Posts in Bold Boss
We are Who we Say we Are :: How to Stop Playing it Small in your Own Life and Reach your Full Potential
Anna Osgoodby Life & Design :: We are Who we Say we Are :: How to Stop Playing it Small in your Own Life and Reach your Full Potential

In a lot of ways since moving back to Washington, I’ve had to rediscover who I am. There are a lot of things about me that are pretty concrete at this point, but where you live definitely has an impact on your day-to-day realities. Especially when you go from living in a concrete jungle to a small town (followed by a little bigger city) in Washington. Can you say culture shock?! As you’d expect, I experienced some pretty big lifestyle changes and with that, I’ve taken every opportunity to try a lot of new things — especially ones that weren’t options in NYC. While admittedly, I haven’t read Shonda Rhimes’ book, “Year of Yes” yet, I like to think I embraced her concept and have spent the year saying yes to more things. Saying yes to fun things, saying yes to new things and, frankly, saying yes to things that scare crap out of me.

I’m definitely not done with my mission yet, but want to know what I’ve learned so far? It turns out that a lot of things my inner voice had always said “weren’t my thing” or that “I couldn’t do” were often just self-limiting beliefs. I’ve learned that you are exactly what you tell yourself you are and if you’re not pushing those boundaries, you might be missing out on a hell of a lot in life.

I wasn’t a public speaker.

I wasn’t an outdoorsy person.

I wasn’t someone who does podcast interviews.

I wasn’t a girl who ran 5Ks.

I wasn’t someone who liked networking.

I wasn’t a girl who liked working out.

I wasn’t someone who could keep a houseplant alive to save my life.

I wasn’t someone who talks about feelings or talked about tough stuff publicly.

These were all things I told myself at some point and I made it a point this year to work on rewriting my inner narrative. I decided to stop playing it small and instead really put my all out there and try new things even if I ended up falling down or failing miserably.

So this year I…

Spoke on a panel about being an entrepreneur at a University of Oregon student and alumni event.

Bought all of the park permits, have hiked more miles than I can count and bought kayaks to explore the outdoors more.

Recorded my first podcast interview for Bold & Pop with my business partner.

Ran my first 5K race.

Joined several new networking groups and have gone to 3 local in-person events so far and (surprisingly loved each of them)

Finallyyyy figured out a workout plan I didn’t hate and starting hiking weekly and doing strength workouts.

Bought a ton of houseplants and joined a community garden. Take that brown thumb.

Decided to open up about my journey and be really transparent about personal development and the behind the scenes of being a business owner.

Proof of doing me doing some of those scary out of my comfort zone things

Now I’m not saying all of it has been easy or that I’ve loved everything I’ve tried to do but, regardless of the outcome, I made a decision to go for it. Am I going to start signing up for a bunch of 5Ks? Meh, probably not, that wasn’t one of my favorite things, but you know what? I did something I never thought I’d do and that’s what matters.

When it comes to growth, change or trying new things, we are often our biggest roadblocks. We get comfortable with life and hide behind our fears or our rationalizations that we’ll get to it one day. We tell ourselves that some things are just out of reach, we just don’t have what it takes or that we’ll have those opportunities in another phase of life, but I’m here to tell you you’re wrong. And if you wait too long, there’s a chance that day will never come.

So how about today you decide to stop playing a supporting role in your own life and just decide to go for it? What’s the worst thing that can happen? Will you get to do everythingggg all at once? Of course not, but if you have a big ol’ goal, now is the time to start working on the little goals that will get you there. Now is the time to create opportunities for yourself. Now is the time to make plans. Now is the time to put yourself out there and get some practice being uncomfortable. Because it’s usually that uncomfortable stuff, the stuff that scares the crap out of you, that you come out on the other side feeling exhilarated saying, “I’m so glad I did that”. You might not crush every single thing but I promise you’ll learn a whole lot of lessons along the way and that my friend is pure gold.

We are who we say we are and I don’t know about you but I want to be all all-around go-getting bold badass and I want you to live up to your full potential too.

Bridging the Gap Between People and Machines
Anna Osgoodby Life + Design :: Bridging the Gap Between People and Machines

Who wants to be able to perform tasks at their job faster and more efficiently? I’m going to go on a limb and say most people. After all, for those of us working freelance or on a project basis, more time often means more availabilities to take on new projects. So what is the magic formula to making this a reality? AI! If you caught my last two blog posts, Making Every Place the Work Place and What Do Smarter Teams Look Like, you already got a glimpse at some of the ways technology is advancing the way we work. Today, I’m going to expand upon those ideas and talk about how we will bridge the gap between people and machines as we continue to integrate AI into our lives.

Building Complimentary Relationships between AI and Humans

As mentioned in my previous post, the idea that AI will replace humans makes for catchy headlines, but the truth is, we’re not going anywhere. Instead, we will use technology to develop AI that can focus on specialized tasks to streamline our processes and allow us more time for our expertise. Sandy Pentland, Toshiba Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, MIT Media Lab explains the process well in an interview with Jim Guszcza, Chief Data Scientist, Deloitte Consulting, “The human does the strategy, the machine does the tactics, and when you put them together you get a world-beater.”

Humans are really great at reading people and understanding social context, something that machines are not as great at. While machines can keep track of data, analyze information and process research much faster than humans. As a team, humans can program AI to do specific tasks and we are able to piggyback off of the strengths and weaknesses of each – an ideal partnership. The concept may seem new since these partnerships are with machines, but the idea isn’t new. In fact, it’s what we already do when working in teams. For example, my business partner and I work great together for the very reason that we are able to identify our strengths and divide tasks accordingly. This allows us to get more done in a shorter amount of time than if we were both focused on one task together. In the future, we will not only be able to do this with our human counterparts but we will also be able to add AI into the mix to further increase productivity. Doing so will not only expedite many of our processes, but it will allow us to focus more on our human strengths of interpersonal connections while machines can focus on other aspects.

Teams Making Better Decisions

Something that will be very beneficial to my work as a designer is the ability to use AI to assist teams with making better decisions. As humans, something we all possess is a lot of opinions! Which is great, it’s what makes our personalities unique and gives us different perspectives. What isn’t great about that is often when you’re working on project with a team, there are a variety of different opinions on how things should be done and it’s not always easy to find a clear compromise. Insert AI. By integrating AI into collaborative software, teams will be able to brainstorm all of their ideas, input the data and then allow AI to take an analytical approach to help find an ideal solution.

This integration can also help with equalizing the playfield for team members who are collaborating. While working in a team atmosphere is a great system for brainstorming and developing new ideas and innovations, there are some common struggles many face as well. Often there is an inequality of value in ideas due to the internal hierarchy of positions in organizations. It is common for management figures to have more say in the end result of decisions and by integrating AI in the decision process, it may help give more attention to ideas from other members of the team.

As a designer, the integration of AI in collaborative projects could be a game changer for the work I do. As I mentioned, as humans we have a lot of opinions and this carries over to the client feedback part of my process. Often when I’m working on projects I’m juggling the opinions of many team members and trying to find a solution that will not only keep my clients happy but also accomplish the end goal they are looking for. With AI, my clients will be able to brainstorm their opinions and compile a summary of their ideas and how they’d like to move forward. Not only will this improve productivity of client relations but it will also be able to streamline and speed up the process of my work. 

The way I see it, remote work will only benefit from embracing technology and the use of AI. Not only will it free up availability from time-consuming tasks, but it will also help us make better decisions when it comes to the end goal and bottom line. Smarter and more effective teams, more collaborative teams and better decisions? I’m not sure there is a downside.


**This post is brought to you by Cisco and IDG. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Cisco.

AI and the Future of Collaboration
Bold & Pop : AI and the Future of Collaboration

As the trend of working remotely evolves, so too will the technology we use. The truth is, the way we’re working today is very different from five years ago and with that, adaptive technology is being created to fill our needs. So what does that mean in a collaborative team setting?

Smarter Tools that Work Together

In my post “What Do Smarter Teams Look Like?” I touched on the fact that as we move forward, our tech will continue to get smarter. Today I’m going to take that one step further. While having technology that is intuitive and takes over mundane tasks like setting up conference calls is nice, it’s even better when that technology integrates automatically across several tools we use.

What do I mean by that? Well, technology has advanced and made it much easier to collaborate regardless of our location or even device, but sometimes that doesn’t correlate between programs. Collaborative technology is great, only it’s not so great when every client you work with uses something different. As we move into the future, our collaborative programs will need to work on integrating new features internally or improving API functionality so that they can interact seamlessly with third-party programs.

This will benefit remote working in many ways. Just as Google and Microsoft began integrating chat and file-sharing applications into their programs in the early 2000s, collaborative software will continue to expand its offerings and capabilities. No longer will you need to toggle between different programs for signing agreements, invoicing, submitting project feedback, setting up conference calls, and scheduling. Instead, our tools will evolve and be focused more on compatibility and working together.

In an opinion piece for CIO.com, “The growing impact of artificial intelligence on workplace collaboration” Dave Smith observes, “The emerging focus on AI is really about making decision support systems more efficient across a multitude of applications, processes and business domains. I believe AI will bring intelligent collaboration capabilities to the emerging Conversational Workspace platforms.” The technology that will stand the test of time will be able to streamline workflows and find solutions for our needs.

Another benefit of adapting AI and other technology advances is localizing business data. In an age of systems being hacked and private data being exposed, this will allow businesses to keep better track of their information.

Making Remote Work Friendlier

As I touched on in my earlier post, AI enables teams to cut back on mundane tasks such as testing technology or setting up conference calls. Another element of this is having technology perform actions automatically based on strategies developed by humans. So you could have AI tackle some of the following tasks:

  • Transcribe conference calls and send recap emails to participants
  • Listen in for meeting details and create reminders to do specific tasks
  • Suggest relevant documents to share with team members
  • Add deadlines to your calendar or project management tools
  • Book co-working spaces or provide suggestions for in-person meetings

These are just a few examples of how AI can intuitively help with our processes. Although that’s great for freeing up some of our time, AI will also provide some much-needed support to those working independently. While there are many benefits to working remotely, it can be a transition for those who are used to working in an office setting. Integrating AI provides support for day-to-day tasks that can help make the experience a little friendlier.

Having an AI Assistant in Your Back Pocket

Beyond eliminating mundane tasks, AI has the opportunity to dramatically improve our workflow with specialized AI assistants. As a designer, I use the Adobe Suite for my graphic design work and Squarespace for all of my website design projects. In my line of work one part of my job is listening to the type of design my client is looking for and the other is figuring out how to actually make that a reality.

While I have quite a bit of experience in both fields, there are many times that I have to research techniques or instructions on how to accomplish said goals. By having AI technology specific to each of these programs, it would be able to provide intuitive suggestions or shortcuts based on my activity to help me achieve the effect I’m looking for. This would allow me to focus more time on bringing my clients’ visions to life and less time reading through research or watching tutorials. Something that would benefit all parties involved.

In closing: Technology and AI have the power to revolutionize how we work remotely, but it is up to us to identify our needs for the technology. When we take full advantage of it, AI will enable us to build stronger partnerships, maximize remote working opportunities, and perform our tasks in a super human way that wasn’t possible previously.


**This post is brought to you by Cisco and IDG. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Cisco.