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Advocating is the fifth core tool that designers can rely on in their role as agents of change. Consider this: At this moment, and for the past five weeks, I’ve been advocating; that is, I’ve been blogging to say something I think is important. And that’s advocating. Sometimes it’s easier to define something by defining what it’s not.
Activating — getting stuff done or making it happen — is the fourth tool for change that designers have.
There’s a natural inflection point where we shift from illuminating and educating to getting stuff done.  But getting stuff done often means negotiating, which is the third tool that designers have as agents of change; resetting priorities, making trade-offs, funding some projects and cancelling others.
Educating, the second tool for designers, is about developing skills, capabilities and knowledge. Educating involves discovering what we need to learn, teaching others, helping our organization get smarter and bringing what we’ve learned to the design discipline in the form of case studies, stories and examples. Ultimately, educating is about growing capabilities and changing behavior.
The first opportunity for designers to be an agent of change is to shed light, to illuminate. This is a powerful tool to bring about change in your organization. One way to do this is to listen to both your feelings and the facts. The process of illumination is two-fold: you can shed light on both yourself and others. Let’s begin by discussing how your can shed light for yourself.
As we create the world through our imagination, our visions, our conversations, our decisions, commitments and our actions, it’s essential to understand that as a designer you’re actually creating the world, and you have many options. Where we have choice is in each moment, in the now.
At Rackspace, we are committed to imbuing our core values into the entire range of experiences around our products. In providing customers with Fanatical Support, we take into consideration a much broader range of issues than the typical software design principle of user experience. We design the experience for a complete ecosystem of people who interact with our products, and importantly, with each other.
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