Service Design Requires An Attitude Shift


By Danielle Peverelli, Service Designer at Idean The Netherlands

For everything you do, the attitude in which you do it is a key factor to success. Take a soccer team: when every stakeholder, from manager to player, supports each other and uses the same strategy towards a common goal they increase their chance of winning. A team who is at each other’s throat is far less likely to succeed. This also goes for Service Design. When enough people at an organization are open to human-centered thinking, iterative working and collaboration you increase the chance of success.


Human centered focus until implementation

Many organizations I encounter are eager to start innovating their services. They quickly start the project but overlook the need to align the organizations’ attitude to the service design way of working. This will work during research and design. But at the implementation phase, when the hard decisions need to be made, service design principles are out the window.

They lose sight of the initial goals and get swept away by the issues of the day. Suddenly the awesome service runs into a lot of apprehension and excuses. You probably have heard these before: “Another division is responsible for this subject so we can’t influence that” and “Let’s just create an app, that will be enough”. But if we give into these sentiments, we end up with a sub-par service and the belief that Service Design is just an expensive fad.


So, what should the attitude be?

Look at companies like Amazon, Tesla and Spotify: they work to make sure people are on the same page which results in successful service innovation. To make Service Design work, I propose an attitude shift. The “right attitude” you need to adapt to should be:

  • Be bold
  • Be open for collaboration
  • Be willing to change the organizational structure For a longer explanation on why I think Service Design needs an attitude shift read my blog “Service Design requires an attitude shift!”.


How to get there

Changing an organization’s attitude is no small feat and will take a lot of dedication and time. So, it’s important to start changing the attitudes as soon as possible. Here’s some tips that can help:

1To be bold, start with yourself

To get people in your organization on board you will have to be strong and capable of inspiring people. Become comfortable with the unavoidable critics by challenging your internal critic. Stop focusing on self-esteem and start practicing self-compassion. Learn to be vulnerable and teach others about it. Design is a function of connection, there is nothing more vulnerable than creativity.


To become open for collaboration you need to reserve time to get there. Stop focusing merely on the go-live schedule and work on the teams process. Reserve time for the team to get comfortable with each other. Take time in your workshops to create trust between team members.

3Change the structure

To be able to change the organizational structure you will first have to take some steps to align the organization. Map out which stakeholders should be involved and involve them. Start using cross-silo KPIs focused on user satisfaction. Set up a design thinking/service design/whatever you want to call it movement.

When you are mindful of the attitudes around you and use these tips, you will increase your chance of success. If you seek more elaboration on these tips check out my blogs “Be bold”, “Time to collaborate” and “Bridge the silos”.

These tips are off course pretty general so for a tailor-made plan please contact us!


frog, part of Capgemini Invent is a global design and innovation firm. We transform businesses at scale by creating systems of brand, product and service that deliver a distinctly better experience. We strive to touch hearts and move markets. Our passion is to transform ideas into realities. We partner with clients to anticipate the future, evolve organizations and advance the human experience.

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