4. Desire – Designers don’t want/ aspire this role, stops them from crafting their practice.

This insight generally describes an argument where designers don’t want, don’t aspire this role, it comes with a number of unwanted responsibilities and impact in the personal life and ethos of a designer. Interestingly enough, what many non-designers described as a lack of desire for the role did not match the response from the senior/ mid-career designer survey where they stated they do want the position. This is despite the fact that several of the conversations with design leaders have pointed towards a real concern about unwanted but expected levels of accountability and a concern about lack of preparation for the job. Not having the desire for this position, the necessary persistence to get it and the resilience to keep it, came through as a real insight towards the scarcity of trained designers at this level.

There is no fault, or harm in not wanting to be in this position and role, design needs one and all to succeed, and this role may not be more important in the scope of things than any other designer doing her job in a corporation. We believe this challenge, this journey is not for all designers, but the ones that set their eye on this really need to desire the position, they need to do it for the right reasons, embracing all that comes with it, they need to do so with passion and persistence, and they need to endure what it takes to get there.

What designers need to avoid is continuously commenting on their personal lack of impact in their organizations because they are not listened to, taken into account, because they are not a part of the C-Suite, while not wanting to deal with all the requirements and expectations of being at this level.

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