I believe that people need to embrace a goal and believe that they are capable of achieving it in order to be motivated to pursue that goal. I work with my team to develop goals that deliver on business targets and are achievable. By providing the vision, a measurable target, and supporting them with the right tools and information, I motivate my teams.
Usability standards are not established by a person or place, but it is what is adopted by the user community at large. It is difficult to change or establish new standards, but it is more important for usability to follow standards that are studied and identified by usability experts, such as Jakob Nielsen or Steve Krug.
One must establish what 'look and feel' works best for the end user, or target market. The purpose is to strengthen the brand, not necessarily try to design something that everyone is going to like. That's impossible to accomplish, it's just too subjective. It is better to instill better usability as a standard and use colors and graphics that are compelling but are not overstated. Always think of the old saying "form follow function."