Four steps towards imagination

What's your vision for this?"

Have you been asked this question? Did you freeze not knowing what it should be? Maybe you thought "How on earth does a vision emerge? I'm not a visionary, I'll just on execution."

Bullshit. That's what you may have been told, but that's it's not true.

A vision is critical for any undertaking. It keeps a team working together, in alignment. It rallies people in the face of adversity. It makes those blurry, far-away goals feel crisp and tangible. …

Big lessons from small humans

I freaking love being a parent. Seriously.

I haven't found anything more rewarding than the failure-prone, sleep-depriving process of trying to mold the minds of little humans. Being on the receiving end of unconditional sure is quite a high. And I'm sure parents' genes wire them to think their kids are the cutest thing since the Big Bang.

But a big part of it is what little ones can teach us about life. And each other.

One unexpected area where I found plenty of lessons from my daughters is in leadership. Young children are such…

An argument for self-discovery, from the mundane to the existential

Learning is always worthwhile. The accumulation of insights, experience, lessons makes itself a multiplier: you accumulate ideas and skills which improve whatever you channel your energy towards later on.

And because of that, the highest ROI in learning you can achieve is to learn about yourself.

“I think a life properly lived is just learn, learn, learn all the time.”
Charlie Munger

Recently, I’ve been trying to observe, meditate, consult with people who know me well to discover the answers to questions like this.

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Using the Stoics for more productive manager/employee conversations

Originally published on

Coaching employees is often about reconsidering perspectives, instead of acting on problems. But that can be challenging. You most likely have found yourself in a situation were a team member:

  • Was confident someone else didn’t care not care about quality/speed/something
  • Was convinced someone else was trying to undermine their work or position
  • Was frustrated because of what seemed like incompetence in the part of others
  • Was sure they should be promoted, but expected it to happen to them, instead of doing the work

They may have been…

Using PM Crits to up-level your product management team.

Read the original article on my website.

Product Managers are a hungry bunch. The role is broad, demanding and requires a subtle blend of analytical and qualitative skills, many of which can’t be taught in college. But it’s disappointing to see how PMs tend to grow skills by themselves, in their own track, through trial and error, and not collectively as a team.

It may be that the role attracts particularly driven individuals, or how the job of leading a team leads to more competitive behavior. The cause isn’t that relevant…

A simple framework for alignment and freedom.

Read this article in its original place.

I bet you’ve experienced it. You put a ton of thought into something, and present it to someone, looking for feedback. But they crush your dreams. Instead of giving you room to make things better, they prescribe solutions, they tell you what to do.

Or perhaps you’ve been on the other side. Someone on your team is presenting something to you. Deep down you want them to think on their own, to use their talent and experience to find the best solution. But instead, you go…

A human-centric approach for working with humans

As designers, a huge part of our job lies in empathizing with users. It’s exciting to see how far we’ve come as a discipline in becoming more user-centric, more research-driven and better at tying our ideas to actual user needs.

Yet many of us struggle with applying that same level of empathy to the people we work with.

I’ve lost count over the years of how many times I’ve heard designers lament that engineers have no taste, and don’t appreciate the details of their designs. Or complain that the scope of their project is never enough so they have no…

The hidden cost of taking too long

Read this article in its original place.

You know that moving slowly limits your options. It causes you not to try to get it right as many times as your competitor might, you iterate less and end up with subpar solutions. The value is obvious.

Something you might not notice is the effect it has on the culture of your product teams. When you take a long time to ship and don’t iterate soon afterwards, the people making your product feel like they won’t have a chance to reevaluate their decisions. …

Consistency in UI Design is overvalued.

Read the original article on my website.

Yes, it’s a worthy goal to make different features feel as if designed by the same person, when in reality it’s a team of dozens. Yes, reusing components leads to uncountable savings in repetitive work and correction. Yes, it’s impossible to establish identity for a brand which never presents itself in the same way.

But too often I see teams spending days arguing about the how they’re spacing elements differently between Android and iOS. Obsessing about the minor differences in the text color between what’s on the…

Elevate your product, elevate your team

Read this article in its original place.

Critiques are a time-proven way of pushing design ideas forward. Art and design schools have used them as key teaching venues for decades. And while common in corporate teams, I suspect they’re often underutilized.

To start, it’s worth pointing that critiques ("crits"):

  • Are not generative sessions (divergent, idea generation meetings). These tend to involve different project stakeholders and happen early in the design process.
  • Are not evaluative sessions (convergent, approval-oriented meetings). These focus on making a decision, and by definition happen later in the process.

Critiques are iterative sessions, where the design team…

Bruno Bergher

Writing about time, fatherhood, leadership and the making of software. VP Product and Design at Metabase.

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