Meet Kristi Diaz, a person of many talents and interests (in addition to being a strategy superstar). In this Q+A she enlightens us about many of her off-the-job hobbies including roses, volleyball, and giraffes…
Q: Describe what you do in 5 words or less.
A: Simplify the complex, create solutions
Q: When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: A dolphin trainer at Sea World. This was pre Blackfish.
Q: When did you know you wanted to be a strategist?
A: It was not a conscious decision to become a Strategist. I started as a media planner, then moved into digital marketing which led me to integrated marketing. Along the way I realized that what I loved most was the consumer story, regardless of the touchpoint. Strategists engage further upstream which is what pulled me towards this path.
Q: If you weren’t a strategist, you’d be a…
A: Most likely a high school counselor. Teen years are so critical in the foundation of who we become and academic environments are a huge part of our perspectives. Counselors are the link in a very complex system – engaged in the leadership of the school while also being seen as a trusted resource among students. I like challenging complex systems that get in the way of growth. I find this is often as easy as listening and looking for meaning behind behavior. I find myself most drawn to listening to the perspective of young people because they are natural challengers to the status quo.
Q: What drew you to Heart+Mind Strategies?
A: I knew that I would be challenged. This team had such a strong reputation for being the best at understanding human decision-making which was, and is, a passion of mine.
Q: What are 3 Instagram or Twitter accounts every strategist should follow?
A: “@garyvee” I like Gary because he is about accountability and owning our role in our life journey. He often pulls me out of my own head to get back on my path.
“@abbey_lossing” I enjoy this illustrator’s take on everyday humans – it keeps me connected to humanity.
“@humansofny” I’m pretty sure everyone follows these stories. There is so much compassion and support when people’s stories are shared. It always lifts me up and reminds me that we do show up for each other.
Q: Describe your high school self in 5 words or less.
A: Big hair, reggae-loving, volleyball player
Q: What is your current obsession?
A: I redesigned a large section of our property last year to grow heirloom roses. I grew up with roses in my mom’s garden and have always wanted to grow them myself. I have more time now that my kids are older so I decided to finally invest my time and money to do it right. By nature I am not a patient person so this is an unusual hobby for me to enjoy, but I am learning from each failure and committed to the long journey I am on with these roses.
Q: What’s your favorite genre of music to work to?
A: Folk rock, a.k.a. the Lumineers
Q: Do you have a favorite blog or podcast?
A: Armchair Expert is my go-to listen in the car. I guess it connects back to my interest in human stories-how we become us. The host, Dax, interviews from an anthropoligical perspective so he is always pushing for the bigger meaning. I love the diversity of the guests; anyone from Daniel Kahneman to David Pinker to Awkwafina can show up on this podcast.
Q: Do you have any pets?
A: 2 dogs, 2 cats, 9 chickens, 1 bearded dragon
Q: Name something on your bucket list.
A: Someday I will stay at Giraffe Manor in Nairobi. I have a fascination with giraffes – something about the kindness in their eyes! This experience is 100% built around the giraffes so the hotel rooms have open windows so giraffes will frequently pop their heads in.