Lessons from the Master: Forget the Titles, Facilitation is Key

After a decent amount of lobbying we had the pleasure to have the Service Design guru Marc Stickdorn as our guest speaker at the Finnish language Service Design program.

Stickdorn has just published the new book This is Service Design Doing. He talked about what he thought Service Design was and what the crucial skills for doing it were.

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Marc Stickdorn

According to Stickdorn the reasoning for Service Design is simple. Experiences stick to customers, not products.

“Organisations lose money because of bad customer experience. Customers trust the stories of other customers and less what companies tell them”, he stated.

Therefore customers will pay more for better customer experience. And that’s what Service Design is for.

All this has to be explained to the managers. There is a business reason for better customer service and it has to be shown with money. One way of explaining new services are storyboards.

“Products can be made into mockups, but services are not tangible. We need to make it tangible to talk about exactly the same thing”, Stickdorn said.

Service Design, UX Design, Business Design…

In the cover of Stickdorn’s new book there is a quip to all the disciplines that have popped up but are doing essentially the same thing.

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Stickdorn thinks that Service Design is going to become a common language.

“Many disciplines are not trained to take little steps. Managers are often afraid to take decisions to start. Service Designers should create a safe space to come up with ideas”, Stickdorn said.

Therefore they key skill for Service Designers is facilitation. How can I create a safe space so that people are not ashamed to come up with really shitty first drafts?

Stickdorn gave us tips about how to be a good facilitator. First we need to have a huge toolbox of small warmups. If there is a hurdle, we should be able to take a method and apply it and see how the group changes.

“What makes a difference is experience. Don’t try to copy somebody else. There are a thousand different styles to facilitate”, Stickdorn said.

According to Stickdorn Service Design is not a silver bullet that can fix everything.

“Be open to other stuff. There is no clear boundary where Service Design ends and other stuff starts. It allows us to use methods from other disciplines. There is not one tool or method coming from Service Design. Personas are from UX, journey maps are from branding, etc.”

For me Stickdorn’s talk gave a bit more clarity about what we are aiming to as Service Designers. It is important to talk a common language and teach the language to the managers and others in the company. In order to facilitate the change into Service Design way of thinking, we need good facilitation skills.

The author Noora Penttinen is a journalist and a Service Design student who believes in creative chaos and thinks that best ideas appear at four in the morning.

Transform your business with Service Design

I had a pleasure to attend Elisa Corporate Customers Digital Customer Service event last week, where Elisa and their partner eGain were representing how they see the world changing in the customer service side.  eGain’s CEO was describing how customer service is seen to be evolving as generations are changing rapidly. For example, Generation Z has different learning habits, consumption habits and view as how they relate to work and world around them. They consume on the spot as they were born digital, are not loyal and don’t want to be drudges. Therefore, businesses need to change, change dramatically.

Elisa -eGain

The old way of doing business doesn’t work for Generation Z anymore, transformation is required and the ones who are capable of fast and agile transformation are the winners. What was striking to me personally is the part where eGain’s CEO was claiming that in the future, the old business models don’t work anymore, old companies have to think about their offering through new business models. When thinking about the different business models, service design tools and methods serve a good basis for building a new and fresh approach, as the customers are heavily involved designing and co-creating the services together with relevant stakeholders. This is a huge task to be done with many companies, some of them don’t even realize the change is going to be huge. Once company has awaken to the need of change, still the path is long and pretty cumbersome, but it needs to be taken. Once, service and business model have been tested vigorously and seen to fly on a level that is satisfying the customer’s and company owners, the legacy process have to be adapted to the new business model, not the other way around.  That means that many companies need to think about their future business models, their processes and their legacy systems, how to change them and transform them around to support new business models and new ways of doing business. That’s good news as us future service designers are needed heavily in the future business transformation. 

 


			

Showcasing Nordic Service Design – Collaboration and Empathy as Strengths

How is Nordic Service Design different from other Service Design? This was a question that was answered at the premiere of the Nordic Service Design documentary hosted by OP, a Finnish banking and insurance company.

In addition to the documentary there were several presentations from leading Finnish Service Design firms. Tim Hall from Fjord brought in an outsider’s perspective and explained how he thought Nordic Service Design differed from that done in other countries.

Native of the UK, Hall had experienced the UK as the center of the world. After arriving in Finland he realized that the difference was that the Nordics were smaller countries with smaller populations that were eager to co-operate with each other and others. The command of English also comes to play.

Hall told that Fjord often gets asked for a Nordic Service Designer for projects. He said it’s not really about nationality but about perspective. There is more empathy in the Nordics.

According to Hall, at the moment people are starting to get the need for Service Design, because companies are struggling to connect with customers. Service Design has risen from the micro level to macro level – designing business.

Threats are the push for speed and the proliferation of Service Design.

“The less educated have a design thinking workshop and they think that’s the design done. That’s wrong”, Hall said.

Proliferation of Service Design is a threat because it might become a management fad.  Therefore we need to fight for craft.

“Underlying need and curiosity will prevail. We are bridging the gap of the digital and the physical world.”

For more about Nordic Service Design, watch the documentary below. The documentary was made by the Nordic chapter of the Service Design Network.

The author Noora Penttinen is a journalist and a recent Service Design student who believes in creative chaos and thinks that best ideas appear at four in the morning.

Facilitation for 100 people? How to cope that?

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Photo by M. Jakubowska

Facilitation is the key of service design projects. According to Schein (1990) facilitation is a process of HELPING, putting more emphasize on inquiry of the problem, and combining methods that will help facilitator be enabler, not a leader of the process with the approach of owning the problem. In the last project I became a part of (with team of 7 other facilitators) I tried to follow this rule. Continue reading

Service is the new value. Most interesting case studies from SDN conference (2017)

Service design is creating a new mindset. After SDN Global Conference in Madrid and case studies of new services we can acknowledge that this specific approach to build organisations and their DNA and offer for customers is spreading the word. In this post I want to show most interesting cases from SDN conference to memorise this time and SDN awards winners and those honourable mentioned.

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Storytelling – The next generation of narrative

In my Service Innovation and Design studies, I have heard and talked a lot about Storytelling as a tool for innovation. That is why I was excited to attend an event in London organized by General Assembly where Magnus Moar from Middlesex University was talking about Storytelling as the next generation of narrative.

At a General Assembly event we discussed different digital and design trends for 2018, which mostly centered around the major new player on the digital scene: Augmented and Virtual Reality. In the event Magnus Moar, the Head Creative of Technology at Middlesex University, gave a talk about Storytelling and how it will be used in the future, especially in Virtual Reality.

According to Moar, storytelling as a technique is a fundamental part of being human. Stories are designed to reach out and offer an emotional experience and they are the best tool for escapism. Nowadays there is also a close connections between storytelling and technology – in the form of visual immersion.  We don’t have to only use words any longer. Now, Moar says, with Virtual Reality it is now possible to enter these stories. Combining Storytelling with Virtual Reality lets you live the story, as opposed to usually only you’ve been able to hear and observe.

Storytelling has been used in gaming for years, but now it is being brought into marketing and service development in new ways by offering a completely new customer experience through Virtual Reality. In the travel business for example, imagine a 360 panorama of a holiday destination you could immerse yourself in.

However, Moar points out that in order to be effective, in a virtual world it is also important to construct a story not only offer visual experiences. This is why Storytelling is the key and it is what will drive the the medium of Virtual Reality. The challenge of creating a truly immersive customer experience is getting the user to truly engage in the story.

Read more: 5 of the most intriguing Virtual reality stories

Here is Anthony Geffen talking about Storytelling in virtual reality:

 

Written by: Leena Salo / SID student

The most topical conversation in design is about ethics

After going on different types of design events, it seems quite obvious that there is one topic that seems relevant in all aspects of design: ethics.

In technology+empathy Design Talk, Nelli Lähteenmäki spoke how designers should consider the impact their service has, already before designing it. She mentioned Tristan Harris who has founded a non-profit initiative Timewellspent with a mission to reversing the digital attention crisis and realigning technology with humanity’s best interests. Rolling Stone –magazine named Tristan as one of “25 People Shaping the World” in 2017. Btw, have a look how you can take control of your own (possible) addiction here. I changed my screen into a greyscale straight away! 😀

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Capture from Timewellspent

Carla Camilla Hjort from Space10 raised conversation about designers responsibility to design empowerment rather than addiction. She stated that “the secret of change is to focus your energy not to fighting the old, but on building the new.” It seems that future living lab Space10 is in someway Ikea’s way of changing their own brand image into being more sustainable, innovative and ecological but I do not see it as a bad thing, when an initiative like Space10 raises important conversation and shows an example to every other giant company like Ikea.

In the last IxDa-meeting, a community invited everyone to join a bee with an aim on building a guide that integrates children’s rights into the design process. The registration for the event is now open on:  https://www.childrensdesignguide.org/. The topic is hot, especially after Facebook launched its’ messenger app for kids.

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