What is the material of service design? My answer is: The material of service design is organizations.
Last year, I had the honor of giving one of the keynotes at the Global Service Design Conference in Dublin.
I used the occasion to develop a new talk based on my many year’s of facilitating and encouraging trans-disciplinary collaboration in organizations. As a synthetic thinker, I tend to draw from what seem to be disparate ideas and concepts. This talk was no different. The dots I connected included: the wisdom of Samual Beckett, lessons from the Ugandan history, Hungry Hungry Hippo, a business sustainability framework, and buddhism.
The overarching point of the talk was that service designers need to approach an organization as an opportunity to invent new ways of working through collaboration with other disciplines (i.e., tribes). This a pragmatic stance, accepting that others (in lean, agile, and so on) often have more power and influence. As a community, we need to be smart about how we introduce and evolve our tools and methods in concert with learning how our non-designer collaborators solve problems. I give some pointers on a possible typology for collaboration and what designers can do individually and in concert to be be open, continue learning, and make an impact.
Enjoy the talk below. You can also view the slides on Slideshare.