Archive by Author | Antti Kytö

Business owners and investors should take part in Jam events

This blog post discusses why I think that investors, clients, CIOs, CEOs, CBOs and other people who are responsible for service quality, organisation’s strategy or business should take part Jam events in future.

Did you recognise yourself? Great!

I thought You when I wrote this.

What is Global Service Jam?

From 27th of February to 1st of March in 2015 curios and open-minded people all-around the world met for fifth time in 95 different locations at the same weekend.

Global Service Jam is a yearly 48h event where ordinary people with different backgrounds meet together and solve ordinary problems people are facing in their daily lives. Simple as that.

But Global Service Jam is by no means the only one of its kinds. Global Sustainability Jam and Global GovJam focuses more in social responsibility issues. Watch also a video about Jams in general.

Now you may wonder “what’s in it for me in Jams”? Next, I give you several reasons why I think that you should get in.

Adopt the design process and rapid prototyping skills

One of the most interesting elements in Jams comes in the form of rapid prototyping. New service concepts are tested and evaluated numerous times at a rapid succession. This is something that rarely occurs in traditional business setting.

The design process in Jams goes like this:

  1. People quickly share their views and insights about problems worth solving
  2. They team up with other people who have passion to solve a shared problem
  3. Teams learn quickly about the true nature of the chosen problem in real-life
  4. Teams ideate how the problem could be solved
  5. The most important thing… aside the process, teams create very early plausible prototypes, test and improve them, until they have found a minimum viable, desirable and feasible solution.
  6. When time is up, audience can experience or interact each teams’ service prototype. No PowerPoints or bullet points.

All in 48 hours.

Instead of explaining here more deeply what is Design Thinking, Lean Startup Process or what is a Minimum Viable Product, I suggest you to go next Jam and live the process. Bill Moggridge from IDEO have crystallized the nature of human experiences very well: “You can’t experience the experience until you experience it”. Thus, you know then what you mean, when you find yourself explaining the previous design processes for your colleagues or clients. Also, you have a proper starting point to improve your new practical hands-on design skills.

Now you may think: How long it takes to play and test a service prototype with a user or a stakeholder?

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Co-Designing Open Innovation activities with Samlink

On 10th of February 2015, a Finnish IT Service Provider Samlink asked external help, ideas and insights by involving multidisciplinary professionals into Designing Open Innovation Activities mini workshop. The event was organised and hosted together with the Service Design Network Finland. The purpose was to ideate what different kind of Open Innovation models, frameworks and activities Samlink could provide in future. Samlink, the company that I work myself too, also wanted to share knowledge for the community.

Visualising who we all are

Visualising who we all are

About thirty participants entered the event from Aalto University, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, start-ups, bigger ICT-companies, freelancers, entrepreneurs, etc. People with diverse backgrounds attended the event: service & systems architects, developers and service designers, innovation managers, and so on.

CEO of Samlink, Pentti Unkuri, opened the event by presenting some facts about Samlink and trends that are affecting in financial services. Security director of Samlink, Jari Pirhonen, discussed how information security should taken care when designing services.

Next, Mahnoush Mojtabaei from Aalto University explained Open Innovation in her speech ‘The Brave New World of Open Innovation’.

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OpenFin Challenge – How did we succeed within 22 hours?

This is a descriptive story and self-reflective analysis of how four service design fellows & a tech consultant succeeded to come up with a strategic service ecosystem concept with viable business model just within 22 hours – and to convince a heterogeneous, multidimensional and highly professional jury.

The challenge

Open Innovation in Finance Business (OpenFin) is Aalto University project powered by OP-Pohjola and Futurice. The organizations invited creative minds to create new innovative financial service concepts for consumers and small enterprises.

OpenFin Hack & Ideathon – an open innovation challenge for future financial services was about to begin. And we were registered in! After I received green light from my employer to join the event, my participation was confirmed too. Agreement was extremely essential statement for me because I work with financial services myself and have high professional ethics.

“Other working-class citizens were looking forward to relax”

At 6 p.m. in Friday 26th September 2014, about fifty talented service designer, developers, entrepreneurs and student with different backgrounds met at Aalto University at Open Innovation House. While other working-class citizens were looking forward to relax, eight creative teams were about to solve some financial service challenges collaboratively.

There we met again, feeling exited. Minna Myyryläinen, Jaakko Porokuokka, Mika Keskiväli and myself. Four 2nd year MBA students from Service Innovation & Design program from Laurea University of Applied Sciences. We were happy to welcome Technology Consultant Lassi Jatkola onboard to make our team more versatile. Lassi made sure that our team was also capable to code & hack some Proof Of Concepts if needed.

Unleash the data

OP-Pohjola provides an OpenAPI Developers documentation to empower external individual developers and communities to create the future banking services themselves. The company believes that innovative service solutions can be achieved by providing and creating the required tools in collaboration.

The rules were fair: each team owns their rights for their service concept. This is it how it should go: otherwise the principles of open innovation would collapse.

“Open data is an enormous opportunity – or actually a must”

As a designer, I follow with great interest how companies are opening up their closed frameworks for 3rd parties to play with. Open data is an enormous opportunity – or actually a must – to deliver truly seamless digital services. Otherwise all the designed service concepts that have been created with passion to improve quality-of-life and to bring value for people & business will remain torsos. Or at least developers inside the closed companies need immeasurable amount of hours and sweat to invent and reinvent the required expensive dirty tricks.

Cutting corners from design leads inevitably to poor user experience and to lose-lose-lose situation.

Isn’t that sad?

Day 1: From insights to mini posters

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The Rabbit Hole of Design Thinking

Professor and researcher Katja Tschimmel and ideation facilitator Gijs van Wulfen showed us where the Rabbit Hole of Design Thinking is. So I also jumped in it, dug together with fellows hands on for two full days – and we are still digging. The more we explore, the more we find. This post is about what I have perceived here for so far.

The_Rabbit_Hole_of_Design_Thinking_thumb

See how far the rabbit hole goes and what Design Thinking and innovating can be in practice (PDF)

Everyone can be a Design Thinker

We all have the gift of creative thinking. We just need to find it and start thinking mind open. Children do this all the time while playing, so we all have already once been creative thinkers. We just forgot and lose skills that we don’t use or practice.

Explore the challenge

Observing the business case context

We also know what it’s like to perform our daily tasks in hurry. People are expected to been efficient to make decisions when challenges are met and needed to get over them quickly. But quite often we meet the same challenges again – one after another and day after day.

To make a difference we need to stop for a moment, change how we act and learn to understand the true nature of the challenge. Look at them together with your collaborators from different point of views. Smell the challenge. Taste and listen to it, shake, turn it around, feel and live it, observe and learn. After we know the challenge throughout, we can start changing it.

Think outside-the-box…

Photo Safari photos in the Mood Board to create ideas

This is where we need to take a few steps backwards. We have to see the big picture and give space to emotions and feelings. Because if we don’t follow our hearts and base the later coming solution on feelings we won’t be able to solve the challenge in a creative way. Why? Because then we wouldn’t like the solution we would create.

“And be visual. Because ideas can’t be seen. They need to be shown.”

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