R. Michael Hendrix is an American graphic designer, author and musician. He is a Partner in the influential interdisciplinary design firm IDEO. These selections span a 25 year career and are primarily self directed, either as collaborations, personal projects or promotions.

I am obsessed with demystifying and celebrating the innovative potential of design. As a Partner and executive at IDEO I have helped teams and clients unlock their creativity for everything from home goods to homeland security. As an Assistant Professor at Berklee College of Music and lecturer at Bifröst University I have taught students how to transfer their artistic virtuosity to entrepreneurial behaviors.

To me, no matter the creative endeavor, the underlying process and mindsets are the same. When you understand how creativity works you can consistently create conditions for innovation and excellence. This perspective led to writing my 2021 book, “Two Beats Ahead,” with Panos A. Panay, President of the Recording Academy and the GRAMMYs. In it we celebrate the shared creative mindsets of well known and emerging artists, producers, designers and entrepreneurs.

My deep skill is seeing what is essential and unique about a person, organization, situation or brand. I live for the revelation moment when people see themselves or feel seen. It motivates me as a creative leader, consultant and teacher. Whether it’s unlocking originality, finding core purpose or defining unmet needs, it’s about getting to the heart of the matter.

As a graphic designer, I love the mark of tools and the tactile reminders of imperfections and iterations. This means my favorite work is more messy than fussy. I’m interested in personality, culture and play. If a visually refined approach is necessary I’ll still find ways to unearth the quirkiness of the composition. It’s about amplifying the unique character of what is there.

R. Michael Hendrix is a Partner and the Global Design Director at IDEO. As a member of the senior leadership team he collaborates with the firm’s Directors in the US, EU, Middle East, China and Japan to advance IDEO’s best-in-class design capabilities through practices, systems and measurements. Prior to this he served as Managing Director of the Cambridge, MA studio, Executive Design Director (US East), and Brand Creative Director with the CMO.

He has consulted with a diverse set of clients including retail, home goods, education, fintech, Pharma, the federal government and IDEO, itself. Initiatives include a brand refresh, the award-winning redesign of IDEO.com, production of short film, "IDEO & a Story of Design," and a public art project with French artist, Eltono. As a board member of IDEO.org he served as a creative advisor to the executive team as the organization established a studio in Nairobi, Kenya.

Concurrently, Michael is an Assistant Professor of Business Management at Berklee College of Music, joining his love for music, design and entrepreneurship. His first book, "Two Beats Ahead: What Musical Minds Teach Us About Innovation," co-authored with Recording Academy (The GRAMMYs) Co-President, Panos A. Panay, is based on his course and was selected by The Financial Times as a business book of the month in April 2021 and featured in Harvard Business Review’s IdeaCast.

Michael's career has spanned graphic design and marketing, branding, higher education, product development and executive leadership. Over 25 years he has embodied a collaborative philosophy, inspiring creative talent to design programs and organizations for greater purpose. A natural entrepreneur, he co-founded an art program for high schoolers, a design curriculum for undergrads, a professional design club, an open source song data initiative, and two businesses, the last of which, Tricycle, was recognized by Business Week, Fortune and the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum as a thought leader for sustainable design.

As a public speaker Michael often shares about his book, IDEO, design and music. Keynotes include WIRED Design, SXSW and Fast Company among others, plus sessions at Sonar+D and Moogfest. Podcasts include Harvard Business Review, Google and Linked In.