29: Dr Mersha Aftab on design management and emotional intelligence

Season #1

Dr Mersha Aftab is the co-host director for MA Design Management courses at Birmingham City University. She specialises in design leadership within large organisations, exploring how designers design and lead strategically in business. We discuss how designers have a voice and a platform to give them the agency to lead even though they don't have the position in an organisation. We cover emotional intelligence, designing the future and the skills needed to act as a bridge between user experience, technology and business.

I like the idea that design management is the bridge between design and business, enabling business to create meaningful products for customers. I’m also struck by the reminder that professionals need to develop new skills in every part of the business. In this case, design thinking requires business to explore business viability, functionality through technology, and desirability from the user experience side. And it's the perfect combination of these three things that make a good product or a good service. And that at the heart of all of this is the emotional intelligence to explore things from different points of view and collaborate effectively together.

How do you ensure that business, technology and user experience or employee experience all come together in a seamless way in your business?

Topics covered:

  • Design management
  • Collaboration
  • Human-centred design
  • Emotional intelligence
  • User experience

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