What It Means to Lead in Innovation Consulting Job
In Chapter 18 of 22 in his 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, innovation strategist Hammans Stallings references his innovation and consulting and design work at frog design. He notes leading comes not from the top but from influencing project direction without control and without saying "no". When done right, the approach allows Stallings and team to get the most out of the team and optimize the collective problem solving. Stallings is currently a Senior Strategist at frog design.
Erik Michielsen: What does it mean to be a leader in what you do? Hammans Stallings: Where I work, innovation consulting, design, is not hierarchical and almost by definition, it probably wouldn't be successful if someone were to sort of tell everyone what to do. So, leading doesn't come from the top in our space. In fact, it comes from the ability to influence without control and to accomplish things that the team wouldn't have gotten to without your perspective. So, I'd say leadership is almost like an improv act. It's influencing the direction of things without saying no and so I think saying no destroys this -- this magical kind of place that design innovation requires. So, leadership is something that happens with people knowing about it and sort of getting the work done without losing people and, you know, getting the most out of them, solving the client problem the best.