Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Strathclyde Service Science Workshop

Got a call on Sunday and I was on my way to Glasgow on Monday... ignoring the promise of transfer report delivering deadline on the same day...

It is a workshop under the name of 'Service Science'. And according to the key presenter Raymond Fisk, the name doesn't really matter, you can add whatever you are doing after the 'Service ____?'... so basically 'service design' is a correct term in this sense...

In the morning a presentation was given by Prof. Ray Fisk, a marketing guy from Texas State University. Starting with the story of the elephant and the blind men... ha ha... which is surprisingly suitable to describe the situation in service ____? nobody really knows what they are doing, everyone just see a part of the whole thing, while the whole thing is just too complex for one discipline/perspective to totally understand. His proposal of changing 'service science' to 'customer science' particularly interets me, as the argument in my research is always putting the customer in the heart of organisation operation. Also, he touch the importance of arts (design included), in terms of embracing emotions and creating joy.

the main point of the afternoon discussion are: the concept, the cross-discipline collaboration and the T-shape professionals who can realize the former two. Our group discussion is mainly focused on cross-discipline/function units collaboration: its efficiency, its effects (overall maximisation), and the power of organisational culture on these issues. Very interesting discussion among the group, we've got a manager from RBS, two academia from marketing, one from NHS doing risk management, one IT engineer and me, designer. I notice the use of language is possibly the main bia in communication, each profession has its own glossary to describe the same thing with slightly different words... somehow it becomes confusing. Although within 'service science' most of the jargon are agreed, still once the concept was understood with the existing knowledge in different disciplines.

A paper comes with the workshop is the white paper from IBM and Cambridge University, called Succeeding with Service Innovation. Worth reading! Funny enough that it starts in almost the same time as I started my PhD, and this publication is out in April,2008. Most of the arguments in the paper are the same as mine -- only in more beautiful sentences... I am happy that it means I am on the right track here. Although disappointingly, the definition of Service Science is the short for SSME-- Service science, management and engineering. In the footnote, it says SSME can be extended into SSMED -- Service science, management, engineering and design. Seems that the theory construction of design is still a dearth.

Monday, 2 June 2008

giving feedback

It is not easy to give feedback to the others... especially students...
you have to be positive, and constructively critical... and patient...
In general I did fine today with the help of my lovely colleagues, well, couple of feedbacks on my performance there:

'don't talk too fast' - when I gets nervious, I start to talk fast like hell... pause with questions like 'do you understand?' or 'you know what I mean?' help to give other people some time to *think* what I just said... God... I sometimes talk faster than I think... scary,isn't it?

'dont sit too close to others, leave them personal space' - I obviously dont have a issue with personal space, which... then cause trouble to others... I get to close to them -- damn it... too eager to show that I am friendly... I gotta be a bit teacher here... right!

'sit face-to-face to the people you talk to, so that you can see their reactions' -- very good one, and solve the problem of getting to close to them... will do that!