Service Design requires an attitude shift!

Service Design is a human-centric, holistic and highly collaborative discipline. It’s my favorite method of innovation as it realistically combines all factors into one service. Unfortunately, passion and well-grounded concepts do not magically translate to implemented services.

At Idean we help companies to innovate using service design. We encounter lots of organizations eager to start an innovation project. They realize human-centered innovation is imperative to stay in the game. However, they often fail to realize the repercussions of such a project upfront. A new service could impact their current way of working. But at the implementation phase they often have forgotten their initial goals. They are swept away by the issues of the day. At this point your awesome service often runs into a lot of apprehension and excuses. You probably have heard these before: “Another division is responsible for this subject so we can’t influence that” and “Let’s just create an app, that will be enough”.

This change of attitude is understandable because humans are creatures of habit. Nevertheless, with such an attitude you will find it harder to reach impactful service innovation. Service Design impacts all stakeholders, employees included. So, when the service changes, the organizational attitude has to adapt.

Top quartile companies make human-centric design everyone’s responsibility. Therefore, skipping divisions will not result into well-rounded services. To be successful, we all have to work together. Creating a solar powered car but skipping the seats will not create a satisfying experience. The same applies to services. Creating a car sharing service but leaving out a helpdesk will also not result into a satisfying experience. Even though it makes it easier to implement. You can still implement service touchpoints from highest priority to lowest priority, but you cannot implement a part and believe you created the same experience.

The key to a successful service is the right attitude. At Idean we notice this fact is often overlooked. Which results into a disillusion and a less optimal service. It takes guts and vulnerability to innovate. Everyone has to be open to the innovative changes which are designed. When you do that, look at companies such as Amazon and Tesla, successful service innovation is imminent. To make Service Design work, I propose an attitude shift. So, what is this “right attitude” you need to adapt to? Well: Be bold, be open for collaboration and be willing to change the organizational structure.

The coming weeks I will elaborate on these three points. I’ll give examples and recommendations to prevent issues in implementing Service Design. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, share your experience in implementing service design. I’m curious to see what attitudes you have run into.

Service Designer @IdeanNL. Firm believer in the interconnectedness of everything. Passionate in understanding and improving the world around me.

Service Designer @IdeanNL. Firm believer in the interconnectedness of everything. Passionate in understanding and improving the world around me.