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. He is the co-author of Liftoff! Practical Design Leadership to Elevate Your Team, Organization, and You! and regularly speaks at major conferences and local meetups regarding topics from design management, scaling design, and design operations.
For more, keep up with Chris on Twitter as @erova.
Leadership By Design 2021
You Can Do It! Leading Through New, Unprecedented Challenges with Patience & Perseverance
Leading and managing design teams might be reaching peak difficulty. With high expectations from the people you support and the managers above you, to the challenges inherent to managing during a pandemic, and now an economy roaring back with unprecedented job movement, many design leaders have questions about their own career paths and how they find value in their day to day roles.
This brief talk highlights some of those challenges many in leadership and management may be encountering, tailored to people at different stages of their career: the successful independent contributor who’s considering managing, the early career manager, experienced managers, and those thinking about moving from a startup to enterprise role or vice versa.
We’ll rely on interviews and conversations with design leaders of varying experience worldwide, and the experience, observations, and screwups encountered when writing the design management book Liftoff!. As a result, we hope to create space for discussion about what’s important to design managers, where ever you may be in your journey.
Leadership By Design 2019
Leveling Up Design Leadership
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.
Leadership By Design 2017: Prototypes, Process & Play
Managing Design Leadership
As more companies invest in design teams to differentiate themselves, the demand for design leadership and management has never been more needed than it is today. But there are several different paths and perspectives to establishing yourself as a design leader, regardless if you manage a team or project—or are even interested in managing people at all.
Gain another lens in which to view design leadership—both in yourself and your team—and learn how to take advantage of the similarities and differences between managing design and design leadership.
Leadership By Design 2015: Prototypes, Process & Play
Advancing Strategic Design Without Going Against the Current
Enable your organization to embrace and profit from the benefits of a design-led work culture.
Culture change is often perceived as long and slow—but that doesn’t mean there aren’t approaches familiar to designers of all experience levels that can be the catalyst for evolving your current workplace culture into one that invites exploration, collaboration, and accountability.
Audiences will learn the techniques they can immediately use to show management the benefits of design to the organization, how design should influence product strategy, and how to help other departments and teams grow their own design expertise, in some cases without even hiring more designers.
Learn how to write concise, communicable vision statements that set the organization’s sights high, how to share research with executives who may not fully understand it, and the methods to scale design’s influence across different teams and into the C-suite.