Now available: Design for Impact by Erin Weigel

Managing Priorities with Harry Max

Harry Max is an executive coach, consultant, and hands-on product design and development leader. He’s also the author of the forthcoming Managing Priorities: How to Create Better Plans and Make Smarter Decisions.

For individuals, teams, and organizations, from managing things, people, places, rules, activities, and projects, Harry’s new book Managing Priorities gets to the heart of how we prioritize and make and implement decisions, whether one-off or events that happen on a regular basis.

Harry uses DEGAP, a design-thinking framework that he says he didn’t invent but discovered, to explain how successful organizations and leaders set, implement, and execute priorities. DEGAP closes the gap between a current state and a desired state:

  • D – Decide
  • E – Engage (commit to the process)
  • G – Gather (collect information and items to prioritize)
  • A – Arrange (sort and create frameworks)
  • P – Prioritize

Harry and Lou also discuss the importance of flexible thinking (a superpower of designers) when it comes to prioritization, communication, and implementation.

What you’ll learn from this episode:

  • How Harry went from technical writer to designer to executive coach to SXSW speaker to author
  • What DEGAP is, why it makes a difference when dealing with prioritization, and how Harry discovered it
  • Why DEGAP is like a design-thinking framework
  • The unique prioritization challenges designers face
  • The unique gifts designers bring to addressing prioritization

Quick Reference Guide:

[0:00:26] Introduction of Harry
[0:01:59] A discussion on prioritization
[0:04:27] Orders of prioritization
[0:07:39] Distinguishing priorities of the individual, team, and organization – DEGAP
[0:12:26] More about DEGAP at the individual and organizational levels
[0:15:39] Advancing Research 2024, March 25-27
[0:17:13] Review of Harry’s career path
[0:23:47] Unique prioritization challenges for designers
[0:26:25] Harry’s gift for the listeners

Resources and links from today’s episode:

Managing Priorities: How to Create Better Plans and Make Smarter Decisions by Harry Max

Advancing Research Conference 2024

4000 Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman

Oliver Burkeman’s Maestro course