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Design Leaders Council

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Design continues to become a more prominent and valuable business competency, rising from a role broadly characterized by aesthetics and decoration in most corporate organizations to one of strategic leadership and business value today. It has become a strategic partner in uncovering customer, brand, and business insights, and creating solutions that drive business results and cultures.

As design becomes more deeply integrated into traditional spaces like brand and business purpose, marketing, insights, equity, identity, experience, innovation, sales, and product development, it also finds its way into less traditional – and arguably more profound – areas of the business enterprise as well. These areas include: corporate culture; operations, manufacturing, and supply chain; IT, knowledge management, and business analytics; digital services, solutions, and communications; experience development; and even human resources, talent management, and employee engagement. Being able to effectively leverage design can provide an essential advantage in today’s business environment.

In this Council, members direct the content and direction of the group to address their business needs, challenges, opportunities, and priorities. Areas of interest may include:

  • Best practices for leveraging and elevating design as a strategic, measurable, and easily communicated business competence that can drive value across the organization
  • How to best organize to maximize the role, contributions, and value of design in our business and culture
  • Tools, processes, methods, and models utilized by leading companies, innovators, and start-ups
  • Identifying and acting on relevant future design trends, such as computational and algorithmic design, sustainability, and behavioral design

  • Altria Group, Inc.
  • BNSF Railway Company
  • Campbell Soup Co.
  • Cintas Corporation
  • Colgate-Palmolive Company
  • Deere & Company
  • GuideWell
  • HCA Healthcare Inc.
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • McKinsey & Company, Inc.
  • Procter & Gamble Company
  • S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.
  • Walmart
  • Wells Fargo & Company

Enduring relationships with trusted peers are the core of the Council experience. Enhanced by our global, enterprise-wide reach, these relationships span the world and extend the value of Council membership. Confidential peer dialogue provides you with a broader perspective and shared experiences, as well as access to specific knowledge and best practices.

  • Collective problem solving that puts your issue on the agenda
  • Benchmarking through regular surveys of Council members about relevant company practices
  • Multifunctional insights generated by the wealth of perspectives gathered from 125+ Councils (covering more than 50 functions) that work together across geographies
  • Virtual communities that extend learning opportunities through a variety of online forums and other resources

Design and business leaders responsible for leveraging and elevating design strategically within their organizations. Membership is by invitation only.

Ruth Schmidt

Ruth Schmidt

Program Director, Design Leaders Council
The Conference Board
Read Bio

Jesse Gaskin

Jesse Gaskin

Co-Program Director, Design Leaders Council
The Conference Board
Read Bio

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