Move your practice from service to colleague

March 2007 at the IA Summit, Christina Wodtke grabbed myself and Livia Labate for a quick discussion about how information architects can better interface with the business.

The interview inaugurated Boxes and Arrows podcast series, 'Straight from the horse's mouth', that also included great interviews with Behavior's Chris Fahey, Dan Brown, Yahoo's Tom Wailes, and Derek Featherstone. (The interviews are no bullshit, Summit conversations captured in little audio time capsules.)

One of the reasons I wanted to work with Livia at Comcast Interactive Media is because she has the amazing ability to enter a conversation, immediately understand the key issues, intuit exactly how the participants need to be spoken to, and then say the perfect thing at the perfect time.

And of course, Christina wields this same magic. Her summation of the interview:

  • Learn the language
  • Lose the agenda
  • Be a resource
  • Dress better

That translates to learn the language of business, lose the user agenda and focus on what the project needs, become a trusted and dependable resource for the business, and if you look like you're on the business team, you'll have more business conversations than design conversations.

That's the gist of it. The complete interview is up at Boxes and Arrows. Straight from the horse's mouth: Changing the channel.