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A 5-week community of practice for Staff+ Design Leaders.
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:
"That no matter what company someone works at, there’s a high chance they have experienced similar problems you’ve dealt with. And that I should feel more comfortable talking about these issues more and asking people for advice on how they’ve dealt with it."
"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."
"Many of the challenges that we face as designers are very similar from company to company. Talking to people outside of your company and forming a small community is super useful for getting a new perspective and discovering new approaches to overcoming challenges."
"Knowing that this group of smart people has the same questions, challenges and opportunities as I have. Realizing our field is less structured than engineering but comes with more opportunity to self actualize."
"Literally everything is a design problem. Career, communication, relationships, it's all a matter of figuring out what the problems and assumptions are and iterating towards improvement."
"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"
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.