76 Collaborations / 76 Inspirations
Personal reflections by Tom Lockwood
What is more exciting than 76 trombones leading the big parade? Working with 76 design leaders who lead the design and innovation parade.
As a recruiter I work with design leaders day in and day out. And as president of DMI, the Design Management Institute, from 2006-2011, I worked with design leaders all over the world continuously. Yet, my experience leading 1,400 members in 40 countries, producing 22 design management conferences, editing four books, collaborating with 21 country design councils, and conducting relevant research is just the tip of the iceberg. What lies below the surface, and what is far more meaningful, are the personal relationships I have developed with many of the worlds most talented design leaders. Here is a glimpse at some of my collaborations and inspirations:
Jeremy Alexis, Assistant Dean, IIT, Chicago. I worked with Jeremy, along with Vijay Kumar and their students, to re-imagine the future of DMI. These insights were some of the inspiration in crafting DMI’s strategic intent, “You are connected”, and brand promise “DMI connects design leaders to the knowledge, network and inspiration they need to succeed”.
Kate Arnowitz, When Kate was Director of Design at Facebook, San Francisco, we tried to imagine the best design organization. This led to DMI conferences and ways for FB to connect business strategy and design strategy. This inspires not only me but hopefully their millions of active users too.
Charles Bezerra, PhD, Executive Director, ?What If! Innovation, Brazil. I invited Charles to speak at our conference in London, and we found that we have incredibly similar interests in connecting innovation and corporate culture. He invited me to speak at a design & business conference in Sao Paulo, and we found a tremendous market opportunity to learn about design and innovation management.
Gordon Bruce, Designer, author. Connecticut. We have been design judges for Red Dot design award in Germany and IDSA in America, and have joined as speakers in Beijing and Miami. It’s always an inspiring time to discuss design, leadership, and design culture.
Chris Bedford, President Karo Design, Calgary. As a DMI Advisor, Chris encouraged me to leave my corporate job at Sun Microsystems and become the president of DMI. Good move, great experience!
Kathryn Best, Author, London, England. I had the pleasure of speaking with Kathryn in Shanghai, and also contributing content in her wonderful books about design management. It’s a small world after all.
Robert Blaich, former Chief of Design, Philips Electronics. Bob is one of my early mentors. We would meet, he would talk, and I would listen. I attended 15 or so of the IDCA International Design Conferences in Aspen that he helped organize, and a place I have found inspiration, inspiration and inspiration.
David Butler, VP Innovation, Coca-Cola, Atlanta. We developed a DMI conference together, “M5+D=nV” in Boston with Bruce Nussbaum, and then brainstormed another conference. I think we do a pretty good job of exploring the boundaries of design and stretching our limits.
Valerie Casey, Founder of the Designers Accord, San Francisco. I invited Valerie to discuss design sustainability for DMI, she accepted but later tried to slip out of it. I said “no way”. A few years later she started the Designers Accord. A little prodding can go a long way.
Kyung-won Chunn, professor, KAIST, Seoul., and Vice Mayor, Seoul. An inspiring collaboration, we researched and wrote a case study together about the adoption of design by Samsung, now distributed by Harvard Business school. We hope our work helps MBA students “get it”.
Lucia Chrometzka, Trend Research Consultant, Future Concept Lab, Milan. We were co-chairs together for the DMI conference in Milan, “Facing Changing Realities”, about insights, intuitions and innovation. There is so much to learn from the Italian approach to design.
Joshua Cohen, attorney, RatherPrestia, Pennsylvania. An expert on design patents and IP, I’ve been inspired by the conversations we’ve had while speaking at conferences in Seoul, Beijing and Shanghai. What’s more, he inspires creativity as well as design protection!
Steve Conlon, Design and innovation consultant, Dublin. We serve on the DMI board together, and when a volcano shut down air travel in Europe, Steve offered to take me from Ireland to England in his sailboat to run the DMI conference. Not sure if he was serious, but he was inspired indeed!
Rachel Cooper, Professor, Innovation at Lancaster, England. We co-chaired academic design management conference in Paris, and co-edited the Handbook of Design Management. I am constantly inspired by her breadth of knowledge, coupled with enthusiasm to learn.
Sir George Cox, public servant, former Director of the British Design Council, London. We worked together as judges on the Design Management Europe Award. We critiqued all of the entries, and selected the best in design management by awarding Roca and Virgin, great brands, by design.
Deborah Dawton, Chief Executive, Design Business Association (DBA), London. It seems we are on the same speakers to invite list, as we’ve been invited to speak at conferences together in Beijing, Istanbul, London and New York. I think our shared inspiration about design in business is contagious, and inspiring!
Paul DiMarchi, Executive recruiter, Boulder. Paul is my recruiting partner and mentor; he’s been placing the right C-level executives for over 20 years; I am fortunate to have such an accomplished and inspiring colleague.
Hartmut Esslinger, Founder, Frog Design, San Francisco. We both served on the Design Advisory Council to the city of Shanghai. One time we were there and co-led a student design workshop, I was amazed and inspired by the attention he gave each and every young designer. This is a man of design passion.
Robyn Edman, Chief Executive, Swedish Industrial Design Foundation, Stockholm. We have been design award judges together several times; you can learn a lot about people whilst critiquing design. The thing that always inspires me about working with Robin – he always looks behind the obvious.
Jesse James Garrett, President, Adaptive Path, San Francisco. We co-chaired a DMI design thinking conference in Seattle, “Make it Happen”. Looking into moving from design thinking to design doing is inspiring indeed.
Clive Grinier, Customer Experience Director, Barclays. We co-chaired the DMI conference in London, called “transforming design”. I think we transformed ourselves in the process. Between a volcano delay from the Eyjafjallajökull eruption to a tube strike in London, we still created an absolutely inspiring event.
Lee Green, former VP of Design and User Experience, IBM, and DMI board member. We served n the DMI BOard together, and one time Lee mentioned a business growth strategy of finding “adjacent spaces”. When considering my experience as a design director, content knowledge, and breadth of my global network while running DMI, I realized that recruiting for design and innovation leaders is an adjacent space. Suddenly this made so much sense.
John Guenther, Design Director, Hewlett-Packard, San Francisco. A long time friend and respected guru of high tech industrial design, today John spends most of his time leading UX, interaction and software design strategies. It inspires me how design leaders can adapt to solve the problems at hand.
Chris Hacker, Chief Design Officer, Global Strategic Design Office, Johnson & Johnson. When I needed a co-chair at the last minute to help run a conference, Chris stepped in instantly. He brought a fresh perspective and a fresh commitment to design for sustainability.
Kaaren Hansen, PhD, Vice-President, Design Innovation, Intuit. We collaborated as co-chairs at a design thinking conference, and I found an amazing wealth of knowledge about integrating design thinking into corporate culture. This inspired me with fresh evidence about achieving the vision!
Cathy Huang, President, China Bridge, Shanghai. We have worked together translating DMI work into Mandarin, and organizing design management activities in Shanghai. This helps spread the word about design and innovation in China.
Charles Jones, Chief Design and R&D Officer, Newell Rubbermaid. I get excited every time I think about all that Chuck has accomplished as a head of design, amazing stuff. I help them find great talent, they inspire me, seems to be a win-win.
Frans Joziasse, Founding Partner, PARK Advanced Design Management, Hamburg. Together we created a best-of-class design management workshop for Sony in Tokyo. Between this collaboration and exploring Tokyo … maximum inspiration.
David Kester, As the Chief Executive, Design Council, London, we collaborated as speakers in Seoul to collaborating on design research; the British Design Council and DMI have a long history working together. He inspired me to open the recruiting business, and the unique need for specialized recruiting.
Oliver King, Director/Founder, Engine Service Design, London. I’m fascinated by service design, so we co-developed a DMI conference in London, “Transforming Design”. Interestingly enough we had two runs at it, the first one delayed by the restless volcano in Iceland – which was stronger than a speeding airplane.
Jerome Kathman, CEO, LPK, Cincinnati. We worked together on the brand strategy, platform, positing and identity strategy for DMI, helping to reinvent a 35 year old brand and create a vision and strategy for growth.
Kenneth Kaplan, MIT, Boston. We co-chaired a DMI conference about “Design and Change”. By working with MIT and a few government agencies one thing was for sure, we brought in some new perspectives and inspirations to the innovation agenda.
Tom Kelley, Partner IDEO, author, San Francisco. I hung out with Tom at design conferences long before he helped grow IDEO to the worlds largest innovation firm. He still likes to hang out when he can, with passion that is inspiring every time.
Claudia Kotchka, Innovation consultant, Cincinnati. I admire Claudia’s work at P&G and the dedication to design thinking and hiring a full fleet of design managers; we enjoy discussing this at every time possible.
Michael Laude, head of Design, Bose, USA. As a judge for Red Dot in Germany, I cast my lot to Bose for the design team of the year award. Bose does such beautiful work, consistently winning design awards, but more importantly, consistently making beautiful sound, by design.
Jeanne Leidtka, Professor, University of Virginia—Darden Business School. We are working on a research project to evaluate the influence of design thinking for business executives. It is difficult to pin down, but fascinating insights are emerging.
Stafano Marzano, As Chief Creative Director, Philips Electronics, Eindhoven, we worked together as DMI advisers, but he really first inspired me with a paper he wrote about the future of design called “Flying over Las Vegas”, which was the beginning of Philips position “Sense and Simplicity”. Actually, I can get inspired flying over most anything.
Mary McBride, Dean, Pratt, New York City. When I was a visiting professor at Pratt, Mary is my leader. And the students were my teachers.
John Maeda, When John was the President, RISD, Providence, we collaborated on DMI activities; he always has a fresh perspective, always finds the simple solution, and always is an incredible inspiration.
Roger Martin, The former Dean of Rottman Business School, Univ. of Toronto, Toronto. We co-chaired two design thinking conferences together in San Francisco. We agreed to try to change the world.
Marty Neuimier, Chief Transformation Officer, Liquid, design and brand author, Santa Barbara. We serve together on a Design Advisor Council to a major US corporation. We give them a straight and blunt critique, and they keep asking for more. That’s inspiring.
Dave Norton, President, Stone Mantel, Colorado Springs. Dave runs an amazing experience design practice, as well as seminars at DMI. I enjoy sitting in on them; he inspires me by often asking the simple question – what makes people happy?
Bruce Nussbaum, Author and Professor, Parsons, New York. We spoke together in Seoul, led workshops in NYC, and ran a DMI conference in Providence. We both love to build the value of innovation in business. What more could I ask for?
Edgar Papke, Corporate leadership Coach, Boulder. We are working on research together regarding connecting corporate culture, design and innovation. An amazing combination.
Dev Patanik, CEO, Jump Associates, San Francisco. We co-chaired a DMI conference together “Design, Complexity and Change”. We changed from inviting design speakers, to inviting “design outlookers”. He inspires me about empathy for the customer every time.
Tonya Peck, Director, Global Learning and Development, Frog, Seattle. We envisioned and launched the “Design Leadership” webinar series for DMI, but what really inspires me about working with Tonya is the expertise in team effectiveness and OD practice.
Mauro Porcini, Chief Design Officer, PepsiCo, New York city. We worked together on the DMI Milan conference, and have found ourselves together as speakers in Copenhagen, Stockholm and Milan. Always inspiring, and exudes an amazing passion about design and business.
Robert Prost, Provost, Univ. of Cincinnati. We serve on a design advisory council to a major US corporation. This is truly an open dialog, to challenge the beans and cereal out of the company.
Darrel Rhea, Innovation consultant, Seattle. We have co-chaired two DMI design thinking conferences together in San Francisco, collaborated with government together in Helsinki, and serve on the DMI Board together; always an inspiring experience.
Clive Riox, Past President, IDSA, Industrial Design Society of America, Washington DC. Clive and I continue to collaborate because we have much in common; giant ambitions for the design community to gain a seat at the table and innovate the future. That’s inspiring!
Alison Rieple, Professor, Univ. of Westminster, London. Dr Rieple was my PhD supervisor, so until May 2005 I was under her thumb. I must say, I have never worked so hard, been so driven, or been so inspired. If you love your topic, PhD research can be truly an amazing experience.
Christian Scherfig, As the CEO, Danish Design Council, Copenhagen, we first we met at the furniture design show in New York city, then collaborated on design conferences in Copenhagen, hence, we always seem to have inspiring conversations. And a good time!
Tim Selders, Founding Partner, PARK, Advanced Design Management, Amsterdam. Together we created a workshop called “Design Value for Business Executives” and ran it in Barcelona, Brussels and Vienna. I think we inspired some CEO’s to “get with it” regarding design management.
Seventy-six Trombones. The signature song from the musical play “The Music Man”, 1957. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODu888i14-I Written by Meredith Wilson, the line “76 trombones led the big parade …” captured the hearts of Americana. I wonder if this inspired American Idol?
Marco Steinberg, Director of Strategic Design, The Finnish government innovation fund, Helsinki. Marco invited me to the “Government meets Design” workshop conference in Helsinki, twice. Big issues, big opportunities, and big inspirations.
Bob Schwartz, General Manager, Global Design and User Experience, GE Healthcare, Milwaukee. Bob went from running IDSA, Industrial Design Society of America, to running corporate design organizations; it inspires me to see such a wonderful foundation in non-profit lead to continued goodwill and design advancement in industry.
Jason Schupbach, Design Director, National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, DC. We found our shared passion for design when he was in a government innovation agency in Massachusetts, so when he moved to DC to head up design at the NEA, we had a running start. We both strive to raise the agenda for design and innovation in government.
Samantha Starmer, Manager eCommerce Experience, REI, Seattle. I invited Samantha to speak at a design thinking conference in Seattle, and found an incredibly inspired advocate for integrated user experiences, and how design leaders can help make it happen.
Linda Tischler, Editor, FastCo., New York. Linda encouraged me to guest blog for FastCo. I accepted. My category is called “Design Leadership”. Writing my posts helps me think, push myself, and then think more. This is inspiring.
Cindy Tripp, Marketing Director, Global Design, Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati. Cindy has the awesome responsibility to champion design thinking throughout P&G. Just the fact that this exists inspires me. When we meet briefly, we seem to talk non-stop.
Dori Tunstell, Associate professor of Design Anthropology, Swinburne University, Australia. While in the US Dori spearheaded an initiative to create an American Design Council and asked for my help; a difficult journey but the hope of an incredibly inspiring outcome.
Raymond Turner, Design management consultant, Dublin. Raymond observed that the amount of money spent on design is the greatest sum that the board knows the least about. We’re working to change that.
Roberto Verganti, Professor of Innovation, Politecnico di Milano, Milan. I have given lectures at Roberto’s international innovation and design management course several times. I talk, but mostly I enjoy learning what’s on the minds of serious innovation MBA students in Europe.
Surya Vanka, Design Director, Microsoft, Redmond. We’ve worked together on several DMI conferences, and running my seminar at Microsoft about building great design organizations. But perhaps most inspiring was the day we spent getting lost while shooting photos in little towns in Italy.
Tucker Viemeister, Lab Chief, Rockwell Group, NYC. I invited Tucker (named after the car, parents loved design) to speak about creativity at a DMI conference in NYC. We found mutual interests in creativity, discussed knocking down roadblocks, and well, just great conversations about creativity.
Craig Vogal, Professor, Cincinnati. Craig serves on the DMI research advisory council, and I love including Craig’s ideas in DMI publications, always full of inspiring insights. Keep an eye out, many of his students will be future design leaders.
Helen Walters, consultant at Doblin, New York. Helen is always inspiring with words and ideas. One day I called her from the Seattle airport to discuss a conference idea about increasing the role of design in business. She said, do you mean “how to scale design”? This inspired the DMI 2011 annual conference theme, “Design at Scale” in NYC.
Thomas Walton, past Editor, Design Management Review, Washington DC. We have set the themes, collaborated and reviewed every article for over 20 issues of the DMI Review together. A fascinating way to know who’s who and what’s what.
Watts Wacker, CEO, Futurist, FirstMatter, Connecticut. About ten years ago I discovered Watts at some conference, and so I asked him his opinion about the role of design in the future. He said design will be “hugely important”. Eight years later I invited him to speak at DMI conference, and design is indeed even more “hugely important”!
Robyn Waters, Author, Minneapolis. We collaborated on DMI conferences and workshops. I love bringing trend analysis and cultural insights into innovation planning and business decision-making. This inspires me.
Alan Weber, Author, co-founder of Fast Company, Santa Fe. After collaborating on a DMI conference at MIT, we were both invited to the “Government meets design” workshop in Helsinki. 100 people sat in a big circle for open dialog while he talked. Yep, inspiring.
Patrick Witney, Dean, IIT, Chicago. We enjoy discussing the connection of design methods and innovation. Innovation is actually idea plus users plus design. Easily said, but not so easy to teach.
Dr. Peter Zec, President. Red Dot, Essen. I was a design judge with Peter in Taiwan, and then he invited me to be a design judge for him at the Red Dot design awards in Germany, four times now. Design judging inspires me every time without fail!
Gianfranco Zaccai, CEO Continuum, Boston. Gianfranco and I sat on the DMI Board of Directors for about six years together. We tried stay on task and discuss quarterly reports, policy issues, and so on. But every time our conversations quickly drifted to exploring great design and innovation concepts, and how they can influence business strategy, which makes for much more inspired ideas.