2018 reflections

I’ve been sitting on the idea of this post for the whole of christmas, and not written any of it. So I just sat down and said, “write it in 30 mins”. Perfect being the enemy of good and all that. Anyway — here goes: Ifthe past 10 years were about getting Service Design to the top …

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Service is about more than transactions. Service is core to who we are as humans.

To serve is profoundly human. It comes with deep values – love, gifting, respect, duty and gratitude. Service is about a relationship of give and take, where the giving is as valued as the taking. Yet when service becomes institutionalised, it tends to lose those values. It becomes cold and transactional. My father-in-law has been …

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A Horizontal Manifesto

The world is oriented around verticals. It’s accepted wisdom that verticals help us organise service delivery. Hierarchy, control, order – these things flow top to bottom right? Government departments, corporate divisions, contact channels – this is the way of things. They appear to provide us, as service providers with benefits. But it’s my opinion that …

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Design before digital

Digital is the new monster in the room. Everyone wants a slice of it. It is the big revolutionary thing that risks blinding everyone to the fact that the first principles of business still apply – you need to understand your customer and know how to serve them – everything else comes second. I remember …

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Get big, go deep – or go home

I’ve had an interesting run over the past few weeks. I’ve been spending more time out of the studio doing strategy stuff. Which means I’ve had the chance to speak to a whole range of people in and around service design. What I’ve picked up is a consensus that service design is reaching a tipping …

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Task rooms

In the future I’d like to see a situation where, close to every team delivering a service, there’s one or more ‘Task Rooms’. These would normally be meeting rooms where people sit and talk about interminable abstract problems, before breaking up to work solo on their desktop machines. But the Task Room is a bit …

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