CEOs do not understand design leadership. A study by McKinsey
McKinsey has released new information on the importance of design in companies. In the recently published study Are you asking enough from your design leaders? the international management consulting firm has come to the conclusion that company managers don’t really know much about their companies’ design activities, and are definitely not able to understand the current importance of design leadership. This has been preceded in recent years by efforts to make design into some kind of “magic formula” for strategic corporate management, leading to extensive restructuring within design departments. One much-used strategy was to create the position of a Chief Design Officer (CDO). In the study McKinsey surveyed 200 design managers and 100 top managers, and evaluated over 1700 responses from the McKinsey Design Index (MDI). The results showed that around 90 per cent of the companies did not exploit the full potential that design can offer, despite the fact that 40 of the top 100 companies have incorporated design leaders into their organisations over the past five years. As a result, the importance of design for strategic development is still not sufficiently recognised by management, and is not well understood and communicated between the different management levels.