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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.

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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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Innovation and Development Activities in Professional Service Firms – a Role Structure Perspective, doctoral dissertation by Tiina Tuominen

By Riku Seppälä

I attended the public defence of Tiina Tuominen’s doctoral dissertation at Aalto University in Otaniemi, Espoo on 22nd February.  Title of her thesis is Innovation and development activities in professional service firms- a role structure perspective.  The thesis can be found here: http://otalib.aalto.fi/en/collections/e-publications/dissertations/

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Service design case study: how to turn customer challenges into new service offerings

Author: Tuomas Suominen, tuomas.suominen@kaakelikeskus.fi

In this blog post, I present how you can turn your customers challenges into new service offerings. The most crucial thing is to gather as much information as you can about your service users daily tasks. In this case study, this was done by interviewing clients. You can be surprised how much your service users have to offer. They can sometimes suggest promising service ideas.

This case study was done as a thesis project at Laurea Service Innovation & Design Masters Program. I was inspired by CEO Lou Gerstners IBM turnaround. IBM was struggling in the 1990s. The new CEO sent his sales staff not to sell, but to ask customers what kind of challenges they faced daily. Gerstner realized that the company should concentrate on solving customer’s problems with their technology knowledge. Inspired by Gerstner, I too wanted to look into my client’s challenges. After all, a challenge is a latent need, and a possible service development case. I concentrated on architect clients, whose work I knew little about.

I decided Service-dominant logic and service design would guide my way in this thesis. Service-dominant logic would be my base theory and service design would serve as application of that theory. I combined the two, and kept their guiding principles in mind while planning my service design process.  After looking at the extant service literature, I decided to co-create the service with clients. I aimed to design a win-win service for both service provider and client.

Näyttökuva 2013-01-01 kohteessa 10.31.25

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Book Review: Fast Strategy by Yves Doz & Mikko Kosonen

1        Fostering Strategic Agility

Sharpening strategic sensitivity, building collective commitment and enabling resource fluidity are major guides to strategic agility.  They give insight on all that need to be done to ensure that strategies are implemented to yield positive results.  Sensitivity of organizations to changes around them is not enough to make them have a competitive advantage of their product/services over others. Other factors of consideration are as well required in order to make their strategies agile and these are listed below.

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Toolbox for growth and innovation – the outcome-driven innovation process

The author challenges traditional ways of gathering information for innovation in products and services. In this book, Ulwick introduces an outcome-driven innovation process, which he presents as new and productive.

The book has a refreshing point of view on customer involvement and distribution of work between customers and experts. It is important to know precisely what inputs an organization or a company wants from the customers in order to find business opportunities and create value. According to the book, a significant business opportunity lies in knowing which outcomes are important and which unsatisfied needs the customers has. After exploring these factors, solutions are evaluated and carried out by the experts.

Based on our understanding of the book and the outcome-driven innovation method, we started to think of the methods as an “innovation toolbox”. Ulwick is offering the following 8 tools in his book:

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Book Review: Mobile Service Innovation and Business Models

Current trends that shape the western economies are the growing importance of services, the need for innovation, changes in consumer and business markets, and the advancements in information and communication technology. Technological developments like the digitalization of information, the increased processing capacity of computer chips, miniaturization and increased mobility of devices, the use of sensors and location technologies, increased interoperability between services, security, and natural interfaces (Brouwman, Van den Hooff, Van de Wijngaert, & Van Dijk, 2005) enable mature architectures and platforms for knowledge sharing, collaboration, and electronic commerce transactions, anywhere, anytime.

Nowadays development of the new innovative services is an important driver for economic growth. In the book Mobile Service Innovation and Business Models, the authors present a theoretically grounded yet practical approach to designing business models for electronic services, including mobile ones. The book consists of two parts.

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User-based Innovation in Services : Book Review

User Ecosystem: Pathway to Innovation

“The effective service innovation happens if entrepreneurial innovation group with technical capabilities can unite material, service and experience to provide market accepted new service. “

The subsequent blog post peeks into the book “User-based innovation in Services” by Jon Sundbo and Marja Toivonen and takes you to insight concepts as to how and why these concepts are useful. The subsequent sections will discuss about the interesting concepts and topics from the literature.

Before we start it’s important to understand the term ‘Users’. Let’s quickly make our understanding, users or receivers of the services are generally termed as customers, clients or consumers. The customer is the One that buys goods or services and can still resale after processing. The consumer is the one that acquires goods or services for direct use or ownership rather than resale. The client is a party for which professional services are rendered.. The “Users”  is used as super set, has full blown ecosystem which is driven socially, culturally or individually. Now when we understand users’ as the driving force for service innovation and users’ various distinctions, let’s move towards various concepts.

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The Role of Customers and Business Support Organizations in Innovation

By Lauri Kuljus and Mari

The Handbook of Innovation and ServicesThe Handbook of Innovation and Services: A Multi-disciplinary Perspective, edited by Gallouj & Djellal, brings together 49 international specialists to discuss innovation as it relates to services. This handbook investigates the role of innovation in services from a variety of directions and provides a good source of comprehensive reference material on this field.

Out of the many topics discussed in the book we chose to look at innovation from a company point of view. First we identify the background on what is innovation in services, then discuss the impact of innovation on the start-up service companies, and conclude with the importance of involving customers in innovation process. Continue reading

Brand together – Book review

“Brand Together – How co-creation generates innovation and re-energizes brands”
Nicholas Ind, Charles Trevail and Clare Fuller
Have you ever listened to two women talking about brands? Sounds too trivial? Well, this conversation is different…
Such important first impression,  and we are not judging the book by its cover
Tatjana: For me, brand is a ‘loud’ name that represents quality and value. Products and services with solid brand names will win over despite the price margin that I would be paying just for having that label on a product. The reputation that brand has, often comes with a history of quality level. When seeing book title “Brand together” among other very interesting books for the assignment, I immediately knew that this is something I can relate to naturally. The anticipation of something stylish, bright, lightweight and attractive, packaged into one nice word, was on in an instant. The book turned out to be a ‘heavy-reading’, but with interesting insights to compensate for the writing style.

Strategic Roadmap for Startups

by Abdalla, Man, Markus, Juha and Theodros

The term “Service economy” has changed the mindsets of companies’ strategic thinking in the 21st century. It reflects from the fact that in industrialized economies, manufacturers are focusing more and more on add-on services when trying to defend their business against the continuously growing service sector. Market is a battlefield and new challengers are entering from every corner.

Markets are changing rapidly and constantly forcing companies to challenge their existing business models. Today many of the startup companies are founded on the basis of innovative service concepts, aiming to create their own market and challenge the structures of traditional business competition. This blog post focuses on providing a strategic roadmap to startups on their journey to become a forerunner in service business. Continue reading