Thought Partnership

Helping Design Leaders be their Best Selves

Heads of Design often have no one to turn to—neither their bosses nor peers have design backgrounds. I fill that gap through deep 1-on-1 conversations that help Heads of Design tackle their trickiest challenges. I made a brief video to showcase the topics in recent discussions:

Working with me, you accelerate your thought processes, and make decisions with far greater confidence. 

Clients include:


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Organization Design

Think of me as a management consultant with a focus on Design Organizations. Companies contract me for a range of organization design needs, which I fulfill either on a defined-project basis or as an embedded member of your team.
Contact me about Design Organizations

Design Organization Assessment

For Org Design for Design Orgs, I developed the 12 Qualities of Effective Design Organizations. Through conversation and observation, I use this as a tool for assessing the maturity and sophistication of your design organization against a variety of factors. Coming out of this work, we’ll identify a number of steps to be taken to make your design team more effective.

Design Organization Planning

As companies increasingly invest in building in-house design teams, they often don’t know how best to grow these organizations. What are the various roles and functions? What should be the balance between junior, senior, and management? How will the design organization best align with peer functions?

I’ve built numerous organizations, and counseled others on many more. Drawing from this experience, I can help you chart your path forward and develop a org plan with confidence.

Recruiting and Hiring Practices and Processes

There’s a global war for design talent, and attracting great candidates is extremely difficult. Yet, most companies get in their own way and making the situation worse.

I will revamp your recruiting and hiring practices from top-to-bottom: role definitions and job descriptions; strategies for sourcing candidates; best practices for initial outreach; a smart and sane interviewing process that respects everybody’s time; committing to that final hiring decision and presenting an attractive offer.

Career Ladders and Professional Development

Once you’ve hired someone, it’s crucial that you do everything you can to retain them. At the heart of keeping top talent is providing clear growth paths, supporting team members as they mature. I’ve helped numerous companies create flexible career architectures that enable professional development that best suits each team member’s needs and desires. 


Design Leadership

Design leaders emerge from practitioner backgrounds, and often struggle fulfilling their new roles, as the skills that helped them succeed as a designer are not those that will help them lead and manage others.

Having lead teams for 20 years, I know these challenges firsthand. And I’ve worked hard to develop my ‘craft’ of design leadership. I will work with you to figure out how best to realize leadership potential within your design organization. Approaches include training and workshops, leadership assessment, and ongoing coaching and advising.

Contact me about Design Leadership