Stop Talking Andrew

Written on 2022-02-21 • conversation

The draft title of this post was Stop Talking And Draw. I was setting the tone to write a very serious post about why you need a designer on your executive team. In the middle of my genius writing spree, someone crept up behind me and exclaimed in a soft-spoken voice “Stop talking Andrew?!” I thought it was funnier. If you are an Andrew: I apologise.

The executive meeting starts. Good energy. Three minutes in, your mind goes “yes, yes, fuck yes!” The skies clear after months of darkness. You see the light. Ideas build on top of ideas. You solved the biggest issue with your product in that magical two hour marathon. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you might as well stop reading here. I mean it. Don’t waste your time!

Still here? Good. You know this is a unique moment. If someone there managed to take useful notes, kudos to them. Chances are everyone walks out of that meeting energized. They go back to their desks, heads down. Five days later, everything is back to the way it was before the meeting: e-mails, deadlines and Zoomcalls. Clouds form. Months pass and people leave their jobs.

Should have had a designer in the meeting.

All human progress comes from better communication; language, maths, diagrams. Yet, we insist on discussing our best ideas with only words. I don’t blame most execs. You had one class on Powerpoint. Designers studied visual communication and human-to-thing interactions full-time for years.

In business, only the visible world exists. Design needs a seat at the table in your level one executive meeting. They will make your meeting 10× more effective, because you will discuss a map of the world you want. And at the end of the meeting you will have a map that will be the start of everything that happens next.

Grab an extra seat, Andrew.

Conversation is closed

Conversations close automatically after six weeks. Feel free to contact me directly if you have feedback on this article.