Our Impossible Minds series profiles the individuals who are building new possibilities for the future across technology, design and culture. This time we talked with William Houser, our Product Designer & Innovation at Impossible, who loves big ideas and is fascinated by the sheer creativity of his peers.
What’s fascinating about your role at Impossible?
While I consider myself a creative person, my creative output is different than those creating UX/UI screens or new products. My creativity comes into play in the interactions I have with my Impossible and client teams. I juggle personalities, political pressure, projects, and personal egos. I strive to cater my approach to each person a bit differently, knowing a true connection can help make both lives easier! What is fascinating about my role at Impossible is seeing the long project road ahead of you and helping those on different teams understand it, bit by bit. Breaking things up into smaller pieces allows for others to digest and clearly see what might be a daunting task. Once we’ve reached the end of the project I take pride in knowing that I helped get that from an idea to something tangible and I am fascinated by the sheer creativity of my peers. Metaphorically, as a Creative Project Manager, I’m the bowling bumpers that help guide the ball (our team/project) to a strike!
What problem are you solving now?
Currently, scope creep. “This will be easy. This will be a simple addition. We have resources.” Many of us have heard these words verberate from sprint syncs and whiteboard sessions. Scope creep is a huge problem that I am constantly trying to address. On the client side, many of the projects I work on have more than one stakeholders. When someone shares their latest idea, I make a note and clearly communicate our purpose and the goals we set from the beginning in hopes of wrangling the conversation back. I want to create a forum where everyone can share ideas but know that the tasks and project at hand are our current focus requiring our utmost attention. Don’t get me wrong, I love BIG IDEAS. The bigger the better! But there is a place and time for them to be thought through. Big ideas can derail crucial meeting minutes.
What are you currently obsessed with and why?
I’m currently obsessed with the entire Bon Appetit YouTube channel and Instagram feed. *drool emoji* Their collection of cooking characters offers insightful tips on a broad range of culinary classics. I suggest you start with Gourmet Makes, It’s Alive, or Trying Everything on the Menu, or my personal favorites Claire Saffitz who makes sourdough look simple and Carla Lalli Music who will sing you her sweet salad dressing — you should see her alphabetized seasoning cabinet!
How do you help change lives?
The great mama RuPaul says, “If you can’t love yourself, then how in the h*** you gonna love somebody else.” I think helping others starts with first helping yourself. I know that may sound like the opposite but I truly believe to have a positive impact on someone else you need to be true to yourself and love yourself. It’s ok to be selfish in regards to your own well being and health. One must recharge their batteries to continue to make positive changes. Girl, just remember — you can’t pour from an empty cup!
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