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Design led innovation : shifting from smart follower to digital strategy leader in the Australian airport sector

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Queensland University of Technology ePrints Archive
Keywords
  • 120302 Design Innovation
  • Design Led Innovation
  • Action Research
  • Design Thinking
  • Customer Relationships
  • Digital Economy
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Abstract

This paper presents and discusses organisational barriers and opportunities arising from the dissemination of design led innovation within a leading Australian airport corporation. This research is part of a greater action research program which aims to integrate design as a strategic capability through design led innovation within Australian businesses. Findings reveal that there is an opportunity to employ the theoretical framework and tools of design led innovation in practice to build collaborative idea generation by involving customers and stakeholders within the proposal of new to world propositions. The iterative gathering of deep customer insights also provided an opportunity to leverage a greater understanding of stakeholders and customers in strengthening continuing business partnerships through co-design. Challenges to the design led approach include resistance to the exploratory nature of gathering deep customer insights, the testing of long held assumptions and market data, and the disruption of an organisational mindset geared toward risk aversion instilled within the aviation industry. The implication from these findings is that design led innovation can provide the critical platform to allow for a business to grow and sustain internal design capabilities necessary to challenge prevailing assumptions about how its business model operates to deliver value to customers and stakeholders alike. The platform of design led innovation also provides an avenue to support a cultural transformation towards anticipating future needs necessary for establishing a position of leadership within the broader economic environment.

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