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DL2022 Sarah Stokes - Wise design leadership is closer than you think

November 16, 2022

DL2022 Sarah Stokes - Wise design leadership is closer than you think

As designer leaders, we want to be able to make wise decisions and we want to draw on wisdom to guide us as we lead our teams and design in organisations.

Fortunately we don’t have to wait until we are old and grey to access wisdom; it can be experienced through ways of thinking and acting. In this talk we will explore what wisdom is made up of (according to research )and how we as design leaders can use aspects of wisdom now.


November 16, 2022

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  1. Sarah Stokes Design Leader / Coach

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  3. No matter what age, we’re able to be wise Knowledge

    doesn’t equal wisdom Fresh perspectives can be wise perspectives
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  5. “The ability to use your knowledge and experience to make

    good decisions and judgements”
  6. McKenna, B., & Rooney, D. (2019). Wise leadership. In R.

    J. Sternberg & J. Glück (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of wisdom (pp. 649–675). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108568272.030 Research says wise leaders: • Have foresight • Use reason, experience and careful observation • Allow for non-rational and subjective elements when making decisions • Have an orientation beyond self-interest and towards the Common Good
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  8. “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom”

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  11. Q: When have you experienced wise leadership in your career

    and what did that person do?
  12. • When are you at your best? • What triggers

    you? • What are your strengths? • Ask for feedback / advice • Build some time in to reflect on your days • Practise mindfulness So that you can be aware of your thoughts and feelings, and respond accordingly Spend some time reflecting on:
  13. “In real life, wisdom manifests itself in situations that are

    important, difficult, uncertain, and emotionally challenging. Neither cognitive nor personality components of wisdom alone are sufficient to understand real-life wisdom” The Wisdom Researchers and the Elephant: An Integrative Model of Wise Behavior Glück, J., & Weststrate, N. M. (2022)
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  16. When we think about enacting wisdom, we have many techniques

    in the design process
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  18. “The only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing.”

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  20. Dror, Itiel E., Alvaro Pascual-Leone, and Vilayanur Ramachandran. "The paradox

    of human expertise: why experts get it wrong." The paradoxical brain 177 (2011). ✅ ❌ - Focus - Speed - Inflexibility - Tunnel vision
  21. • Assumption mapping • Known / unknowns • Pre -mortems

    • DVF collaborating • Customer research / data
  22. “Wisdom is your perspective on life, your sense of balance,

    your understanding of how the various parts and principles apply and relate to each other.”
  23. Popularised by Covey in Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

  24. “...Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot

    change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
  25. • Customer research • Diversity of inputs • Data •

    Stakeholder interviews • Service blueprints • Mystery shopping • 360 reviews • Feedback culture
  26. The Wise Leader, Dr Paul Lawrence and Dr Suzi Skinner,

    publishing in 2023 https://leadingsystemically.com/thought-leadership/white-papers/
  27. “To be humble is to recognise our personal limitations and

    to happily accept those limitations as inevitable. It is to recognise that the world will always be too complex for us to understand in its entirety, and to be curious about that and to be curious as to what others are thinking and feeling.” The Wise Leader, Dr Paul Lawrence and Dr Suzi Skinner, publishing in 2023 https://leadingsystemically.com/thought-leadership/white-papers/
  28. What is Phronesis: “The habit of making the right decisions

    and taking the right actions in context, and relentless pursuit of excellence for the common good.”
  29. • Build your self-awareness • Be humane • Reflect, be

    mindful • Stay curious, always be learning • Take the observer POV • Be collaborative / engage in dialogue • Take action - use our tools and techniques Practical wisdom:
  30. Special thanks to Kat for support on the Viz Comms!

    @sarahlucystoked Sarah Stokes Design Leader / Coach