DISC Natural Style: D 73, I 88, S 52, C17
Throughout my commercial career as a Lead Research & User Experience Designer, Innovation & Design Thinking Facilitator, and Customer Experience Consultant for StartUps, Fortune 500 brands + Advertising Agencies, I've provided expert human-centered design leadership and created compelling brand experiences, social media platforms, complex enterprise software solutions across the globe in several industries for companies and brands like:
Canon | Microsoft | Intel | Boots | EA | EA Sports | Warner Brother | Universal Pictures | 20th Century Fox | Fox Searchlight | DreamWorks | Disney | Paramount | Buena Vista International | Miramax | Working Title | Momentum Pictures | Sony Pictures | Heineken | SCA | Piaggio | Sky | Aviva | Loyds Grossman | 500Games | Bethesda Game Studios | Prime Focus | Raremark | 90POE | OpenOcean Studio | LexisNexis
Hi, I'm Zuzana,
One might assume that ‘about me’ pages written in the third person are perceived in a more professional manner, however when it comes to the day to day moments that we encounter on our journeys it's the one to one human interactions that determine most of the experiences that we have in our life.
So, I would like to salute you with my genuine personal voice and talk to you like your friend.
when I don’t travel the world exploring or designing experiences, you’ll find me living in Europe. Even though I like intensity and speed in my life just like when I play ice hockey league games pumped with adrenaline, I'm all about curiosity and value impact. I advocate for simplicity and have a gift of being able to demystify the complex.
Now you might be thinking, Is she worth my time, should I read any further? For plenty of readers, the answer is NO.
You see, here’s why:
For some reason, businesses, people think that “calling in Customer Experience Expert or Coach” will solve their next product or service instantly.
I understand that nowadays all these big buzzwords of ‘Customer Centric’, 'Gamify ', ‘Users First’, ‘Agile Transformation’ are coming at you left, right, center.
I help businesses from Fortune 500, StartUps to Entrepreneurs to get over the confusion and overwhelm of understanding how to implement and leverage the Design Thinking Approach to business and also personal growth.
Despite everything I just said above, if you are still looking for an ‘instant solution’, you've probably been sold on a ‘patch’.
So if you’re not prepared to commit to putting twelve times more focused effort towards listening, learning, implementing, testing, and growing, I’m not the gal for you.
If you don't want to hear questions about how things are done or prefer to "Play It Safe".., you’re not going to enjoy my services.
Here’s why I’m mentioning this to you.
Often when companies know it's going to take a longer time to get to market and all the risks associated with potential product failure, I've observed people making future assumptions and stories that lead to debates and less innovative watered-down solutions lacking innovation.
Do some of the solutions work?
Maybe. Just like any average stuff which fades away over time.
My approach is straightforward and intentional. I apply proven design thinking methodology with innovation to encourage taking bold risks and validate them fast. I’m also known for being able to unearth the things that no one else can see.
Here is one of the simple facts.
There is no coincidence in why today’s most successful and innovative organizations (e.g. Google, Apple, Salesforce, Lego, Slack) are focused on being customer-centric by applying Category Design Strategy and Design Thinking Methodologies like Design Sprint to Innovate.
Data is there to support this, for example, studies show that design-driven companies outperformed the S&P by 219% over 10 years.
If you’re going to be listening to anyone who’s claiming to know “Customer Experience Design” but has no proven track record,
I don’t want to help you.
This is important for you to understand.
I could help you, I just chose not to. I’m capable of it, but I won’t waste my time and energy.
Because when I come across the wannabe ‘Customer Experience Opinionators’,
that are defended by the business, stakeholders mean that people are not ready for the change.
(I know, it’s a mouthful).
firmly or unduly adhering to one's own opinion or to preconceived notions
~ Merriam-Webster Dictionary
And what I’m really observing is,
“I’m not fully invested in the long term success of my business" which also silently means “I’m not invested into long term positive impact for my customers.”
In other words...
Let me ask you a simple question.
If you would need open-heart surgery, would you go to have an operation with?
B: General Practitioner
C: Heart Surgeon
Look, trusting, and implementing the Design Thinking Approach to Customer Experience into business is not a smooth ride.
In fact, it’s a BIG CHALLENGE, because like with many things in life behind the success stand, PEOPLE and change of human behaviour and habits can be a long term journey that’s usually met with lots of resistance.
Yes, it’s possible, and I’ve been a part of the business and customer transformations and seen the positive impact.
Are You Still Here Reading? Good.
If you are looking to uplevel your business through the Value-Driven Customer Experience and Design Sprint Innovation,
here’s what you can expect from me as your Facilitator.
Ground-breaking moves by game-changers.
We are building a bridge between audacious ideas and people.
“Shh...” , if you know what this is and need help
LET'S TALK NOW
A lot of MAGIC can be done in this space of
CATEGORY KINGS and CATEGORY QUEENS.
I am a Design Sprint 2.0 Certified Facilitator.
Design Sprint methodology is a research tool for business strategy, innovation, behaviour science, lean & agile product creation that gives companies and teams tangible results, and help them stop wasting time and resources building the wrong idea!
Fast-paced session (1-2 hours) designed to solve problems and make decisions really quickly. This proven solution gets people unstuck, stops the endless meetings and discussions that don't lead to any conclusion.
I would do you a disservice if I wouldn’t stress that using the design process alone will not solve it all.
To be able to trully innovate in your business we’ll also need to align your
And for all of you “Waterfall folks”, (Yes you know exactly who you are…)
Please, know that DESIGN Is Not A Linear Process.
*Regarding the methodologies and frameworks:
Every challenge might need its unique potion. Especially because Design Thinking is prescriptive, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all methodology or framework. Trying to use just one approach to everything could mislead your way of thinking, limit creativity and imagination.
Here’s What I Will Help You With...
I'm here to guide you to explore and find decisions for your business by applying Discovery Design Thinking Mastery And Innovation.
I foster communication by multiple cross-functional teams that not always tend to talk to each other — aligning and getting everyone on the same page solving the challenge together within a short time frame of typically one week.
I am like your secret-weapon-connector, as I work with various teams and translate between them. I bring clarity to the process because different people speak different languages and have individual interpretations of the business.
I kill the tech, UX design, CX, sales, marketing buzzwords, and fluff to demystify the jargon and focus only on what aligns teams together, getting everyone rallying behind the common goals.
I craft the exercises and journey in a very specific way to get your team to align allowing each individual to genuinely express their ideas from the beginning. This is crucial especially in workshops and brainstorms where often the introverts shy away and get overpowered.
I also focus on your inner universe helping you and your team to evolve. (If you allow for it…) Tackling the obstacle to innovation like the ‘imposter belief’, the phenomenon that is keeping so many trapped. We are our worst critics and enemies and it’s time to unlearn these false beliefs whispering “Why would anyone listen?, “What if I’ll be humiliated?”.
Are you plotting?
New App/Software Design or (re)Design
Design Thinking Workshop
Status Quo Challenge
How Do I Know If Your Skills Are Any Good?
Well, the smart thing to do is to get some feedback from the people I’ve worked with. But, let me help you and start with “you won’t find on LinkedIn - biography”, so here goes:
For me, solving a challenge is like traveling and exploring and has nothing to do with places or landmarks but with people and moments that unfold.
I explore inner and outer experiences navigating through complex challenges seeking evolution.
I started my ‘design and problem-solving career’ as a kid..
I am Slovakian, born in former Czechoslovakia and I grew up as a communist child behind the iron curtain.
During the cold war times, I begun one of my first creative sessions on plotting and designing my escape (fantasy) from the regime but soon realized it was not a feasible plan as it would bring a terrible consequences to my family if I would succeed to escape without getting shot, drowned or electrocuted trying to cross the border.
As a kid, I was told I’d never be able to leave my country and see the world or have an interesting job or freedom to be whoever I want to be. I was programmed to believe that this was as good as it gets.
Yet at night, I would read these amazing books that allowed me to dream and go on adventures together with the book's heroes. During the day I faced another side of my reality.
And, then one day, I saw the changes happen right before my eyes.
The wall came down.
The 'famous' Berlin Wall...
After a few years had passed, my first steps led me to England. The culture shock was hard as I was learning what it meant to be in a foreign land alone with only £200 in my pocket, and different mentality and customs.
I gradually made my way through working in London creative industry and one day got an offer to join Microsoft.
This was a big career advancement opportunity and I took it.
One could think I became a new Corp America.
I worked on the Creative Solutions Team. I was learning new skills and creating unique R&D products and projects mainly for entertainment clients.
I had my dream job as an Interaction and UX Designer, enjoying this cool moment in my career and still, something felt odd...
I was confused. I didn't understand why I felt lost and sad. It seemed that I had reached the pinnacle in my professional life, and yet, I still wasn't fulfilled.
I started to feel this unstoppable desire to fulfill my childhood dream to travel around the world.
I made a decision to incorporate travel into my lifestyle.
The day I handed in my resignation I felt this huge relief and excitement.
My family was worried about me traveling solo and couldn't comprehend why I would leave behind such a great job, money and ‘security’.
Despite all objections from friends and family I left.
I traveled solo around the world for two years, visiting 7 continents. Yes, I backpacked to Antarctica, swam in iceberg waters and danced with penguins.
Traveling across Latin America gifted me with a profound self-discovery experience through 'la abuelita' Ayahuasca.
I saw remote places I had always dreamt of exploring as a child.
During my travels, I had a rule that I would help others and volunteer leveraging my experience and knowledge. I simply wanted to give back and contribute. My maverick style of giving back and contribution opened up a whole new world of experiences. I’ve got plenty of crazy stories to share, so ask me later if you want to hear more.
However, this exposure also created a storm inside me. I dwelled on this huge dilemma as I traveled, trying to see what’s next.
And then the moment of inspiration came. I had to admit to myself that in my heart I was a born designer, adventurer, traveler and dreamer and loved it. But I also became aware of my calling to solve big challenges and help others to evolve.
During this moment of clarity, I also realized something even greater. I felt this unconditional gratitude that I was able to travel the world freely.
I am an advocate of travel as it’s the best education one can receive.
It truly is an eye and heart-opening experience. During my travels, my perception of reality shifted when I discovered that kindness in people far outweighed the opposite qualities.
But, there I was, standing at a crossroads in my life once again.
I could either keep on traveling for myself OR embark on a whole new journey of exploring how to build something greater than me.
To put it into perspective, for me, it was easier to cross remote glaciers or climb mountains than thinking of designing and creating businesses or ripples of movements that impact millions.
There I was, doubtful and scared of the unknown I was facing. I knew I was a talented and audacious designer, but I had no experience in being a creator of something far greater... I had no idea how to do it and felt way out of my comfort zone.
Hysterical laughter disguised my panic, I felt defeated, feelings were that intense.
Then, when I almost gave up on the idea,
I asked myself my favorite question. I use it when I don’t know what to do.
Would I regret not doing it?
And the answer was clear.
Yes, I would regret not doing it.
What was staggering, I simply couldn't help it. I felt that there was no other way, but to give it a shot, to do it.
Fortunately, my curiosity and desire to make it happen were far stronger.
And that was it. I reached the point of no return and embarked on this new journey.
My new universe was born.
I am aware you most probably did not grow up in a communist country. And you have far greater opportunities from an early age that I had.
The difference between our backgrounds is that when I was growing up I saw no future but you probably saw more options than you cared about.
Your options are vast and that can feel paralyzing, not knowing which way to go.
No institution, religion, educational system or government will ever teach you or give you the knowledge and understanding that you receive from exploring the world and solving interesting challenges.
Yet, it all starts with you and your own internal universe.
My point is that you can not afford not to explore the unknown and evolve. It could be your most expensive mistake you might regret later in your life. Because as the law of the universe tells us “at any moment, you are either expanding or contracting, there is not such a thing as in-between”.
My extensive experience in multidisciplinary fields and my infinite curiosity for learning and self-growth naturally lead to my own evolution.
I’ve merged my passion for Adventure Travel and Human Evolution with my Design and Creative Problem-Solving Expertise.
Apart from the perpetual digital world mastery, I also love product design. I’ve created the SuperSingularity outdoors brand which allowed me to exponentially sharpen my entrepreneur and business acumen.
Thank you for reading and start creating.
The universe needs you.