What Level is Your Design Business?

Jessica Bantom Continued: Take Action With the Six Habits of Culturally Competent Designers

Episode 912 of A Well-Designed Business®
912: Jessica Bantom Continued: Take Action With the Six Habits of Culturally Competent Designers

Today With Jessica Bantom:

Today on A Well-Designed Business, I am joined Jessica Bantom, interior designer, color consultant, and DEIB practitioner. This is Part Two of our conversation on how to become a culturally competent designer, and we are going even deeper.

In this conversation, Jessica walks us through the six habits of a culturally competent designer—the same habits outlined in her new book, Design for Identity: How to

Design Authentically for a Diverse World. Listen now to learn more about each of these habits and how you can incorporate them into your routine and be a part of this phenomenal shift in the industry.

Pick It Apart

[1:58] LuAnn and Jessica discuss the first habit of culturally competent designers: Take accountability, especially during the design process and through inclusive leadership.

[10:25] Jessica explains the second habit: Ask questions. She says this step is about creating a space for conversation, which should be established at the beginning of a project.

[17:58] LuAnn asks Jessica about the third habit: Seek knowledge.

[25:26] Jessica shares that the majority of her book, Design for Identity: How to Design Authentically for a Diverse World, is about the critical fourth habit: Talk to customers.

[34:44] LuAnn and Jessica expand on the fifth habit: Believe people, and why this habit should not be overlooked.

[41:00] Jessica explains the sixth and final habit: Share experience, saying that culturally competent designers need to set the tone, create the space, and model the behavior of sharing experience.

LuAnn Nigara and Jessica Bantom’s Ah-Ha Moments

“All of us need to adopt these habits. So that there is no one outlier in the team or in the organization that is the one speaking up. It becomes a normal part of conversation. And when a point is raised, it can be something that can be can be discussed more broadly.” – Jessica Bantom

“The entire culture of the company has to be a place where you allow people to express their points of view.” – LuAnn Nigara

“When it comes to identity, and representing cultures and identity, and it’s in an authentic way, that does require getting other viewpoints and perspectives..” – Jessica Bantom

“There is this expectation that we can’t start talking about difference until we bring people of different backgrounds into the organization. That is not true. Because, like we said, there is information available and accessible to of us. And it is also not the responsibility of those people to come into a firm and educate their peers.” – Jessica Bantom

“We have to be willing to engage with customers, because we are the experts on design, but they are the experts on themselves.” – Jessica Bantom

“These are principles, these are ideas, these are things that we should be doing to be better humans. However, if that’s not enough to get your mojo going, understand this is your business. Your business is going to dramatically change over the next five-to-ten-to-fifteen years.” – LuAnn Nigara

More About Jessica Bantom

Jessica Bantom is a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB) practitioner and workplace strategist whose goals are to help organizations develop customized strategies for transformational change and to enable individuals to take immediate action to become more inclusive. Author of Design for Identity: How to Design Authentically for a Diverse World (coming in April 2023), she is a skilled management consultant with over 20 years of experience, a compelling speaker, and a certified facilitator and coach with a passion for helping people and organizations activate the values of DEIB to become more culturally competent and thrive in our increasingly global economy.

Jessica is a proud alum of the University of Virginia where she earned her undergraduate degree and Marymount University where she earned her Masters. She is certified as an Associate Diversity Coach through the CoachDiversity Institute’s Executive Certification in Diversity Coaching program in collaboration with the Howard University School of Business and holds a certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University. In addition, she is a Certified Change Management Professional (CCMP), Prosci Certified Change Practitioner, and Change Management Advanced Practitioner (CMAP) with a specialization in Design Thinking and Innovation from Darden Executive Education at the University of Virginia.   Jessica is also active in the interior design industry as an interior design and color consultant and as an engaged advocate committed to promoting DEIB in the industry and in practice. She describes herself as a multidisciplinary designer of human-centered solutions and uses her specialization in design thinking to develop and apply innovative approaches that transcend industries. A proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, she’s a long-time resident of the Washington DC area, although she will always call Philadelphia home.

Connect with Jessica Bantom




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Other Shows Mentioned:

AWDB #573: Cheryl Luckett, #BLM: See Something, Say Something

AWDB #596: Jamel Williams: A Call to Create Opportunity and Change at the University Level

AWDB #703: Leyden Lewis: The Road to AD100 and Elle Decor Top 125 Requires Innovation and Authentic Creativity

AWDB #720: Flash Back Friday: Cheryl Janis : Defining and Owning Your Niche

AWDB #908: Jessica Bantom: How to Be a Culturally Competent Design Activist & Why You Want to Be One (Part 1)

What Level is Your Design Business?