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Meaning-Driven Innovation - Leadership in a world overcrowded with opportunities.

Good Design Australia in partnership with Aurecon, the Australian Industry Group and Quidni Advisory proudly presents the 2017 Design as Strategy Deep-Dive Workshop facilitated by Roberto Verganti, Professor of Leadership and Innovation at the School of Management of Politecnico di Milano, Italy.

Aurecon Centre
Level 5
850 Collins Street
Docklands, Melbourne VIC 3008

Thursday 26 October 2017

9:30am Registration
10:00am to 1:15pm – Workshop Session 1
1:15pm to 2:00pm – Lunch
2:00pm to 4:15pm – Workshop Session 2
4:15pm to 4:45pm – Wrap-Up and Close

Early Bird Registration (13 September to 1 October): $750 (+GST)
Standard Registration (2 October to 25 October): $850 (+GST)

Are you starting an innovation journey? Do you wonder what is the best direction to take and how to engage your team and organisation into your journey?

Many studies have suggested processes to find new ideas and solve specific problems. Yet, in the current scenario of digital transformation, the main challenge of organisations is not to find more ideas, but to understand what direction to take.

Indeed, we live in a world where opportunities are many, ideas are easily accessible, but, right because of this abundance, acting and moving together in a shared direction is increasingly complicated.

In this workshop you will have a chance to experience, through a simulation of a case study, the new frontier of leadership and innovation: a process that helps you and your organisation to start your innovation journey and to enable and nurture a new direction that is meaningful, actionable and that people will love.

This process has been globally practiced by Roberto Verganti and his team with firms of any size in different industries, from products to services, from B2B to B2C.

Roberto Verganti will introduce you to the framework, the theoretical fundamentals for finding a meaningful direction and lead you through the process so that you will learn the mindset and tools by working individually and in a team on a real case.

- You will experience how to assess the current direction of your organisation
- How to envision new possibilities by empowering your understanding of what is meaningful
- How to challenge your perception and see new possibilities by leveraging the power of criticism
- How to provide developmental feedback to your team
- How to find new interpreters who can help you shape your thinking in a new way
- How to converge towards a common direction and engage others.

The workshop will be focused on you, as a person: to support you in your journey of growth towards being an innovation leader.


1. Introduction: The Fundamentals
Interactive seminar to introduce the framework and the process for finding a meaningful direction. The seminar will illustrate cases from different industries (product and services, consumers and business-to-business, mainly from small organisations).

2. Case Study: Understanding
In this session you will apply the framework to a case of an existing firm that has found a new meaningful direction.

3. Application: Stretching – Sharing – Speed Dating
In this session you will learn how to start up a process of vision nurturing. To this purpose, participants will work individually to generate their own starting hypothesis for a meaningful direction.


4. Application: Sparring and Sharing
In this session you will learn how to make a direction stronger through a process of critical reflection with a sparring partner.

5. Application: Clashing and Fusing
In this session you will learn how to converge into a more powerful shared direction by being challenged by others who see different opportunities.

6. Application: Questioning
In this session you will learn how to find and engage key interpreters. Interpreters are experts from far-flung fields who have a deep understanding of what your customers would love.

7. Wrap Up and Close
Wrap-up session where teams present their work. Reflections, implications and a call to action.

Roberto Verganti
Professor of Leadership and Innovation, Politecnico di Milano
Author, Harvard Business Press and MIT Press

Roberto Verganti is Professor of Leadership and Innovation at the School of Management of Politecnico di Milano, where he directs Leadin’Lab, the laboratory on the LEAdership, Design and INnovation. He has been a visiting scholar at the Harvard Business School twice, at the Copenhagen Business School and at the California Polytechnic University. Roberto serves on the European Design Leadership Board of the European Commission, where he is also in the High Level Advisory Group of Carlos Moedas, the European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation.

Roberto is the author of “Overcrowded. Designing Meaningful Products in a World Awash with Ideas”, published by MIT Press in 2017, where he provides processes and methods to create breakthrough visions. He is also the author of “Design-Driven Innovation: Changing the Rules of Competition by Radically Innovating what Things Mean”, published by Harvard Business Press in 2009, which has been selected by BusinessWeek as one of the Best Design an Innovation Books, and by the Academy of Management for the George R. Terry Book Award as one of the best 6 management books published in 2008 and 2009. His research has been awarded the Compasso d'Oro (the most prestigious design award in Italy).

Roberto has issued more than 150 articles, including “Developing Products on Internet Time” published on Management Science, and “Innovating Through Design”, “Which Kind of Collaboration is Right for You”, “Designing Breakthrough Products”, and “The Innovative Power of Criticism” all published on the Harvard Business Review. He has been featured on The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Financial Times, BusinessWeek and is a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review online magazine.

Roberto, together with his team of likeminded researchers-consultants, has served as advisor to executives and senior managers at a wide variety of manufacturing and service firms, both large, as Ferrari, Ducati, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Gucci, Samsung, STMicroelectronics, and small, as Mutti (food), B&B and Vox (furniture), Alidays (travel), XO-Care (healthcare), Iseo (Safety).


Good Design Australia gratefully acknowledges the support of Aurecon, the Australian Industry Group and Quidni Advisory for this event.

Aurecon brings ideas to life to design a better future. Imagining what is possible, we turn problems into solutions. We provide advisory, design, delivery and asset management services on projects across a range of markets, in locations worldwide.

The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) is Australia's peak industry association. Acting on behalf of business for more than 140 years, they are Australia's only truly national employers' organisation. Ai Group represents the interests of more than 60,000 businesses employing more than 1 million staff. Their longstanding involvement with diverse industry sectors including manufacturing, construction, transport, labour hire, mining services, defence, airlines and ICT means they are genuinely representative of Australian industry.

Quidni – Latin for “why not?”
This describes the essence of what we do at Quidni Advisory. We challenge the status quo, we work with executives to make unexpected connections and we blend latest strategy and leadership thinking with innovative practical steps to make better choices. Choices than can be implemented. Quidni Advisory is a boutique consulting firm that works in a network of world-class, but focused advisory capabilities, demystifying unique, pragmatic and innovative solutions to business leaders. We work with the C-suite and the Boards of businesses, but care about the front-line where stuff gets done.