ⓘ Design leadership

Design leadership

ⓘ Design leadership

Design leadership is a concept complementary to design management. In practice, design managers within companies often operate in the field of design leadership and design leaders in the field of design management. However, the two terms are not interchangeable, they are interdependent. 1 In essence, and at the highest level, design leadership helps to define the future and design management provides key tools for getting there. Both are critically important to business, government and society, and both are necessary in order to maximise value from design activity and investment.

Design leadership can be described as leadership that generates innovative design solutions. Turner 1 defines design leadership by adding three additional aspects for design leadership,

  • the gaining of acknowledgment for achievements through design.
  • the difference in leading through design,
  • the sustaining design leadership over time

Turner separates the core responsibilities of design leadership in following six activities:

  • managing corporate reputation
  • training for design leadership
  • envisionising of the future
  • manifesting strategic intent
  • directing design investment
  • creating and nurturing an environment of innovation