Design leadership at scale requires leaders who design the design function, establish a thriving environment for the creative team, and shape the design organization to drive progress, advance innovation, and enhance meaningful customer experiences.
To examine the foundations of successful design leadership, the authors performed extensive in-depth interviews with design leaders working for Fortune 500 organizations across industries. Based on these insights, Design Leadership Ignited delineates a pathway to design excellence, which includes establishing a forward-looking strategy and an adequate organizational structure for the design function, empowering the design team, and scaling the impact of design across the entire organization. This book takes the position that a core challenge in the journey towards design excellence is the need to recognize and balance the often-contradictory objectives and activities that design leaders encounter. Combining their practitioner experience and research, the authors provide a framework to embrace the complexity of design leadership that will elevate design at scale.
About the authors
Eric Quint is former Senior Vice President and Chief Brand and Design Officer at 3M Company (United States) and former Vice President and Head of Design Management and Consulting at Royal Philips (the Netherlands).
Gerda Gemser is Full Professor and Chair of Entrepreneurship at the University of Melbourne (Australia).
Giulia Calabretta is Associate Professor in Strategic Value of Design at Delft University of Technology (the Netherlands).
"The authors have created an exceptionally comprehensive guidebook to building and growing the design function. With engaging insights, useful models, and straightforward language, this book will spark plenty of 'aha' moments, generate lots of note-taking, and inspire even better design leadership for the future."
—Carole Bilson, President, The Design Management Institute, and former VP Global Design & Usability, Pitney Bowes
"This book couldn't have come at a better time. As many companies are facing profound transformations of their business model, strong design leaders are needed to help executive management navigate the high seas.Design Leadership Ignited is inspirational, pragmatic, filled with real-life experiences, and written for design excellence."
—Laurens van den Acker, EVP Corporate Design, Renault Group
"This book consolidates key insights and knowledge to ensure that design teams can thrive at scale. Elevating the practice of design leadership becomes even more critical as design leaders are now expected to play a pivotal role in shaping the success of not just products, but entire companies. Essential reading for design leaders."
—Alastair Simpson, Vice President of Design, Dropbox
"As scaled businesses increase their investment in design, it is more important than ever to understand and articulate the business value of enterprise design programs. Packed with practical real-world insights, Design Leadership Ignited is a clear and comprehensive resource for an emerging generation of design leaders."
—Doug Powell, Vice President of Design, IBM
"The most pragmatic, practical and insightful approach to understanding contemporary design leadership. Drawing on decades of knowledge in the field, this book is an essential read for aspiring design leaders and business leaders wishing to deliver excellence through design."
—Rachel Cooper OBE, Distinguished Professor of Design Management and Policy, Lancaster University
"A seminal and timely piece substantiating design leadership in the era of rethinking the future. Abound with enlightening thoughts and practice-oriented insights about design leadership as the differentiating force of change, this is a must read for all to build design as a core competency for the twenty-first century."
—Edmund Lee, Senior Consultant & Former Executive Director, Hong Kong Design Centre
"Complex organizations with increasingly overlapping boundaries between business and design require a different kind of design leadership, and this book provides the right insights to deliver it."
—Deborah Dawton, Chief Executive Officer, Design Business Association