I’m here at the Better By Design CEO Summit, which is an excellent event that occurs every 1.5-2 years. It’s targeted at CEOs and senior leaders from the Better By Design client companies, and from companies considering entering the program or who are already walking the design leadership path. The group also contains design and design in business practitioners, and of course the NZTE and Better by Design team.
The BBD program helps NZ companies (over 150 so far), as I put it, become more like Apple. In New Zealand the exemplars of design led companies include hospital bed manufacturer Howard Wright, which the first, Minister of Everything Steven Joyce, used to Chair. He was involved in Howard Wright at the time of their very successful BBD intervention, and is a fan of the program.
Joyce’s stump speech mentioned that he likes simplicity, we a small country, good looking but remote and needing more economic activity and good jobs to keep people here. Politicians don’t create jobs, in the long run buisnesses that are competitive (not protected) that sell better quality, better designed and lower priced products. He sees businesses depedning on 6 things.
- Ideas and innovation
- Money to build the business (Capital)
- Raw materials
- Skilled people (education)
- Public infrastructure.
Apparently the National-led government will focus on these key things, and Innovation is where the BBD program sits.
Innovation needs science, business processes, marketing, identifying gaps in the market, IP rights, exposure to competition, broadband. The new Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment which Joyce will lead is apparently not the cure for everything, but aimed at improving the six factors. So there is ministerial support for the program, and as we will hear there is strong NZTE support as well. The program itesfl is in the midst of a reinvention, which is going to expand, I hope, the impact and scope of the program.