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John McGuire to head up innovation at Aurecon

John McGuire, Chief Innovation Officer

30 June 2015 - John McGuire has been appointed Chief Innovation Officer at Aurecon.

In a move to reshape the company to better serve its clients to compete in the digital age, Giam Swiegers, Chief Executive Officer, is making some strategic changes at Aurecon with the appointment of John McGuire as Chief Innovation Officer.

Reporting directly to Swiegers, McGuire will drive the change to embed a global culture of innovation within Aurecon. He will also lead the organisation to achieve its goal of partnering with clients to design their future, determine their reactions to a variety of different competitive situations, and discover innovate pathways to thrive in the age of digital transformation.

Digital is challenging many businesses to think differently. It is challenging how businesses connect and service existing customers. It is raising the possibility that if organisations do not adapt and change, then their market could be disrupted by others more agile and adept. Design thinking is a way of dealing with these possibilities by reimagining new models of business and new models of service and working with clients to co-design what these look like.

This change, Swiegers says, demands innovation.

“Organisations are struggling to differentiate themselves in the hyper contested environments of the digital age and many are now looking to innovation as a source of differentiation.”

Swiegers adds that, most organisations now realise they do not have all the answers and are increasingly seeking partners, such as Aurecon, who can bring the ideas and knowledge they don’t have and then innovate together to find new solutions.

“The sources of innovation will often come from outside of your own industry or your own sphere of knowledge. Bringing diverse expertise bases and different experiences and different points of view is increasingly being used as a method for innovating.”

McGuire’s strategic appointment and focus on the use of design led thinking in solving the complex problems will see Aurecon challenge its clients thinking to bring forth new ideas and knowledge and deliver differentiation as a source of competitive advantage in a highly contested market.

Together with teams throughout the organisation, McGuire will build the vision and capabilities to help Aurecon compete in the world of tomorrow and to evolve the company’s offering — using creativity, expertise and design led thinking — to unlock new value for its clients and create solutions that are symbiotic with the communities in which it operates.  

McGuire says, “This is an incredibly exciting time to be an engineer. In the last two to three years, the growth of computational analytics, data availability and accessibility, system and people connectivity, and immersive visualisation, has opened a new world of opportunity for businesses. Coupled with data gathering on system and infrastructure performance, we are seeing new channels for connecting with and servicing customers that we would not have dreamed of a few short years ago.

“Innovation, design and integrative thinking are the tools our people use as they work collaboratively with our clients to solve the complexity of problems they are facing. The end result is both better infrastructure and business performance for our clients, using design thinking as the vehicle for achieving that performance.”

About John McGuire

McGuire is an experienced business leader, offering over 25 years of experience in consulting and contracting in Australia, the Middle East and the United Kingdom. He has been involved in a wide range of projects, specifically in health care, forensic and specialist containment laboratories.

As a mechanical engineer McGuire is well known for his creative approaches to design innovation and sustainability. He is a guest lecturer to the architecture schools at the University of Western Australia and Curtin University as well as an international judge and faculty member for the International Academy of Design and Health. Most recently he has been working with the Design Innovation Research Centre at the University of Technology Sydney looking at how Design Led Innovation can be applied in Aurecon.

Notable projects with which McGuire has been involved include:


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