We're continuing our series of posts to highlight the things that inspire us as strategists and designers. Our work is a blend of art and science, and the heart and soul that is put into our work is from real people. So instead of creating empathy with our clients, we're giving you a chance to empathize with us. Learn about what moves us, inspires us and drives our work.

Next up is Senior Associate, Max Robinson.

"There is so much to be inspired by just by looking around us."
Max with his family

What inspires you

Games. Strategy can be seen just like a board game… like Risk or Settlers of Catan. We have to choose which decisions to make in order to advance and grow, be defensive when appropriate and anticipate our rivals' moves.

Culture! The world inspires me It’s packed with stories that can be found in our music, architecture and history. There is so much to be inspired by just by looking around us.

For design and creative things, I’m obsessed with pulpy stories with vivid imagery. As a kid, I found it in adventure movies like Indiana Jones and Star Wars and in comic books.

As nerdy as this sounds, I love business models and strategic decisions. I’m inspired by case studies and success stories from other businesses across any kind of industry. It’s fun to cross-pollinate ideas and to approach business just like games. I was very inspired throughout my education at the University of Minnesota, and ate up every case study for fun. 

How does that inspiration manifest itself in your work?

I like to apply my inspiration as a set of rules for myself to follow. The strategies that I choose to follow are influenced by situations I can relate to. I think of game theory all the time, and use the cases and strategies I’m familiar with as a starting point for designing a strategic plan.

My style for creating products or services is to make the value super clear. My preference for design is similar stand out, be pulpy and stick with people. That all said, it’s not always the best to be too obvious and sometimes subtlety is far more important, but there needs to be a blend.

How do you stay inspired?

I listen to business and news podcasts every morning to wake me up and get me thinking. I learn about other businesses and try to stay alert about what I like about them. It also helps me to stay in touch with world events and think about what the future might hold.

I go outside. If I’m in a rut, I need fresh air. Just walking clears my mind and helps me to focus on what is important.

"I care. I think it’s important to be mindful and live attentively, rather than be complacent and let life happen to us. When I am receptive to the world around me, it’s not hard to stay inspired. Humans are way cool. I’m proud of us."