This research, the findings and insights, combined with experience has led to a framework of needs to be addressed, by designers and non-designers. This framework is focused on the underlying biases and assumptions each side has of each other, unspoken but yet prominent and present in such a way that it prevents companies from making […]
Throughout my career, there were always heated discussions about the general lack of design recognition, empowerment, presence of designers in top leadership, but the insights to better understand this, especially in large corporations, were elusive, with anecdotal evidence and lack of qualitative and quantitative data. This research started from this motivation, with a focused question: ‘Why aren’t there more designers in the C-Suite of F50 corporations?’.
10. Ethos – What makes a designer a designer is at the same time seen as an asset and a liability.
We have used Ethos to describe what makes a designer a designer, an association of values that generically characterize designers, and though some attitudes and behaviors observed in designers might correlate with their ethos, there is no implicit or explicit causation. We have described these as a balance between two sides of the continuum, tensions […]
9. Advice – Management consultancies and advisory boards don’t influence CEO’s positively about the value of design.
This insight resulted from a discussion with some design executives on the reasons why in so many cases design is ill positioned to change the fate of the company by design, and the fact that many executives, members of the BoD and management consultancies don’t understand and advise on design adequately. The term widely used […]
8. Flexibility – Designers tend to stick to design, no experience in managing other areas.
This insight describes an argument that designers tend to stick to design, they have little to no experience in managing other areas, and this being something that defines the necessary flexibility for anyone to get a position in the C-suite of a large corporation. It’s the example of CEO’s that started in a low wage […]
7. Scarcity – There aren’t enough qualified designers with the right experience in the market.
This insight was added because several of the interviewees stated that, if the F50 companies decided all at once to hire a new designer for an executive position in their C-suite, they would have a very hard time because there were not enough qualified designers with the right experience in the market, that many of […]
Is it because they don’t have an engineering degree?
According to market data, engineering is the most common undergraduate degree of the F500 CEOs, and it has been for some time. Approximately one third of CEOs majored in engineering and only 11% graduated from business school. This might be another insight that impacts access to Designers to this selective group, a strong engineering, highly […]
Is it because they didn’t do an MBA?
We engaged with designers that did an MBA and asked them if they felt that it had the right return on investment, if it allowed them to evolve in their careers the way they somehow expected, planned. While all that did an MBA expressed that it was important, fundamental to their professional career, none of […]
6. Preparation – Designers don’t have the right education and training, skill set, mindset.
This insight describes an argument where designers don’t have the right education and training, skillset, mindset. While these elements are all different in nature – education what you get in school, training what you can get throughout your career, skillset embodies hard + soft skills and result from natural and apprehended means, and mindset which […]
5. Access – Designers are not selected for the job, not invited, not mentored and groomed for it.
This insight describes a context in which designers are not selected for the job, not invited, not mentored and groomed for it. While many designers cite this as a true insight impacting the reality described by the question we pose, this is seen by non-designers as a typical complaint of a group of people that […]
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/ […]