Design is a group thing. Why don't design schools teach leadership?

Peterme writes about some folks getting together for a friendly little retreat to discuss the intersection of Architecture, IT, Engineering and Communication design (each a circle in a Venn diagram) in some Thoughts on Design with a Big D.
I posted a comment. I’m not sure if I just ended up repeating what he already said, but I think what I was trying for was an explanation of how teams are going to evolve to greater depths of expertise for individuals, then people between those experts who can synthesize what they know and do, and yet another level of people who can manage the whole bunch while synthesizing the synthesizers…

Some teams already work this way, and have to, but people aren’t being trained in Design or other programs to be ready for this kind of need. Programmers, Designers, Librarians, Consultants, Managers — they’re all coming out with some theory and practice, and some of them with a “multidisciplinary” understanding from across the curriculum. But few to none are being trained in how to work with people from varying backgrounds to translate between them, to create synergy, and to strategically look for new ideas and opportunities in the weird gray areas when these various circles of expertise are overlapped and juxtaposed.
This is a powerful kind of expertise that companies are screaming for. Unfortunately, the closest thing we have to this is the kind of management skills they teach in MBA programs. Other people have to pick it up as they go along. But MBA’s are often misplaced among a bunch of highly skilled geeked-out craftspeople.
Wouldn’t it be cool if a design school, for example, figured this out, and had a graduate program that took in experienced designers with a talent for direction to help them sharpen their management, strategic and directive skills? Does anything like this exist?

Author: Andrew Hinton

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