Tag Archive | literature

Lessons from the Master: Forget the Titles, Facilitation is Key

After a decent amount of lobbying we had the pleasure to have the Service Design guru Marc Stickdorn as our guest speaker at the Finnish language Service Design program.

Stickdorn has just published the new book This is Service Design Doing. He talked about what he thought Service Design was and what the crucial skills for doing it were.


Marc Stickdorn

According to Stickdorn the reasoning for Service Design is simple. Experiences stick to customers, not products.

“Organisations lose money because of bad customer experience. Customers trust the stories of other customers and less what companies tell them”, he stated.

Therefore customers will pay more for better customer experience. And that’s what Service Design is for.

All this has to be explained to the managers. There is a business reason for better customer service and it has to be shown with money. One way of explaining new services are storyboards.

“Products can be made into mockups, but services are not tangible. We need to make it tangible to talk about exactly the same thing”, Stickdorn said.

Service Design, UX Design, Business Design…

In the cover of Stickdorn’s new book there is a quip to all the disciplines that have popped up but are doing essentially the same thing.


Stickdorn thinks that Service Design is going to become a common language.

“Many disciplines are not trained to take little steps. Managers are often afraid to take decisions to start. Service Designers should create a safe space to come up with ideas”, Stickdorn said.

Therefore they key skill for Service Designers is facilitation. How can I create a safe space so that people are not ashamed to come up with really shitty first drafts?

Stickdorn gave us tips about how to be a good facilitator. First we need to have a huge toolbox of small warmups. If there is a hurdle, we should be able to take a method and apply it and see how the group changes.

“What makes a difference is experience. Don’t try to copy somebody else. There are a thousand different styles to facilitate”, Stickdorn said.

According to Stickdorn Service Design is not a silver bullet that can fix everything.

“Be open to other stuff. There is no clear boundary where Service Design ends and other stuff starts. It allows us to use methods from other disciplines. There is not one tool or method coming from Service Design. Personas are from UX, journey maps are from branding, etc.”

For me Stickdorn’s talk gave a bit more clarity about what we are aiming to as Service Designers. It is important to talk a common language and teach the language to the managers and others in the company. In order to facilitate the change into Service Design way of thinking, we need good facilitation skills.

The author Noora Penttinen is a journalist and a Service Design student who believes in creative chaos and thinks that best ideas appear at four in the morning.

Learning the essence of Design Thinking process

“There is no universal best DT process model, the choice innovation managers make depends on their disciplinary background and their personal taste.” says Katja Tschimmel in her article about Design Thinking process models and tools (Tschimmel 2012, 11). And this is also what she tells us listeners during our first hours of Design Thinking course (Design Thinking 2017). The decision of choosing of an appropriate Design Thinking model is influenced, among others, the characteristics of the task in question, its context, the composition of the team and its dynamics, the number of designers involved, and the time available for the process (Tschimmel 2012).

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Killing the Inner Critic – How Logic Can Destroy the Design Thinking Process

IMG-0504Let’s start with a thought experiment. You have been working in the same job for years and now you are tasked with creating a new service for your customers. Where do you start?

Probably where you already are. Your first ideas are what have always been done and how to improve them, but only slightly.

To innovate, you need an open mind. To facilitate the innovation process you can use Design Thinking. Katja Tschimmel writes in her article Design Thinking as an effective Toolkit for Innovation[1] that Design Thinking offers new models of processes and toolkits for every creative process. It can be used in any business or organization. When you open your mind, and let the crazy ideas out, you can find something new.

The Service Design students at Laurea got a crash course on Design Thinking with Dr Tschimmel in the beginning of September. The students were tasked to create a new service around the theme Studying at Laurea. Every group could do whatever they thought might be useful, but in the end most new service ideas focused on solving everyday problems with quite traditional approaches. Why was it so difficult for us to let our imaginations fly and go for something completely different?

My suspicion is that it is the Inner Critic who is to blame. Often innovation processes suffer from the innovators’ fear of failure. In companies, upper management controls the time and resources available for trial and error. In universities, the students’ grade depends on the teachers’ understanding of their brave new idea.

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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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The nature of “innovation” is changing

by Jane Vita, Sofia Nyyssönen, Tinja Lindförs and Tiia-Marina Silva

The world is always changing and everything goes around adapting. Some companies that have more vision are already looking for the new market – we call them forerunners. These companies have a new vision and concepts in their minds such as design thinking, agile methods, service design, social design, among others. They are not thinking only about their consumers but how to make their employees do better products and services.

Consumers are also more concerned about their needs, they are more demanding, Products and services are created with their proposals, so why not put them in the center of the whole process of design and make them part of the creation? We went through 5 books where the main topic discussed was co-creation and we’ll share in this post what we find in common in all them. Continue reading

Co-create your future

In today’s world the competition amongst companies within the same industry or sometimes even across industry boundaries is rough. New businesses are constantly born and they want to get their share of the wallet. There are many books and articles that will provide guidelines, how to improve your business concept and gain advantage from the competitors. Being innovative is a common factor in all of the books and it is the basis of any development process. However, there are also other similarities and certain concepts seem to appear whenever the change strategies are concerned. Are the following paths keys to your company’s success?

Change is constant, create your own future! Continue reading