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Open service design and Innovation

Almost all we experience products whose main accessory was an instruction manual and in some cases these fostered business training to be able to use these products fully.

Deliver products without a friendly service seems to be no more betting preferred companies. More than deliver products now we must think to deliver services well designed.

In my opinion, this means that there we begin to have a great concern addressed the needs of users or consumers, which is to be welcomed.

Today it is possible to combine the organizational skills with the real needs of clients to develop new solutions to their problems. However this raises challenges to organizational change for which it is important to be attentive to abandon the dominant thought in the twentieth century and make use of a process more open, interactive and collaborative.

There are four fundamental concepts suggested by Henry Chesbrough that will accelerate the movement of more open service innovation:

  1. “Think of your business as an open services business in order to create and sustain differentiation in a commodity trap world.
  2. Invite customers to co-create innovation to generate (new) experiences they will value and reward.
  3. Use Open Service Innovation to help you turn your business into a platform for others to build on.
  4. Transform your business model with Open Services Innovation to profit from building a platform business model so you can gain from others’ innovation activities as well.”


It seems to be true that many concepts of open innovation are easily applicable to the services and in my opinion many of the concepts of Design services can also be combined with open innovation.

Service Design is a useful structure to maintain the perspective of the world outside of the users or consumers as the main element in selecting and developing ideas for innovation.

The potential for innovation is not exclusively on internal focus on available technologies or capabilities of a company.

When we look at the services through the consumer or user journey we find significant interactions among themselves, as the service provider and its employees, its customers and other stakeholders, and we can see how they are involved in a process or a series of processes, or the value chain. These interactions can be imagined, built and implemented adding value to all parties involved.

“The practice of Service Design focuses on integrating the dynamic collection of service elements within a customer journey around a qualitative and integrated user experience. In order to be able to deliver this, distributed organizational resources need to be combined to create an optimal service offering. Similar to Open Innovation, the Service Design approach aligns the strategic decisions within a project with the broader business goals of the organization. “-Elsevier

Whether open innovation or service design is an interdisciplinary process that require specialists from various disciplines to work together throughout the project.

But it is important to note that it is not always easy or possible to do so, given the particular characteristics of some interventions.

“Open Innovation and Service Design as specialized fields of work do cross over, but they are not necessarily the same thing. Innovation is not always about service delivery to consumers. It can, for instance, also be about improving manufacturing processes or internal organizational models. In that case open Innovation would imply involving for instance professionals as lead users, rather than consumers. Service Design on the other hand is not always about innovation. It can, for instance, also be about incremental improvements to existing services. In that case the customer research would be focusing on current average usage of these services”. – Elsevier

I think there is however a very wide field of innovation to explore, whether it is in the processes in services or services derived products.


Give your contribution. Share your ideas or your readings!


Thank you!

Different foci on fear

It can not only will resistance to change but it can also be the fear of the unknown which blocks organizations to look to the future thinking on innovation.

Idris Mootee advises the mapping of whitespace in innovation as a tool to overcome the fears.

“White space is a process and tool that allows us to look at the landscape up and down the value chain with a new lens. It can help uncover opportunities that are not obvious ; it can identify new openings untouched by competitors, or it can be considered part of what was traditionally deemed a remote, different industry or outside the boundaries of the firm”.

We do not discover surprising opportunities only by serendipity. This discovery of unique opportunities can be the result of a creative work and research-oriented and consistent.

The process can be used to identify entirely new markets, or can be used to map an incremental innovation in products or services.

To fill this white space is important to know the interests and needs of customers, which are to understand how individuals think and discover their “cognitive maps”, that is, their hidden needs.

The analysis that is behind hidden needs is not simple. Asking questions can be ineffective and therefore we need new approaches designed in large part by anthropology and psychology, to find out opinions and beliefs of people.

When an organization perceives the need to find new paths of development and seek new spaces of action, look for a blank space without prejudices or prisons of schemas, the best way is to depart from a blank space and color it.

Idris Mottee points three foci for the mapping of a whitespace:

The externally-focused perspective “begins with mapping the market, products, or services in your markets and determining whether these are served, under-served or un-served. The goal is to find gaps in existing markets, products, or service lines that represent opportunities for your business”.

We do not look for just knowing the market positioning of the Organization but especially finding an approximation to unknown or hidden through a process centered on people. Non-articulated needs can represent a gap to fill.

Internally-focused perspective enables us to map the Organization’s capacity to deal with new opportunities or face threats from competitors. “This process is used to determine how efficiently and effectively you can react to opportunities and threats from  process, systems and structural perspectives”.

At this time some of the deepest fears possibly begin to emerge and walk towards sublimation. People tend to show competent even recognizing skill shortages in some areas.

The future focused “white space mapping process will put an emphasis on applied strategic foresights.  Usually there is a time horizon no less than 5 years and involving input from strategic foresight exercises”.

When talking about future or forward our point of departure can vary greatly, from an analytical profile to one of the dreamer and visionary.

For many analytical this mapping process can become difficult and even painful. Fears of embark on a journey not determined by past or exclusively by trend can (I imagine) to block the view of the future.

Basically the basis for this process is people, the knowledge we have and the ability to draw prospective conclusions of needs and desires of others. White space can provide fear for fill something without having certainty and can provide a block to intuition, but when well worked can result in expression of potential and a great business opportunity.

A white space can allow the passing of a mystery (for example, how people want to eat in the world today) – to heuristic (a restaurant in an environment of high traffic) for the algorithm (a process that can be replicated and deployed with speed).

Can fears be strong enough to prevent the discovery of new spaces?

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Or transform information into knowledge

I think things, products or services, should always walk hand in hand with information or may be almost exclusively information. But will this happen?

As a user or consumer I like and I need things useful, usable, efficient, and effective and above all things that I want too.

Good things for me are those that serve to satisfy my needs since the most basic to those who make me feel free and passionate.

To do this, these things besides being useful, they should be simple and intuitive when we handle or use them and should be available where ever it’s necessary producing systematically expected results.

Those, should be things that I want because transmit me happiness, well-being and breaking the shackles of my dreams.

But now to the real world!

The creation and implementation of products and services, satisfying my or our demands require an interdisciplinary approach that is based mainly on the observation of (involvement) interactions between people and the goods or services.

This is important to assess meaning that things have to users or consumers and in my opinion the design thinking is the path indicated to achieve it, because it allows through interdisciplinary teams see the problems or identify needs through various lenses.

But things to arrive at our destination need execution and this implies a convergence between business and design thinking.

Design thinking is not a unique of the designers, it is global. It is when the designers assume that form and when trying to converge to the people. There is a need for learning on both sides, designers and businesses. Hence the concern existing in schools, to develop skills identified as weak or very weak. These skills refer to abilities to interact in interdisciplinary teams and with consumers or business people.

Design thinking is a way to think about doing something in a dimension that represents a new learning experience for everyone, not just for design thinkers and for users, but especially for business people.

As Neumeier said, “we cannot decide between one and another, we have to draw the way forward.

The difference between these two modes, business and design thinking, is significant. The way to decide assumes that alternatives already exist (case studies), but it will be difficult to decide. The designing mode assumes that new options must be imagined (using the design process) but once imagined, deciding will be easy.

For Garr Reynolds there are four ways in which managers can learn from designers:


Embrace constraints. The designers work with constraints (time, budget, location, materials). Identify your limitations and do not create the perfect solution, but the best solution given the constraints.

Take a risk. Designers are comfortable with the notion that it may be wrong, but experience and try new approaches.

Ask all. Designers do numerous questions that can lead to the question of law – which will lead to the correct answer.

It’s not a question of tools, is about ideas. The designers from different areas spend much time away from tools such as “new technology” using paper and pencil to sketch out their ideas.

Yet in the real world, if we focus our attention on services, expanding activities, we can see how easy it can be convergence between design thinking and business.

It is possible that service design could ignore traditional businesses?

How can service design to incorporate existing enterprise dynamics?

“If you would ask ten people what service design is, you would end up with eleven different answers – at least.

Service design is an interdisciplinary approach that combines different methods and tools from various disciplines. It is a new way of thinking as opposed to a new stand-alone academic discipline. Service design is an evolving approach, this is particularly apparent in the fact that, as yet, there is no common definition or clearly articulated language of service design.  [Stickdorn, 2010, 29]”

What paths we should follow to maximize experiences?

Experience has something to say! Dou you want to tell us?

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Offerings of today and tomorrow

New offers of products and services I have seen, ranging from the incremental until radical innovations but passing by evolutionists.

The increasing need to think more on services and developing work in this area causes the funnel ideas flip a little its respect. You need to create open spaces where to find more meaning and this puts a question:

How to create new templates to make communities better than they are when we enter?

One of the ways to achieve this is leading to these communities to interact with companies producing and supplying services through co-creation.


Henry Chesbrough says ““We have been trapped in a product context for far too long” in our innovation thinking”…”We need to “reconnect to dominant economic activities of the larger society”, i.e. understanding the importance of Services  its potential as a real source of competitive difference.”

Putting the focus on unmet or not articulated consumer/user needs and making the integration of these in an open and interactive way, we make them the central aspect in the network of co-creators and co-creation activities.

Co-creation is a creative collaboration between various partners to define, clarify and realize visions that deliver value in a deeper sense than has been usual.

The co-creation is above all collaboration. When we talk about co-creation talked of how they can work together to solve problems, combine different perspectives and approaches to a problem.

This may involve the collaboration of consumers/users to find results from a communications strategy that involves products, services and experiences.

I think the big change of direction and that makes it deeper is the notion of value co-creation involves.

The co-creation assigns the value of context to the sense of things to involve users and their ecosystem in creating something new.

The contextualization of the product or service becomes more visible.

Is there an emotional dimension “closest to the personal nature of each” which is reflected by the opportunity collaboration versus co-creation = authorship = property.

This value must be understood and worked by recognizing the role of the people involved in co-creating.

“- Think of your business as an open services business in order to create and sustain differentiation in a commodity trap world.

-Invite customers to co-create innovation to generate (new) experiences they will value and reward.

-Use Open Service Innovation to help you turn your business into a platform for others to build on.

-Transform your business model with Open Services Innovation to profit from building a platform business model so you can gain from others’ innovation activities as well.”- Henry Chesbrough

In this process of transformation of business is always useful to think design, because design provides a natural venue for technology business thinking and values of people.

“In the design process there is an exploration of background, context, user needs and implementation options in relation to the company as well as the consumer… Here, designers have a holistic understanding and work with visual tools, which lets them create images that are capable of handling complexity and hence useful in a strategic context.” – Jorgen Rasmussen

This component, design thinking, in co-creating seems to me that brings benefits accrued mainly when the needs of people are not properly articulated or are hidden.

The evidence of the value created and perceived are highlighted when act like design thinkers.


Do you want to comment? What are the paths to go?


Design Thinking and Business.


To visualize a meeting between design thinkers and business people is not an easy task especially when we want the image conveys collaboration and good results.

When design thinkers are in their work, have an attitude of openness and seek empathy to feel their interlocutor but often we see interdisciplinary meetings or with people in the business area, they assume already know each other and what they think differently.

So what to do if you work within the same company and have different approaches to the same subjects?

According to Roger Martin in “The Design of Business” to become design thinkers we must develop the posture, the tools and experiences.

Posture is our perspective of the world and our role in it.

Tools are the models we use to organize our world and our thoughts.

Experiences are what built and developed our skills and sensibilities.

But why is it important to develop these three elements?

We know that in any workplace at any meeting, or anywhere where people exchange ideas and seek to evolve in one direction, they need a common language and a favorable environment for collaboration.

So to facilitate this communication process implies that I observe!

Design thinkers, when they are seeking to contemplate the effect on their relationships with the same eyes that use when they are in projects and seeking to understand them, i.e. having empathy with the interlocutors, and talking with them in a way that make echo within them, avoid unnecessary confrontation, differences with origin in the background of each one.

Design teams and business teams often come into conflict over change. Designers are seen as change agents seeking to push existing boundaries and develop new alternatives to the status quo. Businesspeople, on the other hand, are often deeply invested in the status quo and uncomfortable with shifting away from it without careful consideration and a high threshold of proof. Given this tension, one can choose to write the other party off or to turn the tools of the trade to figuring out what is behind their view.”

If we seek to understand the opinions that differ from our own opinion, instead of outright we reject it because we put a label (“He is an engineer …Is new…Isn’t here, etc.), we can understand the thinking of others and what they most valued or argue with more enthusiasm.

Now imagine, i.e. try to apply the abductive reasoning when you are in a process of work and ask yourself about how is the best to implement it.

Imagine the possible and desirable interactions!

If I need to create a new work process with other people, a group from the same company, what would be the best way to get energy or motivation and knowledge to reach a happy ending?

What would be the ideal process?

Without having to choose between A or B, what would be the best approach to co-create?

What would be the best way to create the appointment of other persons in the process?

What would be my difficulty in showing respect for the ideas of others and be trusted with my?

In design we use prototypes and test solutions for products, services and experiences.

How would be the design of a process?

How would be our prototype?

How would be the test?

It’s time to move from the possible to the verifiable and therefore it is important to get feedback from all stakeholders in the process to refine not neglecting the discipline of discussion that should be clear.

To search options is walking towards the best solution so it is important to listen to all team members.

With the prototype in hand what would be the best story to tell our work so that you had a happy ending?

What would be the next step for the story were a reality?

How do we test?

What we can explore more? That truth is that we lack? What you need to refine?

What do you think to test interactions in our workplace?

This text has sources in “Articles I’ve Written on Design Thinking” – Roger martin


Unleashing ideas and turn them into actions


When we accept that good ideas are not only at home does not mean that any idea or set of ideas can be useful.

Imagine that the leader assumes the role of fisherman of ideas to continue its mission. In doing so he knows that it is necessary that both the vessel and accoutrements are in good working order and are appropriate for the fishing.

I.e. if my boat is suitable for the calm seas I won’t fish in the seas of storms.

So it’s important to know where the sea is fished:

When it launches the network in protected sea

Lindegaard said “Personally, I believe a thinker is the most important piece because it requires quite an overview to become successful with an open innovation program having in mind that you need to deal with internal as well as external stakeholders on issues that are increasingly important for companies.”

This is the role of the master of the ship that has to be aware of the difficulties both internal and external to achieve success. It is good to remember that the calm that exists within an undertaking is subject to waves from outside.

When it launches the network in unknown sea …

When it launches the unknown sea network as in the case of many companies we can face the unexpected:

Ford has officially stirred up a mess of snakes by inviting consumers to submit their ideas on how to improve the company’s vehicles to its website at We’ve spent the better part of a day sifting through what the world has to say to Ford, and though we expected bucket loads of the web’s own brand of vitriol, so far the comments were largely constructive.”

It is a time (“so far”) in which things are fine but that clarifies the concerns or questions about the results. It is good to be alert!

When it launches the network in incubators…

Although incubators can migrate to situations of independence, there are many opportunities to open innovation in these seas.

Companies can be attentive to developments of these entrepreneurs and establish cooperation protocols.

While incubators used to be more general facilities, BusinessWeek says many of those that launched in the past few years are highly specialized. Often, their focus is on reviving a declining industry in the region where they are located, or on building off the expertise of those in that industry to innovate new products, services and concepts.”

When it launches the network in fertile sea

If the networks that are launched weren’t appropriate measure is very likely that the work of fishing bring good and less good fish.

The “fake” excess of ideas must be working and aligned with the company’s strategy. There is no room for cooling of fresh ideas. It is preferable to freeze them and use them later when appropriate.

Design is about communication, and the purity of a design can easily be compromised if there are too many ideas competing for attention.

Everyone has a different creative process, and there are many ways we all generate ideas. It’s the lifeblood of our profession, but it’s something you might want to be wary about.

Having too many ideas only becomes a problem if you are not able to process them clearly and without sentiment. Sometimes promising ideas have to be discarded because they do not meet the brief, sometimes you have to waste time on a bad idea to prove that it’s worthless.”

When it launches the network in known sea

Knowledge of ideas is fundamental so that they can be worked. Often we think we want to go to the sea and do not yet know the environment of the craft.

Companies tend to specialize, focusing people with specific expertise together, and that can create silos of information,”…”By opening up inside a company, you increase the flow of knowledge from one area to another. Medtronic began in cardiac pacemakers, but they are now developing devices that work in the brain. Lots of things learned in the cardiac division might be beneficial in the nervous system.”- Henry Chesbrough

When no launches of network … no production!


It was my intention not to identify a selection of ideas with something simple. Hope you left space for reflection.

I will appreciate your comments!

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“The meaning of things is not in the things themselves, but in our attitude toward them.”-Antoine De Saint Exupery

It’s true! I did a search of information dominated by confirmation bias, but I tried to find opinions contrary and hope that you can imagine, from here, the construction of something with meaning.

I think the best way for a company to understand what people want is through a process of open innovation not neglecting hypotheses of co-creation and this is because typically businesses under such circumstances are closer to the consumers/users. But to give meaning to things that people might want the design is a great way.

Look at the attitudes of people with things and be able to transfer their experiences for a creative project cannot be within a room or combining information entered in the questionnaires.

This work of innovation by companies is not always easy. Eric von Hippel said in an interview to “Deloitte Review” that “They may well view the outside as a competitor; as a rival: “If we ask outsiders to help with our job, our managers may think that we are dispensable. Let’s not do that!” Similarly, marketing research people who look for unmet user needs via surveys and focus groups find a lot of their tools are at risk of becoming obsolete if users become the innovators. And internal patent attorneys who are told that open IP can be more useful than patents — well, let’s not even go there. [laughs].”

So the desire to seek out what is needed is a challenge that companies must meet and make clear to employees that they are required and that they play a key role in the new model.

The products and services that companies seek to launch tomorrow, apart from a few dissenting opinions, are built or projected based on information collected from consumers/users, through varied methods for different purposes, sometimes with meaning sometimes without this concern.

Henry Chesbrough in his book “Open Innovation Services” says: “Another aspect of advancing innovation in services is to change the role of customers in the innovation process. Instead of treating customers as passive consumers, many companies are now involving customers in the innovation process. In many cases, customers are actually co-creating new products and services.”

One of the problems that Chesbrough puts in this integration of customer experiences is the difficulty in transferring this tacit knowledge and therefore the result of the customer experience. Here I think that a design thinking approach can facilitate the transfer and simultaneously deliver meaning to service/product.

But there are good examples of work in this field, that here I refer, only just like a mark of possibility to consider paths that companies want to try:

Threadless succeeds by asking more than any modern retail company has ever asked of its customers — to design the products, to serve as the sales force, to become the employees. Nickell has pioneered a new kind of innovation. It doesn’t require huge research budgets or creative brilliance — just a willingness to keep looking outward.”

Embora pareçam lineares as vantagens duma maior abertura ao exterior por parte das empresas quer em relação à criação conjunta com outras empresas quer em relação aos seus clientes e fornecedores há quem diga que não é dessa forma que encontramos significado nas coisas, como parece ser o caso de:

Although it seem linear the advantages of a greater openness to the outside by firms relating the joint creation with other companies or with their customers and suppliers some say that isn’t so we find meaning in things, as seems to be the case of Roberto Verganti:

“And, what we learned is that actually radical innovation and meaning does not happen by using the imperatives we all know. Radical innovation and meaning doesn’t come from users. It’s not just a matter of having a lot of ideas.”

Should the meaning be on the things and not in our attitude toward them?

But Verganti also said: ” So, this is again another great example of design, because it’s not about, you know, this is not about styling. Actually, the graphics of the Nintendo are very simple. It’s not about technology. The technology inside a Nintendo Wii is much more simple, less complicated than the Microsoft Xbox and the Sony Playstation. It’s about a change in meaning, and it’s a radical change in meaning. These are things that people were not asking for, but when they saw them, they fell in love “

This truth of Nintendo’s example reminds me of Apple or the Ikea (see post) that also brought me questions about the role of consumers and my answer to these doubts is:

-It is important that people find meaning in their relationship with things.

-It is important that companies are in the relationship with its customers in a way to assign meaning to this relationship.

-It is important that organizations find meaning in their activity either toward the interior (employees) or towards the exterior.

-It is important that organizations contribute to a world with meaning.

” It’s well past time to begin imagining an organization of a radically different kind — one that takes a quantum leap beyond strategy, marketing, and finance into a novel galaxy of unexplored, untapped economic possibilities.

Here’s what I think that organization — call it the Meaning Organization — might look it. It’s a nod to — but a step beyond — Peter Senge’s learning organization. It’s built not just to learn (and then do “business”) but, more deeply, to redraw the boundaries of prosperity, by doing meaningful stuff that matters the most.”

Hence, the wisdom group. The wisdom group’s job would be, first and foremost, to ensure that the organization is creating value that’s enjoyed by all its key stakeholders — people, nature, the future, society. The group’s responsibilities would begin with measuring, monitoring, and managing that value — but end up with shepherding, guiding, and nurturing it. The wisdom group would make sure the company was doing stuff that matters to our great-great-great-grandkids, that ennobles us, that develops our better selves, and that honors the firm’s bigger purpose” – Umair Haque

As a collaborator the meaning of my work, as a consumer the meaning of my participation, while entrepreneur the meaning of my existence.

My apologies for an article so long!

New models of innovation 

Thomas Sutton  on Lift11 places the following question:

“What happens if we stop trying to understand consumers’ needs, and start cultivating empty spaces where people can innovate for themselves? In other words, letting go of the dream of a perfect, scientific innovation process by which products or services could “fulfill unmet needs”.

In my opinion, we will find at least two distinct situations:

-One, where people won’t satisfy their needs and will follow the principle of pleasure or the path of not conscious use and consumption of products and services, i.e. innovate without meaning, as happens with a large number of inventions or applications, or won’t create by failing to articulate their needs.

-The other, people will innovate adjusting the creation on their real needs without having to consume or purchase irrelevance or redundancy.

This second situation, by requiring a narrower set of competencies is not widespread, can emerge as refining or the custom-made clothing

as many individuals and businesses need.

Throughout the world, Portugal included, there are situations that fit this template and I like to call it “extensibility”. The principle is simple, there is a product or service that is delivered and after, the user, without changing the base, builds its “unique” according to their needs.

We can see this in software or in cars, in tourism projects or on product packaging in the supermarket.

These processes, however, often need co-creation given the specific nature of some products or services, but allow the diversity and interdisciplinary work synonyms of wealth in the results.

To allow others to build on what we create is to amplify our creativity and a little of us.

What is important is not what is inside of things created, but the situation that is created, because the dynamics of the system is what’s around them and what adds value.

Often what we create surpasses our need or the necessity of others and this can lead to redundancy and to avoid it we have to coincide with our behavior or the desired behavior.

Is it possible the complete abandonment of control?

What kind of conflicts can arise from the integration of open design (T. Sutton) with co-creation?

To allow users to conduct design through constructive dialogue is an important aspect in open innovation, but it will be an extensible option to any situation?

When we put something in the world, we are establishing a dynamic relationship between things and people, but not necessarily a good neighborhood.

Think about this! 

I like to think that, in people, there are unmet needs (known but unresolved), needs not articulated (no solution because no definition of the problem) and hidden needs (unidentified problems and not defined). If in fact there is a significant difference between them, and I think yes, co-creation can indeed be the constructive dialogue that is necessary.

What do you think about this?