Product-service strategy

Case study

Mentoring the next generation of design leaders

  • Mentoring the next generation of design leaders
  • Mentoring the next generation of design leaders
  • Mentoring the next generation of design leaders
  • Mentoring the next generation of design leaders
  • Mentoring the next generation of design leaders

In 2007 the UK’s Design Council asked Plan to design and deliver a programme for senior designers with the potential to become design leaders. The project was funded by the Cultural Leadership Programme and its focus was on leadership and high-level management, rather than design skills.

As Executive Producer, Plan’s Kevin McCullagh developed a programme that combined mentoring, networking, and coaching seminars. A key innovation was a mentoring network which paired future leaders with leaders from other design disciplines (to avoid conflicts of interest). We then helped recruit participants from companies including Virgin Atlantic, Xerox, IDEO and Seymour Powell.

To help introduce the principles and practices of mentoring, we worked with a management coach from the London Business School, to develop a mentoring guide for both the mentors and ‘mentees’.

The coaching seminars featured established leaders, including Dick Powell and Simon Waterfall, addressing topics such as ‘Making an Impact’, ‘Presenting like Steve Jobs’, and ‘Seeing the Big Picture’.

The success of the programme led to a further request to develop the mentoring guide into a Design Council publication – ’Mentoring Tomorrow’s Design Leaders’.

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Capabilities:

  • Capability development

Project type

Professional development

The most talented always want to learn and grow. At the same time companies want to retain their best people and develop their talents to meet the latest business challenges. To close this virtuous circle, key capabilities not only need to be identified and codified, but effective ways to nurture them for a particular audience and context need to be carefully planned.

We develop and deliver programmes to help designers and non-designers acquire knowledge, skills and judgement in design, innovation and business capabilities. These take many forms, including learning curricula, training courses, mentoring, networking and thought leadership programmes.