In Your Element – Everything
is an object of design with Maureen
Thurston


By Louise


Maureen’s 40-year career as an industrial designer has spanned the globe, multiple industries and creative disciplines. Her diverse background as an entrepreneur, educator and consultant has manifested itself into her current role as the world’s first Chief Experience Officer (CXO) for an engineering firm Aurecon – quite possibly the first CXO in any of the big-4 professional service firms today.  

She led the company’s Design to Innovate program – part of Aurecon’s Future Ready, by design strategy – by embedding the mindset and methods of design as a catalyst to foster innovation, reframe culture transformation and reinforce Aurecon’s brand promise to ‘Bring ideas to life’

She is also Chair of Good Design Australia, indeed a multi-talented guest!  

Maureen believes we are all creative, and that is part of our superpower as human beings – and we need to ask more questions and seek more answers, rather than simply looking for solutions.  She believes all innovation is simply an output – an outcome – of asking the question  – Why?  The why question is designed to trigger learning. 

She loves to use her design thinking skills to work on problem-solving with groups and have fun in reframing problems into opportunities.  She loves nature, being outside and seeing the expansiveness of the horizon – as a way to pause more and think about what it is that might be possible?  

In a Design Context – Maureen describes TetraMap as a  framework for catalysing innovation.   

  • Fire – is the catalyst to spark innovation. 
  • Water – is the flow of co-creation. 
  • Air – is the space to achieve clarity
  • Earth – is how the discipline of design helps make the world a better place.   

 

She is passionate about Inclusivity and Diversity as a strategy for Innovation and likens it to an insurance policy – one that will help teams and organisations reach better outcomes and achieve competitive advantage.  

Maureen explains how anyone can think like a designer, or work like a designer. She says anyone can learn the methods, but it is more about the mindset of being human-centric – where she refers to the culture of design – as being one of trying to democratise creativity.   

Maureen’s professional journey continues to be guided by her absolute belief in the strategic business value of design as a means to unlock innovation, creativity and sustainable growth.

There are many, many gems in this 30-minute interview.     

Book Recommendations: 
A more beautiful question by Warren Berger 
Dancing with Disruption by Mike Lipkin

The quote was chosen from Oscar Wilde:
Life is too important to be taken seriously. 

Maureen has also supplied two helpful short videos for our listeners: 

The why of things 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hmj9lG9hcFg

Aurecon’s DNA
https://www.dropbox.com/s/mixo1k6gdaskn1u/AURECON_DNA_2020.mp4?dl=0

Maureen’s Linked In Details: https://www.linkedin.com/in/maureenthurston/

Podcast: 
Royalty-free music with permission from the artist: Woah by Vincent Augustus
Producers: Alasdair and Uros: Far Out Podcast

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