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Creative Leadership (Vol30 No2)

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Creative Leadership

Once again, our DMI authors don’t disappoint as they share their thoughts on creative leadership from multiple
points of view.

The role of a creative leader has evolved, and continues to evolve today. Creative leaders sit in a unique position, balancing left-brain and right-brain issues. If given the opportunity, they can bring disparate organizational groups and departments together using their unique skills and abilities. Many of these leaders have a background in design; some, however, do not. Around the world, large, mostly financial- or engineering driven companies have been snapping up design firms. (If you can’t build it—quickly—buy it!)

Some elevate the creative leader’s title to Chief Design Officer, or they make the leader a “Partner.” It is an acknowledgement that creative leaders are valued more and more in many sectors of the world.

There are contrasting stories recounted here, from Norway to Bulgaria. Some leaders are given the freedom and flexibility to do what they do best (imposing what Rama Gheerawo calls “the three values”: creativity, empathy, and clarity), while others continue to face resistance, especially around funding and trusting them to do the job they were hired to do. (Read Nigel Munro-Smith’s article on overcoming barriers.)

We also have thoughts on some intriguing new frontiers, such as what transpires when design meets neuroscience: This has the possibility of bringing about major new insights into a whole world of perceptions.

Many thanks to DMI Advisor Rama Gheerawo, at the Royal College of Art, for his insights and leadership in bringing this theme to life.


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Issue Information

President's Letter
Carole Bilson, President, DMI


Creative Leadership: Transforming Individuals and Organizations
By Rama Gheerawo

What makes for a great leader? Empathy, clarity, and creativity—and don’t forget joy.


Overcoming the Barriers to Creative Leadership
By Nigel Munro-Smith
Creative leadership sounds like an idea nobody could object to—until you try to embed it into a typical risk-averse organization.


Notes on Designer Entrepreneurs and “The Geppetto Effect”
By Jose Aldo Valencia Hernandez and Alison Pearce
When designer entrepreneurs fall in love with their designs, the perfect can become the enemy of the good.


Future Directions: Design Meets Neuroscience
By Melanie Flory and Ninela Ivanova
A designer and a neuroscientist join forces and discover a whole new world.


Creative Leadership: Embedding Global Ideas in a Local Context
By Ivelina Gadzheva
A Bulgarian designer tackles her country’s attitude about “design as art or product-making” with a humancentered approach to big issues like health and ageing.


Building the Veterans Experience Office: CX and the Public Sector
By Barbara C. Morton and Lee Becker
Building leadership at the Veterans Administration—with the help of human-centered design.


The Design Insiders: Profiling in-house design within Scotland’s top companies
By Iain Aitchison, Sam Dunne, and Esther Steiner

A look at the microcosm of in-house designers and what their corporate roles are in one first-world, successful country.


Inclusive Design and Creative Leadership
By Onny Eikhaug
Norway, where inclusive design is recognized as a profitable and effective philosophy, is finding that it also pays dividends in terms of innovation.

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Featured Members
Kevin BethuneKevin Bethune is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of dreams • design + life

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