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De toekomst van designleiderschap

De toekomst van designleiderschap

If there were a synonym of ‘design’ it would be the word ‘future.’  Dan Harden, CEO Whipsaw

Het belang van designleiderschap in bedrijven groeit heel snel. Hoe ziet de toekomst van designleiderschap er uit? Blijft het momentum duren en zo ja, welke competenties hebben toekomstige designleiders nodig?

Thomas Lockwood interviewde de Heads of Design van 3M, Intuit, Microsoft, PepsiCo, Philips en  REI individueel en als panel over de toekomst van designleiderschap. In de antwoorden vond hij een aantal terugkerende patronen en hij distilleerde er zeven belangrijke elementen uit voor de designleiders van de toekomst. 

1. Blijf trouw aan je roots als designer
"Once a designer always a designer," says Eric Quint, chief design officer at 3M. "We need to keep that affinity as a designer. As design leaders you must respect the fact that you are a good designer first. You need to be a good practitioner first, to inspire the other designers. Your role is to amplify your influence."

2. Ontwikkel empathie voor je collega’s in andere bedrijfsafdelingen
"The empathy we use to make great products and solutions? If we use a bit more of that empathy across the company we would be much more successful in driving strategic solutions for the company... it is extremely important you understand that design is part of a chain. So you have to get insights from marketing, business, research, etc., and you are a translator. As soon as you see you’re part of a chain, then you understand the need for the connections. And by the way, often other departments don’t know how to interface with design."

3. Verbind verschillende disciplines en creëer betekenisvolle oplossingen
Whether developing new products, services, brands, environments or business models, the end goal is to create value to the triple bottom line—economic, social, and environmental. Which means, developing meaningful solutions. "We must craft and create meaningful experiences," PepsiCo's Porcini says. "So essentially we are creating meaning. The center is your brand, the content is the brand purpose, the receiver is your user, customer or employees, and the media is every touch point of the brand. The brand is the media. The code is how we talk, the visual code, the aesthetic, and so on. So we as designers, we own the code, marketing owns the content, we need to collaborate.

4. Design is een teamsport, zorg voor de juiste bedrijfscultuur om design te integreren en samen te werken met andere afdelingen.
"The other functions are your partners," Porcini says. "Marketing has an advantage because they own the relation with the customer and consumer. They can get things to market. By nature design can not get to market, so by nature we are a collaboration function. So use design as the collaborative. We were trained to be collaborative, to be storytellers. By definition we are connectors and facilitators so use us in this way.”

5. Zorg dat het hele bedrijf design thinking inzet voor de toekomst
Design thinking has taken hold, no doubt, with significant benefits to business. Intuit's Kaasgaard advises emerging design leaders to "focus on building organization capabilities. Teach the organization about design thinking—both on individual design projects, and on seating strategy and business strategy. At the end of the day you need to focus on building the organization capabilities, so that the organization will think like a designer. Design is not just a department, it’s a mindset." He went on: "At Intuit we’ve established a design thinking method. We have 1,200 trained innovation catalysts. Now this three-day class does not make you a designer but it does help spread that way of working and thinking into the business."

6. Ontwerp je eigen carrière
In Kaneko's view, "There is a big difference between design management and design leadership. I’m not using design leadership as a title, because it’s an earned position. You have to deliver it yourself. There is no shortcut other than to really be a good designer, so you have to keep investing in your own career. Find your own voice and leadership style."

7. Wees niet bang
"If there is any profession that owns the future, it’s this one," Dan Harden, CEO of the design consultancy Whipsaw, says. "What other profession would be more about the future? If there were a synonym of ‘design’ it would be the word ‘future.’ We have never had a platform like this before. The audience is there, they are waiting for us to do great things. I’m super optimistic, drop all fear and go out and do it."

Bron: Fast Company
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