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January 5, 2023
Discover how the newly-defined role of 'UX Research Chief of Staff’ is taking shape and how these ReOps experts facilitate growth at scale.
A'verria Martin is the Director, Chief of Staff, and Head of Research Operations and Strategy at ServiceNow. Before joining ServiceNow in 2021, A'verria developed, administered, and taught research programs across all higher education levels, from research associate to director of research. She has a Doctorate of Philosophy in Marriage and Family Therapy from Loma Linda University, a Master of Arts in the same field from Alliant International University, and a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of California.
A'verria - 00:00:00: I think the relationship with whoever you're partnered with as a chief of staff, like, I'm very blessed. My VP has had several chiefs of Staff before and so we're constantly talking about, like, what are the needs, what is the role, what's the potential growth area, etc. So, it's always interesting when a new role emerges where you actually get kind of that mentorship to continue to grow in your career.
Erin - 00:00:26: This is Erin May.
A'verria - 00:00:28: I'm John Henry Forster. And this is Awkward Silences.
Erin - 00:00:33: Silences. Hello, everybody, and welcome back to Awkward Silences. Today we're here with A'verria Martin, who is the Chief of Staff, which is important because that's what we're going to talk about, and head of Research Operations and Strategy at ServiceNow. Really excited to dig into this sort of new role within research operations and your role in it. So, thanks so much for joining us today.
A'verria - 00:01:03: Thanks for having me.
Erin - 00:01:05: Got JH here, too.
JH - 00:01:06: Yeah, the fun thing with the podcast is always covering new ground and the Chief of Staff for Research is a new one. I'm not very familiar with this at all, so I'm excited to dig in.
Erin - 00:01:13: Yeah, as usual, we don't have to play dumb. Thanks for being here. Really excited to dig into this. So we're going to dive deep into this chief of Staff role in research operations context. Let's back up a little bit and talk about how did you get here in this role. This is not your first job, so how did you get here and why are you excited about it?
A'verria- 00:01:38: Well, first of all, thank you so much for having me. This is really exciting. I know we were preparing on what to talk today. Wow. When I went through the episode blog, of all the things you all have talked about, I'm like, I don't think there's anything new. This is my offering, but definitely not my first job. And for those of you that are listening that have heard me speak before, I'm sorry, I'm going to go back because I feel like I've talked about my career journey a lot. It's something that's super important to me when it comes to research operations because I believe strongly in having really diverse research operations teams. And so, I think that those expertise come from really different places, from across different fields. My early beginnings was actually in formal academics, university academics. I literally did every role you can imagine over a 15-year tenure in academics, from being a student research associate to a study coordinator while getting my Masters in my PhD in marriage and family therapy. And then I did a postdoc in Geriatric psychiatry that was funded by the National Institute of Health, and I spent my early career studying schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and successful aging. Somewhere during my postdoc, I became really kind of disillusioned with the prospect of having a career in academics. And I moved into executive leadership and became the director of the geriatric psychiatry department at UCSD, where I spent about four and a half years. And that's where I got really excited about that intersection between research and operations. So at that time, I was overseeing about 20 different studies at any given time. Some very small pilot studies, some large multimillion dollar NIH grants. And I got really into what does it look like from a resourcing perspective? How are we dealing with timelines when it comes to grant writing to make sure that we have funding so we can maintain the staff that we have? So, kind of all of that intricacies about what makes a business run. When I decided to depart from academics, I really just got very lucky that I ended up at ServiceNow Research Operations. I've been at ServiceNow for four years. It was really an emerging field at the time. And so, a buddy got me hooked up with the gentleman who was running Research, the UX research team at the time. And he's like, hey, there's this new role. And this is how I ended up at ServiceNow over the last four years, built our research operations from scratch. At one point in time, I was also managing one of our UX Research teams that focused on AI solutions across our product portfolio. So that really gave me a really beautiful look into the day-to-day life of our UX researchers, what the model across the PLC was with our product management partners, our engineering partners, our design partners, like how we really collaborate. And then in the middle of the year, we welcomed a new VP of UX Research to ServiceNow. And I stepped into this chief of staff role. So that's a five-minute introduction to how I ended up here today.
JH - 00:04:46: Awesome. So, you said you stepped into that role. So that's a newly created role at ServiceNow, is that right?
A'verria - 00:04:51: It is a newly created role. It's a newly created role for UX Research. Specifically, we have a model where most of the VPs that ServiceNow do have a Chief of Staff. We have had a Chief of Staff for our global head of Design, Amy Lokey, for the last few years. And so I think as organizations grow and warrant a VP, then they also warrant a Chief of Staff to make sure that we are keeping kind of those strategic initiatives moving at any given time.
Erin - 00:05:21: Got it. So are you one to one with the VP of I am Research Ops. Okay, got it. Yeah.
Erin - 00:05:28: VP of UX Research.
Erin - 00:05:29: Yeah, got it. You were kind of talking about how when you joined ServiceNow, it was more like the beginning of Research Operations, which is funny because Jay and I both been here for just call it five years, and it's really been during that time, you really have seen Research Ops take off. So it's interesting that you would say that's definitely been what we've observed as well.
A'verria - 00:05:52: Incredible. I mean, I feel like I'm tremendously blessed, but I feel like it really kind of emerged, like, maybe the year before that in the two years before I came to ServiceNow with the work on the eight pillars of research operations, because as an academic, I leaned heavily on that literature because I was like, I don't know. Coming from academics, you do the same thing that people have done for 100 years, not because it makes sense, it's just what you do. So, like, to have just like this blank slate is just wild. And so thank goodness for the pioneers of research operations. Thank you all for laying the groundwork and and helping me figure out what to do to get up to speed. You know, I was the first person in Research Ops at ServiceNow, and now I guess there's eleven of us on our Research Ops team.
JH - 00:06:41: Cool. And so, you were in the Research Ops role, getting it founded, and then this role opens up. Is this something you were jumping at of like, oh, this is like perfect evolution, or is it more of like, people realize you'd be a really good fit for it? And how does it fit in with the rest of the user research team and the Research Ops team?
A'verria - 00:06:59: Yeah, I think it was kind of a natural progression. I would say when you look at kind of a textbook definition of chief of staff, it's a lot of the things that I was already doing in my role. And so, this felt like a nice natural progression as our organization matured. When I began at ServiceNow, we were about ten folks. We are a research team of about 105 today. And so, we've really grown both in size and maturity over time. So, I think there was kind of a natural need there. I think that there in a chief of staff role, I think operations is one component of it is how do you keep this business running? And then I think there's the strategy piece, which is not only how do we keep the business running, but how do we really start to prepare for the future and what is this organization going to look like in three years, five years? How do we create the right infrastructure to do that? How do we create the right relationships to do that? And so, I think I already kind of had that forward looking idea. And so, I mean, I jumped at this opportunity. This is definitely where I saw my career going. So, it's exciting, but that it actually became possible.
JH - 00:08:13: You were in early on the Research Ops movement, right? You were saying nascent kind of leaning on the early people who broke the ground on it, but then you were also in the role earlier than most. Do you think that's going to happen again here? Is this chief of staffing going to become a lot more common over the coming years?
A'verria - 00:08:28: Absolutely, I really think so. It's hard to say given the current climate, right? I mean we're up against macroeconomic headwinds that we haven't seen since probably like the 2008-time frame. And so, I think this year is going to slow down growth for all of us. We may see a slowed path to seeing this role emerge, but I think once we all get on our feet again and start moving back towards a growth model as teams grow, I think that there is going to be this need to have folks in this role in order to have an organization of 100 plus folks. I really think that you need to be thinking about some of the issues that VP of UX Research and their Chief of Staff are going to be working on together to really act as a catalyst to allow an organization to scale. So, I do expect that in the next five-ish years that we're going to see this role emerging a lot more. And even if you go in and do a job search now, you'll see a lot of more Chief of Staff roles emerging. Some of them are Chief of Staff to UX, Chief of Staff to design. But I think that Chief of Staff to UX research specifically, we're going to see more of here soon.
Erin - 00:09:45: Yeah, you mentioned earlier you were talking about the textbook definition of Chief of Staff. So for those of us who haven't read that dictionary, what does a Chief of Staff do anyhow? I think maybe this isn't the case, but for me my first exposure to a Chief of Staff was probably watching The West Wing.
A'verria - 00:10:09: That's everybody's reference. That is where the idea of having a Chief of Staff really came from is from a more political stance.
Erin - 00:10:19: Right. So, when you're working in the private sector or not in the White House anyhow, what do you do as a Chief of Staff?
A'verria - 00:10:27: I think you do a couple of different things and I think it's probably a little bit different for everyone depending on the focus of their organizations. But first and foremost, you're the strategic partner to the VP, the SVP, the CEO, the CX, individual person, and you're doing a couple of different things. You are taking a broad look at the business. You are overseeing strategic initiatives that are typically going to be cross organization, cross company for example. We work really closely with our customer experience teams, we work closely with our sales teams, we work closely with our marketing teams. In many ways you're adding capacity and velocity to what the VP or your partner would be able to do as a single person. And so you are the person who's bridging some of those relationships, keeping those initiatives moving. I am also providing leadership across our leadership belt, within our organization. So really helping to remove blockers for the other leaders on my team. Helping them with their infrastructure, their organizational design and planning. Really looking at the way that we plan for work, the way we do resourcing for our organization, the way we partner with PM Engineering Design over a multi release roadmap to make sure that we have the coverage we need. Really work with the team to make sure that the work that we're doing is creating the impact that it needs to on a product organization. We're not just doing research for research sake. So I think at the highest level, going back to your original question, what does the Chief of Staff do? I think they're a strategic partner. I think that they are building relationships cross organizationally, up, down and out. I think they are a leader within their own organization and keeping a pulse and making sure that there is health and really looking well into the future to make sure that the organization succeeds.
Erin - 00:12:36: And how important is it to have either domain experience or experience in that organization to be able to be a Chief of staff? Right? You're talking about being a strategic partner. Can you do that right out of school or what kind of skills make you a good fit for this kind of role?
A'verria - 00:12:55: That's a great question. What makes you a good fit for this type of role?
Erin - 00:13:02: What makes you a good fit for this type of role?
A'verria - 00:13:04: I think a couple of different things. I think it is helpful that I do have research expertise. I think that helps in understanding what we do as an organization. But more than anything, I really see this as a leadership position. And I think people who have really good leadership acumen, who are able to make decisions, build relationships, see the big picture, motivate people, see the 10,000-foot view, but also all of the steps that we need to get there, I think those are all skills that would make you a good person for this role. I think it's an interesting role because while it's leadership, I am actually doing more work than I have in a long time where I'm actually doing a lot of hands-on work. Like, okay, this needs to get done. Okay, let me actually go in and curate this deck. Let me go ahead and make sure we're getting these calms out and communicating with everybody. For me, that's kind of exciting because I like to produce. That's always been the part of leadership and management that's a little bit tricky. But I don't think it's a role that you would want to take as your first job just because I think it's a lot of moving parts at any given time. But I think if you have some of that kind of this, critical thinking, relationship building, I think you can definitely get there. Fun fact about me, in addition to being a researcher, I also was a clinician for a decade. And man, I lean on that so hard all the time.
JH - 00:14:51: In what ways? Like, to connect with people and build relationships, or does it come out in other forms?
A'verria - 00:14:57: Yeah, I think the clinician piece as a marriage and family therapist is really yes, of course, the connecting building, but also really listening, really listening to the organization, listening to your peer group, listening to leaders across the company, and really understanding what drives them, what is the language they're speaking. So, I feel like we want to do more listening than talking and really understanding what motivates people and then speaking in their language. And so, I think that skill comes in handy all the time.
JH - 00:15:42: All right, quick awkward interruption here. It's fun to talk about user research, but you know what's really fun is doing user research, and we want to help you with that.
Erin - 00:15:50: We want to help you so much that we have created a special place, it's called Userinterviews.com/Awkward for you to get your first three participants free.
JH - 00:16:02: We all know we should be talking to users more, so we've went ahead and removed as many barriers as possible. It's going to be easy. It's going to be quick. You're going to love it. So, get over there and check it out.
Erin - 00:16:10: And then when you're done with that, go on over to your favorite Podcasting app and leave us a review, please.
JH - 00:16:19: One thing you think about with Ops a lot like design Ops, research ops is kind of like a ratio of, okay, once we have these many designers or these many researchers, it's probably time for some Ops support. People throw out different numbers, right? But there's some rules of thumb that kind of emerge. You mentioned once you're in an organization of 100 people, 100 plus, this chief of staff role becomes really valuable. Does that feel like the ratio? Do you feel like you all needed this role sooner than you took on it? Did you wait? Are you early? How should teams think about that as they do scale?
A'verria - 00:16:48: That's a great question and one that there's actually not a lot of literature about. As I was growing my ops organization over the years, I've definitely looked for these data, and people say anything like one to five, one to ten ops to researchers. I don't know if there's necessarily a right number. And as far as when to add a chief of staff, I think it could really be at any time when you're really trying to mature your organization and you're at an inflection point. Our organization could continue to grow probably at X rate without this role, but I think by adding this role, our reach gets further, it gets broader, it creates more depth, breadth, and so I think it gives us increased velocity to get there faster. I think it also probably helps us to remove barriers and move through problem areas quicker. So, yeah, that's just a really hard question to answer. I don't know if there's, like, a certain tipping point that you need this role, I think it is probably unique to every organization.
Erin - 00:18:08: What are the main differences between your role now and your role before? Right? Because before you were the Director of Research Operations, is that right? And now you're the head of Research Operations and Strategy manifests as Chief of Staff. What are the differences between what you were doing then and what you're sort of doing now?
A'verria - 00:18:29: Yeah, I think before I was doing a lot of work organizationally, I was doing a lot of things to really build our organization, make sure that we were operating efficiently. I'm working with my peers in the Experience Organization, so our team is part of the Experience Organization ServiceNow. So, it's designed product content ourselves and now I am working a lot more broadly so working with people across the company to really understand how we can work together, how we can augment each other's work and really kind of stepping into more of like a company-wide leader position. And so, I would say a lot more breadth of the work that I was doing. And then also really trying to look instead of what helps us operate now is what's going to help us operate well into the future and really be that defining UX research organization across the industry.
Erin - 00:19:33: Right, so you're able to step a little more out of the day today and think a little more zoomed out future, bigger picture, how are we going to make this whole UXR operation more effective in a bigger way across the organization? And then because we're talking about roles and charts which I love geeking out on, do you manage a team? Is this a senior level IC role? Who is leading research operations now?
A'verria - 00:20:01: Yeah, so I do manage a team. It's a smaller team. So, I have four direct reports today and then I have one of those is our Customer Engagement Manager and she has a team of six as well. So, under me currently is still kind of our vendor management procurement expert, et cetera, our insights library and a visual designer and our Customer Engagement team. What that looks like in the future as I need additional capacity is my team has really been stepping into kind of lead research ops kind of within their peer group as I've kind of stepped into this role. We're also considering what can be centralized under me in the future and what areas could potentially join some of the other operational teams that we have in our broader organization. So, for example, we have just probably the best people and culture team in the industry as part of our experienced organization and so me really leaning on them, on their expertise when it comes to talent onboarding those types of things. And then like we have an amazing program management team so really leaning on them instead of trying to build these things into our operations team. So, all things to think about in the future is how to keep everybody running. As I'm in this role a couple.
JH - 00:21:35: Of times, you've sort of described this role as like an accelerant, right? We're going to be able to get to some of these future growth milestones faster and take some bigger steps forward. What are the ways that manifest? If you were thinking through Deliver X or Solve Y? What are some of the big rocks or big levers that you can focus on that do provide that sort of acceleration for the UXR Org?
A'verria - 00:21:56: Yeah, I think it all goes back to kind of these cross-company relationships that we're building. So, if we just had the VP of UX research, they can only do so much in a day. They can only go and talk to so many people and so he can kind of carry on with some of his relationships in the product organization. While I am say, working with our CX team building, partnering with their Survey Center of Excellence to make sure that we are building a cross companywide way of doing quantitative research or partnering with our sales team, our solution consultants, to really figure out how do we reduce the barriers to customer access. I think being able to kind of run those initiatives end to end is two examples of that kind of accelerant factor. Otherwise, those two initiatives would have been somebody's kind of extracurricular or the add on to their day job. So, continuing to keep those things moving and trying to make UXR a part of a lot of the company wide efforts that may already be in flight, or we may be coming up with together.
Erin - 00:23:22: You've been in this role for five months. Something like that. Yeah. So relatively new in the grand scheme of things. So, I'm sure in that time you have figured some things out and probably have a lot of other things to still figure out. So, what are some of those things? Where are you in the sort of discovering what a Chief of Staff looks like at ServiceNow?
A'verria - 00:23:45: Okay, maybe this is just like a life lesson for me is you can do anything, but not everything. So really there's so many things we could be working on. So really figuring out, like what are those core initiatives that are going to drive the most impact for the team now? And really prioritizing those to the point that I feel like they've come to a natural completion or a place where they can kind of cruise and then moving on to the next thing. So I think that's one piece because it would be really easy right now seeing all of the amazing things we could be doing to just be trying to jump into too many things. And then I think I would probably be over promising and under delivering. So really picking those top two to four initiatives, I think for me, continuing to grow, my executive presence, my comfort at working with people. C Suite SVPs VPs that personally is something that I'm trying to get more comfortable with and knowing that I have a seat at the table and that everything we do is in the interest of each other, I think that's something that I'm really learning and growing. Take me back to the question, what am I learning?
Erin - 00:25:04: Yeah. What have you learned so far? And there's known, knowns and unknown. Knowns and all these, but what are your known unknowns? What are you excited to sort of figure out next in this new role?
A'verria - 00:25:14: Known unknowns. Oh my gosh. I think there's three. I already touched on two of them. It's like our partner with DX and really kind of almost starting to have more of a broader all ServiceNow. Research like Committee of Excellence or something because there's a lot of people doing research. UXR is just one piece of it. Removing barriers for customer engagement, of course, is the other. And I really would love to make some impact in the area of how we do planning across the product lifecycle in a way that brings research and design in early. I think we often still have a very product management, engineering driven lifecycle and really, really honing in on how we can continue to even collaborate better than we do today is something that is really of interest to me as well.
JH - 00:26:13: Nice. And you are now looking at Research Ops from a little bit more of a zoomed out view and thinking about how to make it even more effective. Do you have any guesses or predictions about how Research Ops is going to continue to evolve? It's gone from the eight pillars and sort of a nascent thing to much more established in common in companies. What's next for Research Ops when you kind of look at it from your point of view?
A'verria - 00:26:37: I think one area that we're going to hear a lot about over the next 18 months is anything that's governance based. I think that's a lot of the conversations we're having right now around legal and privacy laws, GDPR in Europe, there's laws rolling out on January 1, different states in California about how people need to opt out to any surveys, communications from companies. I think we're in a place where people's privacy is of the utmost importance, and I think it's something that we're really going to have to start thinking about more and more and more as UX research and design. I know sometimes we like our scrappy, gorilla-type methods and it's not going to be as easy as just reaching out to random people anymore, because people can have some legal ramifications on that. So, I think that that's going to be an expertise that we're going to see emerge and research operations teams. And then I would love to see people really dipping into this idea of having an insights librarian. I'm starting to see it more and more like actual job postings around insights librarians, but they are the backbone of what we do. Just putting insights in a repository is not enough. Making sure that it's usable, has good information architecture, that it is archived appropriately, that we're retaining data based on our policies and then really using those insights to drive product decisions and roadmap decisions. I think it's going to be just one of the critical roles in research operations in the future.
Erin - 00:28:14: We had a librarian and research office person from Facebook on once, and the love for the librarian was just so obvious it made my nerdy heart just sing. Yeah, it was great. So, shout out to lawyers and librarians. No, we did a research read out today and we had the little emoji people with p-one, p-two. We've definitely very much evolved in terms of our privacy practices here back there will just make everyone anonymous sperm troopers’ role.
JH - 00:28:53: Yeah, the compliance stuff makes a lot of sense, like to your point it's becoming more of a specialty and to do it in a way that you can navigate efficiently so you can actually keep your research going is going to become a real skill. So, I think that one makes a lot of sense.
A'verria - 00:29:04: That's right, yeah.
Erin - 00:29:05: And I think in a role like yours, when you're talking about operations as accepted element, right? Like making compliance baked into processes so they're accessible, so it's second nature to be able to be compliant and then on with the task at hand, right?
A'verria - 00:29:23: A million percent. And it's our responsibility to take care of our users and their data, but also we're there to protect the company as well. So, trying to balance those two things.
JH - 00:29:36: And do you think you mentioned the kind of challenging macro climate and some downturns in the economy.
Erin- 00:29:42: Did something happen?
A'verria - 00:29:44: Yeah, something happened. So many things.
JH - 00:29:50: Do you think that makes Research Ops more valued in organizations because they drive some sufficiency for all these other people, or is it going to be looked at as like an expense of ‘this is another head count’ and it's going to be harder to get any sense on how people think of the value there and how that might get impacted?
A'verria - 00:30:06: That's a great question. I can only speak to service now and we definitely see the value of the research operations as part of our organization. I think it increases the efficiency of everyone, it allows researchers to really go and do their job instead of managing all of the day-to-day operations of running a business, because that's essentially, especially as your organization grows, you are kind of your own small business. And so, there's a lot of those hygiene-type activities that researchers, that's not what they want to be doing with their day. So, I think anybody who has had a research operations professional in their organization probably sees the value of research operations, looking at the amount of job postings that are out there and the amount of peers that I now know in the industry, I don't think this is going away. And I think people know that in order to have an efficient, well-oiled UXR organization, operations is one of those key factors.
JH - 00:31:12: And with this being a unique role, you referenced a bunch of things that you're developing and solving and working on. Where do you go for support? Do you find chiefs of staff in other departments and connect with them as kind of peers? Do you find other research leaders and there's enough overlap there? Have you figured that part of it out or have any ideas?
A'verria - 00:31:32: I'm just figuring that part of it out now. I have been able to tap into a few new mentors in the field, both within ServiceNow and external to ServiceNow, who have been in chief of staff roles. So really leaning on them. The interesting thing is every chief of staff that I have spoken to, they all have different tidbits, and they all ran their chief of staff role a little bit differently. And so, I think gleaming different parts of their experience to then kind of integrate into what I'm doing is the best I've done so far. And then I think the relationship with whoever you're partnered with as a chief of staff, I'm very blessed. My VP has had several chiefs of staff before and so we're constantly talking about what are the needs, what is the role, what's the potential growth area, et cetera. So, it's always interesting when a new role emerges where you actually get kind of that mentorship to continue to grow in your career.
Erin - 00:32:36: Do you shadow your VP? Like, are you with them in most of their meetings or how do you work together?
A'verria - 00:32:44: We are in a lot of meetings together.
Erin - 00:32:47: Yeah. I would imagine.
A'verria - 00:32:48: Yeah. Especially anything that is in the kind of infancy stage. We typically are meeting with people together, really understanding kind of like the scope, building that relationship, thinking about what the partnership will look like in the future. And then a lot of times he will kind of start to drop off and I will continue to carry that relationship forward, that partnership forward. And then there are certain things that I've gone to meetings and then he continues to drive forward. So, I would say we're like a good design diamond right. We're going to converge, diverge, but we do spend a fair bit of time together in meetings.
Erin - 00:33:27: Yeah. So, pro tip, make sure you like your person.
A'verria - 00:33:31: It is literally critical. It really is kind of like a head and neck situation. And so I think if there's not a solid relationship there, I don't know if it's going to work.
JH - 00:33:43: Like on the head and neck thing. How does that work from an alignment perspective? Are you challenging one another on strategy and thoughts and using each other's, sounding boards, or is it more like you're in lockstep on a lot of things? How does that manifest in kind of, like, some of these big strategic questions and decisions that are going on?
A'verria - 00:34:00: It's both. I mean, I would say probably 80% of the time we're pretty aligned on our ideas, the vision, even the way that we communicate. Yesterday there was an email and he responded before me, and I was like, Tammy, he already used my word. But I think the real richness is when you don't agree and is having that trust in the relationship to challenge it and share your thoughts. And I think then it's one of those moments where and I said this to members of my team today that are just an absolute dream team, where the sum is greater than the parts, where it's like we're really pushing each other's, thinking forward, and keeping each other honest and really thinking of all the possibilities. So, I think it's a little bit of both, but I think the challenging each other is the most important piece.
JH - 00:34:53: Yeah, that makes sense. Especially, I think, for very senior executives and larger organizations, probably not a ton of people in their orbit that feel comfortable doing some of that stuff. So when you have that kind of relationship and you're in a lot of the same meetings, you have similar context and can have that trust to operate and have honest, critical conversations, it's probably a really powerful resource for them.
A'verria - 00:35:11: Huge.
Erin - 00:35:12: Yeah, you hear that a lot now about certain executives of social media companies who shall not be named, who don't have that person in their life to be like, this doesn't seem like a very good idea, and everyone kind of needs that. We'll do that. Yeah, we all need that.
Erin - 00:35:31: Well, I think as we're recording this, we're heading toward the very end of the year, and I think it will almost certainly be the new year when these airs. So, what are you looking forward to next year? Or any predictions or chief of staff resolution?
A'verria - 00:35:50: What am I looking forward to in 2023? Before we started recording, I was telling you all that we got together as a leadership team just last week for three days. There's 18 of us now, leaders in our research organization, and I'm really looking forward to more of that. I'm really hoping that 2023 is the year that we can bring people together a little bit more. I think that just the momentum you can get in three days can be such a catalyst for six months of work ahead. We're really hoping we can have a UX Research Summit in 2023, where we bring together our team from across the globe. We have 105 people and I think something like seven countries, and so the ability to bring people together, I think, would be huge. So that's my hope for 2023.
Erin - 00:36:47: Good. That's a good hope for all of us.
JH - 00:36:50: Yeah, I like that one.
Erin - 00:36:51: All right. Well, thank you so much for joining us. This has been very educational for me, and I'm sure for a lot of people I know, a lot of researchers and research adjacent folks are thinking about their careers always and certainly heading into the new year. So, thanks so much.
A'verria - 00:37:07: Awesome. Well, thanks for having me.
JH- 00:37:09: Thanks for coming out.
Erin - 00:37:13: Thanks for listening to Awkward Silences is brought to you by User Interviews.
JH - 00:37:16: Theme Music by Fragile Gang.
VP, Growth & Marketing
Left brained, right brained. Customer and user advocate. Writer and editor. Lifelong learner. Strong opinions, weakly held.