Category: Tools


Here’s a collection of articles on the site that can be seen as tools that are useful in solving the innovation problem.

Some are updates to well known tools, with a service-dominant perspective. Such as the marketing triangle and marketing mix. And you’ll also find my service-service continuum, which falls out of taking a service-first view of the classic goods-service continuum. Using this update we get to visualise shifts in the service mix of goods, systems, physical resources and people.

Others help the innovation process. Such as using the canvas model iteratively to help ideators/innovators flesh out ideas in a language understandable to other stakeholders (as well as readily understandable by themselves). And/or to pull in and help collaborators. Or aim to help in the innovation execution. For example by understanding how complex an execution is – for a specific enterprise – and what can be done.

And yet others consider the problem of systematically finding innovations. For example through modelling service as a set of capabilities.

The complexity of executing an innovation is a key factor to understand, yet it is little discussed.

Here we look at an approach that leverages the fact of models based on Den Hertog's model of service innovation contain both a notion of size of change of an innovation and level of capabilities of an enterprise.

Such an approach can lead to portfolio management, simplifications of innovations and/or justifications for increasing capabilities and executing enabling innovations.

Here we look at a potential approach
Reading time <6 mins

So, you have an idea for a service innovation, how can you best describe the impact of it on your organisation?

We find that the extension to den Hertog's service innovation model we have made is a great tool for this

(and when used in combination with the Lean Canvas Model, we get a great insight into the value

Reading time <1 min

How do we find/discover new service innovations?

If we have just a product, then we can look to service-ise that

If we currently have a service, we can use our extended version of den Hertog's model to seek innovations. These could improve the service concept, the service delivery (internal, new partners, new systems etc) or the client interface. They could be based on technology and/or data

Reading time <1 min
Whilst Gallouj & Weinstein’s model is a great way of understanding a service – and systematically hunting for innovation – there are some updates we can make to bring it into an even more usable form. These are: using service-dominant logic terminology – beneficiary instead of the customer, for example. reflecting the network/ecosystem nature often […]
Reading time <11 mins

As we see goods as a way of delivering service, the traditional goods-service continuum makes less sense.

However, we can observe a (self-)service-service continuum. Where we move from predominantly service provider's goods used to transport service through to more use of provider's systems, physical resources and employees.

The continuum exposes various non-functional progress beneficiaries seek to make.

Reading time <9 mins

Back in 2000, Pim den Hertog published a service innovation model that we can use to search for and explain service innovations (den Hertog (2000)). It uses three aspects of a service innovation:

  • Dimensions - new concept, new client interface, new delivery system (process, culture, organisation) and technology options
  • Capabilities - HR, Organisational and Marketing & Distribution
  • Comparisons - to existing & competing services; to service workers; and actual & potential customer

In a later 2010 update he introduced 2 more dimensions - new revenue model and new business partners. As well as renaming technology options to new delivery system (technology).

Reading time <11 mins

How can we increase the potential innovativeness of our organisation?

It turns out 3 orientations impact the potential innovativeness of our organisation. And in turn the business performance. Increasing these orientations impacts innovation performance. They are:

  1. Market orientation - gaining and using intelligence on customers
  2. Learning orientation - creating and using knowledge
  3. Entrepreneurial orientation - how entrepreneurial the organisation is (attitudes and behaviours to innovation, pro-activeness and risk-taking).
Reading time <4 mins

Having ideas is not where we typically see the innovation problem arising. Rather it emerges when we look at ideas generated. Often they:

  • lack quality (in the description, completeness, usefulness, etc)
  • are misaligned
  • not readily understandable to sponsors/wider business
  • are too complex to implement in the enterprise (or we don't understand the execution complexity).

That is to say, we can generate many ideas that we don't / can't do anything with - we are really just performing innovation theatre.

We can using the Lean Canvas in an iterative manner to minimise these

It additionally helps ideators develop their idea as far as they are comfortable. Allows inroads to coaching. As well as supporting self- and team-reviewing and, importantly, collaboration.

Reading time <9 mins

Introducing the Synthesis Marketing Mix. Built on the foundations of both McCarthy's Product Marketing Mix and Booms & Bitner's Service Marketing MIx. But taking a service-dominant logic view

A world where

  • the consumer is better informed
  • our economies are service dominated,
  • technology is replacing people, and
  • we are concerned with sustainability and circular economy

Reading time <10 mins