Need an alternative view? Want access to information about our industry? Want more work? or different work? Maybe you want to test a new business strategy? Or need help identifying the way forward? These are all roles for a Chair of the Board.

Problem is, you probably don’t have a board, and you are not alone. Research into the Australian design industry shows 85% of studios have less than three employees. That means most designers are on the tools or fronting clients, with no headspace to work on your business. That’s where the DBC Chair program can help.

What does a design Chair do?

A Chair’s role is to understand, but be independent from the operational running of the business. We give an objective and critical perspective to your studio and it’s position within the Australian design industry.

Our role includes:

Strategy: We use our industry experience to challenge and contribute to your vision and business strategy to build a clear, robust and sustainable future.

Performance: We monitor and question your personal and business performance against key objectives.

Risk: We identify and manage the major risks like cashflow and your new business tunnel.

People: Managing creatives is perhaps the biggest challenge of all creative businesses. We help in the on boarding, job descriptions, contracts, management and exit strategies of employees.


Carol and Greg have a proven history of founding and managing an Australian design business, and recently meeting with and mentoring many Australian design businesses. Their value is in their knowledge and experience working in and on Australian design studios. They are walking databases of everything from salary benchmarks to appropriate rental fees in Australia’s major cities.

The Australian design scene is different to others. And what works in Brisbane doesn’t necessarily work in Perth and definitely doesn’t work in Melbourne. Our strength is other’s weakness: we have worked in and with Australian design businesses for over 30 years.

The design Chair process

The design Chair is a six-monthly commitment that involves monthly meetings to discuss your business. It starts with a set of agreed objectives. The meetings are scheduled, have an agenda and minutes. The accountability delivers results. Between meetings, the Chair is available for phone, skype or email support as needed.

Some studios participate for six months, have a break to get stuff done and then return for another set of meetings. Others have been part of the design Chair program for over 4 years, using the program as an ongoing presence.

It’s like having access to a 30-year design management knowledge bank that can help manage your studio, plan growth and even help negotiate with staff.

The next step

The success of the program is in the relationship. Let’s talk to discuss your studio and whether a design Chair program will work for you.

Email Greg or phone 0412 762 045

The Chairman program is a brilliant way for our business to benefit from Greg’s experience and insights ongoing. To date his guidance has been invaluable to achieve sustainable growth.

Peter Gould, Design Executive Officer. Zileej, Sydney and Dubai

Commitment issues?

Not ready to sign up for The Chairman program just yet? We understand, we’ll wait until you’re ready, but please, don’t lose touch. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to keep up to date with the latest news about the business of design.

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