Bringing Design Closer with Gerry Scullion

Emely Buyck 'The long and winding road that leads to the door of Service Design'

John Carter
June 14, 2022
40
 MIN
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Emely Buyck 'The long and winding road that leads to the door of Service Design'

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Hello and welcome to Bringing Design Closer. Our goal is to have conversations that inspire and to help move the dial forward for organisations to become more human-centred in their approach to solving complex business and societal problems.

This is HCD is almost 5-years old. We’ve been creating content regularly for that period of time, and if you want to help us out - please leave a review for us wherever you are listening. Those lovely algorithms love reviews, as it helps us grow our community - every little helps. Even if you don’t review, you can go one better by telling people you work with about the podcast.

In this episode I speak with Emely Buyck, former Head of Service Design for Proximus in Belgium. We speak about the evolution of service design internally, the pitfalls and the pieces that worked for Emely. We chat about life after Proximus and where to next - and how they are applying a service design approach to their own life and career.

It’s a fun episode and think you’ll enjoy it!

  • https://www.linkedin.com/in/emelybuyck/

Episode Transcript

This is an auto-generated transcript and may contain errors.

00:00:25

S1: Hello and welcome to Bringing Design Closer. Our goal is to have conversations that inspire and help move the dial for organizations to become more human centered in their approach to solving complex business and societal problems. Can you believe it? This is Haiti is almost five years old, folks. We've been creating content regularly for that period of time. Now, if you really want to help us out, please leave a review for us. And wherever it is you're listening. Those lovely algorithms love those reviews and it helps us grow our community. Every little helps. And even if you don't go and leave a review, you can go one better by telling the people that you work with or are friends with about the podcast. In this episode, I speak with Emily Bourke, former head of service design for Proximus in Belgium. We speak about the evolution of service design internally in Proximus, the pitfalls and the pieces that worked for Emily and the team in there. We chat about life after Proximus and where to next and how they're applying service design approaches to their own life and career. It's a fun episode and I think you'll enjoy it. Let's jump straight in. Emily, brilliant to have you here. I'm bringing design closer. I'm delighted to have you here. Maybe just start off. Will tell us a little bit about yourself and where you're from and what you do.

00:01:31

S2: Hi, Gerry. Yeah, I'm very delighted to be there. Kind of my first podcast here. Well, I am talking to you from Belgium, the wonderful city of Jens. I used to be head of service design at Proximus, which is the incumbent telco operator. But now I'm actually living and enjoying a career break and thinking what I'm going to do with the rest of my life.

00:01:53

S1: Well, that that sounds exciting. I think most of the world at this stage is probably kind of gone. What does the future look like after the last couple of years of, you know, difficulty and hell of being isolated in our houses and stuff? But let's let's start talking, because when you were a proximus, there was an incredible transition that happened over maybe 15 years in the organisation that we're going to be focusing our conversation on today, and we'll come back to a little bit more around where your assets in your own life and you know, what you're taking probably from the designers mindset and how you're redesigning your life, so forth. But one thing that I did notice when I was researching for the podcast was that there was kind of a linear line that went through there, the design maturity, I guess, in Proximus, and I'd love to tap into that a little bit more if you're open to us. So maybe start off, tell us what your where design starts to enter the strategic conversation and proximus.

00:03:02

S2: Yeah, with great pleasure. Because that linear line, I also walked on it personally. So I think we lived it together, maybe.

00:03:09

S1: Tripped on it probably as well.

00:03:11

S2: On it. Yeah. So yeah, as you can see on my LinkedIn. All right. I worked for 16 years at this wonderful company and I started out as a management trainee actually figuring out what I was going to when I was going to love most out. Working at a big company, right. I started in the consumer business unit has always been a consumer business unit, started more in sales and marketing functions, exploring that's loving it. And then the most intense period for me was when I entered the Product and Solutions Department where I started working as a portfolio manager on the the mobile products. We had a huge disruption in the market and I started yeah, I was the first actually role. I was really involved in some kind of product design to say That's such right. We created the value proposition, the pricing, competitive analysis, etc. And I did such a great job that I could stay and take on even the team where we didn't only manage the portfolio manager, but also the product managers that then define what the product should look like, etc.. And then I kept on evolving as it's a company where you can evolve yourself and switch jobs easily and learn and get coached and managed. I switched more to the marketing side of things where I went more into what we called at that time. Marketing design. We were quite marketing led to see it as such. It was really a focus of our CEO to bring the customer in already at that point was really like in the middle of my career and they were like, Yeah, we need to bring the customer more in. How can you do it? A big focus on customer research and really putting the marketeers at the heart and the core of the activities. And then marketing design was like a really big word of we have to create great value propositions that start with the customer and do a lot more and even more we always had done. There's a central market, intelligence departments. How can we create even more powerful value propositions? And there I got in touch with the craft of creating value propositions, okay? After knowing how to create portfolios, pricings and more to analytical and financial part of. And then after.

00:05:25

S1: Service pieces, as we'd probably refer to them as.

00:05:29

S2: And analytical and like more business design, if you can call it as such. So I went from business to marketing value proposition design.

00:05:36

S1: Okay. Can I just ask you. In that world there, like in the marketing design world, what were your objectives from a business perspective when you were in the marketing design world? Because you talk about having amazing value propositions. And what were the goals from the organization at that stage?

00:05:55

S2: Well, to keep on attracting customers, new customers, retaining existing customers and like staying performance in the market. Right. Because as we were the incumbent, the dominant player, you already have a lot of customers. How can you keep on gaining them? And we were attacked by other brands, of course, that all wanted a piece of the market. How can we keep on evolving and innovating? Because our products were quite perceived as Gen X, right? How can we keep them innovating so that our customers, they chose for us for quality and all the things that our brand stood for. How can we keep on innovating and adding extra value for them and going beyond the pure telco? So it was about retaining customers, gaining new ones and creating extra value and really dazzling them at another.

00:06:47

S1: Level at that stage. When you were called a marketing design role, I guess, for want of a better word, was service design was service design a conversation that was already had at that stage because that was probably 2016, 2017. In those years, where was service design in the conversation?

00:07:09

S2: Not with those terms. I would say that the term service design was was really absent, but it was more called design thinking at a certain point. And it was even before that when design thinking started hyping all over the world and we were always in contact across the ocean also what's happening in the United States, etc.. We drove in as a company on what is design thinking and how can it help us in that will to become more customer centric. And so we got help from consultants on how can we train everyone almost in the company on design thinking, the mindset, the process. I don't like to call it a process, but it is a process in some kind of way. And so we started building this community, but it got born on a corporate level where people on a voluntary basis could get kind of certified as a design thinking ambassador. And then those people were put into projects like, we're going to help you be more user centric thanks to the design thinking mindset and the processes. And it really helped. It was like the first tangible part of our service design, even if we didn't call it like that, got integrated into company and introduced and where people started seeing the power of iterating and talking to customers, we did, but regularly. What we did was like the first at the start of a project, you know, the exploratory phase, the research, and then before we're going to launch, do it again, but not enough in between. And that was the first shift, like, oh, we should do it more regularly. How can we improve? Because if you only measure at the end, then you're in front of launching all that's a bit difficult to then still pivot.

00:08:55

S1: Absolutely. Well, when we were chatting earlier, we talked about the restructuring and the reorg of, you know, rethinking how the organization works to produce services. Where do that happen in in the in the life journey of where a service design entered the organization was. That's something that happened in around that time. You're doing the marketing design because you in my experience, it tends to happen. Like you might work in one of those roles and you're like, Actually, there's more to this than just creating a value proposition. We need to.

00:09:26

S2: Think.

00:09:27

S1: Elastically.

00:09:28

S2: Like what? It didn't tell you, Jerry, is that next to the marketing design team, there was also a customer journey design team.

00:09:35

S1: Even at the same time.

00:09:37

S2: At the same time, even on two levels. But within the marketing department, there was a customer journey team who was like working in tandem with everyone who was building, creating the value propositions to think about what will the customer journey look like, what will the experience be, and how can we holistically look at it not only from the technicalities but throughout our touchpoints? And that was already ongoing as well. And even on a corporate level, there was a customer experience departments being set up. That looked at what we call the macro customer journeys, like what are the big sub journeys? What are the big moments in the life of a telco customer that are really important to score on becoming a new customer, for instance? So it's agnostic from the products and the value propositions, but more in terms of the phase in the lifecycle of the customer. And those scenes are also being built in like you're responsible for becoming a new customer, customer journey, measuring its performance, improving its being data analytic, etc.. So there were I would say it was an organic journey, a difference. There was a huge focus from the top, like we have to be customer centric. Then there were initiatives all over popping up to kind of do it. But even then the term service design wasn't born yet. And then afterwards we got into a huge ambition of becoming better in digital as it's alco. And then I got the opportunity to get into shift jobs and to head a team that was called Digital Journey Redesign. And that team of Journey designers got transformed into having more of a digital focus and improving very tactically key digital journeys to improve the conversion and the experience, but really put a tactical mindset of how can we improve fast our digital performance.

00:11:44

S1: So and when you're thinking like us, Emily, like there was, there was probably other dependencies within the organisation that would have been required to have been reintroduced into the organisation, like how user experience inter interrelate with service design, so even business analysts or product management. So I know from service design perspective we love to talk about and then we did some evaluation on the current state and then we did some prototyping. But like, you know, and I know an awful lot of this is, you know, reliant on so many other parts of the organisation to come together. What were the challenges from if you can bring your mind back at that stage because you're starting to open up a can of worms in an organisation where you're saying, well, we're going to have to restructure parts of the teams. I need access to some of these skills in order to make this happen. Can you remember what those biggest challenges were?

00:12:41

S2: Yeah, because then at that point I was starting to get SpaghettiOs in my head as well because I had seen all these different roles. In the meantime, I knew the company inside out how it worked, so I knew which buttons to push and how to send out people to get their results. But then I was in the leadership role and I remember our VP of Human Capital saying Believe, but do you ever have to think about how we can further improve? And I started really doing that. And the challenges are, of course, that you are talking about people's jobs. People are responsible for something. And if all of a sudden someone comes and say how we can do it differently or better, even if your intent is good?

00:13:22

S1: Yeah.

00:13:24

S2: I wouldn't say it feels like an attack, but it's only human to to feel like that. Right?

00:13:29

S1: You're doing a bad job sometimes, you know, working well.

00:13:32

S2: And that's not what you're saying. But it's like, Oh, we can do better and your enthusiast. But those other people have been doing their jobs for years in a good way. And then you have to find ways to start a dialogue like, don't you think we can do better? And can you can you help me in doing that? You know, that was the thing.

00:13:51

S1: You're asking people to, but you're asking people to change something that's really intrinsic and to move from a safe state of mind and to an unsafe state of mind to move out of that consciousness into the uncertainty. And for me, when you read an awful lot of service design books or listen to services on podcasts, it's not given enough credence. The fact that living with this level of discomfort at that stage, you referred to it as spaghetti in your head. And I love that. I think that's a really it's a really nice visual of what it's like where you're like, I know the methods. I know it's meant to happen. But when I go into work on a monday and I have to spend 4 hours going through an inbox of emails, and then I got an hour to focus on it. I'm really interested in and what it looked like at that stage would would you be able to paint a picture so people can get a good snapshot of the reality of what happens at this stage?

00:14:47

S2: You mean in terms of how we worked and the different roles? Yeah, that contribute.

00:14:51

S1: How you got people to do things like there is obviously same obviously there's an assumption there conversations at the executive level about hey, you know, we need to rethink something bigger than just giving us a couple of resources. We need to look at how we, how we function as a unit as.

00:15:11

S2: Yeah, totally. And discussions were already going on or pilots at the time when we were working on digital transformation, we were also piloting agile ways of working not only in development but really in the business teams. You know, even the marketing teams, let's say, creating a value proposition. How can you do that in an agile way in a multidisciplinary team with the right roles and the right profiles around the table? So I would have to say it wasn't really a fight. It was a really organic evolution where everyone saw that we could still improve and yeah, we didn't have to have a large fight. And then we, we reorganized again and like and everyone like organically felt we have a little bit too much roles involved in the product design process. And we had portfolio managers, product managers, marketing designers, and then we had the UX people on the other side and the customer journey designers and then the macro customer journey designers. And we started to naturally streamline. And as I was involved in the discussions and I, yeah, I started studying myself, you know, reading your wonderful book of service design doing among.

00:16:20

S1: Others, not my book, but Mark Adam and Marcus.

00:16:22

S2: Smart and that. And it was really a true source for me. But not only I started reading like crazy on how can we make it more concrete for our company? You know, it's a personal track setting up a design department. It's like you have to look at what's your design maturity as a company. Yeah. How does your process look like? So I really for myself started to look at it well and we had these discussions as we were talking about Agile, like how is our process looking like of product design? Who is contributing to it? Do people have enough responsibility? Do they feel accomplished enough? Where are the friction points? And then voila. I just personally came up with a model where we went for a partial competence center on business and service design, what we call that as such, where we kind of merged the role of portfolio managers, a role that I used to do, marketing designers, a role that I used to do, and the customer journey designers, the digital journey designers, and we re baptized them and like guys together, you're going to accomplish the role of business and service design. And this means creating value propositions, including the end to end customer experience that that value proposition will have. Yeah. And then we started to look at design more holistically, like it doesn't stop at business and service design. We need the digital designers, the UX designers, the content designers, the UI designers to join the conversation. I don't know if you've seen the report, Jerry, of Digital, of McKinsey Digital that they published on design talks. And I was so happy to see that what I felt and what we did was really well articulated in that report with hard numbers behind it and great research where they said like, it's really important that the business side and I'll call it here, the business and serve as designers learn more about digital design and what what does it take to the performance in digital, but also the other way around that digital designers, UX designers are great craftsmen, but it's really valuable for them also to understand the craft of business and service designing, getting closer, joining the discussion from the beginning because it wasn't always the case they were in the past only asked to do the digital design of the value proposition and like bringing those two worlds together and looking at design holistically even ended in the setup of a whole design chapter that didn't only have business and service design, but also UX and UI design and content design. And it.

00:19:01

S1: Absolutely. It's it's interesting. But I want to ask you a little bit more around the shift in mindset, because telcos historically have been great at creating standalone products that exists within the broader service ecosystem. And the shift from moving from a product centric view into a service level view is something that organisations at that scale find difficult. So what was that like? And also was this blue sky or green fields? Was it a case of thinking from a reductive mindset and identifying the areas within the product centric view of the organisation? Were they stripping those things out or are they just creating a whole new blue sky system?

00:19:49

S2: I think you would say you have a little bit of both because it saves a large organisation and I work in one business unit. So you had a you still had people that were more product centric and others that were more or service centric. We had a combination of both and it's really I can only say it was a very organic. Like Journey and that you had a hard core of believers that started to evangelize the things towards others. And then just instead of, you know, talking about it, just proving to value. Mm hmm. Made a such that you got a kind of oil stain that is enlarging in the organization. So I think you still have a little bit of both because it's a large organization, but it was like a compensation, a compensation award word.

00:20:35

S1: Compensation is a great thing, though. Oxford's I want to call Oxford. Can we get a new one into the dictionary, please?

00:20:44

S2: It was a combination of, I would say, a bottom up movement, but also, yeah, it's top down passion of guys. We need to do better. We need to innovate if we want to keep on existing. So I think it's passion that drove a lot of people and change and not everyone was on board but great things were and are we see are happening. I don't know if that what was the most inspiring.

00:21:09

S1: Yeah an absolutely like and I agree it probably is a bit of both and that needs to happen like you know, but typically organizations are really great as coming up with a new shiny thing and then they end up servicing both worlds. And I'm like, Hey, you know, it's one in the same like, you know, what were the main challenges from a business perspective? What were the the areas of concern, if you can bring your mind back to that stage where you are moving into the role of I think your title at that stage was had a digital journey redesign. So then you moved into the head of business and service design. So what were the pieces that the executives and even the bottom up were asking the questions? Where was the hesitancy, what? What were the pieces that they were most kind of concerned about at that stage?

00:21:58

S2: I think there was a fundamental belief that we had to iterate more and talk to customers. But the most difficult thing that I left was the deadlines and plan ification. It's really hard to plan for design, right? It's a messy process and it's like, but when you're going to be finished with your first phase, it's a big company. So you need to plan, you need to organize your budgets. They have milestones. And that for me, that was a big friction. Parts of, you know, if you want to have the liberty and freedom to designers, you have to give them time, but they don't always have it. And you understand that you're in a business, you have to be performant and sometimes you have to deliver stuff at a certain time. So it's a difficult balance.

00:22:45

S1: Hard.

00:22:45

S2: To find. It can be hard. And then you get into old habits, right? Then you get controlling and we're just going to do this because what experience does this? And then you decide. And then people at the bottom get frustrated because like, Oh, if you just would give me a little bit more exploration time, we could do even better. So that was a balance to find the balance.

00:23:07

S1: Yeah, I was speaking to my doctor recently. This is going to be it seems like a Segway, but trust me, I'm going to bring it back around to relevancy in a second. And, you know, I still think they don't know what I do for a living when they they I think they listen to the podcast as well, which is even funnier what I said about timelines and deadlines and trying to get stuff done because well, that's impossible. It's the same way is like when somebody comes in to me and they're sick and I give them medication which is was designed effectively is trying to do in an organization and they said we can't give a deadline or a timeline and when you're going to heal. You know, every project and every instance is different and every person is different. So that's one of the pieces that a lot of organizations struggle with is those hard deadlines. And that's not what Agile is about. It's like this kind of control framework where organizations set and they kind of go, Okay, it's three week sprints, you're going to have it done in three weeks. And then it puts all these added pressures on the the designers and the development teams and they crack and.

00:24:10

S2: Or like going back, you know, if you get to a certain point, I remember a point where we did research on how we had a really cool finding, but it like in the ideal world you have to go back to the drawing table and that's it's really a hard thing to do if you have this pressure for commercial performance. So yeah, it's hard. And then another one is and that's why I was so happy with the McKinsey report because business people love numbers. You know, it's how do you prove to the value to and it's important.

00:24:43

S1: You heard it here first.

00:24:46

S2: How do you prove the value of what you're doing? And sometimes you get into fluffy conversations and like, yeah, or design thinking sometimes has a bad name. It's just sticking Post-its on the wall and things like that, you know.

00:25:01

S1: So how did you get around those conversations?

00:25:04

S2: I tried to find a balance between evangelizing, talking and being passionate, because if you get a podium to do that and you have rapport and people hear you and you have to like find supporters in the system that support for you, that's one thing. But you can't just keep on evangelizing and talking, right? Then the proof of the pudding is in the eating and then yeah, just still choosing your battles and sometimes fight for a project and say, no, here we're going to go. Really, we're there. We need more time. And if you choose the right one where you feel the pressure is maybe a bit lower, and then you you really stand for and say, here, we're going to take more time and see what it gives. And if they can then see what it actually gives, they just prove it by doing it instead of talking about it.

00:25:50

S1: Was there any exercises in bringing the executives into the project in terms of getting their hands dirty a little bit more to feel the clay, so to speak? Or are they just observers?

00:26:08

S2: They were mainly still observers. There was still a tendency and the willingness what they did do was go out in the field and talk to customers or go to the shop. So that was really again, I think the willingness is there and the mindset, but then really getting into the projects. Know that's something we didn't really do, to be honest.

00:26:29

S1: From your perspective, when you were assumed the role of had to service design was this was there other heads of UX and heads of design as well? Where do they report into.

00:26:41

S2: Yes. So I report it in the marketing department because as I said we were really marketing that. Yeah. And we had indeed ahead of UX and digital studio that was reporting more into another into the digital departments I would say.

00:26:56

S1: Oh okay. So what was the complexities around that because there's there's two resistance points there.

00:27:05

S2: Yeah. Because that department got put into place to like, you know, manage the digital platforms and the digital channels. And they had a kind of history and identity and a core mission of bringing digital to life and to a certain performance. But then at a certain point, digital gets important for everyone, right? Even for marketing. And then we kind of outgrew, I guess, that structure. But there also organically it disappeared and then with the reorg that got tackled and joined together. But indeed it's like we said, for people that have a certain job that do it with a lot of passion and acumen and knowledge, also a change process they had to go through. Someone comes and look what you do. I think we can do even better. That's always easy. Of course.

00:27:57

S1: So from your time approximate, what what were the pieces that you look back on as being your biggest achievements?

00:28:07

S2: Yeah, for me, it's really setting up that design departments and like redesigning the way we do design, bringing in a human centric design in a pragmatic way, I would say losing the fluffiness. And like, really, yeah, I had this flipping point in my career where as I told you in the beginning, I was like focused on mastering things and mastering jobs. And then it flips towards how can we change it, improve it? And also the humans became more and more important. And I realized that yet without the people and they're buying into the story, and if you're not able to build strong teams, you have nothing. You cannot just talk and evangelize, but you need the people also to do it with you and do it for you. I think that will be my biggest priority. Also, when I when I left the company was feedback on, Oh, you made such a difference for us in building strong teams. And at the same time I found my passion in life of designing. It's really something that fits my character and my personality. So it's an achievement for the company of creating a design department, which for myself was an achievement in finding my passion and my my skill and talent in life for design, but also for people, because I will always focus a lot on my brain. And I thought, Hey, you're smart. And yeah, it's the brain that makes the difference. But actually I realised that I love people also a lot and that I got great feedback on how that went. So not only my brain but also the empathy part and the people part is something that really ticks my boxes.

00:29:49

S1: Yeah. So you're at a point now where you've you've left Proximus and you're you're now at the point of reimagining us all again, like, you know, which which is a very it seems to be a very common thing at the moment, especially speaking to people and through the this is three network where people are reimagining what they're going to do for the next decade or beyond, next parts of their lives. And what does that look like for you? Have you what have you landed on and what was the journey like of coming out of a pretty corporate world? Tell me what that was like. Yeah.

00:30:26

S2: Gerry, I can recommend to everyone if you have the time to do it, to do it. It was an amazing journey. The first phase was like, just take for you. Sorry, euphoria.

00:30:39

S1: Euphoria.

00:30:41

S2: You know, it was really realising how hard you work and at what pace we live. I guess everyone knows it, right? And it was really like I felt exhausted. Yeah. Doing nothing is something we are not used to do and it's. Yeah, it's nerve wracking even in the beginning. You learn to do nothing and taking real, actual risks because that's really important to like land on your feet and like be become yourself again and not just someone that works. And then the second phase for me was like the the acknowledgement of, oh my God, my job really overly defines who I am because if you don't work anymore, it's like what is still my worth and what am I doing here?

00:31:35

S1: Your purpose, your self-worth.

00:31:38

S2: Yes. And I'm like, oh, it could be healthier, the balance, but that's fine. You left it at that. And then it's yeah, it's amazing to just go back to basics and feel what's happening to you, I would say. And then I really put a focus on defining that back. And we are as a person. And acknowledging that loving your work. It's it's fine but it has to be a combination of yeah I had a discussion with someone. Is it okay to love, to work and to let it define you? I'm still thinking about that one. Still don't have a clear answer, but for the moment I think it does. But then I went back to basics on who am I and what do I love? And everyone needs to have a purpose, right? And I was like, Yeah, what's your purpose? Why do you still want to go? And I started to do some crazy stuff also like I have a good life and I had this urge more and more. I turned 40 over a year ago of wanting to give back to the world. And I also have a big creative side that I realized that after 16 years in corporate life was really totally asleep and I started chasing a dream of becoming a clinic clown. I don't know if you know what it is. There's an organization in Belgium called Clinic Clowns, and they sent professional clowns into hospitals to towards sick children that are really sick for a long time to give them a nice time and help them in their suffering or just lighten up their day and their long stay in the hospital. And I found out that it's not just, you know, it's not just about people and what you do. You blow up balloons and you put funny faces. Is that what you do then? But you actually have to get you can get certified as a clown. Jerry I didn't know that. And I started looking for courses to do that. So, so really like there are courses to learn about the art of clowning. And it's not about blowing balloons, but it's about getting into the character of a clown, daring to do stuff that you cannot do as an adult and then learning. It's pure improvisation. It's like theater and like, yeah, it really helped me to reconnect with my creative side, which is really, really super nice. And the course is still to end of year. And if I get certified, I hope to like, keep on doing it.

00:34:09

S1: That's Prince.

00:34:10

S2: Too. Like, he does not only work but also like activate that creative side that you also need as an as a professional. And yeah, that was really a few months.

00:34:21

S1: Later as well because it is a facilitation exercise and what you're, you're doing in front of a small stage of one in an abandoned in a different surrounds.

00:34:32

S2: Totally. And then talking about design and what we talked earlier and it's like for me it's really people say, oh, you're too passionate about design, but actually it's everywhere. You know, the empathy clowning is also that, you know, you go into the room and you you look at the situation and the patient and you just adapt and function of what that context is at.

00:34:52

S1: That's right. Absolutely. It's a human it's a human centered design project.

00:34:57

S2: Totally.

00:34:58

S1: So I'm like, you're designing an experience?

00:35:00

S2: Totally.

00:35:02

S1: It's amazing.

00:35:03

S2: So that I've been doing I've been raising a puppy and then like now okay, it's totally clear. I guess also for people listening that design is my passion, that fits my personality, and I want to keep on that. I have determined. And then I also took the liberty to like reach out to people I didn't know. LinkedIn is a great medium to do that. That's also how we met. Right? Sorry. Yeah. Like talk about your ideas you have and also as a designer, improve them and like test the truth that you think they have and holds and then craft your I'm crafting my next steps in what I want to do. And I think I want to keep on helping companies introducing really pragmatically user centric design. But as I've only seen one company, I have like this urge to learn and further deepen my craft, explore, go and see different companies, their challenges and like.

00:36:00

S1: Exactly.

00:36:01

S2: On deepening the skills I have and the assumptions I have. And like in the end, maybe even because the Belgium design market is not as mature as the UK one or the American one, it's really still growing.

00:36:13

S1: There's more the Australian.

00:36:15

S2: There's really the willingness to get more user centric, but there's an absence of skill also in the market. If you want to recruit people or find good designers, it's really, really difficult. So if one day it could even contribute to good schooling and yeah, leveling up the level of design schooling in Belgium that would be like the cherry on the be at the end of my career or something.

00:36:38

S1: It's funny on the the whole kind of Flemish and the Belgian and the UK and the design maturity piece. Whenever I speak to people in Australia, I speak to quite a lot of clients over there. They have an assumption that everything over in Europe is absolutely amazing really. I speak to people in America, they look at people in the UK and Central Europe and stuff and they kind of go, Oh, they've got it and. I've just come to learn that, you know, different pockets of maturity in certain cities and states are really good, but there is opportunities out there. It's just really trying to try to find them. It's quite difficult no matter where you are, put as a as a side point. Australia is actually quite in my mind further ahead and they give themselves credit for. So if people are looking to get in touch with you because hopefully this podcast opens up some conversations maybe on LinkedIn or Twitter or wherever it is, you find yourself hanging out when you know you're having a coffee. What's the best way for people to get in touch with you?

00:37:42

S2: Emily Yeah, via LinkedIn you can just drop me a request for connection. My email is also mentioned in my profile, so I'm very reachable. Yeah. My name is Emily Bourke. Pronounce it again. Yeah. So.

00:37:57

S1: Emily Bourke. I got a right to see. Well, I put links to both those into the show notes and again, like, you know, thanks for your thanks for your time and energy and sharing the story of embedding service design into a large organisation. Because I know people out there who are going through it, they really value these kind of case studies and the difficulties so they can get some own insights and ideas.

00:38:23

S2: Yeah, I could talk about hours on how we did it because we talk now a bit about the journey. But then, yeah, we really went deep in how you can do it qualitatively and personalize for your company because I think there's no one size fits all. I had great partners, placement consultants that helped me. I didn't do it alone. And and you have to personalize your process so I can talk about our about that also.

00:38:48

S1: Yeah. Thanks so much, Emily. Take care.

00:38:51

S2: Thank you, Gerry. Bye bye.

00:38:54

S1: So there you have it. That's all for this episode of Bringing Design Closer. If you like this episode, feel free to visit this excited e-comm where you can access our back catalog of over a hundred episodes with episodes related to service design, product management, design, research, and much, much more. If you're interested in design and innovation training, feel free to check out our business. This is doing e-comm where you can join online classrooms and learn from the world's best design and innovation leaders. Join the This is eight city newsletter where you receive updates from the network and also if you're interested, apply to join the Slack community. And this is AECOM. Stay safe and until next time, take care.

John Carter
Tech Vlogger & YouTuber

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