Managing design is an art form, a beautiful orchestrated cultivation of your principles

Design management, the art of managing design, a company expression, a shared believe, a culture. Nurturing your design and the culture will create a trust far greater then the product. Believing in people and their visions can be unbreakable, it becomes an ideology.

There is difference between leading people and managing people in an organization. As a leader, you inspire, as a manager, you cultivate. It’s not a question about choosing, but knowing the difference. As a designer you will need to do both, going through the process, improving your skills, your team and your products. Leadership is not something you can read about and theorize, it’s experienced and embodied through hard work and practical learnings.

As a leader, you inspire by your work, integrity, dedication and the ethics you follow, creating an ideology around you. You can emphasize with your team and relate to their perception, giving them the practical and theoretical insight or aspect they need.

As a manager, you implement work by solid ideas and principles, creating strategies and rules to be followed with the premise; make people understand and support the instructions, let them make it their own, let them take ownership and feel responsible, creating a working culture.

Instructing your team to do better and work harder is neither management nor leadership, its redundant and degrading, in the premise; your team should already live and breath such simple work ethics within a strong team culture. If this is not the case, then revisit your strategies and reboot your team, don’t tell them what to do, show them what to do!

Teaching the Why

Your team is the most important component of the methodology and without a coherent team, who can follow your examples, your team wont evolve.

Picking the right people and creating the right culture around them, will create the necessary conditions for an efficient production flow.

Teaching from within your team, is an easy way to grow your shared knowledge and in the process, strengthening the knowledge of the teacher by his own words.

As an example, an engineer must know why 11 + 11 = 22. We all know it’s 22, even children, but why is it 22, is the question a teacher must ask himself, even in the process of teaching. Otherwise the believe and therein the quality of the knowledge is fragile and neither the student nor the teacher will learn fully from this relationship.

Senior developers has an extensive knowledge, but some of these bits of knowledge might be based on the how and not the why. Teaching and cultivating sharing, within your team, will fill these bits of knowledge to its fullest.

When bits of information is brought to its fullest, edges is defined and can be crossed, bridges can form between bits and they becomes blocks of enlightenment and epiphanies.

The math behind the question why is 11 + 11 = 22, is relative to the numeric base value, based on the algorithm, i = decremental index, s = incremental sum, v = value and b = base.

{ v[i]*bi = s }

Therefore, 11 plus 11 is equal 22, because we use decimal numbers as a standard in modern society, also known as base ten numbers. If we where using binary numbers, also known as base two numbers, 11 plus 11 would be 110.

Gathering resources and inspiration outside your team, is vital to evolving your shared knowledge. If you only rely on your engineers, architects and designer within your team, combined with your own knowledge, your shared knowledge will become static and over time degrade in quality, resulting in blind productions, unaware of the world outside.

Using external resources, innovations and technologies will give you a leap towards your products goals and influence you with new cultural norms and teachings. When you introduce a foreign element to your team, as with new technologies, the culture within the team will either accept it or reject it. The new element is coated in the culture of its producer and you can embrace and learn from that.