From production to purpose-Using design led innovation to build strategic potential in a family-owned SME

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Conference Proceeding
2013 IEEE-Tsinghua International Design Management Symposium: Design-Driven Business Innovation, TIDMS 2013 - Proceedings, 2014, pp. 37 - 46
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© 2013 IEEE. There is an evident need to develop the strategic capabilities of companies from within, to ensure competitive competence in a time where strategy is a necessity. This paper is based on the first 4 months of a longitudinal embedded case study of a family-owned Australian small to medium enterprise, in their journey towards design integration. The first author was embedded as a 'Design Innovation Catalyst' to collaborate on overcoming early barriers of strategic development, using design led innovation. Action research methodology, semi-structured interviews with seven out of eight employees and a reflective journal revealed the absence of a shared vision, conflicting drivers and a focus on operational efficiency rather than strategy. Through the Catalyst's facilitation, a company vision, general awareness, practice and knowledge in strategic development have emerged as the first steps to generating strategic design competence within the firm.
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