I have capacity for new clients from May 2024 - Get in touch to discuss your project

Leadership and
Capability Building

I spent over a decade in Head of Design & UX roles,  helping nurture talent and build positive design culture.

I help nurture design talent that can make a significant difference to the success of a product or service.

I spent a decade fostering happy, productive teams who delivered value through their design skill and advocacy for user needs.

My leadership approach sets designers up for success, supporting talent as teams grow and culture develops.

With over a decade of agency and in-house leadership experience I've helped develop positive design culture, progress talent, hire at all experience levels and provided interim leadership to teams going through organisational transitions.

I now offer this experience as a service, both as fractional leadership or as an interim Head of Design.
I've built and lead teams at...

From interim or fractional leadership to capability building, I can help...

Evaluate the health of your design team.
Very often my clients aren't sure how their team's abilities stack up, particularly if they've been without dedicated design leadership. I help businesses assess their strengths and weaknesses and develop a plan to address shortcomings.
Help hire talent and plan for future team structures.
I've interviewed hundreds of designers, reviewed thousands of portfolios, and hired for both in-house and agency teams alike. I've used this experience to create hiring plans, write compelling job specs, and support the review and interview process.
Enhance design maturity & coach individuals.
Sometimes businesses know they need to upskill their designers, but don't have the leadership capacity to do this effectively. I helped designers move through seniority levels with a positive and proactive approach.
Provide design leadership on a flexible basis.
Often my clients can't afford the full time services of a senior leader, but realise the positive impact it could have on their team. I offer my expertise on a fractional or interim basis to help bridge this gap in a budget-friendly way.
Want to explore how my leadership expertise could support and empower your team?
Get in touch

Questions? Here’s a few I've been asked before.

What is Fractional Leadership?
Fractional means leadership on a part-time, flexible, or project basis. Hiring a permanent design leader can be expensive and time-consuming, so there is increasingly value found in bringing experienced leaders into organisations through a fractional arrangement.

Hiring a fractional leader can be a way to fast-track common challenges, particularly as a team grows.

There are many situations when a business might need the on-demand expertise of a fractional or interim leader. I've written more about my experience for Leading Design.
What's the ideal commitment for a fractional design leader?
This varies based on the size of your team, it's maturity, and any challenges the business needs to overcome.

The minimum commitment would be 4 hours a week, but 6-10 days per month is a typical engagement agreement for many organisations looking to benefit from fractional expertise.

For access to contract leadership with higher levels of contact time, it is worth considering interim design leadership on a more full-time basis.
Can you lead our team while we look for a permanent Head of Design?
Absolutely. I've done this before, most recently for a large financial services company going through a restructure.

I led the team as Interim Head of Design & UX for nine months. This period culminated with helping hire a permanent leader, and I would extend my relationship with the organisation to help coach this person as they transitioned into the role.
We don't know what kind of designer we need to hire. Can you help?
Hiring designers can be tough, especially if you're not from a design background.

There's a confusing array of job titles and it can be tough to know exactly what you need, and when. UX, UI, Product Design, Service Design, Content Design... where do you start?

I've interviewed and hired designers across a variety of design specialisms and experience levels for both in-house and agency roles. I've reviewed hundreds of CVs and portfolios, and built out capabilities with permanent and contract talent.

Most recently I helped a seed stage startup understand who their first design hire should be (spoiler: it wasn't what they had previously been looking for). I refined their job advert and got them comfortable with current salary and benefit expectations.

At the other end of the scale, I recently helped grow the capabilities of a FinTech design team going through a period of transformation and restructure. I led the hiring and retention efforts for permanent talent, as well as bringing contract designers into the business to help with both delivery and maturity.
“Tom was always passionate about his work and this radiated throughout the team and his leadership skills.”

Ready to chat?

Get in touch for a no-cost, informal chat about how we could work together.

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