Service Design Award 2017: the finalists
SDN has announced this year's Service Design Award finalists!
This project is the winner of the Service Design Award 2016 for Systemic and Cultural Change in the Private Sector.
Deutsche Telekom is one of the world's leading integrated telecommunications companies, with some 156 million mobile customers, 29 million fixed-network lines, and more than 18 million broadband lines. We provide fixed-network/broadband, mobile communications, Internet, and IPTV products and services for consumers, and information and communication technology (ICT) solutions for business and corporate customers.
So that we can continue to be successful, we are already evolving from a traditional telephone company into an entirely new kind of Service Company. Our core business, i.e., the operation and sale of networks and connections, remains the basis. But at the same time we are committing to new business areas that open up future growth opportunities for us. Our strategic goal on this journey is to be a leader in terms of customer perception, with service and network quality, and with reliable, easy-to-use products and services. Our aspiration is to provide outstanding experiences to our customers.
Our business environment is undergoing changes at tremendous speed and faces increasing complexity. We find transformation in every aspect of life with an impact on our customers’ needs and expectations. We are in the middle of a paradigm shift in business: Strong competition, small margins and disruptive new players require genuine product, service and business model innovations to secure a sustainable competitive advantage. Digitalization opens new opportunities but also challenges us to be ready for consistent customer experiences – around the clock, across all channels, and with a constantly high service standard. It is all about creating real innovation and meaningful solutions that make a difference. The ICT sector is certainly not insulated from these wide-ranging changes. Rather, it is one of the key drivers. The industry is confronted with a new situation: Business paradigms and models that have dominated for decades no longer seem to work. Every day global players from other markets raise the bar in terms of customer experience and challenge the status quo.
In this radical changing environment we need to see today’s and tomorrow’s challenges differently than we ever have before. For us, as a company, this means to fundamentally rethink and reorganize the way we work and approach things. Where we come from, however, is linear thinking, long-term planning, silo-organization and not-invented-here syndrome. This way of working keeps us from integrating flexibility and agility in our work. As technological and economical networking increases, conventional business thinking stands as a limiting factor. We believe that it is time to implement a new mind-set and working culture.
Utilize design methods and mind-set to rethink business
For that reason, we aim to transform our working culture at Deutsche Telekom: Understanding failures as opportunities to learn and improve, failing early but cheap. Focus on tangible results and user feedback at the early stage of a project, utilize rapid prototyping and continuous user feedback. Think and work in iterations. Start designing new products, services and systems with a holistic and unbiased approach.
In this context we utilize design as a discipline at Deutsche Telekom to trigger various kinds of forward-thinking transformation using new processes, new mind-sets and new methods. It is not reserved to designers anymore and addresses all business units that are aiming for new and future-oriented solutions. May it be new and customer-centric products for marketing, offers from HR that are especially designed for employees or finance processes that are turned into lean financial planning.
Since Deutsche Telekom is strongly committed to embedding design practices in the entire group, the HR Lab is working on its implementation systematically using a bipolar approach. This means that we are supporting both on bottom-up initiatives as well as following a top-down implementation strategy. We chose a joint approach and close cooperation with relevant units such as product design, research & development and human resource development.
Our approach consists of four layers:
Inspiration at top executive level: We provide thought-provoking formats such as learning journeys for the top 200 managers. Our aspiration is to seed a respective mind-set and inspire towards change at the top executives line.
In order to make this shift towards user-centricity and an innovation-driven mindset happen, we defined seven strategic building blocks: Communication, which is about continuous communication. Enabling, which aims to train our people. Toolbox, which consists of working tools and assets. Labs, which is about facilitating business projects from all units. Community, which aims to bring our practitioners together. Network, which is about keeping the connection to science and economy. And Hub, which aims to replicate the HR Lab.
We strategically put the topic on the agenda of the organization. This can mean playing it on internal media in order to get the necessary attention, creating relevance, and informing about events.
We developed a diversified training portfolio that is customized to the different target groups: teams, experts, leaders and top executives. The trainings vary from 120 minutes up to an 8 month-long program with 5 different modules.
Design creates a common language between people with different backgrounds and functions and therefore fosters collaboration. In order to achieve this, there are some standards that have to be set first:
We believe that new concepts have to be proved in business every day. We, therefore, do not only convey Design know-how, we apply it in top company projects. Our so called “business labs” tackle selected complex organizational projects with an innovation-driven mind-set by the help of coaches – starting with the problem framing and ending with the prototype. The project teams learn the design process and relevant methods on-the-job and apply it on their own business challenges. At the end, they create meaningful solutions and deliver consistent user experiences. Over the last years, the HR Lab facilitated projects in nearly all corporate functions:
We believe in the power of networks and bottom-up movements. For that reason we host a Practitioners Community, which holds online and offline knowledge, and offers a cross-functional network and exchange.
The world is changing too rapidly to work today with the knowledge from yesterday. Therefore, we foster strong exchanges with players in economics and science to develop knowledge together.
We adapt mechanisms from nature: encouraging cell division in order to trigger multiplications. Meaning that we educate coaches in particular divisions and departments and create a local infrastructure (e.g. building Creative Spaces) in order to encourage the use of creative methods.
Next to methodological knowledge and the right mind-set, we believe that it is also important to have dedicated spaces. We call those spaces Creative Spaces.
SDN has announced this year's Service Design Award finalists!
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Over the last three months the Canadian Chapter of the Service Design Network has been hard at work: (1) putting in place the necessary infrastructure to administer the chapter, particularly challenging given the geographic span of Canada; (2) promoting the chapter and supporting local events; and (3) planning our first major multi-city initiative. What follows is a detailed accounting of each of these areas.
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