Take a look at the image in this post.

This light fixture was designed.  So was the wall, window, and building in the background.  There’s not a lot in the man-made world that wasn’t given careful thought–for better or for worse.  I happen to like the way this fixture looks and think it works well in this restaurant where I took the picture.

However, why do some objects look as if they haven’t been designed or well thought out?  It might be that the designer or client had different motivations or ideas for the product.  Design is a difficult discipline because doing it well means effectively managing a variety of factors such as time, schedule, budget, trends, context, and other people.

Bringing these factors into alignment is the challenge that the designer faces.  It often involves a level of politicking and active communication with everyone involved in the project.  It’s not enough for a designer to remain isolated and hidden from view by account managers or other client-facing people.  The designer needs to be interacting with the people they are serving.

The same goes for leaders, too.

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