《Design Leadership》读书总结

NO1. 《Culture》 Key Takeaways

  • Culture is definitely a high priority for successfully run design businesses.
  • To create culture, leaders need to construct the container and fill it with the right people. The container is made of the vision and values of the organization.
  • Healthy cultures can be thought of as learning cultures, which have a growth mentality and a desire to challenge themselves.
  • You can’t create culture with ping-pong tables and beanbags.
  • The people in your organization have the biggest influence on the culture.
  • Even though you can’t control every aspect of the culture, don’t ignore it.
  • Healthy culture appears to increase staff retention and loyalty.
  • Team structures influence company culture. Select and combine teammates carefully.
  • Teams with mature attitudes toward personal growth are more likely to create a healthy culture.
  • Growing successful teams and people is the ultimate goal of the design leader.

No.2 《Talent》Key Takeaways

  • A talent pipeline is just like a sales pipeline — invest in it constantly.
  • Hire people who are smarter than you.
  • When possible, hire people with great soft skills and train the hard skills.
  • Diversity adds to the creativity and wisdom of the team.
  • Coachable people are often better than knowledgeable people.
  • Hiring young or inexperienced people isn’t always a cost saving.
  • Hire when capacity is consistently at its maximum, but not before.
  • Consider freelancers to buffer for the ups and downs of your business cycles.
  • Apprenticeships are invaluable and an alternative to expensive recruiting models.
  • Apprentice programs can be great talent pipelines and profit centers.

No.3 《Office Space and Remote Working》Key Takeaways

  • There are no black-and-white solutions to physical space — they are more like shades of gray.
  • Successful office layouts tend to have healthy combinations of both open and closed, as well as casual and formal spaces.
  • The company’s personality and brand should be allowed to shine through in the choice of location, space layout, and decor.
  • When moving to a new location, consider how that will affect culture, and try to preserve the elements that work.
  • Something as simple as providing extra seats for staff to engage in informal conversation around desks can increase communication between team members.
  • Don’t be afraid to move people around the office from time to time. This allows new connections between team members to be created.
  • Remote teams need frequent and routine communication to stay bonded and aligned.
  • Hiring people that are already good self-managers makes remote working easier.

NO.4 《Personal Growth and Finding Balance》Key Takeaways

  • If you are the leader, then your primary customer is your team.
  • Having personal and professional purpose gives your growth strategies focus and clarity.
  • Leaders invest in people and processes to keep distractions at bay.
  • Surround yourself with advisors and mentors that provide insight into areas of growth.
  • Most leaders need to constantly be developing their soft skills, like negotiation, presentation, and conflict resolution.
  • Protect your personal and family time by communicating to your team when you’ re unavailable. Use your calendar to book this time before it’s too late.
  • Use design strategies to design an ideal life. Mapping out your days, weeks, months, and years gives you amazing amounts of control over your time.
  • Exercise is the primary method for reducing stress and building reserves for a busy schedule. Walking, running, cycling, and yoga top the list of activities.
  • Carving out time specifically to spend time with friends and family is considered by design leaders to be a critical part of a harmonious life.
  • Work partnerships can be the source of harmony or stress. Find partners that complement your strengths and weaknesses so there’s balance among you.
  • Life comes in waves. Use the ebbs to recharge for the times when things will be busy.

No.5 《Planning for the Future》Key Takeaways

  • Great plans first require a clear vision, guiding principles, values, and action steps.
  • Creating plans allows you to focus the business activities and avoid distractions.
  • Planning is a team sport. Get help from partners, advisors, mentors, and team members.
  • The future is ambiguous so plans never survive intact. Make plans that are flexible enough to adjust to an ever-changing future.
  • Planning for the future is often about finding a way to keep a culture that works.
  • Big goals are worth getting up for but can only be achieved when you have clear plans.
  • Companies and teams don’t grow linearly. Plan for spurts of fast growth with slow periods in between.
  • Long-term planning is not fashionable, but it’s still the best approach to return value to the company and the team.

No.6 《Leadership Style》Key Takeaways

  • Create an environment where failures can lead to personal and professional growth.
  • Being a teacher-style leader to your team can be a good way to become a student.
  • Lead by example. Get your hands dirty, but don’t forget to also delegate.
  • Nobody wants a micromanager. Find ways to return authority and create trust.
  • One-on-one meetings are something you shouldn’t delegate. The feedback is too valuable.
  • Regardless of your style, ultimately it needs to motivate and empower your team.
  • Being a good communicator also means encouraging good communication.
  • Leadership means being considered as a part of the team and still being able to maintain your status as the leader.

No.7 《Sales and Marketing》Key Takeaways

  • Sales and marketing can’t be seen as separate activities. They are linked. at every step.
  • Successful design leaders think of themselves as their team’s primary marketing and sales representative.
  • Transparency about process, skills, challenges, and insights is now considered the norm. No more black-box methodologies and processes.
  • Developing sales skills is possible for almost anyone as long as you have the enthusiasm and passion for your business.
  • Sales, done correctly, is nothing more than a series of conversations about a mutually beneficial relationship and set of outcomes.
  • Relying on referrals and word of mouth isn’t enough. A structured lead-generation process is what drives a healthy pipeline.
  • Developing a sales lens that speaks to your fir’s focus and strengths ensures that sales efforts are dedicated to the right opportunities, and avoids dead-end negotiations.
  • Sales is never done. Even when things are good, it’s necessary to push work into the pipeline.
  • Having said that, be prepared for ebbs and flows. Realize that in spite of consistent efforts, your results will vary month to month and season to season.

No.8 《Learning from Our Biggest Mistakes》Key Takeaways

  • Communication problems tend to be at the root of all project problems. Getting on the same page prevents mistakes.
  • Be empathetic and learn to speak your client’s business language. Don’t just use design jargon.
  • Business is also a creative task. Approaching business like a design project can prevent mistakes and can feel more engaging for design leaders without business training.
  • Mistakes can happen when decision-making powers are not clear. The buck has to stop somewhere.
  • Letting go and delegating gives design leaders more freedom and time to deal with the bigger issues.
  • Building trust with the team is the fastest way to delegating success.
  • Don’t grow for growth’s sake. Being bigger for the purpose of being bigger isn’t a reasonable strategy.
  • Avoid mistakes by developing contracts and documentation to make project expectations clear to everyone.
  • Contracts are also a great fallback when things do go wrong.

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