All Journeys

At the heart of understanding innovation, being innovative, and where to innovate is understanding what we mean by value. We know from service-dominant logic that value is co-created. As opposed to being embedded by a manufacturing chain. And value can be co-destructed - which is something we don't often appreciate. But what do we mean by value? It's no longer sufficient to look at it as how much someone is prepared to pay. Rather, we need to think of it in terms of progress that a beneficiary is looking to make. This leads us to say there is something called progress sought. And this progress can be non-functional (safely, quickly, affordably,...) as well as functional (job to be done, hindrance to overcome, problem to solve) There is then realised value. This is the progress that the beneficiary believes they have achieved when they integrate with a service (and remember, a service can also be self service with goods). That realised value is determined uniquely by the beneficiary and is also dependent upon their lived and living experience ("phenomenologically determined" to use the right phases). We also know the world is based on service exchange, although indirect trade may mask this. And this indirect trade is often supported by service tokens (cash).  Amount paid is not a direct measure of value. Rather, it is a measure of "how much service do I have to give (or have given) to get this service".  We use that in our determintion to hire a service, and to keep going with it for duration.
Any writing on innovation needs to cover some essentials. And that is exactly what this journey does - with some extras! We'll look at how innovations spread - diffusion; how they gain traction - adoption; the often missed aspect of resistance; and how to avoid innovation theatre. We'll get a deeper knowledge of the challenges and solutions to diffusion and adoption. And do so in a different from normal way: a network-first manner. Bass, Rogers, Moore, Gladwell (the tipping point) and the big/little hire of Christensen's jobs to be done theory are all looked at. As well as a grounding on the types of resistance and what can cause it. Just remember the first version, and ultimate failure, of Google Glass. First, we'll expose a new definition of innovation. One that is built out from service-dominamt logic and a new view of value.  Focused around helping beneficiaries make progress (functional and non-functional) better than they can currently. And, we'll explore something that many of us miss. Or simply don't know of. Innovation resistance. We tend to believe that all innovation is good and we just need to get it diffused and adopted. But beneficiaries often resist innovation. Why? And What can we do? We'll find out. Moreover, we need to make sure our innovation activities don’t descend into innovation theatre. That is, performing activities that ultimately lead to no tangible outcome. You'll recognise the feel good factor of running an innovation campaign across your enterprise but really the tangible returns have been low? That's innovation theatre. As we close this journey we'll look at some of the maths behind Bass' diffusion model. You don't need to dig into this. But it's kind of fun, and has all sorts of applications. And finally, we'll take a quick peek on how network structures can alter the diffusion rates. Which implies we can harness network theory to our advantage (influencers, anyone?)
Harnessing service-dominant logic in our innovation thinking opens up numerous opportunities. It frees us from counterproductive goods vs service thinking, opens up a more actionable definition of value and therefore innovation. And is a powerful way to understand the way the world works, making us see collaboration and building relations as key. Suddenly jobs-to-be-done, blue ocean, experiences, agile etc all hang together and make sense. However. The definitions of service-dominant logic can be unapproachable. Which leads to it being more of an academic study rather than practical real-world application it deserves to be. In this journey we'll look at demystifying the definitions. First, we'll re-order and group the foundational premises into the who, how and whats. And then look at each of those premises in turn.
I believe a key to the innovation problem is to take a service-first view of our world. Rather than start with goods and try and determine where service fits, we start the other way and see where goods fit in a service world. And it turns out, goods fit nicely into our service-first thinking. Compared to goods-first thinking where service is seen as a problem. Our challenge is that our casual (and often academic) view of the world is goods-centric. That comes from observations starting in the industrial revolution (and before). And we can easily define goods (tangible items) and say that service is intangible, inconsistent, can't create an inventory, etc (there are in fact 5Is). We also tend to see value as being embedded by the manufacturing process, and exchanged at the point of sale (so called value-in-exchange). Yet, our economies are around 80% built on service. And this is growing. And service doesn't really have value-in-exchange. We have a more complex value-in-use; and value is co-created. This is a good thing, as value becomes an item under control, rather than fire and forget.   In this article journey, we observe there are four main causes behind the shift to service economies - economic, user behaviour, asset usage and value of data. We look at what service is through many definitions. We find that classically we define service as a poor relative to goods. Noting that they are intangible, inconsistent, inseparable, can't build an inventory, and need involvement. However, we further find that these attributes are actually good attributes. Inventory is expensive, inconsistent means configurable etc. And when we start with service and see where goods fit in, we find that a beneficiary is trying to make progress in some aspect of their life. And to do so, they integrate with a service. That service is supported by people, systems and goods of service providers. Imagine being thirsty. You can either grab a bottle of water from a fridge (goods) or turn on the tap and pour yourself a glass of water (service). In reality, both are helping make the progress of removing the thirst. Next we uncover a more formal way of describing a service - as a set of characteristics. Once we have that, we can then understand what service innovation is - improvements to those characteristics. And we introduce den Hertog's 4-dimension model that we can use for searching for service innovations. We enhance it to reflect the modern world that is technology and data forward. And we see how we can use the concepts in that model to manage a service innovation portfolio. As well as understand our ability to execute service innovations (and where we could improve).
A journey through the site's articles that look at defining what is innovation. We start with discussing what is innovation. Beginning with the early Schumpter's definitions in the 1930s. Through the diversion of product/manufacturing bias. And concluding with our modern service-dominant logic lens on the definition. Then there are some articles that look at particular characterisation on innovation. First up is disruptive innovation. A solid theory, but yet another word that is used in every day speach too loosely. For example, is Uber a disruptive innovation in the taxi market? Not really, from a theory perspective.