Interview with Eva Guerra, Executive Director & Head of Studio at Designit London

Designit is a global experience innovation company, which currently has fourteen studios around the world, ours being the London studio. We bring strategy, design, marketing, and technology expertise together to turn complex and systemic problems into new opportunities, and thoughtful, holistic experiences that drive measurable, positive change and empower businesses and brands to grow.


What makes your company unique?

Designit is a unique company in many ways but as one of its Directors I do feel that the way we lead the company, and the distributed leadership model that we’ve adopted in the London studio, is something that really sets us apart.

Generally when we think of leadership, we think of a traditional model which holds one person at the top making all decisions unilaterally. But this isn’t always the only, or even the best, leadership model.

Incorporating a distributed leadership model really allowed me and the rest of the senior team to expand our understanding of leadership. Once you start exploring alternative options, you realise there’s no single ‘right way’, it’s about what works best for your business and the people in it. One thing is for certain, it requires staying open minded and keeping your own ego in check.

At the end of the day, leadership always requires collaboration, consideration, and trust, irrespective of the structural model in place. You want your people to feel that they can trust you, know that they are being considered, and see a level of collaboration between you and them. At Designit, our work requires a culture of creativity which is based on a very high level of psychological safety and trust, both amongst colleagues and with their leadership board. And as leaders, it has been our responsibility to set the tone and nurture that trust.


How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?

This leadership model has been fundamental to how the London studio has evolved in the last year. When the previous Managing Director left, achieving continuity in the quality of work was paramount. But we also knew that we did not want to simply replicate the existing leadership structure.

The structure that emerged was the one we’ve officially adopted today – the distributed leadership model. Coming to this model took a lot of intentional reflection. Myself and the other Directors, James Buchanan and Kalpesh Rathod, have become increasingly aware of our complementary strengths, and the ways we can each make each other better. This has allowed each of us to take the lead on different projects, which has helped distribute the weight of leadership.

One thing that made this leadership structure possible was our shared values for the business. We each held a view of the future that saw culture, clients, and craft as foundational pillars in the work that Designit does.

What can we hope to see from Designit in the future?

We have a lot of exciting creative partnerships at the moment, which are yielding some really innovative product designs. Our team harnesses a dynamic proposition innovation model which leverages research on cultural tensions to promptly help businesses address their customers’ needs.

Through this, we have helped many of our clients find the open spaces for innovation in their respective markets. So in looking to the future, we hope to continue to elevate ourselves and the work that we do for our clients.