Bring Designers into the Boardroom

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The 2018 What Clients Think Report revealed that whilst 90% of businesses believe that design is important for success, only 7% value the input of designers when making strategic decisions in the boardroom. This got us thinking: why is this the case?

To us, diversity at board level can only be a good thing. Many people make the mistake of thinking that designers are purely creatives. Of course, this is a big part of their role. But their job involves problem solving, strategic thinking, and perhaps most importantly of all, being a voice for your business. With these skills and responsibilities, the question is: why shouldn’t designers be involved at board level?

89% of businesses look forward to meetings with their designer
— What Clients Think Report, 2018

Let’s consider the reasons why CEOs and board members may be reluctant to involve designers in their business processes. Boards are often made up of people with experienced backgrounds in law, finance, and sales. Adding a creative into the mix can seem like an intimidating and unfamiliar change. It’s true that a designer will have a completely different background and experience of the world, but this contrasting insight should be welcomed, not feared. They can contribute a unique and fresh and opinion, which in a time where diversity and innovation is at the forefront of business practices, will ultimately benefit the way in which your brand is perceived.  

This notion is echoed by Mat Heinl, CEO at fellow design consultancy Moving Brands. In an article written for Design Week, Mat explains that the value that design can add to a business is often overlooked. He says: “creativity helps define a company’s vision and articulate its purpose”. We couldn’t have put it better ourselves. If this is the responsibility that designers have within a business, it seems only natural to involve them in top level strategic processes.

So how do we change the perception? As a design studio, we feel accountable for contributing to the development of a generation of creatives that feel comfortable with having a position at board level. This starts within our own business. We feel passionate about nurturing the development of skills that equip designers with the confidence to make their voice heard. But they also need people willing to listen. With more and more brands becoming aware of the importance of design in contributing to success (a hefty 89% of businesses cited good design as integral), we're confident that designers will start occupying board level roles in the future.

Let’s all embrace the collaborative power of diversity and see businesses reap the benefits.

See you in the boardroom.