The Human Centered Design Podcast with Gerry Scullion

Marc Fonteijn 'Why Service Design is not the answer to all of our problems'

John Carter
September 7, 2022
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Marc Fonteijn 'Why Service Design is not the answer to all of our problems'

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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.

Before we jump in, I have a favour to ask. Ive been creating content for This is HCD for over 5-years or so, all for the love of sharing knowledge to the global design community. One thing you could do is leave a review (preferably a 5-star one!), 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.

We launched a space on where you can take courses now on visualisation, design research and more.

In this episode I speak with Marc Fonteijn of the Service Design Show. I appeared many years ago on Marc’s own show and we have been chatting ever since. I caught up with Marc to hear about what he’s been working on, and also about selling service design. We even do a fun role-playing activity where I get to play the boss or decision maker in a business. It’s a good one.

I think you’re going to enjoy it!

Here are some of the links from the show;

Episode Transcript

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[00:00:00] Gerry: Hello, and welcome to bringing design closer. Our goal is to have conversations that. And help move the dial forward for organizations to become more human centered in their approach to solving complex business and societal problems. Now, before we jump in, I have a small favor to ask. I've been creating content for this as HCD for over five years or so all for the love of sharing knowledge to the global design community.

[00:00:50] One thing you could do is leave a review for us, preferably a five star wound as it helps grow our community and every little helps. And even if you don't review, go on better by telling the people that you work with about the [00:01:00] podcast. It really makes a difference. We launched a space and this is where you can take courses now in visualization design research and more.

[00:01:08] So please check it out and support the show. In this episode, I speak with mark Fontain of the service design show. Now I appeared many years. On Mark's own show and we've been chatting ever since. And I caught up with mark recently to hear about what he's been working on and also about selling service design.

[00:01:24] We even do a fun role play activity where I get to play the boss or decision maker in a business. It's a good one. I think you're gonna enjoy it. Let's jump straight in mark. Fontain I'm delighted to welcome you finally to this. Thanks for having me

[00:01:39] Marc: on yeah.

[00:01:41] Gerry: Long time admirer. I've been on the service design show.

[00:01:46] We're just talking about four and a half years ago and how it happens to be four and a half years later that we speak next time is kind of beyond me, but I'm delighted to finally welcome you

[00:01:56] Marc: onto the podcast officially. Yeah. Officially we've been in touch in the [00:02:00] meantime, but, uh, yeah. Yeah. You've been on the service design show.

[00:02:03] Did you, did you have a look at which episode number it was because I don't recall.

[00:02:08] Gerry: Um, I don't, I think it was probably. 15 or 20 or something. I

[00:02:13] Marc: think it was, imagine that where I'm, by the time that we're publishing, this is probably around 160, so really? Wow. Yeah.

[00:02:22] Gerry: Is crazy. Um, I mean, we were just recounting when all where we were at at that time it was 20, 20 18.

[00:02:30] Um, something like that. Yeah. Something like that. Like, you know, and how much the world has changed. Um, but yes, How much of it has still remained the same. Um, and I'm gonna hopefully chat to you a little bit more around service design in particular, and also some of the work that you've been doing over the last four and a half years.

[00:02:50] Cause you've been busy.

[00:02:53] Marc: I have, I have. Yeah, yeah, for sure. And I'd love

[00:02:57] Gerry: to share. Yeah. And absolutely. So mark, when [00:03:00] you're out and about, and you meet people say at your kids' playground and stuff, and they say, Hey mark, what do you do? How do you answer that question?

[00:03:09] Marc: That's a classic one. And, uh, I would say, uh, I'm still discovering and figuring it out.

[00:03:14] But these days I position it as, uh, I'm somebody who helps services, young professionals do a better job, um, be more effective, impactful. And the way I do this is by. Publishing helpful content, uh, by educating people, by coaching people. Um, so yeah, that's how I'm, uh, describing it these days. But, uh, I had a conversation with myself this morning and I could just as easily, uh, sort of frame the things I'm doing as being a publisher, uh, a media company.

[00:03:47] So it depends, it depends on who's standing in front of me.

[00:03:52] Gerry: Yeah, absolutely. We were talking about that beforehand. Like the, the kinda. The position and the framing that we put on our own [00:04:00] self, um, and how you can actually see that, you know, journalist or media publisher, you know, content creator, or as a, a word that I've learned recently, a entrepreneur content with AB and YouTube is a great way of framing things like, you know what I wanna ask you, um, why service.

[00:04:21] Like, where did this come from? And for anyone listening who may not know what services like this, maybe chat, chat about that.

[00:04:29] Marc: Sure. Yeah. Um, why services and depends on how far we wanna go back, but, uh, let me try to give you two minute, um, uh, backstory than, uh, you can ask for more context, but. I'm not a trained designer by any means.

[00:04:45] I I'm a software engineer by trade. I learned how to build software. Uh, and, um, then actually, uh, right after going out of university, I started my own company building mobile apps before the iPhone was out. [00:05:00] So it wasn't really an ecosystem there, but really quickly. Um, I learned that I got bored building.

[00:05:07] Software. Uh, and the reason I got bored is that once you figure out how to solve one challenge using software, and you'll, you'll get pretty confident that you can actually solve the next one. The real challenge that I saw was that nobody was using the stuff I was making, and I was really frustrating. Um, and I was more and more getting interested in learning how I can.

[00:05:29] Build meaningful stuff. Um, and then through share coincidence, I got introduced to the concept of surf design and I met, uh, the co-founder of the studio that I founded later, uh, in the Netherlands called 31 folds. Um, he traditional product designer and he introduced me to design the design concept, what it is, uh, and I had.

[00:05:54] Notion of design that I think most people still have, like, it's the creative aspect. [00:06:00] I wasn't the creative, I was an engineer mm-hmm but I learned that a lot of things that I learned through engineering are applicable in design are, are part of design. It's just a matter of shifting your perspective that, um, You're you're taking a human centered first approach.

[00:06:19] So to wrap this story up, why service design? Uh, back then when I got introduced to service design around 2000. We Googled service design, Netherlands I'm based in the Netherlands back then you could get zero hits on Google and we got zero hits. Uh, I'm not saying that nobody was doing service design in the Netherlands, but weren't using that term.

[00:06:42] We figure like 80% of our economy is made out of services. Why aren't design professionals thinking and, and contributing to developing design. Better experiences. And that was curious to us when we thought, like, let's, let's [00:07:00] just put it out there and see what happens. And then sort of the rest is history.

[00:07:04] The rest is

[00:07:04] Gerry: history. Um, I noticed, like you mentioned more around human centeredness and, um, what do you, what do you feel is lacking in the service design, discipline regards human

[00:07:17] Marc: centered. Oh, wow. That's a, that's a good question. What's lacking in the service science, but, um, one thing that immediately pops to my mind and that's something that I've been sort of preaching for the last, at least five years is, uh, business awareness.

[00:07:32] So, um, I think, uh, service design people are a very passionate and dedicated bunch of folks, uh, very, uh, empathetic and very passionate driven. We wanna do good for people. Um, and we do everything we can to understand who we're designing for, but I don't know how it happened. But we tend to forget that we are also working with people.

[00:07:58] So the people around us [00:08:00] inside an organization, or, uh, with a client, um, somehow there is a blind spot that we are not doing as much as we can to actually understand their needs, the, the needs of our coworkers, uh, yeah, the needs of the business stakeholders. And I think that's slowly changing for the good.

[00:08:18] But, uh, if, if you ask me what's missing, I would say, uh, even more awareness around that aspect.

[00:08:26] Gerry: And is it, do you think that that, that lack of awareness, um, is driven by the, the industry or is it driven by the, the mindset of the practice?

[00:08:40] Marc: I think it's driven by, um, by the, by sort of education and, uh, the stuff, the stories that get shared, uh, the stories that get shared, um, focus on tools, methodologies, uh, like you see all those frameworks bottles coming by [00:09:00] campuses.

[00:09:00] And, um, that's, that's the thing that gets the attention. That's like the, the shiny stuff. Uh, yeah. What, which. Yeah, but what you don't see is actually, um, all the backstage stuff, if we wanna stay in service design terms, like you see the, again, you see the workshop, you see the field research, but you don't see that you have to sort of convince your manager to get time to actually do field research.

[00:09:26] Or how do you convince the department to join your ideation workshop? Like that's the hard stuff. Yeah. Um, so.

[00:09:37] Gerry: And that's the stuff that can have a, a real long lasting impact on the health and the wellbeing of the, the practitioner. It's not like at the end of the day, you know, the person doesn't walk home renumerated with an extra double salary for convincing their boss to give extra time, to do research that they should be doing anyway.

[00:09:59] So [00:10:00] if they don't get that, uh, I know from experience and also from working with other designers that can be very draining and can be trauma inducing.

[00:10:11] Marc: Man. Absolutely. And I'm happy that you sort of touch upon this because, um, as a, as an practice, as an industry, as a field, we have to set the right expectations.

[00:10:22] So people getting into this field, which, what are they seeing right now? They're seeing people doing awesome stuff. It looks fun. It looks exciting. Like who wouldn't want to have a purposeful. Day to day job. Yeah. But when you get into an organization, get to work with a client and you sort of, uh, have a look, uh, behind the curtain and then you see all.

[00:10:47] The stakeholder management, all this politics that nobody told you about, right? Yeah, because that's, that's what you don't hear, uh, at conferences. No, that's what you don't read in the service design books, but that is the day to day [00:11:00] reality. Like you get discouraged, you get frustrated, you get disappointed and that's not what we want.

[00:11:06] We need more people designing better service experiences, not less. So, yeah. I don't wanna, I don't wanna, again, discourage people here listening to this, but, uh, it's good to be aware and get yourself prepared for this. Um, because that's doable. Yeah. I

[00:11:21] Gerry: mean, it's, it's very, uh, often that you might hear of business leaders coming to service design conferences or being presented with the discipline and getting excited because they're like, okay, cool.

[00:11:36] This w. Approach to, uh, providing, you know, sort of a framework that we can work towards. It usually goes in one direction and that is, you know, making more money, speed, all these different things, and they come at a cost and there's a collateral cost to the human impact. As, as you said there about the, the employee [00:12:00] and your, your coworkers and, and stuff like that.

[00:12:05] In your experience. Cause I know you, you, you're doing an awful lot of work in, in selling service design. Um, how do you, how do you recommend that people approach those conversations? So it's not just all about speed and making money and reframe it into more of an ethical approach to, to designing services.

[00:12:26] Hmm.

[00:12:27] Marc: Um, Uh, short answer is ask more questions. Listen, uh, if anything like, uh, if you take anything away, that's, that's the short approach. So, um, I, I wouldn't know, like in, if you are in a for-profit organization, like making money is just. The game that you are playing and speed is important. So I don't think those are bad things per se, and are contradicting to being ethical and doing good for the world.

[00:12:59] I [00:13:00] think it's the job of the professional, the services unprofessional, um, to connect those things to. To work you're doing. If you, if you are not able to connect the dots and show how you're contributing to what the organization finds important and show how it's con contributing, then you are probably not doing a very good job.

[00:13:23] And, um, I think it's, um, it, it's not that hard to show that doing good for people, employees, customers in the end. It's good for business. Like it's, it's not that hard. Mm.

[00:13:38] Gerry: So when you say, ask more questions, I mean, and I, I, I'm not being kind of flip it when I say this. Like, you know, can you gimme a little bit more depth in terms of what that looks like?

[00:13:50] Marc: Sure. Uh, uh, we can try at least see how I wanna do a bit of a

[00:13:52] Gerry: role playing. We could do a bit of a role play even in this, like, you know, so, oh, you're putting me on the spot here. No. Uh, do you, are you comfortable [00:14:00] enough to do this? Let's

[00:14:01] Marc: I I'm comfortable with anything. So let's. Sound like

[00:14:04] a

[00:14:04] Gerry: true Dutch person.

[00:14:07] um, so let let's say I'll be, um, I'll be the boss. Mm-hmm and you be the service designer and the boss is someone who, who has never heard of service design.

[00:14:22] Marc: Sure. Yeah. Sounds good.

[00:14:24] Gerry: Let's go. I'm at my computer. You woke up to my desk

[00:14:29] Marc: and then what happens? Hey, mark.

[00:14:32] Gerry: How's it.

[00:14:33] Marc: Hey, Jerry. I'm I'm doing well exciting day.

[00:14:37] Gerry: That's good. Um, can I help you?

[00:14:40] Marc: Um, I'm not sure. Uh, I heard from Jeff that you were interested in talking about creating value for our customers, is that right?

[00:14:50] Gerry: I'm always trying to create value for the customers. Awesome. What's what's what's the angle.

[00:14:57] Marc: Well, uh, I'm curious, uh, if [00:15:00] you can share a little bit more about where that is coming from, like what sets you on the track of creating value for customers?

[00:15:06] What are your thoughts about that right now?

[00:15:09] Gerry: Well, at the moment, we're trying to reduce, uh, the price of the service so we can make it more accessible to people. And make it a bit more affordable people to people, because at the moment, you know, money's tight for large parts of the world and we need to reduce our costs.

[00:15:27] Marc: That makes, uh, it makes a lot of sense and I think that's a good direction. If we can support more customers and serve more customers with our service. Um, I'm curious, is, is anything holding you back from actually lowering the price part now, are there any barriers to achieving this? Well, we can't get

[00:15:45] Gerry: ahold of good people, um, to work within the office at the moment.

[00:15:49] Everyone wants to work remotely. And, um, we're finding it very hard because we haven't been able to replace some of our team and we're gonna have to hire a consultancy to take over that role. And it's [00:16:00] gonna be twice as expensive for us.

[00:16:02] Marc: Hmm. So the struggle is finding good talent, right? Yeah, and

[00:16:06] Gerry: this is not where you promote service design

[00:16:08] Not really.

[00:16:10] Marc: well, I could, but, uh, so, um, I'll, I'll pause here for a second because, um, it could be very tempting to continue this conversation in the direction, um, and, and sort of try to sell you on service design. But at this stage, I would even question like, is this, should, should we be having this conversation?

[00:16:30] Is this a conversation that you need to be having sounds like an. Challenge, not a service design challenge. OK. That still might be something, uh, that could, uh, where service design could play a role and think about employee experience. Um, but the reason I wanna sort of pause here is that this is the, the bit for a trap that I see a lot of professionals walk into.

[00:16:50] Yeah. Trying to sell you on service design. I don't know if you need service design, right? The answer could be. You're not my client. You are not the person who needs [00:17:00] services. You need to talk to HR. Right. And, and I don't know, do something there. So, um, and that's really

[00:17:07] Gerry: doesn't make sense. Absolutely. And I'm a huge believer in this because people say to me like we wanna try and, you know, get service design in everywhere.

[00:17:17] And I'm like, well, maybe they don't need service design. Maybe, maybe it's not, maybe it's something that they don't really have an interest in, or maybe they don't even need because do you know what they're doing? Pretty okay. In their own. Like, you

[00:17:28] Marc: know, absolutely. And this is, um, this is sort of where I think I have flipped the conversation in my mind a few years ago.

[00:17:37] Um, this isn't for everyone and selling isn't about me convincing you that you need this when. Sell. The only thing I want to do is help you achieve the goal that you already have. And for that, I need to know what is your goal? What are your struggles and do those struggles, uh, align with the [00:18:00] skills that I can provide?

[00:18:02] Yeah. Like if that's not the case, I, the best thing I can do is sort of advise you to. Talk with Jeff or somebody else in the organization and then selling, and then selling becomes so easy. Like you just need to find the right person with the right problem.

[00:18:20] Gerry: I mean, if you're a practitioner and this is a, a big thing that I see in my coaching is people who are working maybe saying user experience, design, or BA or business design, and they've heard of service design.

[00:18:35] And they wanna do it and they go to their boss and they're, they're trying to sell it in because they basically wanna make a new role for themselves and to practice services because they think services I know would be really good in, in the organization. Um, and usually if, if that opportunity exists, I always recommend that they, they start right where they're at.

[00:18:54] Like, you know, there's a good opportunity there. But from Jeff's perspective. And I dunno what my name [00:19:00] was in the role play. Um, Jerry, Jerry probably um, it's, it's hard to sell it in when there's not a fit. In fact I'd probably say it's impossible.

[00:19:12] Marc: It's uh, uh, it's a recipe for disaster. Yeah. Like, um, Because if you, and like I'm not even selling you on service design, I'm selling you on a solution to a challenge that you have.

[00:19:28] Like, we can call it user experience design, we can call it whatever we want. You have a problem, a business challenge, a customer challenge. That's what I want to help you with. And if you are interested, like if you are a service design geek as me, I can tell you all about service design, but in general, I would, I would hold back on using those terms with people who aren't interested in design, they don't care.

[00:19:51] Yeah. And that's okay. Right. That's that's totally fine.

[00:19:55] Gerry: I know. I remember, um, mark, the other mark stick, the other mark,

[00:19:59] Marc: mark. Stick to the [00:20:00] legendary mark. . He

[00:20:01] Gerry: is, he is a great tweet that he, he wrote. Um, and that's not saying mark creates tweets all the time that are, that are great, but he has a really good one about where someone says, Hey, what's the difference?

[00:20:14] Design thinking, CX user experience, human center, design, service design, and his response was like, I don't know. Is there one, I think it's something along that there, there is none, um, simple. It's really down to the language that's being used in the internal organization and how they're actually delivering

[00:20:31] Marc: value.

[00:20:32] So, yeah, I, uh, I can second, uh, that to follow all tweets of mark, but adding to this is, um, What helped me to frame this mindset is, um, imagine that you're traveling to a distance country. Let's, let's say I'm going to on holiday to Japan, um, which might be a difficult example, but let's, let's follow along for a second.

[00:20:55] Um, when I wanna get recommendations where to eat, [00:21:00] uh, I probably best thing I can do is talk to the locals and when I approach locals, uh, and greet them. In their native language and just have a few words in, in their language. The chances of me getting a better recommendation like skyrocket, and the reason I'm using this example is imagine that you're services, unprofessional customer experience professional, and you start talking with business stakeholders, you're sort of taking a holiday.

[00:21:30] Somewhere else in a foreign country. Yeah. Imagine what it does when you're able to sort of use a few words that are common to them, where they're comfortable with that, that already sets a completely different tone rather than me coming in, speaking in Dutch and, uh, trying to get a food, uh, uh, dining recommendation.

[00:21:49] Right? It's it, when we, when we travel, we adopt, we sort of learn about the culture. At least we try, at least I try. We should be doing the same inside [00:22:00] our organizations.

[00:22:01] Gerry: Yeah, absolutely. The, the, the shared language and I think user experience designers. From before kind of, uh, it became like a mishmash of product design and all this other stuff.

[00:22:15] The old guard of user experience design, when they were kind of at the, at the forefront of bringing user experience into businesses, they did a really good job at that. They, you know, the needs and how it intersected with agile and how they delivered value and made it, made it easy and, and so forth for the people to use the interfaces and stuff.

[00:22:37] And I think service design as a practice is at that point where it kind of realizes that it, from the business perspective, they've already gone through this, but potentially with bringing user experience in, and now there's another thing that's coming in as well. And what's gonna happen in five years and 10 years.

[00:22:54] Is there gonna be another thing where it's gonna be server user experience, human center, design type design? What does it look [00:23:00] like and what do you.

[00:23:02] Marc: Oh, I, I have a very simple model that I use that helps me to make sense of, of the world and all out of all these design disciplines, uh, there is a classic book called the experience economy by Joe Biden.

[00:23:17] Uh, I forgot the first name and, um, there's a model in there which describes the pro progression of economic value. How commodities turn into goods, how goods turn into products, how products turn into services, and then eventually into experiences and transformations. When I think about how design is E evolving, I use that model all the time, uh, because the progression of economic value is how organizations work.

[00:23:43] And for me services like are just what companies do providing a service. And then, yeah. So organizations provide an experience. That's the thing that you are designing. Uh, so, uh, social design, human-centered design, all [00:24:00] those other design disciplines that are out there right now. I get it. Sometimes it's good to sort of articulate a specific aspect, like, like life center design, but I always, for myself, come back, come back to this model of progression of economic value.

[00:24:15] What are businesses selling? What are they delivering? Product service, good and experience. That's the thing they will want to design. And that's why service design as a practice, as a field, which I think is a way better way to sort of describe it. It will be around for the next 20, 30, 50 years. Yeah.

[00:24:37] Gerry: Um, It's it's really important though.

[00:24:40] Like if it's gonna be around for the next 20 or 30 years that we think about, as you said, the, the health and the wellbeing of the, the people who are actually practicing the craft so they don't burn out. Um, and I know you're working on a number of things at the moment that can help support that. Do you wanna tell me a little bit more [00:25:00] about this?

[00:25:01] Marc: What a, what a great transition, Jerry

[00:25:04] Gerry: segue. I need, I need to get some, uh, some sound effects. We'll do a little, there you

[00:25:08] Marc: go. Next segment. Thank you. That, that sets the stage and yeah. So, um, I can talk about one thing that, uh, is very dear to my heart and is about mental wellbeing of observes exam professionals.

[00:25:20] Um, it, it started out with something which was called the campfire and the idea of the campfire. Like literally at campfire, but then virtually this started just before the pandemic and. I, I heard the need from members of the community to basically share struggles with each other. That usually that these were people who were inside an organization that sort of heard about service design, hired their first service designer.

[00:25:51] And then these people were tasked to okay, bring it on. You're the expert, show us how to do it. Um, and they stumbled and filled [00:26:00] and, uh, were. That's basically what was happening. And I was hearing these stories over and over and, um, true design approach fashion. I felt like let's okay. Let's do something.

[00:26:14] Let's prototype something. So created the campfire, uh, which was, uh, six, six week series of bringing eight in-house services and professionals together. And on a weekly basis, somebody would share. What are the, what are you working on? What are your struggles? What are your challenges? And the rest of the group would just listen, would listen, take notes, and then sort of be a mirror and basing on the responses from these participants.

[00:26:44] It was transformational for them, like just having, having a community of like-minded people who understand you, that was transformational. So, um, They can find eventually evolved, but, uh, let me give you, uh, a moment to sort of interact here. [00:27:00] No, I'm

[00:27:00] Gerry: just saying like that, that gives them a chance to feel, to be heard and to feel like they're part of a, an, an externalized tribe, um, and your leveraging, I guess, the internet to, to bring that interconnectedness together.

[00:27:16] Like, and that's, it's, it's very powerful, but why do you think they need. An external, um, thing, why can't this be brought inhouse? And if so, well, what are the benefits of having it as an external thing?

[00:27:31] Marc: So I definitely do think that this can be brought inhouse and I know some companies to have this, like they have their internal design or UX design Guild, or tribe or community.

[00:27:42] Um, but it's just a matter of scale. Uh, The people who joined the campfire, which now turned into the circle service design, wasn't mature design. Isn't mature in those organizations yet. So the scale isn't there and, uh, therefore [00:28:00] you need to go looking for these people somewhere else.

[00:28:04] Gerry: Yeah. And it's, if you're working on your own as a service designer, An organization, which tends to be the case at the very start of, you know, kind of the movement, if you want.

[00:28:14] Um, having, having access to people who are going through the same stuff and maybe have gone through it before many times is hugely powerful because you can ask them questions and help keep them safe and so forth.

[00:28:29] Marc: How I would even, uh, again, basing on what I'm seeing in these, uh, communities it's transformational, like people literally feel lonely, uh, and that changes when they are surrounded.

[00:28:42] And feel that they can reach out to people who are in the same situation. Like, I don't know if that's the, that is that isn't the only solution to mental wellbeing, but it's definitely a big contribution to making sure that you stay sane and, and can put [00:29:00] things into perspective. So, what does

[00:29:01] Gerry: it look like then?

[00:29:02] So walk me through what, I don't wanna call it a program cuz you, you gave me a virtual slap and I said that was before. Um, what, what does it look like from. An experience perspective. When can people buy a ticket or how does it work? Sure.

[00:29:19] Marc: Yeah. So, um, like I mentioned, the campfire evolved into what now is called the circle community and the circle community has a very simple concept.

[00:29:29] We get together on a monthly basis for two hours, uh, where we explore a topic that is relevant to this community. So right now it's about. 17 to 20 in-house service design professionals. And, um, the topics are facilitated by, uh, one of the one or two of these members. And we talk about. How to measure services, how to gain, influence, how to incorporate circular design.

[00:29:57] And, um, you joined for two hours. [00:30:00] Uh, you, listen, you share your own story. You hear perspective, uh, from others. And I would almost say that's it. That's not entirely true because we are doing stuff outside of this, uh, two hour session. But that two hour session, that dedicated time, that focus time is. Like the bread and butter of, uh, this community.

[00:30:23] Gerry: Okay. And so is it a you six weeks? Is it,

[00:30:28] Marc: you said over six weeks? No. So, uh, the circle is an ongoing thing. Uh, okay. It's, it's you become a member of this community and, uh, we have a program for the coming months of topics that we'll be addressing, uh, okay. That is

[00:30:42] Gerry: a community reference.

[00:30:44] Marc: It is a community.

[00:30:45] Yes. Yeah. It's I, I think on the website, uh, I, uh, website framed it. Service Yeah. I didn't wanna make it too complicated. I think I framed it as a learning, a professional learning [00:31:00] community. Okay. So to, to, uh, get back to your. It started out as a campfire, which was a six week thing, but we really quickly noticed that six weeks wasn't enough.

[00:31:12] Like you're not done after that. You still don't have other people inside your organization around to, to have a chat with. So people want an ongoing thing. And that's why this is now an ongoing thing.

[00:31:24] Gerry: Okay. And what do you mind talking about how much it costs for people listening? Sure. And I, I put a link to it in the show notes, cuz it sounds like people listening will definitely be interested in this.

[00:31:35] Um, I'd just love to know, like to share that, to say people, the, the click and.

[00:31:41] Marc: Yeah, sure. So the membership fee right now is $50 or 50 euros nowadays. Uh, if you join on a personal membership it's per month, and then it's a hundred, if you are, uh, boss base, that's probably going to change, uh, in 2023. But for now that those are the current membership prices.

[00:31:59] Gerry: And so [00:32:00] they get access to, is it a monthly event?

[00:32:03] Marc: Yeah, so. The monthly event. Uh, that's one of the things you get access to, which you don't get access to. And that is, uh, what I sort of specifically want to address is we don't have a centralized way of communicating with the other team members, uh, community members outside of these sessions.

[00:32:21] So that's by design and I posted something on that on LinkedIn. There is no slack channel. There is no Facebook group. There is no LinkedIn group. There is no WhatsApp group, like on purpose. I didn't want to introduce. Not a channel, which you have to pay attention to. And I think it's, it's really hard to hold onto that because I feel a lot of external pressure to still introduce that, but I'm trying to keep, uh, that away as long as I can.

[00:32:49] Yeah.

[00:32:50] Gerry: Which is, is crazy that we've come together. Cuz yesterday I just killed off that this is hate city slack for that very reason. um, I had a great [00:33:00] conversation with, um, Jerry McGovern, one of my good friends. In, uh, in Dublin there about two weeks ago and his whole theory of. It's another thing. It's another channel.

[00:33:11] It's another fluid river that people need to keep their eye on in CA keep in case they miss something. It's like, people don't need this stuff anymore. Um, it's not like it's the, the news where current affairs are gonna affect people's lives. Like if, if you can provide that and be controlled with an intent behind it and the rationale, I'm a huge believer in this now.

[00:33:34] So it's great to hear that that's something that you're echoing as.

[00:33:38] Marc: Yeah. And, uh, for me it was, um, I want to, I want to foster deeper connections, deeper conversations. Uh, so rather than, um, and, and slack and all those kind of things have their place, but, um, it's often more superficial it's quicker. Um, that's not the, [00:34:00] the, the type of conversations and connections, relationships that I want.

[00:34:03] Help foster, like if you join the circle, you go in for two hours, you make, you dedicate two hours of your time in a month. Like, what are we talking about? Like two hours for personal growth and development. That's nothing, but I'd rather have you spent those two hours focused and sort of scattered around on a daily basis.

[00:34:21] And the signal to noise ratio is like it's exponentially bigger when you focus for two hours rather. Uh, reading scatter a thousand messages that don't, that aren't relevant to you or that you have to figure out if they are relevant to you. So signal to noise, deeper relationships, deeper, richer conversations.

[00:34:43] That's I think what I'm trying to sort of facilitate and encourage. Okay.

[00:34:49] Gerry: It sounds like it's, it's something that, um, definitely the listeners would be really interested in. So I'll throw a link to that into the, into the show notes, mark, but, um, we're [00:35:00] coming towards the end of, of the podcast. If people wanted to reach out to you.

[00:35:04] Um, I know service design is your, is your main hope at the moment for all the podcasts and all the video podcasts as well. But is there other ways people can get in touch with you? You

[00:35:13] Marc: wanna promote. Um, I'm pretty active on LinkedIn. So, uh, I'd love to connect if you are listening to this conversation and thinking well, Semi note on LinkedIn, uh, I'll reply to everyone.

[00:35:26] And, uh, there's one other, uh, sort of channel that might be interesting for the listeners. And that is, uh, service design jobs, which you briefly mentioned. Oh yeah. Um, if you're looking for service design position, anywhere across the globe service design jobs is a platform. Where we try to scrape the internet and harvest all the available service design positions and from companies across the world, absolutely into one place.

[00:35:52] So have a look there

[00:35:54] Gerry: it's really good. I was on that the other day, snooping around, uh, in preparation for this. So like absolutely service [00:36:00] design You're you're definitely the services line, man. You've got everything going, service design jobs, service, design show. Throwing ,

[00:36:10] Marc: uh, I, we, we, we said at the start of the conversation that I'm trying to simplify my life and, uh, trying to bring it back to, uh, uh, a few elements.

[00:36:18] But I think these, these are really the ones that I'm trying to focus on these days.

[00:36:23] Gerry: Nice mark. Listen, look, thank you so much for giving me your time as always thanks for everything that you do for the service design community globally as well. So, um, on behalf of everyone, thank you for,

[00:36:32] Marc: for all that effort, grateful for the invitation, Jerry.

[00:36:35] Thanks.

[00:36:37] Gerry: There you go, folks. I hope you enjoyed that episode and if you enjoyed it and want to listen to more, why not visit, this is hate, where you can learn more about what we were up to, and also explore our courses whilst you're. Thanks again for listening.[00:37:00]

John Carter
Tech Vlogger & YouTuber

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