A 5-week community of practice for people who lead accessibility initiatives at large tech companies.
Orbital Studios helps you find and develop a community of practice—a group of peers you can both learn from and turn to for challenges (and opportunities) down the road.
First, we screen applicants to ensure they meet the specific requirements for experience level, role and responsibility.
Then, we convene a series of live virtual gatherings—usually over 4-5 weeks—facilitated by an experienced Studio Lead.
What you can expect:
To ensure relevance, prior to the start of the program we ask participants to share their current, day-to-day challenges, which we share back in Week 1.
We use their responses as a starting point. It helps us (and them) get a sense of where everyone is at, and it helps us understand how to direct the program.
This is our first time running this particular Studio, but here's a sample of what past participants have shared in our previous Studios for managers:
Each week, we allocate a portion of our time to exploring those questions in short, directed, small group discussions.
We reserve most of our time for in-depth problem solving, using our Get Unstuck framework, which incorporates inquiry, deep listening and reflection.
We'll also sometimes invite more experienced alumni to join in on these conversations when more expertise is needed.
Often times people simply need to be reminded of what they already know, or to take a moment to consider a fresh perspective.
For that reason, our process is heavy on dialogue, listening and self-reflection, rather than instruction.
This is our first time running this particular Studio, but here's a sample of what past participants have shared in our previous Studios:
"A focus on clear and direct communication would solve a lot of my and other people’s problems. In almost all situations being direct and honest, while potentially more difficult initially would be more beneficial in the long run. Building a environment where that communication can occur can be challenging but is important."
"Managers come in all shapes and sizes and I need to adapt my style to meet the needs of the organization/team."
"The importance of establishing and building cross-functional relationships outside of engineering — your first team isn’t your direct team, it’s your cross-functional peers."
"Talking through your challenges with others is valuable, and doesn't need to be about finding a solution. Sometimes just fresh perspectives can help, especially when you are so close to the issue yourself."
"Communication, empathy, and relationship building with your peers are key. Ask yourself, “Who can I co-own this problem with?” Articulate the value. Tell the story. For your team, setting expectations, delivering feedback, and celebrating wins are key"
"I need to focus more on building relationships with my peers and reports, to help them accomplish their goals more than my own - and it’s ok to give my bandwidth to that."
There's no homework, though we may assign challenges over the course of the program which will be scoped to fall within your normal work schedule.
Since 2016, we've gathered 300+ product managers, designers and engineering managers and directors from over 100 companies to learn from and with their peers across the industry.