I came across this blog post a while back, by Diogenes Brito, and cut and saved a bit of it for later. I stumbled across it again today and it still resonated strongly. Diogenes says:
I was continually amazed by the examples of good art, photography, and design work that the other designers [at Squarespace] collected and shared, and my exposure to it made me better at my craft. I believe it is important for every creative to seek out and immerse themselves in great work.
It makes me feel better when I waste time admiring illustrations, spend too much on fancy pens, or wax poetic about my love of my beautiful pink Blu Dot desk. It’s a good reminder to look outside of Dribble for inspiration. I love art, illustration, fashion, cooking and food photography, and I think all these things feed my design practice.
This idea also gives insight into how to cultivate a culture of design and good design practice at an organization. Things that might be taken for granted like physical surroundings, context, influences, and availability of inspiration are an important piece in shaping a company's culture. How can we expose our colleagues to better design, inside and outside our field? I’ve seen shared Evernote inspiration notebooks and email groups where people mail screenshots, but I’m not sure those get much attention. What if designers did weekly demos of interfaces they liked, similar to a code review? What if the whole company was invited to attend?