Leadership skills for digital practitioners

Ade Adewunmi and I ran a training session for service designers and heads of service design across government. It’s an expanded version of our tutorial on this topic which you can read about here and here. The training was held at GDS on their last day before moving out of Aviation House, which was a nice symmetry for me.

The training covered how to lead people and teams, whether you’re in a formal leadership role or not, by

  1. Telling a good story
  2. Having evidence for putting users first
  3. Getting people involved, because it gets them invested
  4. Being nice
  5. Looking after yourself

It’s based on what Ade and I have learned in leadership roles, and we aim to make it as practical as possible.

It’s always fun to deliver this session and I learned some new leadership tips myself. My favourite was equipping your teams with ‘lines to take’ on questions or criticisms you regularly receive during your work e.g. “why should we bother doing research?”. Brilliant idea. I love this because it’s really useful and should empower people to stick up for themselves and their work in situations that can be stressful.

We got some lovely feedback from people who came to the training. Thanks folks!

If you’d like to come to this, we’re running it as a 90 minute tutorial at UX Cambridge in September, or you can hire us to do it for your organisation.

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