Designing competitive industry sectors

Design Management Institute
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of the 20th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference: Design Research Meets Design Practice at the Inflection Point, 2016, pp. 348 - 368
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
Industry sectors are typified by their complex, networked and open nature; characteristics making them well suited to innovation through the application of design. In spite of this apparent suitability there remains little research published specifically regarding the application of design to sector-level strategy formation. In response to this apparent suitability of design, a Design-Led Innovation (DLI) (Bucolo, 2016) approach was modified to scale to a sector. DLI is a design thinking method that integrates deep customer insights into business models informing organisational transformation and strategy. This paper explores the adaptations and challenges that occur when scaling design to a sector in the form of a proposed framework: The Sector Grand Challenge Framework (SGC Framework). This is described through a case study applying the SGC Framework to the development of a Food and Agribusiness (Agrifood) growth and competitiveness strategy in partnership with Food Innovation Australia Limited (FIAL), an Australian Federal Government Industry Growth Centres initiative. The SGC Framework uses many of the same principles as DLI, scaling from successful applications to small and large firms to an entire industry sector. This scale exacerbates key challenges observed within a firm including: poor linkages between groups, large, complex stakeholder networks, and lack of unifying purpose or vision. Based on this initial experience there is a significant opportunity for future research both into the new value created by a Design-Led approach to sector level challenges and the implications for design as a field.
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