Responded to request regarding Succeeding through Service Innovation

 On October 31, 2007, I responded to a request for suggestions regarding the draft paper “Succeeding through Service Innovation.” [1] Sponsors for this project include IBM and the University of Cambridge.

Permit me to repeat herein my responses. (The numbers reflect items in the questionnaire the sponsors supplied.)

1. General

Executive Summary (Page 1)

One might want to rethink statements regarding ‘what does society need or need to do?’ and ‘who should contribute what?’  Each of the three sectors (academia, business, and “the public sector”) can and should provide or catalyze pivotal progress regarding …

> Each of “developing people,” “developing systems,” and “raising awareness.”

> Essentially all of the “action sentences” in the current “for academia,” “for business,” and “for policy” paragraphs.

4. Examples that can illustrate …, such as service systems, service innovation and inter-disciplinary approach

Direct Outcomes systems-thinking tools provide means to guide service systems and service innovation.  Direct Outcomes provides a framework to build win-win service relationships and foster win-win value co-creation.  Direct Outcomes also provides a basis for selecting, extending the usefulness of, and integrating various approaches and tools.

Providers of services can use (at least) two of the tools – Achieve Progress and Achieve Style – to create and capture opportunities to improve services and products.  Clients of service providers can use the tools to create and capture opportunities regarding services and products to seek.  Generally, …

> People can use Achieve Progress to predict next services, to track the introduction of such services, and to appreciate the value of such services – for the introduction of services into specific uses or marketplaces, into specific product lines or service lines, or into society in general.

> People can use Achieve Style to predict, track, and appreciate the value of behavior changes – for beneficiaries of services, for relationships between clients and providers, or for work that develops components of services.

For a discussion regarding some of the above applications of Achieve Progress, people might want to look at “Improve the Value of Service.”  (This article is available via http://thomasjbuckholtzcom.wordpress.com/direct-outcomes/ .)

For an introduction to Direct Outcomes, people might want to use the Direct Outcomes link on the page https://thomasjbuckholtz.wordpress.com/.

For fundamental definitions of Achieve Progress and Achieve Style, along with numerous service applications of these and other Direct Outcomes tools, people might want to look at “Innovate Incisively: Gain Impact. Save Time.”  (http://www.wbt-tv.com/Dr.Buckholtz/ii3.1.php )

7. Section 2.1

One might want to review attempts to distinguish between agriculture, manufacturing, and services.  For example, one might want to start such a review from the following perspective.

Service includes agriculture and manufacturing.  For example, …

> Significant value attributable to agriculture arises because of the services agriculture enables.  For example, agriculture enables services that provide nutrition and pleasure.  Without such services, agriculture provides comparatively little value.

> For a more informative discussion of the previous point, people might want to look at “Improve the Value of Service.”  (This article is available via http://thomasjbuckholtzcom.wordpress.com/direct-outcomes/ .)

> Similarly, significant value attributable to manufacturing arises because of the services manufacturing enables.  For example, manufacturing enables services that provide transportation and communication.  Without such services, manufacturing provides comparatively little value.

Service can be enhanced to the extent that products and activities associated with agriculture, manufacturing, information systems, and the like produce new or improved bases through which entities (people, animals, coalitions, and so forth) gain support for doing what the entities need to, want to, try to, or do accomplish or for providing what the entities need to, want to, try to, or do use.

One might consider the extent to which to feature agriculture and manufacturing as “contributors to chains of activities that result in useful services.”

> Within such a context, one can make useful points about resources devoted to agriculture or manufacturing.

> Without such context, one may make statements that can prove somewhat misleading.

> For example, people interpreting a “2% of American labor is devoted to agriculture” statement may miss key points.  For Americans to benefit from food, what amount of American (and other people’s) labor is involved?  A more meaningful statistic might include work of people who cook or serve food (in and away from homes), people who recommend or use menus or recipes, people who transport food, and so forth.

— —

One might want to review the assertion that “the largest service system is the global economy.”  Assuming a focus on “things Earth-centric” (to the exclusion of the rest of the universe), there is much service that people’s view of “the economy” tends to overlook.  For example, ..

> Delivery of water for human use can involve natural phenomena (such as rain) or human activities not included in “the economy.”

> Among animals and plants, services include pollination and elements of symbiotic relationships between animals.

8. Section 2.2

One might want to review statements such as “There is no Moore’s Law roadmap within the service domain that can guide organizations …  The aim of service science is to discover an underlying simplicity or order within a world of service systems.”

(The following remarks parallel some of the remarks I provide regarding item 4 above.)

For example, Direct Outcomes systems-thinking tools embody such “underlying simplicity.”  Providers of services can use (at least) two of the tools – Achieve Progress and Achieve Style – to create and capture opportunities to improve services and products.  Clients of service providers can use the tools to create and capture opportunities regarding services and products to seek.  Generally, …

> People can use Achieve Progress to predict next services, to track the introduction of such services, and to appreciate the value of such services – for the introduction of services into specific uses or marketplaces, into specific product lines or service lines, or into society in general.

> People can use Achieve Style to predict, track, and appreciate the value of behavior changes – for beneficiaries of services, for relationships between clients and providers, or for work that develops components of services.

For a discussion regarding some of the above applications of Achieve Progress, people might want to look at “Improve the Value of Service.”  (This article is available via http://thomasjbuckholtzcom.wordpress.com/direct-outcomes/ .)

For an introduction to Direct Outcomes, people might want to use the Direct Outcomes link on the page https://thomasjbuckholtz.wordpress.com/.

For fundamental definitions of Achieve Progress and Achieve Style, along with numerous service applications of these and other Direct Outcomes tools, people might want to look at “Innovate Incisively: Gain Impact. Save Time.”  (http://www.wbt-tv.com/Dr.Buckholtz/ii3.1.php

11. Section 3.1

The document states, “In general, attempts to create an integrated theory of service activities and service systems have been primarily of academic interest, with only passing practitioner interest.  Nevertheless, practitioner driven tools, methods and data sets are emerging.  They provide relevant starting points for practitioners to establish an overarching framework and outline the problem space at multiple levels.”

Direct Outcomes systems-thinking tools and the book “Innovate Incisively: Gain Impact. Save Time.” provide such a framework.  People can use the framework to build win-win service relationships and foster win-win value co-creation.

For an introduction to Direct Outcomes, people might want to use the Direct Outcomes link on the page https://thomasjbuckholtz.wordpress.com/ .

For “Innovate Incisively: Gain Impact. Save Time.”, people might want to look at http://www.wbt-tv.com/Dr.Buckholtz/ii3.1.php .

14. Section 4.1

One might want to review the stance “we advocate the interdisciplinary approach.”  Given that “super multi-disciplinary” or “multi-disciplinary” would seem preferable, …”

> One could encourage people to optimize, for specific circumstances, combinations of approaches.

> Or, to the extent one wants the document to advocate one or some approaches, one could position “interdisciplinary” as a (perhaps often) practical “other-than-ideally-first-choice” alternative to “super multi-disciplinary” or “multi-disciplinary.”

17. Section 5.1

One might want to review the use of “T-shaped” as an ideal.  People’s pursuing “T-shaped” can lead to less-than-ideal thinking and outcomes.  One might feature and advocate “grid-shaped” or “well rounded” (or some other term that fits the meaning suggested below). 

> I-shaped denotes having a specialty.

> T-shaped denotes having a specialty and an ability to be a generalist at one level.

> “Grid-shaped” or “well rounded” denotes having abilities to function at multiple general levels and having multiple specialties.

21. Other issues, comments, or suggestions

I applaud efforts to make “service science” into a field and catalyst for progress.  Having led the team that started the early 1990’s United States nationwide movement to make “improving governmental service to the public” into a more-prominent field and catalyst for progress, I believe I appreciate the value that many people can create by starting and supporting service-science endeavors.  I would like to think that service science – as a field and as a diverse collection of initiatives – will benefit from “service to the public” progress such as e-government and one-stop construction permits and will also benefit from the Direct Outcomes system-thinking tools derived from many people’s successes achieved via “service to the public” and via many other endeavors.

[1] http://www.ifm.eng.cam.ac.uk/ssme/

Click for information about Thomas J. Buckholtz.

 

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