All praise appointment of new DBA Chairman

Jonathan Sand’s appointment as chairman of the Design Business Association and your glowing profile of him last week are both thoroughly deserved: he brings to the position a rare combination of experience, generosity, energy and integrity.

When I was at The Partners, we won a major design project from a large retail grocery group for whom Elmwood was already working. Jonathan generously shared his experiences of working for that client with us. His observations and pointers were constructive without being sycophantic, and revealing without divulging client confidences. Irrespective of how much this helped us do a better job – which it did- Jonathan’s gesture in itself was greatly appreciated.

More generally, this episode highlights two possible lessons. First, being competitors in the same industry need not deter design groups from sharing know ledge and information, especially if they are members of the same design roster (which larger clients seem to favour more and more); and second, by fostering fraternity and mutual support among design groups the industry will benefit all round: standards will rise, there will be a more enjoyable climate to work and compete in, and clients will be rewarded with better work.

Jonathan’s energy and straightforwardness are just what the DBA and the design industry need.

Mark Lee

Watermark & Co

London W6

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