Attended NextNow Meeting regarding Service Science

     On August 20, 2007, I attended a NextNow [1] meeting (at Stanford University [2]) featuring Jim Spohrer [3] (of IBM’s Almaden Research Center [4]) facilitating a discussion of Service Science [5].

     Jim led a far-reaching discussion of this ‘new but timeless’ subject.  Eileen Clegg [6] and a colleague of hers recorded ‘visual notes.’

     Jim featured a service-science theme of co-creating value.  One ‘visual note’ showed profiles of 2 faces facing each other, with the faces representing entities trying to co-create value for each other.  Later, Jim drew a chart of the evolution of the relative amount of work (in the United States during 200 years) devoted to agriculture, manufacturing, and services.  I invited to people to combine three concepts – value co-creation, entities helping each other, and relative work – to rethink what people consider and measure.  While currently perhaps only two-percent of American “labor” is tallied as devoted to growing food (“agriculture”), presumably a much larger percentage of national effort goes into creating the value of pleasure, nutrition, and so forth that people derive from food.  Paralleling some of Jim’s comments (and comments in my recent book, “Innovate Incisively: Gain Impact. Save Time.” [7]) there are many opportunities to change the focus of what people attempt to measure so as to pay more attention to outcomes and, therefore also, to more useful concepts of inputs.

     Jim mentioned that Service Science crucially needs practical theoretical bases (for which he said the roles could parallel for Service Science the roles of contributions of Maxwell or Einstein to physics).  I mentioned to attendees that I believe I have developed some such bases.  I offered to help people learn about and benefit from such. [7, 8]

     I would like to encourage people to learn more about Service Science and Jim Spohrer’s role regarding it.

     The event provided an opportunity to meet or reconnect with several people.  For example, I mentioned to Doug Engelbart [9] that I would be happy to work with him to simplify the one complex slide he showed some years ago in a presentation at the Computer History Museum [10].  My doing so would be based on Direct Outcome’s Achieve Progress tool [7, 8]

     I would like to acknowledge Bill Daul [11] of NextNow and Chuck House of Media X [12] for their hosting this event.






[5] and


[7] This book also features a “two smiling faces” perspective.  The book provides Direct Outcomes tools for envisioning, working toward, and achieving “win-win relationships” (or value co-creation) throughout and beyond business-like activities.

[8] Regarding two of the Direct Outcomes tools, Ron Fredericks [8a] (Embedded Components, Inc. [8b]) stated the following.  “The Service Value [now, Achieve Progress] and Style Maturity [now, Achieve Style] techniques provide as important a conceptual breakthrough for enhancing business success as have Relativity and Quantum Mechanics for keeping physics viable.  Fortunately, unlike Relativity or Quantum Theory, almost any person, group, or enterprise can benefit quickly and significantly from Value and Maturity.”









Click for information about Thomas J. Buckholtz.


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