What is the simplest way that you can describe what you do to an audience that isn’t familiar with it?
"In working with consulting clients I help them find the best way to improve their product and services or to create new ideas for their businesses taking in account their users and a broader perspective. I focus on the big picture first and work with clients to evaluate the overall impact of the change we are considering. Once that has been decided I work on the details of how the solution should be delivered to the target users."
What are some key lessons you have learned about co-creation when you work with client teams?
"I just challenged a colleague of mine who just wrote an article about it after working in intensive co-creation with a client we both work for. To summarize the article I would say:
1) Work on bringing everybody on the same level.
2) Work on breaking the boundaries that consultant-client relationship traditionally establish.
3) Remember nobody has the magic solution to problems and that learning to fail helps to learn how to iterate in a more flexible. For the readers looking for a more in-depth response, read Better together by Sanya Rai.
To get the most out of onsite creative collaboration — we need to stop thinking in client-agency silos. Here’s how to do that."
What habit or pattern of behaviors do client organizations have to unlearn in order to be successful in adopt service design and co-creation into their organizations?
"Nothing has to be unlearned. Organisations are special eco-systems and like every eco-system it is better to be careful when trying to change it.
I think the best way to start the adoption of service design and co-creation or any other design /creative technique is to proceed with caution. It is important to get people excited about exploring a new way of thinking. Captivating their imagination is enough to trigger a desire for them to change. If they are intrigued enough they will work by themselves on making a change. Helping them keep an open-mind is key."
Workshops are the new buzzword in client organizations. Clients tend to get a lot of stakeholders involved for the day of the activity. How do you make sure that the impact of the workshop isn’t lost after the activity has been completed?
"Well, depends on the output of the workshop and the typology of workshop.
On the human-level:
For sure I would say that at the end we are humans and these are the moments in which soft-skills are key. Establishing a good relationship with the participants and the contact person is key. This will make sure that they will contact you for support later on.
On the delivery-level:
A good documentation. And stupid but simple... Files suitable for the Office Suite. Why?
A way to keep the momentum in an organization is to provide deliverable that clients are able to enlarge, change, edit the delivered output of the workshop. For example we started to deliver Blueprints in Excel so that the client could work on them by himself.Providing something as simple as an editable document is a way for them to continue building on the work you started in a workshop."
What resources do you use to stay current with different methods / frameworks and their applications as you build out your own practice?
"In that sense I guess that the main resources are conferences and meet-ups and social media."
Do you have any final thoughts that you would like to share?
"My motto is: Keep whatever you are doing simple. The most simple solution is the most effective one."