The way a design team is managed can fuel creativity or stifle it. What happens when you direct ideas too early? How do you challenge your designers without overwhelming them? Today’s guest built his design team in 4 months, this is what he learned.
About Mike Townson
Mike Townson is the Director of Product Design at Order. When he started at Order, there wasn’t much of a design or product team. It was just him and the VP of product. There, he had to build an internal design team in 4 months. As a leader, he believes that you don’t always have to be right - but you always have to be surrounded by the right people. His approach to building a design team is to set up the team to be self-led and empowered. In another life, Mike would’ve been a tour guide.
Links We Mentioned
Org Design for Design Orgs: Building and Managing In-House Design Teams https://www.amazon.ca/Org-Design-Orgs-Building-House/dp/1491938404
Turn the Ship Around! A True Story of Turning Followers Into Leaders https://www.amazon.ca/Around-Story-Turning-Followers-Leaders/dp/1591846404
00:05 | Who is Mike Townson?
00:24 | What is Order?
01:29 | Becoming a director of product design
05:34 | First reality check as a design manager
07:48 | Do you have to become a people manager to grow as a designer?
10:10 | The most exciting part of management
14:04 | Building an internal design team from scratch OR Building a design team focused on jobs to be done
17:47 | Scaling a design team
20:49 | Why do great designers have impostor syndrome?
23:23 | Objectivity of design: is it real?
26:04 | Best ways to track design metrics
30:42 | Leader-leader method
33:49 | Fireside: illustration, VR, design meetings, throwaway work
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