Cassie McDaniel inspires us to get away from the ‘pick me’ mindset, and to pick ourselves. She challenges us to be willing to kill our darlings so that something better can emerge. She teaches us the importance of knowing our values, but also embracing the fact that they are going to change. She also encourages us to not just do what we’re good at, but do what we enjoy.
Cassie McDaniel runs a small, ambitious, friendly design studio with her husband called Jane & Jury. As previous Design Director at the Mozilla Foundation, she led a team of designers on the organization’s advocacy and digital literacy fronts. She founded the interview series Women&&Tech and runs a creative event and workshop series called Paris Lectures. She grew up in Florida, jumped around in England, and is now based an hour outside Toronto in rural Ontario, where she is deeply invested in the roots she puts down into her community both locally and online. She’s both a national champion collegiate water polo player, and a published poet.
Secret Identity (8:27)
Origin Story (20:56)
Being Mozilla Foundation’s Design Director (24:09)
“We create human-centered interactions and experiences in our field. Empathetic purpose drives our every decision. Mobile First? In reality, it’s humans first. This same mentality, turned inward, forms the cornerstone of something amazing: a creative culture.
Whether in a leadership role or as a member of the team, it’s a fact: a happy and well-supported employee is a fueled, charged, inspired creator.” – Excerpt from Cultivating a Creative Culture
Justin and I dive deep into the problems with creative cultures today. He answers important questions like:
What problems are you seeing in creative workplace cultures today?
What are the best questions you’ve found to ask to get a strong feel of the culture in an interview?
What are some clear indicators that it’s time to leave?
Can a creative not in senior leadership working in an awful culture actually affect change in their workplace?
Where we hang our hat every day is one of the most important decisions in life. Unless we’re remote, we’ll spend more time at work than at home with our loved ones. If we find ourselves in a place that doesn’t trust, or value us or our contributions, and in fact may even be abusive in dealings with us–the stress could actually eventually kill us.
I’m very proud of this episode. If it helps even one of you Defenders avoid the pain of an unhealthy culture, and pushes you to as Justin says, “never settle” in your quest to find the culture that helps you thrive as a creative person–then whatever level of discomfort it may bring listening, was all worth it.
As Justin says in his essential book, “The passion for doing your best work is too precious to be extinguished by an unhealthy culture.”
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ABOUT JUSTIN Justin Dauer is a passionate user advocate, designer, writer, and denim elitist from Chicago. Through bloodshot tunnel vision, he’s drawn from career experiences across agency side, client side, design studio, and pure tech to foster healthy, dynamic, supportive creative cultures. Crafting as the Vice President of UX & Development for bswift by day, his personal creative outlet by night (and day) is pseudoroom which also happens to be his Twitter handle. He eats a bowl of cereal every night before bed. Every. Night.
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