Adam Connor

Adam Connor, most recognizable by his magnificent beard, is a designer, author and illustrator based in Western Massachusetts. As VP of Organizational Design at Mad*Pow, Adam helps create positive change by addressing the relationships that people have with one another to foster more collaborative, creative and customer-centric organizations.

Adam and his team look closely at company culture and all of the ways that it gets expressed and reinforced. They explore how beliefs, behaviors and perceptions influence things like roles, structure, processes, and tools that organizations use every day. They then work collaboratively with teams to identify meaningful changes that teams can make to improve their capacity to work together creatively.

His work at Mad*Pow and extensive background in experience design, computer science, illustration, and film has taught him the value of delivering and receiving constructive feedback in the design process and the role it plays in effective collaboration. He has coached and trained teams across the world and from industry leading organizations such as Google, Disney, Fidelity, and Aetna. 

In 2015 he and co-author Aaron Irizarry released Discussing Design: Improving Communication & Collaboration Through Critique with O’Reilly Publishing. His thoughts on collaboration and design can be found at and


Discuss Design Without Losing Your Mind

October 13th | 10:00 AM

Leading a team of individuals, each with a different perspective and expertise, through the creation of something new can be difficult at times. There will be numerous opinions and ideas on what should be done and how. And the conversations that involve these opinions can sometimes seem endless and painful.

A team's ability to critique speaks directly to the quality and utility of these conversations, whether they be with designers, developers, stakeholders or others. Critique is often thought of as a "design tool," but in reality it is a tool and language for all roles on a project. It acts as a form of analysis, a way to make sure that the team stays focused on making decisions that are intended to achieve the objectives of the project.


  • What separates critique from other forms of feedback
  • Best practices for giving and receiving critique
  • Tools for focusing and facilitating discussions, even with challenging participants
  • Where and when critique falls within a project's timeline
  • How to use critique to build not only stronger designs, but stronger collaboration