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The majority of companies, their employees and their leaders navigate a space where competitors appear overnight, customers demand innovations monthly, business plans rarely last a full year and career ladders have been replaced by trampolines. This environment of constant change will only accelerate in the future and traditional business leaders are ill equipped to deal with it.
Just as we took our cues from MBAs and the military in casting the ideal CEO of the 20th century, we can look to design - in its broadest form - to model our future leader, the DEO. These leaders possess characteristics, behaviors and mindsets that allow them to excel in unpredictable, fast-moving and value-charged conditions. They are catalysts for transformation and agents of change. A hybrid of strategic business executive and creative problem-solver, the DEO is willing to take on anything as an object of design and looks at ALL problems as design challenges.Readers will learn not only why this form of leadership is essential to the success of modern organizations, but also what characteristics are best suited to this role. Through intimate conversations with leading DEOs, we explore the mindsets, communities, processes and practices common to creative business leaders. The book lays out—graphically and through example—how DEOs run their companies and why this approach makes sense now. We help readers identify these skills in themselves and their colleagues, and we guide them in using these skills to build, revive or reinvent the next generation of great companies and organization.
Introduction: Personal business leadership stories of Maria and Christopher