2 // Leanne Sobel

The roles of design in strategy: Towards a practice perspective of strategic design

University of Technology Sydney (UTS)

UTS Profile | LinkedIn | Twitter

Leanne Sobel is a strategic designer, researcher and educator. Her work draws on design practices to investigate complex problems and deliver strategic outcomes. Leanne has a background in visual communication design and management. Her career spans design management, corporate strategy consulting, design education,  and research roles. Leanne is currently undertaking a funded PhD research project at UTS – the University of Technology Sydney – investigating the role of design in strategy.

Previously, Leanne worked as a Senior Strategic Designer and Researcher at the Design Innovation Research Centre at UTS, having joined the team from her time working in Strategy Consulting at Deloitte. Over the course of her career, Leanne has worked on consultancy projects with both public and private sector clients, including the Department of Defence, Australian Human Rights Commission, icare, NBN, Legal Aid NSW, Westpac, Qantas and Telstra. Leanne brings her knowledge of design practice to consultancy engagements, along with her research and education background, and is an experienced workshop designer and facilitator.

Leanne and I have a common research interest in design and design thinking. Despite this, we did a fairly decent job of preventing this episode from turning into the design thinking hour, although… your mileage may vary. When we sat down late last year, Leanne was working toward her Stage Two Assessment. In the UTS Business School framework, Stage Two is typically a check of the candidate’s readiness to go into the field and collect data. However, and as she discusses here, Leanne had already begun her data collection and was, through her grounded theory approach, in search of data saturation. In the weeks following our conversation, Leanne successfully completed her Stage Two assessment and she is now working toward completion of her PhD.

This episode of The Knowledge Mill was recorded in my office at UTS on November 23, 2022.

Show Notes

Leanne on Google Scholar

Leanne on ResearchGate

University of Technology Sydney (UTS)

UTS Business School

Billy Blue College of Design

Professor Roger Martin

Jennifer Riel

Designing Relationships: Applying Design to Interactions at Work” by Roger Martin and Jennifer Riel

Tim Brown

Professor Jeanne Liedtke

Dr Lars Groeger

Brickfields Consulting

Professor Roberto Verganti

Tony Fry

Associate Professor Jochen Schweitzer

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The Knowledge Mill is a podcast about PhD researchers and their work. Each episode features a longform conversation with a PhD candidate, with a focus on how they found themselves doing a PhD and the research they’re undertaking.

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