LIVE WORKSHOP

COMBAT to COLLABORATION

A one-day workshop to help transform your working relationship with product managers and executives into a strategic partnership built on mutual trust and respect

Photo of UX Consultant Joe Natoli and Nikki Zawol, Experience Design Manager at Blue Cross Blue Shield, taken after a full-day workshop session.

NIKKI ZAWOL
Experience Design Manager Blue Cross/Blue Shield

“Our organization’s Experience Design team had the pleasure of participating in a full-day workshop led by Joe. He demonstrated a remarkable ability to distill practical concepts into accessible and actionable insights, encouraging a new vision for our team and our role within the organization.

The workshop was not just informative; it was a transformative experience that aligned our team’s purpose with business objectives, setting us on a path of renewed motivation and cohesion.

Joe’s blend of UX knowledge, communication skills, and forward-thinking insights make him an invaluable asset for any organization seeking a seamless integration of purpose and business strategy. I wholeheartedly recommend Joe’s services for those aiming to drive positive change within their teams.”

You’re fighting for users — but your product managers and other department heads are fighting you.

If that sounds all too familiar, keep reading.

Because I’ll bet that just like the majority of UX managers and teams I’ve worked with over the last several decades, you’re absolutely tired of this endless battle with Product Managers, executives and folks from other departments.

You’re frustrated and exhausted from rolling the rock up that hill every single day, only to have it come crashing back down the next.
You feel like these non-UX/non-design folks just don’t get it; they only care about their own opinions and the bottom line.

The first thing I want to tell you: that isn’t as true as you think it is. And the second thing is this:

It doesn’t have to be this hard.

I’ve been helping Design and UX leaders and their teams overcome these obstacles for three decades. Inside the walls of some of the largest companies across the globe, in dysfunctional environments where everyone was ready to give up.

So what I know for sure is this:

Many of the battles you fight are unnecessary — and you have more power than you realize to end them.

The real reasons you get pushback from product managers may not be what you think they are.

It is entirely possible to command the same respect that other people, other teams and other departments seem to enjoy.

I’ve built a career on helping teams and departments in opposition move from combat to collaboration. To doing work they’re proud of — and to throughly enjoying mutually supportive relationships “across the aisle.” No matter how bad you think your situation is, no matter how convinced you are that those managers will never respect your team or be willing to work with you.

Photo of UX Consultant Joe Natoli speaking to a group of UX designers in London, England.
Photo of an african american woman, head down, intently writing answers to a workshop exercise in a notebook.
Photo of a young man with a beard wearign a ballcap, wiritng answers in a notebook during a group workshop exercise.

I’ll show you how to dramatically improve your relationship with product managers, department heads and executives — for good.

I know what you want — and I can show you how to get it.

Through both lecture and hands-on group exercises, you and your team will learn how to:

  • Recognize and identify how much of what you do every day is reinforcing inaccurate beliefs about what UX work is. You’ll identify and correct very specific aspects of what you say and do that reinforce other people’s misguided beliefs about your work — and your value.
  • Define the clear, practical steps you need to take to ensure you’re seen as an asset instead of a liability—and prove beyond doubt that the work you do and the role you have is not an easily replaceable commodity.
  • Uncover the true political motivations and intent your work has to address — which aren’t what you think they are — in order for it to matter to anyone other than you and your product team.
  • Define, demonstrate and communicate the political value of what you do — in a way that decision-makers actually give a shit about. And in a way where they never again see you as the “make it pretty” people. (Notice I said political, not business 😉
  • Ensure the work you do serves as a walking advertisement for how critical you are to the organization’s success. No matter how mundane those tasks may seem.
  • Create a formal charter for your team that will serve as a North Star reference point for everything you do (and how you do it) going forward. Not just for you, but for everyone else in the organization.
  • Start saying NO effectively, without a fight — so you can start making meaningful impact instead of following orders.

And guess what? There’s a convenient, useful side effect of all this:

You will finally be able to do better design and UX work that truly serves the best interests of your users and customers.

Of the resources we’ve brought in to elevate UX in our organization, Joe was by far the best…his workshop was exactly what my team needed. Joe led a whiteboard walkthrough that helped us identify and understand our current engagement, and he was able to pinpoint key areas where we could streamline and reduce pain. We didn’t erase that diagram for months!

For those looking for UX consulting, speaking, or teaching, Joe is the real deal. I look forward to when I can bring him in again!

Will Sykora | UX Designer, CSPO, CSM, T. Rowe Price

Joe Natoli has patiently taught our technical team how to make UX the focal point of everything we do, from requirements negotiation and design to development, quality assurance, and release management. His engaging classroom sessions and intensive working sessions have, in a short period of time, transformed our team into user advocates, a transformation that has given us a unique competitive advantage.”

MATTHEW BRAY, PH.D. | IT DIRECTOR, CT SMALL BUSINESS, WOLTERS KLUWER

Book a call with my team to talk about elevating the role of UX in your company — and turning combat into collaboration.