Leadership By Design 2019

Learn design leadership from the experts at Leadership by Design 2019.

Leadership By Design 2021 is an online 2-day conference focused on all aspects of design leadership.

On Thursday & Friday, August 8th & 9th, we’re hosting a two-day, single-track conference featuring inspiring keynote speakers, accomplished design leaders, and experienced professionals from major brands and organizations.

For 2019, we’re adding optional workshops on Wednesday, August 7th (workshops are a separate, additional cost from the conference itself) to help hone your leadership skills. More information soon!

Event Details
Speakers
Karen VanHouten
Karen VanHouten
Senior Director of Product Strategy
Infobeans
A curious skeptic and expert snark, Karen has a deep love for beautiful messes fostered over 20 years of work in UX and product.
Helen Keighron
Helen Keighron
Fractional Design Executive
Helen Keighron is a fractional design executive and startup advisor focused on helping SaaS companies of all sizes unlock the business value of design and avoid common scaling pitfalls.
Maria Pereda
Maria Pereda
Director of Product Design
Clio
Maria leads design at Clio, helping increase access to justice while improving the lives of lawyers. Previously, she’s led teams at Roadmunk, Schoology, Critical Mass and GE.
Susan Salvi
Susan Salvi
Writer, Actor, Speaker
Independent
Originally from (sincerely) wonderful Pittsburgh, Sue Salvi is an actor, improvisor, and writer who now lives in Chicago.
Megan Kellie
Megan Kellie
Writer, Actor, Improviser, Illustrator
Independent
Megan Kellie is a writer, actor, improviser and illustrator. She lives in Chicago where she regularly repurposes cardboard and goes to Blick.
Chris Avore
Chris Avore
Vice President & Head of Design
Northwestern Mutual
Chris is a Vice President, Head of Design who leads teams, drives product strategy, and helps executives understand the value of design. He has championed design, research, and content strategy to improve the services people use every day in organizations of all sizes and industries around the globe.
Anne Hjortshøj
Anne Hjortshøj
Senior Director of User Experience
CarGurus
Anne Hjortshoj is a product design leader with an accidental specialty in spinning up new teams. During her 20+ year career, she’s successfully led design and product teams in industries as disparate as automotive, cybersecurity, online education, financial services, politics, and advertising.
Jamila Parham
Jamila Parham
Owner
The Tech Unicorn
Jamila is very active in Chicago’s Tech Community as a STEM Advocate and Diversity and Inclusion champion. You will find her speaking on panels, working with teachers and students and uplifting her community.
Scott Berkun
Scott Berkun
Author & Speaker
Scott Berkun is a bestselling author and popular speaker on creativity, philosophy, culture, business and many other subjects. He’s the author of seven books, including The Myths of Innovation, Confessions of a Public Speaker, and The Year Without Pants.
Todd Zaki Warfel
Todd Zaki Warfel
Executive Coach
As an executive coach, Todd Zaki Warfel works with individuals and companies who are interested in personal growth, leadership development, and organisational transformation.
Andrea Mignolo
Andrea Mignolo
Executive Coach
Andrea is a designer who has been exploring interactions between humans and technology for the last fifteen years. Her research interests center around the role of reflective practices in organizational design and development.
Eduardo Ortiz
Eduardo Ortiz
Co-Owner & CEO
Coforma
Eduardo is a designer and an engineer. He has over 17 years of experience working as a software engineer, information architect, and user experience designer.
Emileigh Barnes
Emileigh Barnes
VP of Design
Rocket Central
Emileigh Barnes is a poet and design strategist.
Jennifer Tress
Jennifer Tress
Author, You're Not Pretty Enough
Verge Talent Partners
Jen Tress loves helping people and organizations realize their potential. She’s the author of You’re Not Pretty Enough, which sparked a self-esteem movement for women and girls, and was featured in Marie Claire, The Washington Post, and the Netflix series The Mortified Guide.
Pasha Moore
Pasha Moore
Founder & Principal
Holland Taucher Consulting Group
Pasha Moore is the founder of Holland Taucher Consulting Group (HTCG), a full-service political and not-for-profit fundraising and event planning firm. Pasha covers all aspects of fundraising and strategy, with a focus on major donor cultivation and corporate partnerships; event production and execution; public affairs and advocacy in various roles.
Christian Spinillo
Christian Spinillo
Co-Founder
VoiceSquared
Christian, a New Jersey native, is an award-winning technology leader, previously holding leadership roles at multiple start-ups and award-winning advertising agencies like Crispin Porter + Bogusky and Doner.
Hope for the Day
Hope for the Day
Non-Profit Organization
Hope for the Day
Suicide is a preventable mental health crisis. The primary obstacle to suicide prevention is the silence of stigma. Stigmas are social and cultural factors that try to dictate how we express ourselves and compel individuals to be silent on their internal experiences.
Stephen P. Anderson
Stephen P. Anderson
Founder
The Mighty Minds Club
Stephen P. Anderson is a speaker and author who spends too much time thinking about visual collaboration, how people learn, and board games; not necessarily in that order. Oh, and he’s on a mission: To make learning the hard stuff fun, by creating ‘things to think with’ and ‘spaces’ for generative play.
Schedule

Have you ever tried to be the leader someone else expected? Found yourself not measuring up to expectations—either your own or someone else’s? Ever asked the question “How do I become a better leader?”

Whether you’re transitioning into a new role or have been managing teams for years, design leadership comes with a unique set of challenges. In this half day workshop, we’ll tackle the most common questions and challenges faced by today’s design leaders. You’re guaranteed to walk out of this workshop with your very own leadership playbook ready to tackle new leadership challenges.

Participants will take away: Principles and techniques for becoming a more effective leader Personal leadership values and vision How and when to adjust your leadership style (situational leadership) Leadership roles for both individual contributors and managers Identifying and developing leaders within your team.

From the outside, high performing teams, particularly highly collaborative and innovative ones, seem to demonstrate an innate chemistry and the ability to harness the power of serendipity. But the truth is, successful teams are incredibly deliberate and intentional about how they work. Culture, processes and best practices should be designed with as much care as the products and services we build. And, while there are certain essential characteristics common to successful teams, the unique challenges of our work context and our project needs also require a team uniquely optimized for those situations.

Every experience is designed, including our team experience. In this workshop, we’ll explore how we can use design tools to design better ways of working. Based on the challenges of your projects and the skills and traits of your amazing team members, we’ll look at how you’d like the team to evolve and articulate specific goals that can be measured. We’ll define an MVP approach to help you develop small experiments for opportunities and interventions that will help you establish new, more effective patterns of communicating and collaborating.

1 hour lunch break.

Have you ever tried to be the leader someone else expected? Found yourself not measuring up to expectations—either your own or someone else’s? Ever asked the question “How do I become a better leader?”

Whether you’re transitioning into a new role or have been managing teams for years, design leadership comes with a unique set of challenges. In this half day workshop, we’ll tackle the most common questions and challenges faced by today’s design leaders. You’re guaranteed to walk out of this workshop with your very own leadership playbook ready to tackle new leadership challenges.

Participants will take away: Principles and techniques for becoming a more effective leader Personal leadership values and vision How and when to adjust your leadership style (situational leadership) Leadership roles for both individual contributors and managers Identifying and developing leaders within your team.

From the outside, high performing teams, particularly highly collaborative and innovative ones, seem to demonstrate an innate chemistry and the ability to harness the power of serendipity. But the truth is, successful teams are incredibly deliberate and intentional about how they work. Culture, processes and best practices should be designed with as much care as the products and services we build. And, while there are certain essential characteristics common to successful teams, the unique challenges of our work context and our project needs also require a team uniquely optimized for those situations.

Every experience is designed, including our team experience. In this workshop, we’ll explore how we can use design tools to design better ways of working. Based on the challenges of your projects and the skills and traits of your amazing team members, we’ll look at how you’d like the team to evolve and articulate specific goals that can be measured. We’ll define an MVP approach to help you develop small experiments for opportunities and interventions that will help you establish new, more effective patterns of communicating and collaborating.

Announcements and gratitude, schedule for the day, and general information about the event.

In this powerful talk, STEM advocate and tech leader, Jamila Parham shares her story to inspire audiences to seize their maximum potential, champion tech equity and move beyond inspiration to actionable change.

To be effective, to be inspiring, to drive results, leaders need a strategy for building and maintaining relationships. As practitioners, we spend our careers perfecting our craft. Until the day we’re promoted to a “leadership position,” and suddenly craft expertise isn’t enough to get things done.

Of course we still need our skills. And we need organizational influence just as much. Good work alone doesn’t speak for itself, as rarely does speaking for yourself alone.

It’s that right balance of craft and influence that is the difference between becoming Paul Revere and becoming William Dawes.

Who was William Dawes?

Exactly.

15 minute break.

It can be a struggle to make the practice of design truly influential. Between engaging with engineering methodologies, negotiating the boundaries of design ownership with product management, and arguing for the value of design-led business decisions (not to mention managing their own people), design leaders find it difficult to gain ground for their team.

There are approaches you can learn from and/or use to train your team to detect and leverage underlying organizational systems by tuning in to competing goals and process nuances. Armed with this—and a healthy sense of collaboration and allyship with other groups—your sharks can achieve influence in their own right and magnify yours.

1 hour and 5 minute break.

This January, I challenged myself to go the entire year without purchasing clothes. If I wanted some new pants or shirt, I had to make it myself. The kicker? I did not know how to sew. That’s right, I needed to start from scratch in a new field, or the only new clothes I would have would be the emperor’s.

I’ve been a designer for over 15 years and sometimes it’s easy to forget how it feels to be a beginner. It’s both unnerving and exciting at the same time. Learn about my successes, failures, and unexpected learnings making my own clothes for the past year.

This is not a threat. It’s an informative reminder. Join us for a reading of the book by the author and illustrator, who will likely be wearing bird hats in spite of the fact that this is a grown up event. We’ll touch on the importance of resilience and the gift of being able to control our reactions to things we have no control over.

Should I stay or should I go? When chaos reigns supreme in our organizations and the layers of systems that exist within them, it can negatively impact our own experience and the experience of the people we manage. When that happens, we start to question whether we’re in the right place, even when we love our teammates and our work. But is the grass necessarily greener elsewhere?

There are plenty of reasons for organizational chaos: bureaucratic structures and politics, limited vision, guidance and clarity, and poor processes are some of the biggest challenges we face. Trying to navigate organizations when chaos abounds is stressful, and often leads to burnout.

Fortunately, there are ways to manage through this before burnout happens—to you or your team. I’ve spent over 20 years researching and working with all types of organizations—from publicly traded companies to nonprofits to governments and everything in between to uncover four key methods to analyze your experience, disrupt it, and make empowered choices moving forward.

30 minute break.

Stepping into leadership positions heralds a change in our roles and responsibilities, and often includes a shift from hands-on design to more strategic and operational management. At this level our success depends on a thorough understanding of the business and partnering with departments across the organization. But what does design look like when we’re no longer designing products and services? What are we designing?

As we navigate these new realms it can be hard to find the language to bridge the logic of business with the sensemaking of design. How can we be good business partners and designers? Faced with a lack of intelligibility between the two realms it can feel like we have to choose one or the other. Together we’ll explore the relationship between business and design, examine ways to resolve tensions between the two realms, and check out a new lens through which to understand the value of design.

Even with a grand seat at the table, big decisions hinge on two overlooked factors 1) who at the table has the most power? and 2) how can they be influenced? Designers notoriously overlook how their lack of political acumen cripples their ability to make good design happen. But fear not: this fast paced talk based on the critical situations that impact designers teaches a situational playbook for turning things around.

Everyone wants to hire great talent. But how do we define great? Does that change over time? How do you know you’re recruiting and hiring the right people? How do you retain and develop talent, giving your team meaning, purpose, and ownership?

In the Design Career Journey, we’ll explore a framework for recruiting, retaining, and developing top talent—including the common question of “Should I go into management?”

Everyone wants everything, and they want it their way. Sometimes, it feels like you’re choosing your battles on a daily basis–from working with humans who have different motivations to trying to meet seemingly impossible goals with even more impossible deadlines.

I’m not going to tell you I’ve seen it all, however, I am going to tell you that as a political fundraiser, I’ve seen a lot, I’ve been underestimated a lot, and I’ve exceeded a lot of expectations. I’ve even stood my ground when it could have been easier to take a different path!

We’ll explore approaches to making choices based on the right reasons and for the right causes; maximizing your resources; and how to ultimately hold that chosen hill when it’s time to dig in. I’ll share my approach to isolating the factors worth considering and negotiating the best outcomes based upon the constraints you’ve been dealt–and how to make everyone feel like they’re winning something, even when it requires both sides giving up a little.

30 minute break.

Sometimes you ask for something for so long that you’re not quite sure what to do with it once you get it. Many design leaders now find themselves with more responsibility, greater influence, and improved autonomy to lead their practices as they see best–and all while under the watchful eye of people who were willing to take the risk (and who also might not be willing to see it fail even the slightest). It’s a lot–there are relationships to manage across teams and departments, leadership to manage and keep informed of progress, and then the Human Resources obligations that frequently feel less-than-human and that take more time than anyone every thought.

When we understand how to scale our teams (up AND down), how to elevate our design maturity within our practices and within the organization, we can set ourselves up to better succeed as design leaders. These aren’t new challenges–they’re only new to us, and there are approaches to explore from successes and failures within the design industry and from those who came before us, as well as those who are alongside us now.

The Things We Don’t Say workshop is a program designed to teach individuals how to understand self-care and be supportive to proactive mental health care for others. We press the discussion about stigma, its impact on individuals and communities, and teach practical skills for early recognition of mental health challenges that often go unaddressed due to the silence of stigma, building to a crisis stage. Through Peer-to-peer Proactive Prevention, we can disrupt the highest risk factors before the crisis stage.

When we interview for a new role, design leaders frequently are not screened and evaluated the way other leaders in a company might be. In my most recent search, I tapped into a vast network of other design leaders and solicited their best advice. I leveraged their advice so effectively that well-known companies fought for me based on my skills as a leader, not a maker.

When design leaders search for new opportunities we are confronted with a market that doesn’t know where to place us internally or how to hire us. We face well-intentioned yet naïve requests for artifacts and exercises, all while being evaluated by people who don’t know what good design leadership looks like. I’ll regale you with tales from my experiences so we can all learn to elevate the design leadership hiring process!

Years of 80+ hour weeks finally took their toll on me, and I lost complete control of my bipolar, and subsequently who I was. I forgot that my good fortune as the son of a 15-year-old Italian immigrant exposed me to a connection with food and the earth seldom found in this country. I knew that I needed to get back to having my hands in the dirt and growing my food. Fast forward to farming 35+ hours a week while still holding down a VP level position at a leading start-up, and six years later running a farm with my wife and son.

Ham Sweet Farm is now a 30 member meat CSA, which stands for Community-Supported Agriculture, and one of a handful of small farms across the country working to preserve and save the American Guinea Hog, a heritage hog breed considered “threatened” by The Livestock Conservancy. In addition to the CSA, you’ll find Ham Sweet Farm pork on menus from anywhere from mid-Michigan to Chicago.

The foundation for good work is established by creating an environment that sets people up for success. We all need to be held accountable while being creatively stimulated and having strong guidelines around our work ethics and habits, and how we work together, regardless of our location.

As leaders, we’re responsible for establishing this foundational bedrock. We’ll explore a series of thoughtfully designed pillars that you can use as your foundation to enable the full potential of your teams to be realized.

30 minute break.

When confronted with challenges, whether professional or personal, we often ask some variation of this question: “How do I do [this scary, difficult, yet necessary thing] without actually having to experience any discomfort or take any risks?” As a speaker and design leader, I get asked some version of this question every time I give a talk or work with new team struggling to change.

Obviously, the answer is: you can’t. There is plenty of discussion right now of the necessity of getting comfortable with discomfort, but very little actual guidance on how that process works. Instead, we hear tales of transformation that follow a vague formula of initiating events, challenges faced, victories won. These stories can be inspiring, but beyond that, they don’t provide much help for people struggling to take the leap out of their comfort zone. Without any practical guidance, many people hesitate and wait, static and stagnant, choosing to be careful instead curious.

I’ll outline a step-by-step approach for pushing outside our comfort zones and expanding our experiences. I’ll start by contrasting the perception of how our comfort zones serve us with the very different reality of how they work against us. I’ll blast through the most common excuses we have for staying put versus moving forward. We’ll explore simple, tactical ways to push through our resistance, move past our fears, and nurture the courage to design better relationships and make more authentic choices, in our careers, and our lives.

Changing times require new kinds of leadership. This talk will explore “Facilitating Structures”, a different lens for all we do—especially as designers and design leaders, where our role increasingly resembles that of an educator, as we work through and with cross-disciplinary teams. Stephen P. Anderson will share the learning journey he’s been on and why it’s time to reboot how we think about shaping organizations.

Event Details
Sponsors
June 2024
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