Employers are demanding a workforce that can engage with complicated, ill-formed problems. Executives want individual contributors that can embrace volatility and unpredictability, while crafting narratives of the future. Brands are realizing success when they try to empathize with — rather than understand — their customers. This — not the production of beautiful things — is what designers do best, and it is the value they bring to organizations. Producing stunning creative output it only a tiny part of what it means to be a designer, yet aesthetics continue to be the only part that we herald as valuable. But it’s these other skills — empathizing, systems thinking, storytelling — that describe a successful career in design.

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