Gaining Respect as a Design Thinker
Presented by Dave Holston
Designers have long decried the lack of respect they receive in business circles. Much of this comes from perceptions about what designers actually do. Often regarded as decorators, designers have historically been underutilized. But it's becoming clear; designer's ability to problem solve and innovate are skills that businesses need.


As marketing guru Philip Kotler once said, “Design is a potent strategy tool that companies can use to gain a substantial competitive advantage. Yet most companies neglect design as a strategy tool. What they don’t realize is that design can enhance products, environments, communications and corporate identity.


So how do designers get their business partners to think of them as strategic thinkers as opposed to a pair of hands? Much of it has to do with four basic rules; speak the language of the organization, stay focused on the business, consistently communicate design value, and work transparently.


About Dave Holston

For the past 25 years, Dave worked in public affairs, marketing, advertising, communication planning and design management for leading organizations including General Electric, Martin Marietta, Lockheed Martin, The University of Texas and the Georgia Institute of Technology – helping them take a strategic design approach that integrates organizational goals, internal and external analysis and implementation. When he's not thinking about communication and design he can be found playing old blues tunes on his National Steel guitar.


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