Design teams are encountering challenges they have never experienced before. Societal and business problems have evolved beyond what most people have experienced in their working life. The design solutions needed to solve these problems must be radical to meet these challenges. Getting buy-in from the broader organisation and management can be difficult during times of uncertainty, so how do designers achieve that critical ‘Yes’?
The answer lies in creating the conditions for a company to say ‘yes’ more often, to trying new things and experimenting. This is where design leadership can save the day. A design leader knows how to approach a project and understand what is possible within the current constraints. They can assess a situation and understand the limitations, what cannot be changed and identify the space where a team can achieve success.
They are operating at the forefront of their design discipline, whether it is architecture, product or digital. They understand how to create synergies, synthesis, and find the right opportunity for innovation. And they are always keeping track of their north star, and what they need to focus on. They have a clear understanding of their customer’s key human needs, the business needs, and the value they can deliver.
Traditional Leadership Versus Design Leadership
Traditional leadership is very good at creating structures and processes that are built on replication. It focuses on management skills such as organising workflows and acting in a project management capacity.
Design leadership, on the other hand, focuses on finding the space of opportunity for a project or a team. A design leader knows how to create the conditions for a new reality or new solution to emerge. It is about creating the conditions to make the project happen. If a leader needs to get the team to participate, they will facilitate it. If it means providing more infrastructure, the leader will make it happen. If more access to technology is needed, then the leader will focus on achieving that. Design leadership focuses on providing the conditions for the creativity to thrive, for new ideas to emerge and to achieve high levels of design and deliver impact.
Who Is A Design Leader?
A design leader knows how to deal with ambiguity and creating new things. They become a master in writing new solutions, solving complex problems and helping the team achieve the best results possible, regardless of what they are designing. They provide a space for divergence for creativity and free flowing conceptualisation without adhering strictly to a process. On the other hand they also know when to hold the space for divergence. They can be very agile and quick to move towards a final delivery.
They are a master of their particular field of design. For example, if they are designing for the digital space, they excel at digital design. They can clearly articulate value and act like a diplomat for design inside an organisation or with external partners and peers. They work to create opportunities to design solutions collaboratively with other business units. They inject design into every conversation to open strategic doors to start influencing internal working culture. They work to bring diverse bodies of knowledge together to create dynamic working environments. A design leader understands how to create a creative ecosystem for problem solving.
How do you use it in an organisation?
Design leadership used within organisations creates new opportunities for ‘yeses’, new forms of collaboration and allows new types of people to step up to take on a leadership role. But how does this all work within a business environment?
The core idea is to never design alone. For example some problems will require collaborations between the design and the marketing team. Or the design and the product team. Or the design and the engineering team. It is a methodology by which the design team becomes attached to different business units for collaboration and cross pollination of ideas. It must become best practice to keep the design team dynamic and interacting at all levels of the organisation. In other words, design is too important to be left with only designers. Design should influence the ethics of a company. It should help define where data is used or collected. It should define how users interact with digital interfaces. Design should always be done in collaboration with other expertise and knowledge within and outside of a business.
The Benefits Of Design Leadership
Cross pollination, openness to creativity and radical approaches to problem solving can open many doors for businesses and organisations. The benefits of this style of infusing design and leadership into every level of an organisation is opening previously closed ‘No’ doors with open ‘Yeses’. The power of diverse and different minds working together to create change is almost unquantifiable and the first step to achieving these results is to become an advocate for design within your organisation.
Echos School of Design Thinking - Terms and Conditions
This website at www.schoolofdesignthinking.echos.cc (Site) is a website where you can browse, select and enroll in educational and innovation knowledge courses (Courses) advertised on the Site from Echos Innovation Lab Pty Ltd ABN 65 617 491 424 (Echos, us or we).
Please read these terms and conditions before accessing or using the Site. If you are under 18 years of age, then you must obtain your parent or guardian’s consent before accessing and using the Site.
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We are in the business of providing educational and innovation knowledge courses (Courses). We collect personal information primarily to provide the Courses to you (Purpose).
In particular, we collect your personal information so that we can carry out the following actions:
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We may disclose additional purposes for collection of your personal information in collection statements at the point of collection.
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When used in this policy, “personal information” has the meaning given to that term in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). We may collect the following types of personal information from you:
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financial and payment information;
age and date of birth;
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your personal preferences, thoughts, ideas, goals and opinions.
Sensitive information is information about you that reveals your racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs or affiliations, membership of a professional or trade association, membership of a trade union, details of health, disability, sexual orientation or criminal record.
It is our policy to only collect your sensitive information where it is reasonably necessary for our functions or activities and either you have consented or we are required or authorised under law to do so.
How we collect your personal information
Collection of your personal information can occur through the following interactions:
when you communicate with us directly (by email, in person, telephone, direct mail or any other means);
when we interact with you during the Courses or in relation to any other products or services; and/or
when you visit our website and social media pages, or access or contribute to digital platforms and applications managed by us (Online Platforms).
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How we hold your personal information
We may hold your personal information in either electronic or hard copy form.
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We use industry standard security measures to safeguard and protect your information.
If we are unable to collect your personal information
If we are unable to collect your personal information, some or all of the following may occur:
we may be unable to provide the Courses or other products and services to you;
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we may be unable to tailor the content of our marketing communications to suit your preferences;
your experience when interacting with us may be delayed or not as efficient as you may expect.
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Your personal information may be disclosed in connection with any Purpose to any of the following:
our employees, contractors or service providers, to the extent reasonably necessary to fulfil our obligations to you;
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suppliers, clients and other third parties with whom we have commercial relationships, for business, payment processing, delivery, marketing and related purposes;
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Overseas disclosure of personal information
We may disclose your personal information to third parties and service providers located overseas in connection with any Purpose, including to overseas cloud computing hosts. We take reasonable steps to ensure that the overseas recipients of your personal information do not breach the privacy obligations relating to your personal information.
We may contact you with direct marketing communications and information about Courses or other products or services offered by us or our partners via telephone, email, SMS, or regular mail.
If you have indicated a preference for a method of communication, we will endeavour to use that method wherever practical to do so.
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How you may access your information
You may access your personal information held by Echos by making a request to us.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgCorrection of your personal information
If you would like us to update or amend your personal information, please contact us and we will make the requested amendments.
We may ask you to verify your identity to ensure that personal information we hold is not improperly accessed.
If you feel your privacy has been breached, please contact us using the contact information above setting out the circumstances and reasons for your complaint.
Global PresenceSchool of Design Thinking is an initiative from Echos - innovation lab.
Phone 1300 502 006
ABN 65 617 491 424
Rua Baluarte, 672
Phone +55 11 3476 2500