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4 important leadership qualities for a design-driven strategy - Reogroup

4 important leadership qualities for a design-driven strategy

October 16, 2017 by Ali El Droubi

Organisations across all industries are realising the incredible capabilities and benefits of implementing design in their strategy. Design-driven business models have the power to transform entire companies, but getting the whole team on board can be difficult. 

The design concept requires employees to think about problems from new angles that might otherwise not be considered.

In order for design leadership to work, employees must be ready and willing to step up to the challenge. According to design-thinking pioneers Sara Beckman and Michael Barry, the first step towards a successful transformation is identifying and cultivating the following four leadership qualities in your team members.

1. Diverging

Individuals who are good at diverging are able to step away from the situation in order to see multiple viewpoints. This is an integral quality for leaders to have, as the design concept requires employees to think about problems from new angles that might otherwise not be considered.

Those who are good at diverging might have encountered issues in the past when they tried to take an alternate route to solve a problem and were shut down. In order to successfully embrace design leadership, this quality must be encouraged in all employees! 

16 - These four groups of people work together to create a cohesive design-driven team.
Team members who can find creative ways around an issue are integral to design-driven strategy.

2. Converging

Conversely, someone with great converging skills is able to compile ideas and theories for problem solving. These kinds of leaders take the various solutions and ideas proposed by diverging team members and turn them into tangible uses that the team can put into action.

These skills work hand-in-hand – one group brings in the fresh ideas, and the other turns them into something practical.

Diverging and converging skills work hand-in-hand – one group brings in the fresh ideas, and the other turns them into something practical.

3. Assimilating

Employees who are good at assimilating tend to be the best with numbers – these are the guys who can look at a mass of data or other technical information and glean insights from it. From there, assimilators are good at translating that information into solutions that the whole team can understand.

This step is very important to the design process, as such a strategy involves starting from the most raw data and turning it into something useful. Without assimilators, the unprocessed information will be difficult for other members of the team to understand.

16 - These four groups of people work together to create a cohesive design-driven team.
These four groups of people work together to create a cohesive design-driven team.

4. Accommodating

Arguably the most intrinsic of the four qualities, accommodating individuals are great at relaying their hands-on experience. These types of people can be employees who have a wealth of previous experience and have brought it to the table for the switch over to design strategy.

Accommodators are useful because they help turn an otherwise intangible idea into something tangible.

Like some of the other leadership types, accommodators are useful because they help turn an otherwise intangible idea into something tangible. By relating the issue – or solution – to past experiences, or other similar situations, they aid the rest of the team and organisation in understanding how to move forwards.

How can my business implement design-thinking?

Reaching a place where your organisation is relying primarily on design-based strategy is a challenge. It sometimes requires a complete override of previous systems and processes, and this in turn will necessitate a new wave of innovative thinkers, such as the kinds described above.

At Reo, we’re dedicated to helping elevate human potential – whether you’re looking to make the switch to a design-based strategy or undergo financial transformation, we’re here to help. For more information about Reo’s services, reach out to a representative today!


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