About me and Society of Service

Hi, I'm Joel Bailey

I created Society of Service as a place to share my interest in service.

Though below you can find links to my tweets, talks and podcasts. Lots of ramblings about service.

I’m a Service Designer and have been for around 20 years. I’m currently Director at EY Seren, the global design consultancy within EY, and Forrester’s Global Innovation Leader 2019. 

Three years ago I realised I was missing something. I realised I didn’t really understand what services were, or how they connected to service and the drive to serve. I have had the privelege of helping teams rediscover what it means to serve, the customer and each other. They would describe it as becoming more customer-centred, or bringing the customer’s experience to life. But these words never did the experience justice. There was more going on than that.

I’ve always been an amateur anthropologist, so I started researching service. I found traces of history and thinking, some very academic, some very focused on religion and sociology, others on civic virtue and volunteering, and of course much on markets and marketing. But nothing provided a holistic overview.

Two years ago, I was in Boston. I spent two evenings in its world-renowned library, working with a librarian to try and find the book that evaded me. By the time we called it a night I had a great reading list, but was empty handed. No single overview of service exists. My goal is to close that gap.



Adrian was kind enough to invite me onto his Punk CX podcast, where we had an interesting conversation on the nature of service.

Today’s interview is with Joel Bailey, who is a Director at EY Seren, the global design consultancy within EY. Joel is a friend of mine, someone I have worked with and a really interesting thinker when it comes to service. Our conversation was precipitated by the publication of an article he wrote (2020: A new decade of service) earlier this year. So, we set up a time to chat to talk about why we should leave the experience economy behind, that service is the element that connects customer experience and employee experience and the idea that we need to define service anew.

This interview follows on from my recent interview – Authentic leadership is just the rebranding of transformational leadership with some of the caffeine taken out – Interview with Professor Dennis Tourish – and is number 339 in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, providing valuable insights, helping businesses innovate and delivering great service and experience to both their customers and their employees.


Listen here