Tag Archive | business development

Young designer from Norway, experiments with using visualization tools and methods from service design thinking, to enhance engagement of previous prisoners and troubled youth

Caroline Chaffin, a Norwegian student who is about to graduate with an MBA degree in Service Innovation and Design, wanted to do something different for her Master thesis. With a previous background from Healthcare and Social entrepreneurship, she wanted to find a case company with a social purpose, which allowed her to work close with the end-users of the service offering. She states that: «When working as a social entrepreneur, nurse or service designer, what I find in common is being an ambassador for the end-users, and having the ability to create real value, for real people. This was a requirement when starting my thesis journey».

Caroline is an active networker and found the case company for her thesis, by attending the Norwegian Social Entrepreneurship conference, in Oslo February 2014. The conference was hosted by one of Norway’s largest investors within the field; FERD, and Monsterbedriften won the title as social entrepreneurs of the year.

Monsterbedriften is a Norwegian social entrepreneur, who wants to help former prisoners and people who have not completed their education, or have trouble getting work. Helping youth who are found among a marginalized group in the society, is an important target group, which has increased in Norway during the last decade.

Caroline used Monsterbedriften as a case company in her thesis, and the focus was on the internal customers. In the case company the internal customers are the staff, and can also be considered as end-users. This is argued by the company’s vision: to help as many people as possible get a new start in life and pay it forward, which emphasize giving staff, a life outside unemployment, drugs and criminality.

Monsterbedriften’s service offering towards internal customers involves work experience, housing, coaching and a family environment. Unlike traditional businesses where the service takes place during a specific time, the service offering in Monsterbedriften often becomes «the staff´s entire world», and they have their own values (Monsterbedriften values).

The title of Caroline’s thesis was: «Enhancing engagement of internal customers in a social business through extensive use of visualization». The purpose of her thesis was to enhance engagement of internal customers in a social business. The aim was to apply service thinking, service design methods and visualization tools for enhancement of customer engagement. The project took place from February-November 2014. An overview can be found in Model 1.

                                                                                  Model 1: Purpose and aim of thesis. 

thesis model .001

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Experiences from the Global Service Jam Helsinki 2015

10393857_741350965951185_8017900955231328757_nGlobal Service Jam is a yearly event enabling anyone interested in service design and design thinking to co-create, experiment and develop new solutions inspired by a shared theme.  This year, the Jam was arranged in 100 cities during the weekend of February 27th – March 1st all around the world.

In the Jam, the participants will go through the entire service design process in one weekend, gathering customer insight, creating new service concepts in interdisciplinary teams, building prototypes and testing the new concepts with real customers.

For me it was the first time I have ever participated in the Global Service Jam. I had high expectations and have to say that my expectations were exceeded. The Jam is an absolutely fantastic event to learn about service design, customer oriented service development, creative methods, concept development along with meeting new people and getting new friends. It is a 48 hour journey, focusing on “doing and not talking”, creating solutions based on real customer needs – and having a lot of fun!  The following video will provide a glimpse of what the Global Service is all about and revealing what the shared theme for 2015 Jam was.

During the Jam we also had inspiring presentations by Jani Turku from IMPROVement and Anton Schubert, the Head of Design at Futurice. The key message from Jani Turku was that creating new services requires you to allow yourself to play, be human, listen, say “yes, and…” instead of “no, but…”, dare to try new things and to be open-minded.

Anton Schubert talked about the importance of prototyping and how everything can actually be tested. It is just the matter of using the right tools and methods. Prototyping is about learning, failing safely and inexpensively, i.e. failing often to succeed sooner, as stated by David Kelley, the founder of IDEO.

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What would Marc Stickdorn do?

2015-02-28 16.04.11

Doing not talking

Just 3 short weeks after our Service Processes and Methods course was the Global Service Jam 2015. What a blast…and what an excuse to bring out the shiny new tools that Marc gave us. I don’t know about anyone else from the SID programme but I was able to utilise both the tools taught to us as well as the facilitation methods.

I know it sounds crazy but after all those Marc Stickdorn heads were circulated for his birthday photo, I couldn’t get his lessons from earlier in February out of my head. That is why I took one of those heads and wrote him a thought bubble. “What would Marc Stickdorn do?” I was inspired by all the Christians in the US who try to answer difficult problems by asking themselves what Jesus would do. It was the same thing (in my mind anyway).

I was trying to channel my inner Marc to have the strength and clarity to proceed through the next 48 hours to change the world…well, that is what we were told we were doing.

Letting go: the theme is what? Huh? Did he just say….?

As a first-timer I felt strangely calm (it might have been naivete) as the process started. The anticipation of the revealing of the theme and the inspirational talks by Jani Turku and Anton Schubert were a great start to the event. I really enjoyed the humour and the ease at which Jani was able to teach us some lessons about interaction and fun. Who knew it could be so interesting repeating 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3! But I also enjoyed Anton’s inspiring story of his “humble beginnings” as a mechanic.

As for the challenge…I think that everyone was stumped when the theme was revealed. I even sarcastically joked that “that must be the theme” when the instructions for the origami fortune teller was revealed…unfortunately I was right. What a theme. Not what I expected at all. But it really put us all in the same boat. This isn’t something that one person could say that they knew and that they were an authority on…it was a leveller for sure. The atmosphere when everyone (finally) realised the theme was electric. The buzz was confusion, anticipation…but mostly confusion from what I saw.

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To me sound of SID is like a sound of music

How I found my inner spark of Services Innovation and Design Thinking? I was one of the lucky ones who got in to Services Innovation and Design (SID) Programme at Laurea University of Applied Sciences. We newcomers met for the first time during our 3-day kick-off session in September 2014. I had high expectations for the class but I also kept my mind open because I didn’t know if my expectations were fair.

I think Design Thinking was a good subject to start with. We had workshops during the study days and we got to know each others. I learnt a lot from my group but also of myself. For example I noticed that the passed working years in the traditional business life had moulded the standards and rules around me. And now it was time to let them go and start to think about services and business in a new and innovative way.. in a SID way.

We had inspiring lecturers leading our workshop; Gijs van Wulfen, the founder of FORTH Innovation method, and Katja Tschimmel, a researcher, coach and a famous Design Thinker.

Gijs   Katja

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Attitude matters in lean thinking: learn to fail fast for success!

“Focus on the problem, not solution. You cannot quantify your way to the big max.” – Ola Sundell

I still remember when ‘lean’ was a buzzword in manufacturing industry years and years ago. Lean concept was originally based on production process optimisation principles invented in Toyota for automotive industry back in early seventies. Now the idea of lean has been turned into a workable philosophy in general management and other business arenas. Some time ago I was listening Ola Sundell, the CEO of Hub Helsinki, telling about the logic behind the lean market strategy. He gave a presentation in Laurea University of Applied Science based on the ideas of lean startup as an innovation method developed by Steve Blank and Eric Ries and his own experiences as lean entrepreneur.

Ola Sundell is explaining the essence of lean start-up methodology.

Ola Sundell is explaining the essence of lean philosophy.

‘Lean’ is  maximising value and minimising waste

The lean business culture have been evolving since view years aiming at solving business problems in the early phase of business set-up by using a service design approach. According to Sundell the startups mostly fail due lack of market and customers or because of a wrong mindset. Now lean thinking is challenging the old ways of thinking and doing. Lean startup methodology has evolved from customer development method highlighting the lean aspects of both product/service design and customer development. It focuses on customer value creation: everything that does not provide value for customer is considered as waste. By using lean startup methodology it is possible to maximise value and minimise waste.

As startups are considered being temporary project organisations creating new products and services under extreme uncertainty, it is learning that matters – and learning fast.

The process applied in lean startup methodology is based on a build-measure-learn cycle with six steps: What is built it based on a problem or solution hypothesis. Testing the idea is the intended learning step requiring the testing metrics to be defined. For generating metrics and testing hypothesis, the experiment has to be built.

The six step cycle of lean development process.

What does it mean to go for lean?

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Service Design meets Futures Thinking #4

A research based series of posts discussing the statement “Futures Research supports the Service Design process in multiple ways and throughout the whole process” by Minna Koskelo (LinkedIn) and Anu K. Nousiainen (Linkedin).

Part #4: We are in the Service Innovation business!

Our three (and a half) previous blog entries have been summarizing the purpose of our study initiated in 2012 and the main findings from the study including the synergies between (Service) Design Thinking and Futures Thinking, and our illustration for Futures Research enhanced Service Design process. After some more investigation (selection of 150 books and articles) and integrating the strategic business thinking into the model with Katri Ojasalo (Linkedin), (our Head of Master’s Degree Programme in Service Innovation and Design here at Laurea University of Applied Sciences) we are proud to announce our forthcoming chapter in an international Handbook of Service Innovation (to be published by Springer in early 2014). Indeed, we have came into a realization:

What we’ve done so far is not only about Futures enhanced Service Design – instead, this is the next chapter in building unique, synergistic and dynamic capabilities for Service Innovation.

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Take a novel path to create new business opportunities and new value

 It has been clear from the beginning of our study that Design Thinking and Futures Thinking share a strong synergy in their principles and targets. Now it is crystal clear that by combining their unique approaches in innovation process results in bright and viable business opportunities (see process framework A. below). While Futures Thinking concentrates on driving forces in complex evolving systems and alternative contexts, Design Thinking embraces the viewpoint of system constraints and people oriented solutions. Not only this powerful combination gives you options for decision making in strategic and offering creation level but it tackles the two critical challenges in today’s (and tomorrow’s) business: Uncertainty and timing in creating Value Roadmaps in the interconnected and changing world. Here, Futures Thinking helps to make uncertainty easier to approach through providing alternatives for decision making and therefore improving organization’s readiness to act. Design Thinking improves the organization’s agility to seize the change with emphatic, adaptive and deep research approach and through iterative co-designing with customers to provide desirable, feasible and viable options for solutions.

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Foresight is part of Service Innovations

In today’s organization’s strategic or service development projects you hardly hear a word about foresight or futures research. If you do, you are probably dealing with professionals of the field. Typical scene in developing services or company strategies is that we tend to make our decisions based on current normative knowledge – and perhaps worse, with consensus driven mindset. We use too often “I know/I feel” -tool in critical points where instead we should useresearch material and insights about the topic in question. Organizations seem to lack knowledge on how to use foresight as part of development process. It is a powerful tool when used systematically, and when used efficiently it can give you the possibility to spot and develop new business innovations before competitors.

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Foresight vs. Service Design process

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Service Design meets Futures thinking # 3

A research based series of posts discussing the statement “Futures Research supports the Service Design process in multiple ways and throughout the whole process” by Minna Koskelo and Anu K. Nousiainen.

Part #3: The Process Perspective

Our two previous blog entries have been summarizing the purpose of our study and the main findings including the synergies of service design and futures thinking, thus why it is beneficial for the two disciplines utilize approach and methods from one another and learn from each other. This third post introduces Service Design Process that is enhanced by futures thinking. Additionally we illustrate how service design thinking benefits foresight process.

The big picture: Becoming a human-centric innovative trendsetter

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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.

Book review: Fischer T., Gebauer H. and Fleisch E. (2012), Service Business Development: Strategies for Value Creation in Manufacturing Firms,

Cambridge University Press, UK

The book gives a comprehensive overview of the service business development in the business environment of capital goods and brings together years experience on how manufacturing companies can create value through services. It also discusses the challenges of how to generate revenue of the services itself (along with products) and what kind of strategies can be used in different stages and types of the manufacturing companies in global business.

1 Challenges and common questions

When developing services in manufacturing firms it is a change in value creation and leap from production minded one-off sales culture to long-term customer relationship building culture that creates value to customer in broader scale. Continue reading