So, why there aren’t more designers in the c-suite of large corporations?

The list of insights generated is done so in a statement format, almost as they were stated by the interviewees directly or implicitly. Research and reflection was conducted as if these were hypothesis, in some cases results pointed clearly towards a response, but in others the response was elusive, and in other cases there are just not enough research and data to elicit responses, but all these insights are important enough to be on this list, independent from the fact we were able to reach a conclusion about them. They are ten insights, here in statement format:

  1. Design CEO – There are not enough Design savvy CEO’s/ Executives that understand the value of Design.
  2. Necessity – There is no need, design is already represented, these corporations are at the top of their game.
  3. Effectiveness – This is not the best/ right place for designers to lead design, too many distractions.
  4. Desire – Designers don’t want/ aspire this role, stops them from crafting their practice.
  5. Access – Designers are not selected for the job, not invited, not mentored and groomed for it.
  6. Preparation – Designers don’t have the right education and training, skillset, mindset.
  7. Scarcity – There aren’t enough qualified designers with the right experience in the market.
  8. Flexibility – Designers tend to stick to design, no experience in managing other areas.
  9. Advice – Management consultancies and advisory boards don’t influence CEO’s positively about the value of design.
  10. Ethos – What makes a designer a designer is at the same time seen as an asset and a liability.