Employee Experience at Tieto

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I attended a talk about Tieto’s employee experience this week and it was very inspiring to learn how Tieto make use of Jacob Morgan’s thoughts on employee experience to strive to be the best on the market for both employees and external customers.

Jacob Morgan is the father of the Employee Experience Equation, which essentially means the combination of technology, physical space and culture that create the employee experience. Tieto have adopted this model to create their employee experience, something that plays a crucial role at Tieto to not only to hire and retain the best talent, but also as based on their own research, it directly translates to the customer experience.

This was very interesting to learn as even though the topic was employee experience, the customers were put at the heart of the service. Even though internal customers are just as important as the external ones, we often tend to design services with the external customers in mind first, but should not forget the impact an organisation’s internal customers (i.e. employees) have on the value that customers create.

The Employee Experience Equation in practice

As Morgan discusses, the employee experience boils down to 3 areas. At Tieto, these mean the following:

Technology

Having the best technology in use that makes working more efficient. When new technology is being considered, the employees are interviewed to increase buy-in. Data privacy and security also plays a big role as Tieto employees are experts in this, the same standard is required from the technology choices.

Physical space

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One of the best-known examples of the physical space within the employee experience at Tieto is the Empathic Building which can be experienced in the Keilaniemi offices. The Empathic Building allows a completely new way of interacting with your colleagues from finding their location based on tags they wear (all voluntary so if an employee feels like they don’t want to be tracked, they don’t have to) to seeing which rooms and desks are free. But the physical space is a lot more, there are a variety of spaces employees can choose from depending on what their day looks like (from quiet spaces to group working areas or even areas meant just for relaxing). There is also an in-house Support Centre where anyone can get help with their IT or healthcare, which is one of the key areas that Tieto employees feel is important.

Culture

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With over 15,000 employees globally, creating a culture of inclusion has been very important. The aim of Tieto culture is for everyone to feel included, valued, respected and heard which is achieved by celebrating diversity and bringing employees from different locations together, either digitally or physically. There are, for example, several Tieto Communities where likeminded people can network within the company and learn from each other.

 
Tieto are continuously investing in their employee experience and it was great to hear how they have utilised the Employee Experience Equation. If you ever get the chance to visit the Tieto offices, I can warmly recommend them as it serves as a nice inspiration for what employee experience can look like.

Two different solution spaces

 

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As a part of School of Startups, Toni Perämäki from Valohai wanted to show us a structured way of finding customers via Lean Startup method. The one way of ideating is to build, measure and learn in a cycle. The key question in Lean Startup is: Do I have a problem worth solving? One idea is to make a list of problems (3-5) that your idea would be solving. You need to think many sectors in the beginning of the process. These include reviewing the customer pain, considering the size of the market and is it reachable. Also you need to think technical feasibility: are you able to build your product/service?

Even though Toni was telling about customer discovery through Lean Startup methology, I was able to find a lot of similarity to Design Thinking. First of all, they both are used in innovation processes to create something new. Iteration is a key action in both methods. Design process is always about iteration when building products or services. The Build-Measure-Learn feedback loop in Learn Startup is operating solemnly in the solution space in order to create Minimum Viable Products. That loop is very similar to Design Thinking prototypes and testing. They both collect feedback.

Understanding customers is crucial in both points of views. Who are the customers that the idea would help? In this part Toni urged us used user personas and value proposition canvas to help you understand the motivation and also the gain and pain of customers. These both are methods used in Design Thinking. User personas are based on fictional characters whose profile gathers up the features of an existing social group. In this way the personas assume the attributes of the groups they represent: from their social and demographic characteristics, to their own goals, challenges, behaviour and backgrounds. Value Proposition Canvas is a simple way to understand your customers needs, and design products and services they want. It works in conjunction with the Business Model Canvas and other strategic management and execution tools and processes.

 

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Value Proposition Canvas

 

In order of validating your concept Toni adviced us to think of ways of testing idea before prototyping or having a ready product. Good ways are storytelling and demos. Also used in Design Thinking.

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About customer understanding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toni introduced us to few (many) rules that I find useful when trying to understand customers. When gathering information, don’t use surveys. Surveys are too structured and it’s not a dialog. Also don’t use focus groups. People tend to change their opinion due to external influence. You don’t want people to follow some strongheahed persons ideas under group pressure.

Don’t ask what they want. The idea is to experience and understand the problem. Don’t go in alone. You get more insight of the problem at hand when comparing gathered information. Select neutral location. People need to feel comfortable. Use pen and paper to make notes. It it important to document results but having a lapotop between you and customer is not a good idea.

 

More info and ideas:

https://valohai.com

http://www.servicedesigntools.org

https://strategyzer.com/canvas/value-proposition-canvas

https://www.boardofinnovation.com/blog/2017/07/18/lean-startup-versus-design-thinking/

 

The author Siru Sirén is MBA student in Futures Studies and Customer-Oriented Services in Laurea UAS// Licenced social service professional

Design thinking – an influential combination of tools, methods and a mindset

by Jenni Leppänen

Design thinking has gained worldwide hype over the past decade. Its tools and methods are being discussed and implemented also in many fields not traditionally seen as designing fields, e.g. services. Design thinking is defined as a “process of continuously redesigning a business using insight derived from customer intimacy” (Jeanne Liedtka 2014). There’s nothing new in focusing on the customer’s needs and adapting one’s offering accordingly, so what’s all the hype about?

Gathering in-depth insight

Design thinking makes its mission to truly understand the customer and his world. Doing a round of customer satisfaction surveys online once a year is not sufficient – in the design thinking approach you put a lot of effort in gathering in-depth information from your customers on an ongoing basis. In other words, you need to procure and maintain a holistic understanding of your customer’s context, activities, practices and experiences. To truly understand how the business’s current and possible future offering appear in the customers’ context, you invite them to co-create the services with you. There are dozens of tools available – a great summary is the practical “Evolution 6^2” model, the Innovation & Design Thinking Model by Katja Tschimmel.

Evolution 6-2

E6^2 introduces altogether 36 tools in each phase of the whole design process:

  • Emergence (of a challenge and an opportunity),
  • Empathy (towards the customer in his context),
  • Experimentation (for generating ideas and concepts),
  • Elaboration (on solutions),
  • Exposition (visually presenting the new solution) and
  • Extension (implementing the solutions).

The list includes many wide-spread tools, such as interviewing, user journey maps and questionnaires, and also innovative tools, such as intent statement, insight map and evaluation matrix. The templates are available on Pinterest of Mindshake Portugal.

More focused collaboration

However, knowing the tools is not enough to alone explain the success of design thinking. A successful designer has a mindset that supports the design process and implementation of tools. As an example, in the beginning of the development phase, you are expected to be optimistic, curious and playful – to throw in ideas on the ideal world, with no rules or limitations for imagination. Traditionally, the so-called “engineering mind” would jump quickly into assessing the feasibility of the idea, but a “designer mind” would explore future possibilities in different directions, against stereotypes.

Design thinking is all about collaboration. According to Liedtka, “the highest payoff from adopting a design-thinking approach was not necessarily in identifying a solution, but rather in innovating how people worked together to envision and implement the new possibilities they discovered”. In the organizations Liedtka studied, team members stayed longer with the problem, and examined the topic through various design tools and methods. Having thorough research findings as a foundation made positive behavioral changes in the way teams worked together: team members listened to each other to truly understand their colleague’s perspectives, and to build on them – there was no need to guess and argue over your personal perception on the customer’s preferences. The focus therefore was on envisioning new possibilities together, instead of searching for weaknesses in others’ ideas and strengths in their favorite suggestions. Empathy towards the customer also helped gain focus and speed.

Learning opportunities

Another key word in design thinking is iteration. Instead of spending time on perfecting an action plan with your colleagues, you start small and experiment early on with various concepts and prototypes. It is quicker and cheaper to fail early, although failing in front of actual customers might seem discouraging. In the book “Creative Confidence” Tom and David Kelley (2013) argue that we all are creative, but many people don’t have the confidence to even try experimenting something new, as the prospect of failure is too paralyzing. In the iterative design thinking every experience is an opportunity you can learn from. Failures are crucial for innovation, and it is the only way to create something very new. Tolerance of mistakes is increased, and confidence in being creative boosted, when practicing and experimenting becomes a part of your daily life. You also gain small successful experiences. “Like a muscle, your creative abilities will grow and strengthen with practice. Continuing to exercise them will keep them in shape.”

 

References:

Tschimmel, Katja. 2018. E.62 Mindshake – Innovation & Design Thinking Model

Liedtka, Jeanne. 2014. Innovative ways companies are using design thinking. Strategy & Leadership. Vol. 42 No. 2 2014, pp. 40-45, Q Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Kelley, David and Kelley, Tom. 2013. Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All. Crown Business.

Innovating and Designing New Organizations

By Salla Kuuluvainen

I participated in the Social Tools Conference organized by Pixelache Helsinki, an artist collective. I have been taking part in Pixelache events for a quite a while since I feel that they are a great source for finding out about ”weak signals” conserning the future and trends.

Decentralization as Trend

This time the topic of their event was decentralized organizations, which is a topic that has been discussed and debated a lot in more forward thinking management business circles. Teal organizations and Frederic Laloux’ book Reinventing organizations has sparked a lot of interest – even in Finland there is an active Teal organizations community.

There has been lots of more or less successful companies taking the organization more towards decentralization and selforganization, as a successful example could be mentioned Buurtzorg from The Netherlands and as a less successful Zappos, which suffered from an attempt at selfmanagement.

Learnings from Founders of Loomio and the Hum

At Social Tools Confrence I attended a workshop by Nati Lombardo and Richard D. Bartlett, the founders of Loomio and the Hum, which help organizations and groups becoming wanting to become less hierarchical, Loomio by offering software for organizing and the Hum through consultancy and workshops.

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At the workshop I thought especially about how design thinking could be applied towards social organizing. The Hum team had created a system of 12 principles that should be applied when designing for decentralization, but the principles were not formulated as tools or a timebound process, instead more as a framework.

The principles included things like decisionmaking, creating trust, planning for communications and discussing power relations in the organization. I could easily see how some of those principles could be combined with a a Design Thinking tools to provide a timebound process for designing a decentralized organization: e.g. for creating psychological safety in a team, some tools that are used in Design Thinking process in the empathy phase could be used, like creating empathy maps of team members.128763AA-1EF7-47DD-94F9-5A348C2A304B

What Do You Need to Take Into Account?

Generally I learned at the workshop that when designing an organization there are lots of things that need to be taken into account – it’s not only about structures, but also about culture and those things that are often either taken for granted or not spoken about, e.g who is doing care work at the office, like organizing birthday gifts for collagues or seeing to general well-being. An organization is never a given, but an entity that can be purposefully designed, like a service or product, and decentralization is a way of designing organizations in a new, very contemporary way.

I thought the workshop was simply great, one of the best ones that I had attended in while, and can heartily recommend Nat and Richard for anybody who is wants to learn in an engaging way about decentralization in practice.

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An exercise in team skills and attributes – what are we like to work with? 

(Lights, camera,) ACTION!

 

On a rainy Tuesday I attended School of Startup hosted by The Shortcut. This weeks theme was Design and there was a lot of workhops related. Idea of the track is to wake up design mind and skills through design methods. There will be other post(s) coming about the design week. This workshops topic was Behaviour Design by Ashwin Rajan. In the beginning Rajan started with reminding us that design thinking process isn’t linear.

 

The spirit of design thinking consist of many things.

design process

Design process

 

Curiosity is one of the key factors. You need to want to learn and create new things and understand the underlining things in designing process. You also need to endure discomfort because moving in new territory means that there is not much to rely on. Some times your ideas are not welcomed so you need to accept rejection. That is also why you need to fail-forward.

When synthesising I believe you get better results because the issue/task is reviewed from many points of viewes. Finding answers while being inclusive gives better knowledge. Continuing topics ”Yes, and..” gives you more information. Learning with your hands is essential, thats why many of the design prosesses include sketching and prototyping as tools. You need to be action-driven and do things to go forward.

”Experience cannot be measured. Behaviour can.”

– Ashwin Rajan

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Ashwin Rajan (photo from LinkedIn profile).

 

According to Rajan, “behaviour is action on digital technology”. There are different types of action, some are seeking information (serve information) and other actions are doing tasks (give tools). When you are hungry, you search for food. If for example Wolt advertises ”Hungry? Wolt” it straightforwadly implifies you that in order to satisfy you need you need to take action. An action towards them. In the future it will be easier to do the same thing because it is already familiar to you. That makes sense when you think of learning by doing and how doing things changes the way you think.

The core consepts of behaviour design are important to understand because those factors determine how well you can design a product or service. Behaviour design explains customers and users as psychologal and social beings. It is interesting how everything is sort of linked together as long as it is humans that are using the service. Even though behavioral design consists more than three core consept, Rajan decided to introduce us to the following ones:

Positive Self-Concept helps us to build identity and contuinity in our lives. We want to feel good so we seek for experiences that gives us that feeling. And also we avoid decicions that make us feel bad. Bounded rationality in decicion making process creates many suboptimal desicions simply because we use shortcuts and are biased when it comes to what we want.

Cognitive dissonance happens when situation conflicts with our attitude, perception or belief. I wonder, if information bubble is partially about cognitive dissonance? We generelly don’t accept information that is in conflict with your worldview. Or is it more about keeping positive self-concepts in order not to challenge our identity? Creating action is a way of solving cognitive dissonance. Either you change the way you think or believe or you change your behavior.

Motivation always has a direction. You go towards something or seek for avoidance. The source for motivation can be intrinsic or extrinsic. This reminded me of my other course in which I’m studying about inner motivation. Same principles work in different contexts. Understanding motivation truly helps you affect things. Either way, there is two ways to change behavior when motivating people. You align action with existing motivation or you carefully create dissonance while restoring positive self-consept.

 

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Ashwin Rajan has a great way of explaining things and concepts. I truly enjoyed while he was explaining how people react to different types of actions and how behavioral design provides tools to extend or change human behaviour. In a way, it seems relatable to psychoterapy prosess. You understand and create a behavioral intervention. After the workshop I felt inspired, motivated and hungry for more information. The key learning for me was how important is to understand the psychology of users or customers in order to learn and make better processes.

 

The author Siru Sirén is MBA student in Futures Studies and Customer-Oriented Services in Laurea UAS// Licenced social service professional

 

More info and ideas:

https://theshortcut.org/school-of-startups/

https://www.fabricbd.com

What about brick and mortar?

We are living in a world where change is present, and it is forcing many industries to redefine or reshape themselves in the near future. Of all industries retailing as we know it today is for sure facing one of the biggest challenges through its existence. People´s buying behaviour and preferences are rapidly changing and, one of the biggest questions up in the air is what will be the future of brick and mortar stores?

In the Laurea´s Masterclass study unit called Design Thinking facilitated by a quest Professor Katja Tschimmel we familiarised ourselves with the design thinking concept and the Mindshake Innovation and Design Thinking Model called Evolution 62 (E.62). Practical exercises done during the 2 contact session days in September 2018 deepened participants´ understanding of the process and different tools, and it all also expanded my thinking beyond classroom walls. Since the E.62 model and related toolkit were developed in organisational context to promote Design Thinking and to show how Design Thinking tools can be applied in practice, could Design Thinking and its tool pack in general also be used for reshaping retail, more precisely brick and mortar stores?

 

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Mindshake Innovation and Design Thinking Model (Katja Tschimmel, 2018)

 

In his book called Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation (2013), Idris Mootee offers Design Thinking lens as an approach to various business challenges. He does not stop there but presents a reader a concrete list of design thinking solutions that are matched to specific business challenges. I must say that I am usually little sceptic about these kinds of lists since they tend to oversimplify matters, but in this particular case, I think he managed to make his point clear: business problems can be approached with empathy, creativity, foresight, and last but not least consumer-centricity.

 

The list

Business challenges with matching Desing Thinking Solutions (Idris Mootee 2013)

As I see it, disruption in retail business is mostly due to the fast and dramatic changes in the way individuals nowadays prefer to shop and retail´s inability to adapt to these needs (quick enough). Consumers of today like to play the game with their own rules and they want to decide how, when and where they shop. From retailers´ perspective constantly developing new technologies and all the possibilities they offer to business make everything even more complex and the future is anything but easily predicted. Essentially, it is all about the many individuals with individualistic needs and wants and retailers´ inability to predict the future.

The name of Mindshake E.62 model refers to six Es, six phases, one of which is called Empathy. As mentioned before consumers of today are more individualistic than ever and they like to set the rules, so we should study them and their rules. Empathy phase is all about deep and thorough customer (user) understanding. The E.62 tools that can be used in this phase for gaining the understanding are for example Empathy Map, User Journey Map, Persona Map and Cards (Personas), Field Observation and last but not least Interview. The idea is to be able to step into the customers´ shoes and understanding the wider context. Interview on the other hand, is an efficient tool to discover what people really need and desire. In general, the importance of this phase cannot be overly emphasized: in today´s world it is all about knowing your customer.

Predictability is also one of the business challenges Idris Mootee (2013) describes in his book. He states: “By studying, developing, and visualizing forward-looking scenarios, an organization can equip and prepare itself for tomorrow”. He continues: “Foresight is an iterative and cumulative learning process that employs design thinking tool kit.” In this case, according to him, the tool kit includes Weak Signal Scanning, Weak Signal Processing, Weak Signal Amplification, Context Mapping and Scenario Development.

Earlier in my blog post I criticised Mootee of oversimplifying things, and now I have to admit that I have committed the same crime when categorising all retail under one umbrella. Retailing, of course, encases a huge number of different sectors – grocery, electronics, clothing, home decoration and home furnishing just to mention few – with sector-specific challenges, segmentations, buying preferences and so on, and cannot or should not be treated as one entity. Personally, my passion lies within home furnishing and physical customer experience i.e. in brick and mortar, and I am itching to dig deeper into this topic when I proceed in my Service Innovation and Design studies. Please, stay tuned.

Further reading:
Liedtka, Jeanne. 2018. Why Design Thinking works. Harvard Business Review.
Mootee, Idris. 2013. Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation
Tschimmel, Katja. 2018. E.62 Mindshake – Innovation & Design Thinking Model
Tschimmel, Katja. 2015. Evolution 62 Design Thinking Cards

Design Process Three Ways

By Salla Kuuluvainen

I participated in Dash Design – an event that was preparation for Europe’s largest hackathon DASH.
In Dash Design we heard from three companies and their take on design process: Smartly.io, Pentagon Design and Iittala.

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What became quite clear at the event was that the design process can look very different and still be creative, effective and produce great results. At Smartly.io, the process is very well defined and clear structures exist. Same could be said about Pentagon Design, who brought an example of rebranding licorice for Fazer. At Iittala, there was no structured process, instead the new designs were created with a much looser approach of experimentation.

Designing with Clear Roadmaps at Smartly

Smartly.io helps companies with automatized online marketing solutions. It’s a fast paced tech company that prides in innovating fast. Smartly has a very clearly defined roadmap for product development, with a clever side process for more experimental innovation. All solutions are created close to the customer and tested internally and externally.

3 takeaways from Smartly

• Everyone at the company is involved in the design process, not just designers.
• Rapid prototyping and early release of new features is crucial.
• It’s important to work very close to the customer.

Deep Diving with Pentagon Design

Pentagon Design is a consultancy that helped a very well known, old Finnish company Fazer in rebranding some of their most classic licorice products very successfully towards a more premium category product. Pentagon Design used a very thought through approach that was based on the Double Diamond and included lots of testing with customers and feedback, and for example a process called Deep Dive that investigated the environments and user and even employee perspectives of the products in thorough manner.

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An example of Pentagon Design’s analytical approach to design process

3 takeaways from Pentagon Design

• For a design agency, it’s good to have a strong, tried out framework for the design process, which can even be adapted to the client company’s own processes.
• It’s important to let the customers in the design process from early phases to get the right feedback.
• The design team should have the right mixture of competences.

Experimenting at Iittala

Iittala is known for every Finn, it is a very traditional interior design brand. Jeremiah Teslin from Iittala talked about the different approaches he had used when rebranding and redesigning some of Iittala’s established product categories.

Personally for me it was interesting how much Teslin talked about needing to convince the organization to support the new designs, and how he used visual rebranding, creation of attractive images of the new products and setting up spaces to showcase the products as well as organized different kinds of internal innovation events to create engagement in the company for the new products. So in a way the design process for him was much more about change management than just about coming up with new products.

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An example of visualization of products

3 takeaways from Iittala

• Work with the right people.
• Make the ideas visible and tangible for the whole company.
• Facilitate behavior change with design: We don’t need new mugs, instead we need better coffee moments.

Generally what all of these three companies had was passion and awareness for the process of design, even if they worked in quite different areas and with different kinds of tools and methods. That enthusiasm is also my main takeaway from the event!