It was an impressive display of an organisational awareness of:
1. The importance of a clear purpose to align the organisation. This was particularly relevant with respect to who they employ and what grounds them outside of the commercial realities of the airline business.
2. Strategic alignment. The CEO drives a focus on the 3Cs: Customer, Commercial and Culture.
3. A restlessness for change and willingness to challenge the status quo, and continually looking outward for things that impact the business and their customers.
4. Robust design processes, from customer insight methods, active use of their "customer wheel" (journey mapping) to rigorous prioritisation.
5. Strong governance, at the project level through to the board. The board needs to be acknowledged for a belief that an obsession with culture and customer drives commercial success.
6. Evidence of key hires in design disciplines, and a very proactive approach to collaboration with partners.
7. And last, but not least, we cannot forget their international awards and financial success to hang our “Effect” hat onto.
Three impressive CEOs and a board who believed that the Kiwi culture was a differentiator on the global stage deserves respect. They are a showcase for design, 16 years later and we need to recognise that (and the time it takes to get there!)