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Being Authentic Matters: Adam Faulkner

By Leading The Product

As LTP draws closer, we want to highlight the amazing support we receive from our sponsors each year and 2024 is no exception. The wisdom, insights and products that our amazing sponsors have produced are second to none and it wouldn’t be fair to withhold some of their learnings, thoughts and tips on how to adopt new product thinking and adapt to disruption in the product industry.

So please, read and enjoy the awesome content that they have shared with us in the lead up to Leading the Product 2024!

This is something that has been on my mind for a long time, you being you is your greatest asset.

I have been working in human centred design for over 15 years and the one thing that continually seems to come up is our reluctance to being ourselves in the way we interact and engage in our careers. When you start out their is a hesitancy to fully trust yourself, your gut and ultimately your opinion. We reflect others, their opinions and seek to be part of a community but at what cost?

I want to tell you a story, my story… I started blueegg over 10 years ago as a result of wanting to offer more evidenced based, improved experiences for users. I am a scientist by background and wanted to use this as a basis to deliver more robust, validated experiences that are based off user needs. I am now incredibly lucky to have a team filled with talented designers from all backgrounds and experiences, where we embrace diversity and value opinions to be able to deliver complex, awesome user experiences.

But it wasn’t always like this…

I studied Pharmacology at Sydney University because I had always been drawn to the creative aspects of how scientists are able to make amazing discoveries, create medicine and ultimately strive to cure our most common diseases. The curve ball here was I grew up in a family of real estate agents and, against my gut, joined one of my families real estate businesses.

This was, of-course, a disaster filled with compromise and a misalignment of values. I felt like I had “sold,ˮ myself out and was it didn’t feel right. It was the trigger for me starting to trusting myself and my opinions more. More importantly it was the start of me wanting to be me.

From that point I needed to start being me and not someone others wanted me to be…

Leading the Product3I then went and worked at some amazing companies including Sony and Blackberry (It was a phone if you are under 30). I learned how to listen to users, the importance of empathy and how talking to users can lead to better experiences. It was a formative part of my career and was the catalyst to give me to confidence to trust in my opinion, my gut and myself.

This is the context that led me to start blueegg and ultimately write my thoughts on why being authentic matters, not only for ourselves but on the work and artefacts we produce

We as humans want to get along, to co-exist in communities, to form meaningful relationships. But, what happens when this instinct to reflect others, specifically product owners, project sponsors and stakeholders starts to inform our research, process, approach and artefacts? I feel we loose our way!

Donʼt let your desire to fit in lead to a dilution of the value you bring to the people around you, those you work with and the artefacts you deliver!

I am lucky to have a diverse team I work with. One where I value their opinions and embrace the many ways their thoughts and approaches differ from each other and ultimately complement what we do. Diversity of thinking is the key to delivering inclusive and engaging experiences

I want to ask you to revisit your approach, to speak up, be yourself and to ask those questions others wont. Your opinion and being authentic matters!!!

 

Adam Faulkner
Director & CEO
blueegg.com.au
02 8007 4711

Come and talk to myself and my team at Leading the Product in May in both Melbourne and Sydney. Look forward to seeing you there!!