In-house Issues: Our Way Is Better

I have the privilege of speaking and corresponding with other creatives working in corporations practically every day. Some are amazingly passionate about their jobs, smart, savvy, committed and principled, others are cynical, resigned, bitter and defeatist with most falling somewhere in between. But for me, regardless of the story or the designer’s mindset, these conversations are immensely fulfilling and what keeps me involved with our community.


This is because I see myself in all the stories, complaints and successes I hear about. I have a great respect for what I do and I have a great respect for others who are likewise engaged in furthering the practice of design and more importantly the values, behaviors and ways of being it engenders.

As designers practicing our profession in corporations, we don’t just create design artifacts for our companies, we bring with us a way of interacting among ourselves and with others that is, unfortunately, fundamentally different from the way our non-design peers operate in their worlds. And I must add – OUR WAY IS BETTER.

I’m dead serious about this assertion. The way creatives operate in groups is infinitely more healthy, productive, honest, principled and effective than the behaviors and mindsets of what, I’d hazard to say, are the majority of people working in organizations today. You don’t have to look that hard to see evidence of this.

Organizations typically embody attitudes and beliefs that are risk averse, unimaginative, fearful, siloed, political and self-serving. Groups of designers, on the other hand, are driven by innovative, collaborative and objective problem solving behaviors. By supporting internal creative teams, I also support the possibility that these wonderfully authentic and vibrant groups may just change the very way their host organizations operate internally and with the greater community.