The 10 Commandments of design culture, strategy and communications:

1. Be purposeful and mission-driven:

A clear purpose and mission will serve as the foundation of every decision made inside your business.

2. Nail your values on your door:

Being vocal about what you stand for serves as an accountability tool internally and externally. When the going gets tough, it serves as a reminder to not cut corners.

3. Strive to speak human:

Speak to your stakeholders in their own language. To them, archispeak is gobbledygook and serves no purpose. Lose it.

4. Do your best to empathize and understand:

Your ability to empathize with your stakeholders, will defuse many tense situations and help you make the decisions that serve everybody’s best interest. Asking the right question is often all it takes to solve a seemingly intractable problem.

5. Be strategic:

Before you start solving problems, it is crucial to reframe, challenge assumptions and get to the bottom of the issue. Only then a suitable strategy will emerge.

6. Do not allow the commodification of your craft:

Only by using different behaviours, language and strategy from everybody else, you will distinguish yourself, be valued for your expertise and not be treated like a dispensable commodity.

7. Treat every stakeholder the way you want to be treated:

Your wise grandmother probably reminded you of that one all the time. Trust her wisdom.

8. Be honest and truthful:

Sometimes honesty is hard to deliver, but it will serve your relationships in the long term and build trust. If you’re honest with yourself, people will be honest with you.

9. Acknowledge, own and learn from your failures:

We all fuck-up from time to time. Accepting failure as part of the learning process is fundamental. If you’re unsure of what the lesson is, ask for help.

10. Experiment with new ideas:

There is more than one way to skin a cat. Give yourself room to experiment and play in order to create a culture of openness and innovation. We call it kicking fear in the nuts.

Bonus commandment:

When in doubt, less is more. Listen to Mies.