Archive by Author | erkkisalo1

Master Thesis: Empowering Child Sponsorship with Service-Dominant Logic

Child Sponsorship

Child Sponsorship is highly motivational form of regular giving. Largest child sponsorship organizations in Finland are currently Plan, World Vision and Fida. Picture taken from Fida’s project in Tanzania by Erkki Salo.

In this blog post, I Introduce my master thesis and share some of my personal experiences from the MBA studies. As part of my master thesis (which can be downloaded from here: Salo Erkki Master Thesis) I developed a Service-Dominant Logic based business model canvas application for child sponsorship organizations. With the help of the canvas, value propositions for the child sponsorship of the case organization Fida International were developed.

Turmoil in fundraising

Child sponsorship is a highly popular and high impact form of giving that affects to the lives of 90 million people. In child sponsorship, a donor, called a child sponsor, supports a child in a developing country through regular donations. With the support, a sponsored child receives improved chances in life. The case organization Fida International is one of these organizations with its 5200 child sponsors helping 10 000 children in poor countries.

Child sponsorship organizations, like any other charities, are facing the changing world as donor generations are aging without the younger generations filling in the gap. In order to adapt to the change, donor customers cannot be treated as passive receptors of marketing messages, but instead as co-creators of value. By co-designing services together with customers and with other stakeholders, doors can be opened for innovations.

New Business Model Canvas application for child sponsorship

The starting point of the thesis was that the Business Model Canvas (see my previous blog post) introduced by Osterwalder and Pigneur (2010) can help organizations to visualize and innovate successful business models. Despite of its strengths, it is said to represent an old paradigm of service marketing called goods-dominant logic.

The new paradigm of service marketing introduced by Professors Vargo and Lusch (2004), called the Service-Dominant Logic, challenges the Goods-Dominant Logic. In the Service-Dominant Logic, value is always co-created with customers and is solely determined by the customer.

Therefore, I decided to apply the Business Model Canvas with Service-Dominant Logic and to add also insights found from the fundraising literature and from other available business model canvas applications, such as the Lean Canvas and the Nonprofit Business Model 1.0. After the analysis, I used the original business model building blocks by Osterwalder and Pigneur, but altered the original key questions.

The developed business model canvas application was used as part of the service design process to develop value propositions of the case organization’s child sponsorship. Multiple different stakeholders were involved, and the focus was on the big picture. The chosen service-design process was the Double Diamond. As outcomes of the thesis, the case organization gained a deeper understanding of their donor customer needs and how the developed value propositions were linked to the donor customer’s public and private desired outcomes.

Continue reading

Cut the corners first – Harness the power of futures thinking

mediaentertainment signal board

“Futures are about knowledge. We must be inspired about futures. Futures are also about storytelling. “ explained lecturers Minna Koskelo and Anu K. Nousiainen.

In the course Futures thinking and foresights methodologies we learned how futures thinking is linked to service design and how it can be applied in business. Through hands-on workshops lot of new things were learnt and here are some key learning points.

Decision-making boosted up with futures foresights

Futures foresight methods can help companies to make right decisions to captivate their own blue ocean strategies. When identifying preferable futures and setting trend indicators to follow, companies can improve decision-making. Futures insights offers companies more flexibility to the strategy, support their risk management and produce new business ideas.

There is not just one future, but a whole range of possibilities. Futures foresight is a process of observing current world, finding new curves of change and seeking for opportunities of tomorrow. It is not just about guessing and predicting, but it is systematic approach that combines multiple fields and methods in order to produce proposals of possible, probable and preferable futures, which organizations can use to make right decisions.

Futures research is a combination of intuition and documented information. It is a creative discipline. There are various frameworks of futures foresight process where one can choose the most suitable one and it can be applied in the innovation process together with service design methods.

Trends and signals: hints of new business opportunities

Continue reading

Experiences from the 5th Annual SID Seminar

design is attitude

The 5th  Annual Service Innovation and Design Seminar was held on March 14th 2013 at Laurea Leppävaara. Almost 200 participants with different backgrounds shared this day by learning and discussing how to create more value with customers.

Morning keynote sessions: Co-creating value with customers

brand togetherCustomers need to be involved in service design process, explained Nicholas Ink, co-author of Brand Together and continued: It is about relationships rather than just a transactions. When customers are involved, they except more from their brands. Trust is built over time.

Nick Coates, who has worked with brands such as Virgin and Spotify, shared that successful co-creation projects includes confidence, acceptance and believe in chance. Co-creation or co-design also affects to the way one talks to their customers.

Continue reading

Facilitating an awesome ideation workshop

Service Design Workshop“Service design cannot be learnt by reading, but through practice” described Marc Stickdorn, co-author of the black book “This is Service Design: Basics, Tools Cases” (2011).

Marc Stickdorn held three days intensive service design workshop for Laurea SID Master of Business Administration students. Workshop focused on how to facilitate service design ideation workshops. This blog post focuses on insights learned during 7th to 9th of February 2013.

Facilitating is

Continue reading

Takeoff into Design Thinking

There is an ever growing list of definitions for design. Some people agree with Nelson & Stolterman who’ve said that “Design is the ability to imagine that-which-does-not-yet-exist, to make it appear in concrete form as a new, purposeful addition to the real world (The Design Way)” whereas others prefer Tim Brown’s version: ”Design thinking is a discipline that uses the designer’s sensibility and methods to match people’s needs with what is technologically feasible and what a viable business strategy can convert into customer value and market opportunity”. For us, however, the most important lesson was that everybody can be a designer.

Group work starts – Museum on wheels sees its first ray of light

The beginning process of our group work was well structured. It all started from group formulation and first assignment. We were instructed to choose one most inspiring service of the given public services. Decision were unanimous, we would look deeper into fascinating world of museums. Everyone took a pile of post-it notes, a pen and a square of own space and started 10 minutes ideation flow. How we could improve museum experience? What would be the services which will attract customer attention? Something exciting, novel and unexpected. Continue reading

Competing with Business Models

“If you are not thinking about business models, you are an irresponsible leader.”

Co-author of Business Model Generation (Osterwalder & Pigneur, 2010) Alexander Osterwalder challenged Finnish business experts in Business Model Innovation Seminar in Helsinki 6th of November 2012.  He stated business models makes organizations thrive or die.

“We will have more industries where companies compete with different business models, but with exactly same products”, and continued: “Nowadays we compete with our business models.”

From Nintendo Wii to Nespresso , Alexander Osterwalder proved his case. “A better business model almost always outcomes a better technology.” he pointed out, and also added in the case of Nespresso: “Business models also expire”. Continue reading

Hey executive! A few tips to make your organization strategically agile

“The only thing constant is change”
– Heraclitus

We know your job as an executive is getting tougher and tougher no matter in what business you´re in. Operating environment is getting more and more competitive, fast based, complex, turbulent and blurry. You have probably noticed that the “old” way of thinking about the strategy and competitiveness won´t guarantee your organization´s success anymore. Strategy can´t no longer be done as a periodic planning exercise conducted in your organizations boardroom behind locked doors; planning for half a year, implementing for 3-5 years and then evaluating the strategy and building a new one – there is no time!

Say hello to agile strategic thinking! Through it, your organization is able to make fast turns and to transform itself without losing momentum. And we don´t mean simply adjusting to change, but thriving on the waves of change and becoming number one. Continue reading