Phil Duncan gives us a great perspective on what design needs to consider now that we are at the table in the C-Suite. He was both pragmatic and inspirational as he rolled out the rug of understanding.
His first list, from observations and patterns, how to get yourself to the table.
- "Busign" // know the language of business if you're a designer, and vice versa
- Listen for the real issue // dig deep with your ears to understand the real issue
- Show up and help teach // share more, teach more and be willing to teach
- Use your strengths // don't try to be strong at something you're not, use design methods
- Participating is key // don't shy away from participating in the conversation
- (the lost one) // did anyone get this one, feels incomplete without the sixth point.
Now, what to do when you get there? Mind your manners.
- Collaborate, more jazz, less virtuoso // keep it casual and "go with it"
- Speak less, show more // visual tools are the strength of designers, use them
- Have a point of view, respectfully // drop the attitude at the door, but have a viewpoint
- Solve the problems that keep people up at night // do this and people will value you
- Don't "go native" // stay out of the traditional trenches of irrelevant design perspectives
Phil's last list was future focused.
Set your own table.
- Build it and they will come // not just baseball fields, design can think this far out
- Step up to the edge, trust your talent // being safe will only get you safe results
- No compromise, avoid the walk of shame // if you go down, go down in flames
- Push the boundaries of what design can lead // design is a way of thinking, about anything
The lists above are first what Phil provided and second how we've interpreted his commentary.
Enjoy a moment.