There’s a fair bit of talk in the UX community about wanting to be “involved earlier in the process” and such. Sometimes it’s warranted, but many times it isn’t. Frankly, in most cases, it just comes off as being whiney. Jared Spool’s quote about the “I want to do more UX strategy” statement being the equivalent of the entertainment industry’s “What I really want to do is direct” rings true.
Spool isn’t the only one advocating the “just get out there and design” approach to UX. If you find yourself thinking “If only I could get that director’s gig, all would be right with the world,” think about designing your way out of that mindset. A good place to start is Kim Bieler’s Stop Explaining UX and Start Doing UX. It offers some good tips on demonstrating the value of UX and design thinking.