Early challenges of shifting an Australian manufacturer's utilisation of design

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Conference Proceeding
2013 IEEE-Tsinghua International Design Management Symposium: Design-Driven Business Innovation, TIDMS 2013 - Proceedings, 2014, pp. 259 - 267
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© 2013 IEEE. This paper presents the findings from the initial exploration phase of an 11 month project, identifying the early challenges that a design innovation catalyst faces while initiating a shift in the way a medium sized manufacturing firm utilises design. Ultimately, the overarching aims of the project are to transform the utilisation of design within the participating company from a styling tool to a strategic process through the implementation of a design led approach to innovation. Insights were found through qualitative interviews with company staff and reflective journal entries as part of an Action Research methodology. Challenges identified include managing expectations, conveying the potential of a design innovation catalyst and a design led approach to innovation, and a siloed and risk averse culture. Findings presented in this paper will assist in identifying and understanding the preliminary challenges encountered by a design innovation catalyst when embarking on a design led transformation. Future innovation catalysts can prepare for possible barriers by highlighting considerations, opportunities and challenges when embarking on a design led transformation. Implications of this research are provided as possible approaches to overcoming these challenges.
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