Interview with Hazel White, Director at Open Change
By Thomas Brandenburg
“There is a real opportunity for service design to be used alongside other improvement methodologies in the National Health Service in Scotland. Open Change have worked with NHS colleagues on a number of initiatives, including introducing service design training – this is an area in which I see huge opportunity to empower and enable staff and patients to make change happen.” —Hazel White
What catalysts are helping shape the adoption of service design in your country?
There is a real desire in Scotland for public sector organisations to work together to provide value for citizens. We need to share resources to be efficient and we need to do good user-research to ensure services are accessible to all. Service Design is helping develop the capacity and communities to do this.
What organizations are at the forefront of successfully delivering service innovation across cultures?
The Scottish Government is taking a role with its Scottish Approach to Service Design – encouraging sharing and adoption of shared approaches, tools and methods. #oneteamgov and #oneteamgovscot http://www.oneteamgov.uk are active in bringing a range of people together to think about how government can provide better services and be a better place to work.
Do you know any universities that are fostering the development of service designers in your country?
In Scotland, the development of focussed service design training is happening in a range of different ways. I set up and ran the successful Design for Service Masters Course at the University of Dundee – graduates from this programme work all over the world as Service Designers – and include Lauren Currie who co-founded Snook, Scotland’s first Service Design Agency with Sarah Drummond. Public sector organisations we worked with on live projects were keen to upskill their staff in SD, but could not afford to release them for 12 months to study for a masters degree.
Joyce Yee, Lindsay Lennon and I did a UK Research Council funded project into what public and third sector organisations valued about a ‘design-led’ approach to innovation and/ or organisational chang (available at http://valuingdesign.org). We found that leadership buy-in, building capacity in an organisation’s own staff and fostering a community of service design literate champions was key to making a design-led approach stick. I subsequently left academia, set up Open Change and began providing in-house training in organisations. As this has grown – we have founded the Service Design Academy (sda.ac.uk) in partnership with D&A College and are providing online and face to face training in service design. So, although there is a place for service design education in Universities, we can provide training at scale by fitting around people’s working lives.
What are the next industries that will be disrupted in the near future in your country that service design can help?
There is a real opportunity for service design to be used alongside other improvement methodologies in the National Health Service in Scotland. Open Change have worked with NHS colleagues on a number of initiatives, including introducing service design training – this is an area in which I see huge opportunity to empower and enable staff and patients to make change happen. The Chief Medical Officer for Scotland highlighted this approach in her 2017 report – Realising Realistic Medicine.
(Available at : http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0051/00514513.pdf pg 14)
What are the podcasts/books/blogs that you go to to stay inspired around service design?
Marc Fonteyn’s Service Design Show is great – both in terms of content and the way you can just listen to specific relevant segments. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8WHHKchHHM) I’m really looking forward to the publication of This is Service Design Doing (Marc Stickdorn, Markus Hormess, Adam Lawrence, Jakob Schneider, 2017).
I really enjoy the sharing ethos of blogs from Snook, Uscreates and Futuregov and wish we could get around to doing the same.
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