Research motivation

I have been a working professional in the domain of design and design management since 1989 and very early was given the opportunity to manage designers and began the journey of design management per se. In 2011, and after a number of professional experiences with different organizational formats and in different countries, accepted the challenge to come to the United States and start the journey of design management in large corporations, there was a curiosity about how these organisms performed in design terms and an ambition to progress in these organizations. Since then and throughout my career, in the many exposures to designers gathering and discussing design management, there were always heated discussions about the general lack of alignment between designers and organizational agendas, the lack of empowerment, responsibility and accountability of designers in top leadership in their organizations. But the insights for the lack of designers in top leadership, especially in large corporations, were always elusive, with anecdotal evidence and lack of qualitative and quantitative data from a systematic approach to the topic. This research started from this motivation, with a focused question: ‘Why aren’t there more designers in the C-Suite of F50 corporations?’.

2 thoughts on “Research motivation”

  1. One reason is that design is usually not metric driven, but this is how current top management evaluates business performance. The conflict is that metrics measure past performance and design or innovation is looking towards the future. Therefore design and biz management tend to not speak the same language. However, promotion happens when somebody in leadership promotes a person and they won’t promote unless they feel comfortable – which includes speaking the same language. This is one short answer to a very complex topic for this systemic problem – also in regards to EI&D.

    1. Thank you @Christine, ‘language’ is cited many times, though designers are described as active ‘translators’ in business environment, something tells me we need to get deeper on the tenets of ‘language’ and if having business as a first language is more important than learning it later. Some of the design thinking training out there seems to be less of a ‘language’ training, more of a ‘cheat sheet’ of 5 terms that will get you by…

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