Erik Flowers on Service Design

Copied directly from his blog post on, link here.

Erik likens Service Design to a working ranch: the ranch always has to run, always has to produce, so innovation can be difficult when there is a clear job to be done. This are his 6 tips for how to get started in an enterprise environment.

Read the whole post (link above)! I just pasted his summary below as a reminder to myself.

LESSON 1. Establish real empathy

Find real empathy for your organization, and define how the status quo serves a purpose and is important. Until you can see how the present situation serves them organization, you won’t be able to have any influence with it.

LESSON 2. Add both space and function

Accept that capacity means space, capability means function. Write down where you see space can be made and how you can help, and write down where you see capability can be built up and how you can help. These don’t have to be the same things.

LESSON 3. Be realistic about what you can do now, soon, and in the future

Be realistic about what you can do now, soon, and in the future. Write down a statement of purpose for each phase. “Right now, my purpose is to…” “In the near future my purpose will be to..” “Eventually, my purpose will be…”.

LESSON 4. Find allies and understand their motivations

Find those who believe in the ideas you’re presenting, and get behind their motivations.

LESSON 5. Jump in on existing efforts

Find existing efforts that have slow progress or are under-resourced and find ways to help. And/or, use your allies in lesson 4 to help you join in and contribute with things they might be working on. Write down 3 existing efforts you can see yourself contributing meaningfully to, and be specific in how you can do it.

LESSON 6. Show people what you believe

People need to believe what you believe in before they’ll accept you as a leader. List 3 ways you can help illustrate what you believe about your service design mindset and how it can help. Be concrete and specific with your 3 ways.


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