18 VIEWS on the definition of Design Management
OW DO WORKING professionals define design management and how do their activities enhance an organization’s day-to-day operations, identity, and business strategies? The executives we asked offered a variety of perspectives and insights. All see design as an essential corporate resource, butthey make their cases in many different ways.
Conventional wisdom tells us that design managers supervise the creators of tangible “things.” These things are often used to fulfill or meet an organization’s TIMOTHY BACHMAN, strategic goals. Yet, the real PRINCIPAL, value offered by design manBACHMAN MILLER agement to an organization GROUP is its consistent orchestration and nurturing of sharedvalues and realities. Thus, a proficiency in how the organization’s resources and assets should be expressed to continuously meet changing consumer and business demands is acquired. Design management effectively masters change. It seizes opportunities to evolve, protect, and build memorable products and corporate identities. It works best when the entire organization adopts, understands, and sharesthe character, values, and promise of the organization’s “genetic code.” This genetic makeup (real-life stories, visual expressions, textual content, products, and service priorities) evolves as intangible and tangible assets that define the organization’s identity. Design management articulates simple explicit and implicit communications that mirror the organization’s values. It nurturesindividual
contributions that accurately express and interpret the organization’s business objectives. Design management is not a departmental or a supervisory role. It is a strategic and purposeful organizing process. Organizations that integrate design management as a continuously reformative activity within their culture easily survive competitive challenges and the subtle cultural and technologicalchanges that cripple reactive organizations.
As a profession, design management strives to initiate and handle design strategies in boardroom decisions and to follow up with implementation and communication. TORSTEN DAHLIN, Design management strives PRESIDENT, to create understanding and SWEDISH INDUSTRIAL awareness among personnel at all DESIGN FOUNDATION levels that conscious actions in eventhe smallest decisions are the core of design management. Design management functions in all places and situations in which the organization, through its structure, products, and employees, makes decisions about customer experiences and product quality.
DESIGN MANAGEMENT JOURNAL
A PROFILE OF DESIGN MANAGEMENT 18 VIEWS ON THE DEFINITION OF DESIGN MANAGEMENT
I could beprofound or practical, but I think I’ll be some of both. I like to think of design as vision. Design communicates where we’ve been, where we are, LIZBETH DOBBINS, or where we want to be. It’s the MANAGER, signpost and guidepost for the CORPORATE BRANDfuture. Design can create comING AND IDENTITY, fort or discomfort, depending on UNITED STATES the goal of its execution. Design POSTAL SERVICE isthe ultimate vehicle to communicate intent. Penultimate design is the execution of leadership vision. I manage design strategically and tactically as a pure and essential element that supports our vision, which is in turn built upon our strategic plan. If the strategic plan changes, then our design work has to change along with the vision. The vision drives our design work. Design can crystallizesenior management’s thoughts and can help them move from the conceptual to the real world of implementation. In a very practical sense, vision needs to be communicated through actions, behaviors, the written word, and sounds, not just through design media. I think that design management is visionary leadership.
product, in this case) to the consumer. That experience over time and through the...