This Is A Prototype: S1•E4 Heidi Munc & Gus Granger

“I’m incredibly appreciative of the people that took a moment and said ‘here’s some things you’re probably gonna want to learn if you want to go farther.’”—Heidi MuncAmong the core themes that is emerging in Season 1 is the importance of mentorship, coaching, and sponsorship for design leaders. That’s one of the topics I explore in this wide-ranging discussion with my guests, Heidi Munc and Gus Granger.Heidi Munc is a user experience expert and creative problem solver with over 20 years of experience. As Vice President of User Experience at Nationwide, Heidi leads a team of ~100 user experience professionals who are accountable for all aspects of experience strategy and design. Gus Granger is an accomplished and award-winning brand strategist and graphic designer who has led both agency and in-house teams in an impressive range of leadership roles across various organizations including 70kft, VSA Partners, and Cyxtera.

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We are in the midst of an unprecedented time in the history of the design profession. Businesses are investing in design at rates never before seen—building scaled design teams of hundreds and even thousands of designers, and hiring design leaders into executive roles giving them influence and access at the highest levels. As an executive design leader myself, I’m fascinated by the experience of designers moving into these new leadership roles. For most of us this is completely uncharted territory, the jobs are often undefined and there is rarely a roadmap or playbook to help us succeed, so most of us have had to learn on the job.In each episode of This is a Prototype, I invite two design leaders who have traveled very different life and career journeys to share their stories, compare notes, and talk about what it takes to be a leader in this new era of design.