sense of the work that we create; some call this getting real.  When we ask, “Why does this exist?” we're really asking, "What are we trying to do and how are we going to prove it worked?".

Killing Big Strategy

I started working at Teehan+Lax a year ago. I am often reminded by Dave Gillis, one of the partners here, of something I said shortly before I was hired: "Any good Planner or Strategist worth their salt can look at a complex problem, go away for a month, dig up some insights, and craft a compelling argument around why we should build a certain set of tactics to solve it.

Checklists for Creative Work

If you have worked in a creative discipline long enough, you have no doubt had to deal with a project that didn't turn out the way you hoped. There are many reasons why expectations and outcomes can become misaligned: poor client/agency communication, unable to reach consensus on key decisions, blown timelines, losing sight of the objective, spending too much time focusing on the wrong things, etc.

Sustainable Digital Ecosystems

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this Ted Talk by Dan Barber I saw a while ago about a sustainable fish farm. It’s called Veta La Palma, an aquaculture farm located in Spain.

Subcompact Publishing meet Epic Storytelling

(This post originally appeared on Medium) On December 20, 2012 the New York Times released Snow Fall, The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek, a 5 part story of skiers and snowboarders trapped by an avalanche in Washington State’s Cascade mountain range. It is an amazing story reminiscent of Jon Krakauer’s, now famous 1996 Outside Magazine piece, Into Thin Air.

How Content Strategy Solves 3 Project Problems

By now most people working in the digital channel will have heard some of the buzz about content strategy. But unless you’ve worked on a UX project with a content strategy component, its exact role can be a bit of a mystery.

Social Engagement: Go Beyond Facebook and Twitter

Here at T+L we believe that a brand’s online presence and activity should always be both useable and useful to its customers. This rule applies to social media as well.

Personas and Umwelt

I was recently working on a platform redesign project for a client with a broad customer base. Their product and service offering is something that appeals to people with diverse demographics and technographics across Canada.