One of my first internship experiences was in a very small enterprise: just a handful of employees and an increasingly heavy workload on our shoulders.
The market in question was expanding and the clients were everyday more and more exigent. But the majority of our daily business was employed making photocopies, taking care of the archives and the logs, that were all stored in giant binders. There were a lot of strict rules on how to store the documents: how many copies we had to make of each of them, how to fill forms manually etc…
Enters Design Thinking
So the question becomes:
How to incentivize enterprises to invest in structured innovation processes?
I often reflect on my first office experience, and I wonder what could have been different if instead of focusing on a lot of unproductive habits we’d have pulled out empathy maps, customer journey descriptions and we’d have optimised our way of getting things done.
On the other hand I try to put myself in the shoes of my old boss and business owner. Was it really the wise thing to do for him, to focus on innovation processes? We were just 4 – 5 employees, all super busy dealing with clients, invoices and paperwork. Did he really had the energy or the resources to put aside daily business and start re – thinking the whole service, or even only parts of it, maybe hiring external experts as consultants?
From a totally non – technical point of view, the challenge for service designers is to become appealing for small and micro businesses, as well as for big R&D corporate departments.
Small entrepreneurs can benefit enormously from innovation of services and processes, but they need the right incentives to take the leap and invest in design thinking activities and other innovation tools.
It won’t be an easy goal, but if the culture of innovation keeps spreading al also at micro companies level, it will turn out to be a win – win for both businesses, employees and clients.
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