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Becoming a Design Leader
DAVID SHERWIN | HOW DESIGN CO...
1. What does it mean to be a design leader?
2. What traits does a design leader need to succeed?
3. Ok, how can I become a...
Design leaders make
              awesome s*@% happen.




Becoming a Design Leader      06/23/12   3
A cultural focus on making awesome happen, since 1969.
Becoming a Design Leader                         06/23/12        4
Apple
Becoming a Design Leader           06/23/12   5
Apple
Becoming a Design Leader           06/23/12   6
Medingo
Becoming a Design Leader             06/23/12   7
Intel
Becoming a Design Leader           06/23/12   8
Girl Effect
Becoming a Design Leader                 06/23/12   9
“When we have a ‘concept’ and
            people smile, we take the next step.
                When there are questions,
 ...
design leadership
                           design      creative
                           mgmt         vision




Becom...
design leadership
                           design      creative
                           mgmt         vision




Becom...
Just managing
de
mgsign                              designers may not be
   mt
                                    design...
the
“future”
                                         client



                                                       cre...
1. What does it mean to be a design leader?
2. What traits does a design leader need to succeed?
3. Ok, how can I become a...
Great design leaders have an
unquantifiable creative “secret sauce.”




                            Photo 373877988 by Fe...
intuition   perspective                            vision



                           character      ambition



       ...
articulate
                                               brave
                                      craft-focused
      ...
Enjoy working with designers
                        and clients—as people.




                                          ...
Function daily as a
 behavioral psychologist.




                           NO TOUCHING!

                               ...
Understand
people’s creative
dispositions—
as well as
your own.




                                Photo 144448750 by Dav...
Answer the question “Why?”




                                           Source: Ocular Trauma, Wade Clark ©2005


Becomi...
See from miles to microns.




                                                  Charles and Ray Eames: “Powers of Ten”


...
Communicate
up, down, and
  sideways.




                            Photo 2775415074 by shadowstorm CC share & remix / f...
Collaborate around
                            shared interests.


                                Photo 37085152 by Carbo...
Apply steady,
                           constant pressure.

                                    Photo 3309219331 by Paolo...
Keep your perspective when taking risks.
          (Even in the fog of war.)


                                 Photo 9432...
1. What does it mean to be a design leader?
2. What traits does a design leader need to succeed?
3. Ok, how can I become a...
Project leadership
• Planning, methodology and approach/direction setting
• Ideation & innovation, measured in the quality...
Section title text




It’s not just about learning all this.
It’s about the journey
you want to take as a leader.




   ...
Becoming a Design Leader   06/23/12   31
Becoming a Design Leader   06/23/12   32
Questions to ask yourself:
• What “hard skills” do I still need to learn?
• What domains of design do I want to
 add to my...
What my career
path looked like.




    Becoming a Design Leader   06/23/12   34
Ok, that’s nice.
What do I really need to learn to
become a design leader?




    Becoming a Design Leader        06/23/1...
Here are the first 3 steps you
should take on your journey:
• How to direct a team of creatives
• How to frame big, gnarly...
Work with your team
to form a braid.
These are NOT drawn-out meetings
or critique sessions. Think 2–3 minutes.
Quickly sha...
This can help manage
“swoop and poop.”
That is only a symptom of a key leader
being out of the loop. Critique should
be sc...
Publicly post work
in progress.
If it’s in the computer, it’s invisible.
If your workspace doesn’t allow it,
hack the spac...
Know how to critique.
                            Consider using the “egg system.”




Becoming a Design Leader           ...
(P.S. Shut up and listen. Then count to ten before offering an opinion.)




Becoming a Design Leader                     ...
Be deliberate in how you structure teams.
  Shepherd leadership from within your team as much as possible.
    If you do t...
Draw insight from everything.
Immerse yourself. Take a holistic view outside the client’s space.




  customers          ...
Learn to see like
Business
strategy
                                                   a strategist.
           Product &
...
Use the right tools
Proposal
                                                     to get to tactics.
           Research &...
?                                 !                  !


  research                       experience               creativ...
A brief should be… brief.
                 Killer creative thinking comes from focus.
               You need a bull’s eye...
1. What does it mean to be a design leader?
2. What traits does a design leader need to succeed?
3. Ok, how can I become a...
Addiction to being in control.




Becoming a Design Leader                       06/23/12   49
Being a flow junkie.




Becoming a Design Leader     06/23/12   50
Drowning in ambiguity.




Becoming a Design Leader                  06/23/12   51
Focusing the spotlight
   on your team.




Becoming a Design Leader   06/23/12   52
Hiring people that think
                                     just like you.



OWNERSHIP


                       TITLE  ...
Envisioning the growth
          of your organization over time.




Becoming a Design Leader          06/23/12   54
TUESDAY
                                    8

Making the time                     9

to be available,                10
 ...
1. What does it mean to be a design leader?
2. What traits does a design leader need to succeed?
3. Ok, how can I become a...
The 6 C’s of design leadership:
Communicate actively, with both IQ and EQ
Coax stellar work from your team
Compel the team...
You can make
           awesome s*@% happen…
             and have a big impact
                 on the world.



Becoming...
You can make
           awesome s*@% happen…
            without undue suffering
                 and sacrifice.



Becomi...
You can make
           awesome s*@% happen…
            while having a lot of fun
                along the way.



Becom...
Frog Section Title: Statement Layout




                                             THE FIRST STEP:
                    ...
Reach outside of your
                      organization for growth.




Becoming a Design Leader                   06/23/...
If you’re seeking mentorship:
Stand up so we can see you.

If you want to be a mentor:
Strike up a conversation
with one o...
Email: david.sherwin@frogdesign.com
                                    Twitter: @changeorder
                            ...
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Becoming a Design Leader

How does a designer fit into an organization as a leader alongside their client service, project management, and financial management peers? Or, as happens in many cases, how does a solo designer, studio owner, or in-house group determines that fine balance between the health of the studio from an operational perspective and nurturing a strong creative vision that guides both the client work and the studio culture?

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Becoming a Design Leader

  1. 1. Photo 470780785 by ewen and donabel remix cc license flickr.com Becoming a Design Leader DAVID SHERWIN | HOW DESIGN CONFERENCE | SATURDAY, JUNE 23, 2012 T: @CHANGEORDER / B: CHANGEORDERBLOG.COM
  2. 2. 1. What does it mean to be a design leader? 2. What traits does a design leader need to succeed? 3. Ok, how can I become a design leader? 4. Now I’m a design leader, what should I watch out for? Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 2
  3. 3. Design leaders make awesome s*@% happen. Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 3
  4. 4. A cultural focus on making awesome happen, since 1969. Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 4
  5. 5. Apple Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 5
  6. 6. Apple Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 6
  7. 7. Medingo Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 7
  8. 8. Intel Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 8
  9. 9. Girl Effect Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 9
  10. 10. “When we have a ‘concept’ and people smile, we take the next step. When there are questions, we go back and try harder.” —Hartmut Esslinger, founder, frog Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 10
  11. 11. design leadership design creative mgmt vision Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 11
  12. 12. design leadership design creative mgmt vision Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 12
  13. 13. Just managing de mgsign designers may not be mt design leadership. cr vis ea i o n tiv e Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 13
  14. 14. the “future” client creative vision Being a creative visionary doesn’t always equal design leadership. (But it helps.) Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 14
  15. 15. 1. What does it mean to be a design leader? 2. What traits does a design leader need to succeed? 3. Ok, how can I become a design leader? 4. Now I’m a design leader, what should I watch out for? Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 15
  16. 16. Great design leaders have an unquantifiable creative “secret sauce.” Photo 373877988 by Fensterbme CC remix / flickr.com Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 16
  17. 17. intuition perspective vision character ambition education skills creative impulse talents hobbies Photo 373877988 by Fensterbme CC remix / flickr.com Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 17
  18. 18. articulate brave craft-focused creative It takes more than connected “secret sauce” to make curious engaged awesome happen… directed Here are some traits insightful you’ll need. motivated oversight passionate productive professional strategic visionary Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 18 witty
  19. 19. Enjoy working with designers and clients—as people. Photo 373877988 by Fensterbme CC remix / flickr.com Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 19
  20. 20. Function daily as a behavioral psychologist. NO TOUCHING! Photo 373877988 by Fensterbme CC remix / flickr.com Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 20
  21. 21. Understand people’s creative dispositions— as well as your own. Photo 144448750 by David M* CC remix / flickr.com Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 21
  22. 22. Answer the question “Why?” Source: Ocular Trauma, Wade Clark ©2005 Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 22
  23. 23. See from miles to microns. Charles and Ray Eames: “Powers of Ten” Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 23
  24. 24. Communicate up, down, and sideways. Photo 2775415074 by shadowstorm CC share & remix / flickr.com Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 24
  25. 25. Collaborate around shared interests. Photo 37085152 by CarbonNYC CC share & remix / flickr.com Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 25
  26. 26. Apply steady, constant pressure. Photo 3309219331 by Paolo Camera CC share & remix / flickr.com Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 26
  27. 27. Keep your perspective when taking risks. (Even in the fog of war.) Photo 94326793 by ambrown CC remix / flickr.com Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 27
  28. 28. 1. What does it mean to be a design leader? 2. What traits does a design leader need to succeed? 3. Ok, how can I become a design leader? 4. Now I’m a design leader, what should I watch out for? Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 28
  29. 29. Project leadership • Planning, methodology and approach/direction setting • Ideation & innovation, measured in the quality of ideas and designs • Creative/art direction • Hands-on design, when necessary • Storytelling and presentation/communication—to client and internally within your organization • Ability to articulate complex solutions clearly • An understanding of delivery technologies • Strategic perspective applied to the work • Project management, planning, ownership and delegation • Oversight and reviews of direct reports • Project resource management • Confident client communication • Quality of end results leading to client happiness If you want to work at a place like frog… Client service skills • New business generation: talking to leads on a daily basis • Proposal and approach definition; process, resource allocation, and budget assessment • Leadership in pitching and client-facing presentations • Vision, strategy and opportunity articulation • Design advocacy People management, organizational planning, and studio management • One-on-ones, career development, goals, reviews, feedback articulation, motivation • Stability, trust, and professional confidence as experienced by the org • Visible and mature leadership, recognized by reports and teams • Coordination, communication and collaboration • Organization design, org planning, recruiting, interviewing and hiring • Design and development process (understanding, communication, optimization) • Managing and communicating up (incl. escalation, presentations, reviews, transparency, proactive communication, etc.) • Humor, character, inspirational strength, special sauce, emotional connection to creative organization Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 29
  30. 30. Section title text It’s not just about learning all this. It’s about the journey you want to take as a leader. Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 30
  31. 31. Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 31
  32. 32. Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 32
  33. 33. Questions to ask yourself: • What “hard skills” do I still need to learn? • What domains of design do I want to add to my portfolio? • What “soft skills” do I need to acquire to progress towards a leadership role? • What ingrained behaviors might stand in my way? Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 33
  34. 34. What my career path looked like. Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 34
  35. 35. Ok, that’s nice. What do I really need to learn to become a design leader? Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 35
  36. 36. Here are the first 3 steps you should take on your journey: • How to direct a team of creatives • How to frame big, gnarly problems • How to present effectively Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 36
  37. 37. Work with your team to form a braid. These are NOT drawn-out meetings or critique sessions. Think 2–3 minutes. Quickly share work in progress across all disciplines, then get back to it. Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 37
  38. 38. This can help manage “swoop and poop.” That is only a symptom of a key leader being out of the loop. Critique should be scheduled or requested as part of your project schedule. Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 38
  39. 39. Publicly post work in progress. If it’s in the computer, it’s invisible. If your workspace doesn’t allow it, hack the space with moveable boards. Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 39
  40. 40. Know how to critique. Consider using the “egg system.” Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 40
  41. 41. (P.S. Shut up and listen. Then count to ten before offering an opinion.) Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 41
  42. 42. Be deliberate in how you structure teams. Shepherd leadership from within your team as much as possible. If you do this, you’ll need to invest your time in mentorship more than minute-by-minute team management. Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 42
  43. 43. Draw insight from everything. Immerse yourself. Take a holistic view outside the client’s space. customers competitors complementers sales & retail organizational trends technology comparatives toolbox Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 43
  44. 44. Learn to see like Business strategy a strategist. Product & service strategy Marketing strategy Tactics Competitors in your problem space Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 44
  45. 45. Use the right tools Proposal to get to tactics. Research & Experience Brief Creative Brief Deliverables Brief Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 45
  46. 46. ? ! ! research experience creative deliverables brief brief brief brief State business Reframe business State the agreed- State the agreed- problem as it is problem with upon strategy upon strategy understood new data & insight Focus on the “parti” Restate the “parti” Create objectives Create a “parti” Set boundaries Describe relationship for your research Describe on brand voice between previous List the inputs story arcs and visual project and expression new work Qualify the Convey story audience concepts and Articulate Provide in-depth themes emotional impact specification Describe activities Provide high-level & emotions specification to evoke Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 46
  47. 47. A brief should be… brief. Killer creative thinking comes from focus. You need a bull’s eye to aim at, not a dartboard. Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 47
  48. 48. 1. What does it mean to be a design leader? 2. What traits does a design leader need to succeed? 3. Ok, how can I become a design leader? 4 Now I’m a design leader, what should I watch out for? Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 48
  49. 49. Addiction to being in control. Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 49
  50. 50. Being a flow junkie. Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 50
  51. 51. Drowning in ambiguity. Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 51
  52. 52. Focusing the spotlight on your team. Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 52
  53. 53. Hiring people that think just like you. OWNERSHIP TITLE FORTUNE EGO Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 53
  54. 54. Envisioning the growth of your organization over time. Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 54
  55. 55. TUESDAY 8 Making the time 9 to be available, 10 11 to mentor, and 12 to teach. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 55
  56. 56. 1. What does it mean to be a design leader? 2. What traits does a design leader need to succeed? 3. Ok, how can I become a design leader? 4 Now I’m a design leader, what should I watch out for? Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 56
  57. 57. The 6 C’s of design leadership: Communicate actively, with both IQ and EQ Coax stellar work from your team Compel the team towards a shared vision Cajole by asking open-ended questions Cheer your team on with gusto Conjure great work out of yourself, too! Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 57
  58. 58. You can make awesome s*@% happen… and have a big impact on the world. Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 58
  59. 59. You can make awesome s*@% happen… without undue suffering and sacrifice. Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 59
  60. 60. You can make awesome s*@% happen… while having a lot of fun along the way. Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 60
  61. 61. Frog Section Title: Statement Layout THE FIRST STEP: DESIGNING THE JOURNEY. Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 61
  62. 62. Reach outside of your organization for growth. Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 62
  63. 63. If you’re seeking mentorship: Stand up so we can see you. If you want to be a mentor: Strike up a conversation with one of those people. Becoming a Design Leader 06/23/12 63
  64. 64. Email: david.sherwin@frogdesign.com Twitter: @changeorder Blog: changeorderblog.com Book signing at 12:30 today at HOW Design Live Available December 2012 from HOW Books: amzn.to/successbydesign © 2012 frog. All rights reserved.
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How does a designer fit into an organization as a leader alongside their client service, project management, and financial management peers? Or, as happens in many cases, how does a solo designer, studio owner, or in-house group determines that fine balance between the health of the studio from an operational perspective and nurturing a strong creative vision that guides both the client work and the studio culture?

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