In a conversation I had recently with Prudential Financial VP and head of design, Paul Strike, he pointed out that at many leading companies now:

Design is at the forefront, right from the beginning of the conversation, from the strategic planning to the market.

It’s something we’ve observed, too: The team of analysts I lead at Forrester leads our research about design, and we’ve seen the surge in interest. But we also see many firms undermining their own design efforts because of three problems:

  1. Immaturity at the two essential competencies of design
  2. Falling for common myths about design
  3. Struggling to attract and retain design talent

I researched why design is such a high priority and examined each of these three problems in a new report: “The Design Revolution.” We’ve published before about how to solve problems Nos. 1 and 3 (how to boost your maturity and how to scale up your design organization), so I’ll highlight the myths here — about what design is, who should do it, and how:


  • Myth: “Design is about look and feel.”
  • Myth: “Design is a touchy-feely domain for artsy creatives.”


  • Myth: “With design thinking training, anyone can design.”
  • Myth: “Design should always be done by professional designers.”


  • Myth: “Design is based on instinct — not on research.”
  • Myth: “Iterating is about delivering sooner instead of better.”

The reason these myths are dangerous is that executives who fall for them often believe they’ll reap the benefits of design while in reality they’re getting it wrong — which leads to high risks instead of high rewards.

Have you seen colleagues fall for these myths at your company? If so, give “The Design Revolution” a read and feel free to ask Forrester for guidance — my team of analysts can help you figure out how to overcome these myths so that you can help your firm make the most of design’s revolutionary potential. Reach out — we’d love to hear from you.