Design (f)or Value in Service Business?

SID Seminar

© SID Seminar illustration by Jane Vita

The 5th annual Service Innovation and Design seminar was held on the 14th of March in Laurea Leppävaara, Espoo. The focus of this year’s seminar was continuous value creation for customers. The seminar was also the closing seminar of TEKES funded projects CoCo and ServChange carried out together by Laurea and VTT.

During the day, we had a chance to work with many interesting people from the industry, service design practitioners, researchers, business people, and service design students, and learn from each other’s experiences on co-creation in service business.

Check the full program of the seminar here.

During the seminar day, there were 13 different parallel workshops and paper presentations running and we could choose to participate in the sessions we were interested.

The first workshop I participated in was “Exploring the Russian retail market for an innovative entry strategy” run by Daria Morozova & Milton Aldrete. During the workshop we discussed the current situation on the Russian market and explored how a foreign retail company could expand its operations there through different entry strategies. The facilitators of the workshop shared different insights gathered during interviews with experts working on the Russian market. Our group was really small, therefore we had a lot of time for open discussion on the most relevant topics for us – different trends related to the Russian retail market, including growing online retail, shortage of good retail space, and importance of choosing the right operational team.

The second workshop I attended was “Launching the CoCo Tool Kit: Practical co-creation tools to support co-creation activities in service business” run by Krista Keränen, Bernhard Dusch and Katri Ojasalo.

CoCo Workshop

CoCo Workshop

CoCo Cosmos

Co-creation phenomenon (collaboration between companies and their clients and other stakeholders) is “the next big thing” to tackle the challenges businesses are facing these days. However, the methods and tools to integrate co-creation into business practice are still completely missing. In a 2-years TEKES founded CoCo project, the project team has developed a co-creation tool kit, which could be used to support co-creation activities in service business. During the workshop, we had a chance to be the first users of the brand new CoCo tool kits and discover how the tool should be used.

The main part of the CoCo tool kit, CoCo Cosmos, is a “game” that consists of a board, four sets of cards representing stakeholders, actions, locations and entities, and an overview of the cards. It helps in gaining the shared understanding between different stakeholders and business partners by using different cards. During the workshop, we had a chance to trail the tool in a group of several people trying to get a common understanding of a chosen service concept. On top of that, all of us received an electronic version of the CoCo tool kit that we could start using right away to co-create with our clients.

If you want to discover what co-creation means, get practical tips on how to develop co-creation in your company, and get a tool to co-create with your stakeholders, you can order the CoCo tool kit here.

Other keynote presentations of the seminar included:

Nicholas Ink, Associate Professor at Oslo School of Management, co-author of the book “Brand Together”, speaking on co-creation with customers

Nick Coates, co-creation consultant at Promise Ltd, has shared his experiences from running co-creative projects with some of the well-known brands

Karan Shah, co-founder of Grow Trees, introducing the initiative allowing companies and individuals to create value by planting trees to help restore our forest, support communities and celebrate any special occasion

Alastair Fuad-Luke, Professor Emerging Design Practices at Aalto Univeristry School of Art, Design and Architecture, speaking on co-design, participatory design and other emergent design approaches

Göte Nyman, Professor of Psychology at University of Helsinki, speaking on importance of psychological factors in the design of new services

Sudhanshu Rai, Associate Professor of innovation at Copenhagen Business School, wrapping up the seminar and highlighting the importance of creativity in the co-creation process

This blog post on SID Seminar 2013 was created as an assignment for the course “Current Topics of Service Design”.

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