So, I accidentally got a job.

A job? Like, a real job?

Let me start over. After close to a year (10 months!) of coaching managers and senior contributors full-time, I am winding down Practical Works and starting a new adventure. As of May 28th, I’ll be the CXO at Primary, where I’ll oversee Product, Product…


I want to start writing or give a conference talk. I’m just not sure what to say that hasn’t already been said.

I wrote a post, but it’s really boring.

I’ve been trying to put together a talk, but I feel like it’s all stuff people already know.

Do any…


Often when coaching managers, I’m asked about prioritization and focus. For newer managers, it can be difficult to understand all the aspects of your new role. Where do you put your time? What skills should you focus on developing? How do you ensure that you aren’t overreaching with your designers…


Look how happy I was before I started managing all those spreadsheets. Photo by Erin Ortiz.

In a few days, I will have been working on building Practical Works for four months. In my entire career, I’ve been a part of a lot of different businesses: from small startups just getting off the ground, to enormous tech giants, to mid-sized commerce and media companies. But before…


When teammates go rogue, you need a system for reining everyone back in

Photo: Hero Images/Getty Images

It happens to every design team at some point. Someone has the horrible realization that even though you’ve all been designing the same product for years, you’ve been doing it inconsistently. …


I still remember my first performance review from my time at Etsy. It was the first real review I’d ever gotten in my career (startups before that didn’t have much of a process, and my manager changed suddenly for my one review at Amazon, so the resulting review was… light)…


Advice for high performers in any company

Photo by Steven Lelham on Unsplash

Since starting my own business as a leadership coach, I’ve spoken with a lot of folks who are at a crossroads in their careers. Should they become a manager, or should they continue to pursue excellence in their craft? Are those paths mutually exclusive? …


I’m excited, and a bit nervous, to share that today I’m launching Practical Works, an organizational and leadership consultancy. Whether you’re a manager in need of coaching, a leader looking to increase velocity, or a team desiring better collaboration across disciplines, I’m available to help you establish a strong foundation…


To be honest, this isn’t a post I thought I would ever write. Not because I thought I’d never leave BuzzFeed, but because I always thought there were enough “I’m leaving my company” Medium posts out there in the world. However, as I’ve gone through the process of telling people…


Just over a year ago, we posted a major overhaul of our Product Design Roles documentation. With that revision, we aimed for our role documentation to facilitate more actionable discussions between managers and their teams, set clearer expectations for each level, as well as help our designers and design managers…

Cap Watkins

Leadership coach and organizational consultant at @practical_works. Prev: VP of Design@BuzzFeed. Also worked at Etsy, Amazon, and a bunch of failed startups :)

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