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Design in Context: Mapping Your Role in a X-functional Org

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Doug Powell

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What you'll learn

Map your cross-functional peers and stakeholders

Use your design skills to make sense of complex organizations

Understand the centers of power and influence in your org

Identify common characteristics of business leaders

Activate and maximize key relationships

Learn the behaviors and best practices for engaging with leaders

Why this topic matters

As designers progressing into leadership roles in scaled, complex organizations, we are required to adopt new skills and behaviors in order to thrive and succeed. Understanding how our company is organized, where we sit within it, and who our key stakeholders are enables us to track and leverage the dynamics of power and influence, and drive consistent outcomes.

You'll learn from

Doug Powell

Executive Design Leader, former IBM & Expedia

Doug Powell is an award-winning designer with over 30 years of experience in a wide range of design disciplines. A recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Sam Fox School of Design at Washington University in St. Louis, and the 2014 Fellow Award from AIGA Minnesota, Doug is a lecturer, commentator, and thought leader on design issues. He has presented at various global conferences, forums, and universities, including Beirut Design Week in Lebanon, Fortune's Brainstorm Design in Singapore, and Yale School of Management. He was on the 2018 Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt National Design Awards jury. Between 2011-2013 Doug served as the national president of AIGA, the professional association for design, the largest and most established design organization in the world.


In the past decade, Doug has served as Vice President of Design at IBM and Expedia Group, where he oversaw design practices, design systems, designer career and leadership programs, and scaling cross-functional design thinking practices across the companies.


Doug is the producer and host of This is a Prototype: The Design Leadership Podcast.

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