CEOS Are Designers

27 oct. 2013

"The job of the CEOS and the job of the DESIGNERS is almost identical"

As a strategic designer with more than 25 years of experience, I have worked for many clients, brands, companies in different positions and scenarios. I have professionally lived and proudly survived to the fascinating evolution of humanity (markets, tecnology, mindsets) in the last decades. I have personal and professional evolved my capacities and knowledge to multiples realities by being flexible and envision next evolutions: My leit motive has been embrace with passion every change as an opportunity to learn and grow, understand and be part of the world I live in. 

As a creative director and strategic designer, I have met and worked with and for all types of managers, designers and CEOS and I've experienced, learned from them (and suffered also) different types of leaderships over the last decades. As a first hand observer of the multiple roles of CEOS, managers and designers in my area of expertise over the years -marketing communications, creative direction, design, technology- and their impact and results on brands, teams, companies, people, society, I can asure you that one thing remains: The profile of a great leader, a great CEO and a great designer are almost identical. Keith Yamashita describes it wonderfully in his interview below and I completly subscribe it: I launched a year ago my second blog CEOS ARE DESIGNERS.

Keith Yamashita Interview transcription:

"Managers are defined by the knowledge they know: Leaders are defined by the questions they are willing to ask. Great leadership is about exploring things, exploring areas you don't know; Great companies depend on being constantly curious about things you don't know and being willing to challenge status quo. what it is interesting about what we do as a living, what great designer and great ceos have in common,  is that you have to inquired about the status quo,  push things, and this requires that you think: thinkings is the greatest gift we have but as leaders we  use so little in our day to day, because the 
pace of the world has become so quick, so fast, that it is devalued what thinking is about.
We are about reconnecting people to the thoughtful work of who are you (as a company) , what is you indream character and how  you need to to live up to that character to be a great company.

One thing I've been exploring is the relationship between great CEOS and great designers: It turns out that CEOS are the best DESIGNERS. What do I mean by that?

CEOS have to deal with ambiguity, change a path forward, help imaging something it doesn´t exist, and yet, they need to be grounded in reality and take things step by step. If you look at this 5 traits, the job of the CEOS and the job of the designers is almost identical.
So What i've been studing is: What is the mindset of a CEO? and how can  he/she be the shepard of the future of the organization?

When you pair a CEOS with a designer, what they can do together, very few other pairs can do.

Design thinking, as a great term, it is a very  human act: Imagining something that doesn't exist yet  and using the power of design to ensable all the thing and all resources you need to make it a reality.

When finding that great design is equal parts courage, equal parts challenging the status quo, and equal parts imagination, and when you get these 3 parts right as a leader is when you make remarcable things as a leader in this planet"

Thank you Kevin Morris for sharing this great video wtih me!

Storytelling Our Vision Of The University Of The Future

6 oct. 2013

I'm going to briefly tell you the story of my last six years of professional practice as Head of Students Communication at the Corporate department of an international higher education institution: The underlying goal of all of our efforts is helping people become the best they want to be. And yes, as a marketing department, part of our job is help our company grow and achieve its business goals, but always with responsability, respect for our students, their values and ours. They are the future, and we know it.

Tu Mejor Yo | Your Best You

Building For The Future: What Is Strategic Design?

Let me share with you this amazing and revealing text written by HDL (Helsinki Design Lab) that explains perfectly the role of designers embedded within organizations as managers. Thank you guys! 

"Traditional definitions of design often focus on creating discrete solutions—be it a product, a building, or a service. Strategic design applies some of the principles of traditional design to "big picture" systemic challenges like health care, 

education, and climate change. It redefines how problems are approached, identifies opportunities for action, and helps deliver more complete and resilient solutions. Strategic design is about crafting decision-making.
This works best when design is integrated into the DNA of organizations, creating new opportunities for designers with a strategic aptitude to migrate from studios and ateliers to integrated positions, embedded within organizations and governments.
Helsinki Design Lab seeks to expand the practice of design beyond of the realm of cultural affairs. Although many of us have backgrounds in architecture or other fields of traditional design, HDL's work is focused on honing the skill set and mindset of the designer to help solve the challenges faced by the interdependent world.
We believe the strategic designer to have three core competencies:


Because key decision makers sometimes only see the parts rather than the whole of a problem, they may be blind sided by the unintended consequences of their choices. The naturally integrative approach of design helps illuminate the complex web of relationships— between people, organizations, and things—to provide a holistic point of view.
By working across different areas of expertise, strategic design outlines the “architecture of the problem,” highlighting key opportunities for improvement in all aspects and outcomes of a problem.


The switch from Roman to Arabic numerals allowed the West to handle numerical complexity in an unprecedented manner, causing a profound transformation of civilization.
Today, the challenges we face have reached a new level of complexity and uncertainty, for which spreadsheets and other familiar analytical tools are insufficient.
Fluent in visual representation, the strategic designer uses this skill as an important and iterative means of communicating complex, even contradictory, relationships—which would be difficult or impossible to explain in text and numbers alone.



Good ideas are easy to come by: implementing the right ones is not. In recent years, the emphasis on “design thinking” has powerfully demonstrated the value of applying creativity in a business context.
But successful design is not only about creative thinking. It also involves implementation and ensuring that key ideas maintain their integrity during that process. Designers must be involved over the duration of change processes, providing constant expertise and feedback to identify, test, and deliver durable solutions".

by HDL (Helsinki Design Lab) 

Design Thinking in Action © All rights reserved · Theme by Blog Milk · Blogger