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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.


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