Designers are user advocates.They are skilled at synthesizing many streams of knowledge into appropriate solution ideas/directions for product development.
One of the core skills of a designer is to give form to culture. This requires an understanding of the meaning of things, aesthetics and behavior in the context of what is possible.
Design planners/strategist are designers who are skilled in framing design insights into clear and compelling business cases. Strategist if they are to be influential must be able to frame user-centered insights in economic terms, as is required of other professionals operating at the top levels of an organizations.
The universal art of persuasion is an essential skill for design planners to nuture and exercise. In professional life the ability to champaign an idea is fundamental to being heard while in the mist of competing disciplines who are looking to influence the direction of the organization.
Likewise, it is important to understand how the skills of a designer are uniquely different from what other business professionals bring to the organization. A fundamental quality that a designer has rest in possessing an empathetic understanding of the user along with the means to communicate (visually) the insights that come from understanding humanity. So as the tools of communication are exercised with signficant skill it brings with it the power to persuade. Designer's on this level produce briefs that tell a story of business opportunity.
Organizational decision makers (CEO's,CFO's, Directors...) are thirsty for clear meaningful information, so as designer's are able to provide relevant insights their status among the leadership team will increase.
Designers as Leaders