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Show Business Side of Service design


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Turning good services into memorable service experiences was the theme of the Business901 podcast with Adam St. John (aka Adam Lawrence) of Work•Play•Experience. This is a transcription of the podcast, Insight into the Customer Experience through Theater.

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Show Business Side of Service design

  1. 1. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systems Related Podcast: Insight into the Customer Experience through Theater Insight into the Customer Experience through Theater Copyright Business901
  2. 2. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsAt Work•Play•Experience Adam St. John (aka Adam Lawrence)turns good services into memorable service experiencesthat start people talking. Adam says, “Your customers will feelbetter served, will appreciate the value of your work, and will be more loyal to your company. And they will have great service stories to share with the world.” In the Business901 podcast this week, Adam and I discuss the theatrical aspect of Service Design and how theater can play a vital role in developing your customer experience.Adam is a professional comedian, business consultant and writerwith a background in psychology and the automotive industry.For years he has been using expertise gained in the world oftheater and film to help companies influence their customers.The Work•Play•Experience approach to service experience usesproven and successful methods, many of them drawn andadapted from the world of theater and film. Read more about ourunique, highly praised approach at theWork•Play•Experience blog: Transcription of PodcastJoe Dager: Welcome everyone. This is Joe Dager, the host ofthe Business901 podcast. With me today is Adam Lawrence. Hesa professional comedian, business consultant, and writer with abackground in psychology and the automotive industry. For yearshes been using his expertise gained in the world of theater and Insight into the Customer Experience through Theater Copyright Business901
  3. 3. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsfilm to help companies influence their customers. His company,Work, Play, Experience, is a Service Design and customerexperience consultancy with a unique approach. Based inGermany, he advises companies and agencies worldwide. Adam,thanks for joining me, and the obvious question how does acomedian turn into a customer experience consultant?Adam: You know, Joe, I think its all the same thing really. I saythat kind of as a trite answer, but I kind of believe that. Letsthink about it. What is comedy? Comedy is about understandingwhat people think and how theyre feeling in the moment andhow you can, sometimes, with a little trick make them laugh byfaking them, wrong footing them on what they think is going tohappen next. Its all about understanding what is going on insomeones head and I think service, customer experience, allthose kind of things, is very much the same thing. Its aboutproducing an experience which somebody finds good. Notnecessarily amusing, that wouldnt be appropriate in many cases,but its all about what are they thinking right now, what are theyfeeling right now, and how can I connect with that?Joe: Is that what brought you into Service Design? You weredoing this previous to the Service Design, I dont want to saycraze, but as the methodology started to develop?Adam: We sort of bumped into it. When I say we I always speakof my colleague, Marcus Holmes, and myself. Were a Stan andOllie kind of deal you get with us two. Were a duo really. We didsome plays together over the years. We met on stage. Im anactor, hes also a musician, and we met on stage doing a musicaland got on really well and started doing various projects. Therewas one thing that always interested us, “Whats the experiencelike here?” I started writing a blog, actually, about where istheater turning up in business or where is show business turningup in business. That was fun to write and people started popping Insight into the Customer Experience through Theater Copyright Business901
  4. 4. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsup saying this is cool and talk to these guys or you might enjoyreading this, which was really helpful.At the same time, Marcus went off to India on a conference withJohn Facker of the Doors of Perception conference and bumpedinto some guys there from a company called Live Work. Hecomes back and says I discovered this thing called Service Designand in the same breath I say theres a thing called ServiceDesign. We kind of discovered it at the same time at differentpoints in the world from two different directions.It gave us a name for what we were doing and, of course, it gaveus a wonderful group of people to connect with and a communityto join and learn lots and lots from. Thats been a really, reallygreat experience, actually.Joe: Theater seems to be the convenient analogy. Is there adeeper relationship between that, between Service Design andtheater?Adam: Very much. I always say its not a metaphor, its thesame thing. I really do fervently believe that. Thats my firstpoint, again, really with the comedy. Lets widen up comedy andtalk about all kinds of show business whether its theater or filmor music or dance or any of these things. What are they allabout? Theyre all about setting up a process, if you like, or a setof stimuli or a story, whatever you want to call it, setting up asequence of events which influences somebodys emotion andmakes them feel the way you hope they will feel. It alwaysinteracts with their own experience, of course, but youre tryingto guide them along a certain emotional path. I think ServiceDesign is the same thing. The experience end of it is a very clearparallel. What do I see, what do I feel, how is it presented to me?Thats very clear.Youve got to understand, also, theater is not just performance.Theater is a development tool. Theater is a tool which you can Insight into the Customer Experience through Theater Copyright Business901
  5. 5. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsuse to model any kind of human interaction very, very quickly,very, very cheaply, and actually quite effectively. Its not just theperformance side of theater which interests us; in fact in ourwork we hardly ever use performance techniques.What we use are rehearsal techniques which is how a theatergoes out there and uses the resources it has on a limited timeframe asks itself a question. OK, we have a process here. Its aplay in this case but it could be a Service Design, of course. Itsays how might this be, how might this turn out in the end, andlooks at all the options of doing that in a very fast, very iterative,very full bodied -- they use their whole body, you dont sit downand think and rehearse, you get up and do.That brings in much bigger emotional level as well. I think thatreally is a very big overlap there. We took these tools out oftheater, like the rehearsal and other things we can talk about,and said lets apply these to business processes. How can werehearse a business process?I just want to point out there rehearsal is not practicingsomething but its always the same. Rehearsal, again, isdevelopmental, how might it be. Then you start getting thesereally, really great insights into the emotionality of things andalso the options that you have open to you.Joe: Are we scripting everything?Adam: Thats a very good question because absolutely,emphatically maybe. It depends what you mean by script. I neverbelieve in giving somebody words they have to say. As an actor,of course, I get that all the time. I have a job as acting still andthen I get precise words I have to say, but its always up to me tointerpret those. I think in a service environment customers havea very, very good nose for anything which is inauthentic,anything which is not your own words in a very simple level. Webelieve not in scripting a process down to the word but in Insight into the Customer Experience through Theater Copyright Business901
  6. 6. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsexploring the ways it might be, maybe setting up a palette ofoptions that somebody in a front line situation could use with thisservice and then encouraging them and helping them, againthrough a rehearsal process, to find their own way to make itauthentically theirs and bring it to life.Theres a tension in many peoples lives between show businessand authenticity because a lot of people think show business isfake. They think its about a façade, about being sleek, aboutpretending to do something. Thats not a good understanding ofactually what show business is.I love Anthony Hopkins. Sir Anthony Hopkins, one of my favoriteactors. When Sir Anthony Hopkins plays Hannibal Lector if hewere pretending it wouldnt be scary. The reason its scary isbecause he shows part of himself, something thats inside all ofus, to make that role possible.Theater is really not about pretending to be something. Its aboutchoosing which aspect of yourself to show. Its actually aboutgetting better at showing who you really are and that, I think, issomething Service Design can really use, that point of whatvalues do we have here? How can we show those values in acontrolled, conscious way to make a rock and roll experience forour customer?Joe: I think its interesting you say that because when you lookat those roles, those great roles that people have, Harrison Fordas Indiana Jones, youre saying that its really part of them inacting. Its not script roleplaying, its really becoming part of theexperience.Adam: Thats right. I think every one of us is a personality thathas very many facets and we always choose which facets that weshow. They vary from role to role in life. We show different facetsfrom ourselves at work, at home, and even, for example, at worka different facet of myself at a board meeting than in a coffee Insight into the Customer Experience through Theater Copyright Business901
  7. 7. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsbreak with colleagues. Im always rotating this jewel and decidingwhich facets to show. What you do when youre an actor, maybe,is you rotate the jewel a bit further and show the dark sidesometimes or the very, very blindingly bright side. You getexperienced at showing other sides of yourself which people dontnormally see. Of course, we dont want people doing service toturn into Hannibal Lector. Thats just a very strong example of it.Its about saying Im fulfilling a role here and deciding which partof myself to bring into that role to fit it with life. Thats not fake.In fact, thats a very honest thing to do and that is one of thethings we really discover in our work. We work as much as wecan with front line staff, people that have customer contactwhether its internal customer, external customer. We dont care.People that are dealing with the next level, the user.People are very, very excited to discover how much freedom theyhave in what might sometimes seem like a fairly tightly scriptedservice and how much of themselves they can bring into that.They often find it quite a liberating experience.Joe: An organization, is this how they develop their brand? Doyou want to develop your brand through this roleplaying, maybe,and identify Kleenex with paper tissue, ketchup with Heinz? Isthis taking on that persona, that brand? Is that possible for alarger company?Adam: You mean in terms of acting out the brand? I think thatscertainly a valued thing to do. Thats not the way we work. Whatwe look at is any set of values or any brand ultimately reflectsitself or must reflect itself in behavior. It must come down tothings that you and I experience on a day to day level.Interactions, if you like, whether its human/machine orhuman/human interactions. What we do is we certainly wouldlook at often quite trivial interactions very, very closely, byrecreating them in a rehearsal situation. We dont use the R Insight into the Customer Experience through Theater Copyright Business901
  8. 8. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsword, roleplay, by the way. Its an evil word. We dont use it. No,its not a bad word but it scares people off and doesnt quitedescribe what we do so we try and avoid that one. In ourrehearsal situations we will take what might seem to be veryevery day scenes and look at them with a very, very close eye.The people who are new to this, our co-creative partners, areamazed at how much they can discover in a small scene aboutthe whole ecosystem of that scene, about the process around it,about the values behind it, and then moving up and up and upbasically down to the standards, the belief, the world view, ifyoud like, of the brand.Thats really exciting to find and thats the other thing as well.They say that the theater, the whole of the world is enclosedwithin the stage, and that sounds terrible Kenneth Brannagh "ODarling" sort of thing. In a way its true. A good theater play tellsyou so much more about whats around it than the one and a halfhours could possible contain.We find the same thing in Service Design. Looking at the verysmall scenes with the people who have lived through themhundreds of times can tell us enormously much about the wholeecosystem and the values behind it. Of course, you can then talkabout those values once youve got that point and try somethingelse and try something else and say this feels more like us. Thatswhere it gets really valuable.Joe: You mentioned a word, co-create. Using a theater analogy,Im thinking theres a real definable separation from the audienceand the actors on stage. How does co-create relate to theater?Adam: I think if I have my theater hat on, my acting hat onthere are two things I would say. One is that the rehearsalprocess depends a lot on the directors style. Some directors arequite authoritative and they say no, this is the way its going tobe, but it always is an interpretive art. They cant move my Insight into the Customer Experience through Theater Copyright Business901
  9. 9. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsmouth for me; they cant move my body for me so I alwaysinterpret their instructions like that. Theres a co-creative aspectwithin the rehearsal process in the theater. Theres also a quiteimportant co-creative aspect each night during the performance.Even though Im standing there on stage with the bright lights inmy eyes, and you cant often see much of the audience, I canhear them. I can sense. I dont want to get too esoteric here, butI get a feeling for how theyre feeling and if theyre enjoying it.We establish a mutual rhythm, myself and the audience or theensemble and the audience. Theres a co-creative process.If we switch that over to what we do in Service Design, ourco-creative work there is pretty much typical for any otherService Design process. We work with members of theorganization were dealing with, front line, back stage people,decision makers. If we can, we get customers in the room.Thats not always possible, but we find that the people who areworking with the customers know them very well. Once we canget them more literally to step into the customers shoes andbecome the customer, then we do, actually, get the customer inthe room, even if we cant have them there. If we can get themthere, thats even better, of course.What youve got is a mixed palette of people from all differentviewpoints, if you like, working on this thing, and with thedesigners, thats us, very much in a guiding role by trying to helpthem discover.One of the big parallels, also, I think, between theater and designis the difference between the director and the actor. This issimilar, by the way, in, for example, a programmingenvironment, like in a software company.The director is directing a group of people who can do things thatthey cannot do, with a number of very notable exceptions, like Insight into the Customer Experience through Theater Copyright Business901
  10. 10. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsClint Eastwood, people like that. Most directors are not actors,and most designers are not the people theyre designing for. If I,sometimes, get annoyed with some colleagues of mine, itsbecause I sometimes think they forget that.The people in the room, the guy whos working in the bicycleshops selling the bicycles every day, knows his business so muchmore than me, the expensive consultant who comes in with anice suit on. I must remember that. He knows the business, and Idont. All Ive got are some tools and some ideas and someprocesses to help him discover more about his business.Joe: I look at the fact that, lets say, Im a designer. Imworking. I put myself in the customers shoes. Im thinking howIm going to act, so I really dont develop a customer experience.Somehow, you have to include the customer, dont you?Adam: I think you certainly do, as much as you possibly can.There is a second best, and the second best is working with thepeople who are close to the customers. Theres a big differencethere between putting yourself in the customers shoes in, letssay, a mental way and thinking about what the customer wantsor even observing the customer, which is massivelyvaluable -- we love to that a lot as well -- and actually physicallydoing it, even in an approximated, jury rigged, lashed togetherway.As you read before, by background Im a psychologist. Im moreof the hard-end psychology. I was the guy with the electrodeswho was scary. Im quite careful to talk about what people feeland perceive and stuff like that.Its certainly true that when we physically go through motions,postures, processes, that the emotional aspect of that is muchstronger than if we go through it, for example, with Lego peopleor just in our heads or as a film or whatever that is. Insight into the Customer Experience through Theater Copyright Business901
  11. 11. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsOne of our big things that we always push is doing, not talking.That makes it much more emotional and makes it much moreenlightening. We really find that people involved in this processforget that theyre on a stage. They forget that they are normallyon the other side of the counter, if you like.They start getting, for example, quite annoyed. "Why do we dothat like that? Its stupid!" They might say that in a moreintellectual way when theyre discussing it. "Thats not a veryclever idea. We should do that differently." When you get themactually doing this stuff they start going, "No! This is reallystupid," and they start banging their hands on tables.That, for me, is a qualitative difference which comes from thistool set which involves your whole body and getting up and doingstuff and experiencing it, with all senses, as much as possible.Joe: Our mutual colleague, Graham Hill, he asked a couple ofquestions, which I thought were right on spot, as typicalGrahamistic. The best service is one that goes smoothly in thatyou dont notice at all. You get through the experience, and youjust end up with a result, because you always remember the bad,but very few times do you really think about the good things thatall happened in your last shopping experience, lets say. Do youhave to turn all these things into an experience?Adam: Absolutely not, and I think that would be a mistake aswell. We talk about, a lot, in our work dramatic arcs, which is theflow of a song or of a movie or of a play. When is it exciting?When is it calm? Lets take the example of James Bond. At thestart of a James Bond movie, youve got this huge stunt sceneevery time where something blows up and somebody usually getsshot or something, and James is usually solving the previouscase. It doesnt matter. Its just a big eye candy, explosive scene,but its quite exciting. James jumps from the motorcycle into theplane, whatever it is. Insight into the Customer Experience through Theater Copyright Business901
  12. 12. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsThen, James goes back to London and goes to Miss Moneypennyand has a flirt. Then, goes to M. Gets his mission. Goes to Q.Gets his gadgets. That calming down is just what you need inthat moment.If James Bond were only the action scenes all the way through,without being too meaningful, it becomes a Michael Bay movie.Its just bang, bang, bang all the time. Thats not fun.If we see our life as a chain of experiences sometimes we want tohave something that were very present in, something were veryinvolved in the moment of experiencing a thing. Sometimes wewant to leave our head where it is get on with life and just pickup the coffee with a very smooth transition that we dont notice.I think there very much is a range of options between very, veryimmersive experiences or very performance like experiences ifyou like, down to ones which become completely invisible. I thinkits important to be aware of that.I went to an excellent restaurant last night, a little restaurant inmy town, where the waiters, they just do it with a flourish. Theyshake your hand when you come in, they serve the table withstyle, not an expensive restaurant, but they really live that.Thats great and I really enjoyed that.Yesterday at lunchtime I grabbed a tray of food from a fast foodjoint. Just walking past and paid and had just a smile with theperson serving there. It depends what I felt like. Yesterday Iwanted to make an evening of it. That restaurant was perfect. Atlunchtime I want a sip and quick food, and that other restaurantwas perfect. Its a question of what you need at the time.Joe: Not all the time are we looking for that ah-ha experiencebut when we start using a product its not bad to have some typeof experience that were structuring and identifying theenvironment for that person to proceed in, right? Insight into the Customer Experience through Theater Copyright Business901
  13. 13. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsAdam: I think so. One of the dangers of invisible service is wheneverything is invisible it becomes a commodity. When everythingworks smoothly then the difference is, "How much did I pay forthis?" I can start to lose identification with the customer; thebrand is watered away to nothing. I think its always a questionthat a designer or a Service Designer or a business person mustask themselves is, "Where do I need to show the personality ofmy service, my product? And where do I just need to besmoothly running away in the background?"Thats a very good question that you can talk about. During thelifecycle of a customer working with you where are the times Iwant to give them an ah-ha or a wow or whatever you want tocall these things, and when are the times I just want to be a quietsupporter in their life.Theres certainly a potential within that process there to find alsoa uniqueness for your brand or for your product.Joe: Going back to something that Graham mentioned, youseparate the serious side of business with the play act in thetheaters is just as important as strengthening it.Adam: Im going to be a bit careful with the wording I useagain. I take play very seriously. I dont contrast play withserious, I try and contrast play with solemn. Solemn is a differentthing from serious. Seriousness means focus, it means movingforward with something, yeah, focusing is the most importantthing about it. Now, play can be enormously focusing. Playcreates energy or liberates energy. It makes me think I can doanything I want to do. I dont like to contrast play and serious. Ithink they are very much overlapping.But certainly, what we try and do when we create a creativeenvironment for people is to be playful, because when wereplaying its OK to fail. When we are playing we are measuring Insight into the Customer Experience through Theater Copyright Business901
  14. 14. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsmore creative and stuff like this. But that does not mean nottaking the work seriously.I dont want to tread on Legos trademark rights here but Legohave serious play. We talk about playing seriously in theater aswell. It means taking this energy that you get from a playful,creative mindset and focusing that very, very hard on the veryserious or even wicked problem that youre dealing with.I think thats a powerful combination. When youre playing veryseriously then you really have the best of both worlds, amultiplicator effect.Joe: Does theater work outside of Service Design? How do I usetheater in my normal day business without that thought processof Design Thinking, Service Design?Adam: I think you dont really think about other things fromtheater apart from that development process, which is what wefocus on. Certainly, theater can teach you a lot about thepresentation of something as well, whether its very obvious stufflike lighting, like costume, like stage layouts. I often drawparallels between stage layouts and the entrance ways tobuildings, for example, thats a fun thing to do. Also, about thingsthat have not often thought about in business, like timing. Thegreat master of timing in the world is a guy called Bugs Bunny. Ifyou look at any of these movies, when hes standing there,usually not him but usually when his woeful adversary is standingthere and gets whacked by the falling anvil or whatever it is, youcan say the moment this is going to happen within a tenth of asecond. You can go, "And now," and it hits him. Thats brilliant.I like reading Joe Pine and James Gilmores work aboutexperience economy. They talk about a progression betweencommodities and products and services and experiences and stufflike that, which I find quite fun. Insight into the Customer Experience through Theater Copyright Business901
  15. 15. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsI found a similar progression in timing. For example, whenever Iorder a house to be built and if its a week late or a month late,thats pretty normal. If I order a load of brick and the load ofbricks is a day late, thats OK. If I order a meal and the meal is10 minutes late, thats OK, 20 minutes, not so OK.When Im on stage if Im working with a colleague and I put outmy hand to get lets say the wine glass Im going to throw intothe fire and the wine glass is half a second late the beat is goneand the scene isnt going to work. The timings gone. I think thatone thing that business can certainly look at is timing.When do things need to happen? When is the customer reallyexpecting it? I used to do a lot of theater in restaurants, I still doit now and again, its quite fun, and sometimes there a plate offood was part of the show and it would come hot from thekitchen, that was part of the show that it was hot food. For acook in a restaurant, when you say now that means OK, I get theplate, I put it on the table, I put the food on the plate, I add thesauce, I add the garnish, I dust off the plate, and I give it to theguy. That was now for the cook.On stage, thats an eternity. That would have ruined the scene,taking 20 seconds to do that. I think timing is one of those thingswhere people in business can really look at theater and at showbusiness and find things like that. What other things? I talkedabout lighting, I talked about costume. Theres a lot to do, also,about, this is very experiential stuff I know, but talk about whereis the eye going when I walk through a building, for example,which is one reason why architects make powerful ServiceDesigners is theyre used to working with time.When I walk through a building what do I see first, what do I seenext, what do I see after that and how does the way my eyeflows through the building affect my experience of that? Thoseare all things that you can think about in your shop layout, for Insight into the Customer Experience through Theater Copyright Business901
  16. 16. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsexample, as well or, again, in your business process. Thats notjust Service Design things but a larger field there thats affected,I think.Joe: I think those are great analogies, you use the word timing.I typically use the word cadence.Adam: Yes, absolutely.Joe: Youve got to have a certain rhythm. If youre in a processof delivering a quote to someone and you take too long, thatsends signs off to that individual.Adam: It does.Joe: Maybe youre not prepared. Maybe this isnt your billy-wigto do.Adam: Exactly. Quite right.Joe: As you travel through the customer journey, you arelooking at all these external factors that affect that journey. Canthis all be that orchestrated or should it be?Adam: No, I dont think it can or should be unless youre in atotally controlled environment like something like Disney. Ofcourse they basically have everything as far as possible withintheir purview. Even then, you have different people walkingthrough it every day, a different bunch of kids that are happy orsad, or parents who are stressed or unstressed. Its neverpossible to control everything nor do I think you should, but Ithink its very important to be aware of what the factors might beand how could they affect you, to have an eye for the detail andalso for the big picture. Thats another show biz thing. When youwatch a movie, when are they using the close-ups and when arethey using the big shots? What does that tell you about the story? Insight into the Customer Experience through Theater Copyright Business901
  17. 17. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsJoe: How does someone start thinking like this? I think theseare valuable lessons, but how do you say, outside of hiring you,which is good, how does someone start thinking this way or doesit come naturally?Adam: There are also things you can do, actually, if you want toget into this stuff. A very useful thing is to just watch any kind ofshow business output whether its listening to a song or watchinga movie or watching a play or a dance, whatever it is, and try andwatch it with an eye for the process. What is actually being donehere at this time? Lets talk about songs, if you listen to rapmusic, for example. It often starts very steady and quite calmand it builds up and builds up and builds up until more and morestuff is happening. Thats a dramatic arc there. Its the samedramatic arc you see in something like "The Lord of the Rings",the book not the movie, where you have a very slow start and itbuilds up and it builds up.That can be very engrossing for someone, finding the rhythm, thecadence that you call it, of an experience and building, building,building up to a dramatic conclusion. The problem might be is ifyou start things very, very slowly why do I keep my attention?Why dont I wonder off in my thoughts?Which is why, for example, the movie version of "Lord of theRings" has an extra action scene at the start thats not in thebook and then shortens the first 14 years of the book to 10minutes of the film because people today like to have a boom atthe start that happens to get their attention. If you look at otherkinds of music, lets look at a pop song or a rock song, you getsome kind of whats called a hook at the beginning which catchesyour attention.It might just be something like dun dun dun, dun dun dunna. Imin, this is me. Then you go through a more changeable structureof a verse and chorus, verse and chorus type of thing which is Insight into the Customer Experience through Theater Copyright Business901
  18. 18. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsperiods of familiar and unfamiliar melody, if you like, or periodswhere its up tempo and down tempo.Just by looking at a song, for example, you can think whatstructure has this thing got that makes it work and how could I,for example, apply that to what Im doing to my customerrelationship, to my Service Design, whatever it is? Thats oneway. Its just being more aware of these things that are beingcrafted by somebody. People who write songs really know whythey do it like that. They dont just do it because they dont haveany other ideas. Thats one way.Another great way to get into some of the insights that you cangenerate from the skillset of theater is to go on down to yourlocal improv group and join in or join an amateur dramatic groupor something like that or whatever it might be and actually seehow much you can learn from people by a little bit of bodylanguage, a little bit of analysis of the situation theyre in, andlooking at them as a full body.I want to be careful with body language. Some people say itssome kind of miracle tool and its not. Its often wrong, but it canbe quite useful. With a little bit of experience yourself, maybe alittle bit of acting and improve stuff, then you can get a veryquick eye for that. Then you start seeing it in your owncustomers, in your own colleagues and you think thatsinteresting. Now I said that and they drifted off. Why is that?What could I have done here? Do I need a boom here? What do Ineed? There are a couple of things you could do. You could alsoread my blog, which is amazingly good and its all about thisstuff. I think its more important to experience it for yourself andjust have a slightly more open eye for whats happening aroundyou.Joe: Whats the unique approach that Work, Play, Experienceoffers? Insight into the Customer Experience through Theater Copyright Business901
  19. 19. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsAdam: We are Service Innovators, Service Designers, CustomerExperience Designers. It depends what youre asking us about atthe time. Weve also done some communication design for peopleas well. Our approach is a very theatrical one. We use a theatricaltoolset, which is great, by the way, because when you come intoa room as a Service Designer and you start talking aboutpersonas and customer journeys and stakeholder values orstakeholder maps or other things like this then youve got atranslation thing to do before you get started, but everyoneknows what an act or a scene or a prop and a storyboard is.Youre already on a neutral language that everyone gets from thevery beginning and thats very useful. Its a design tool, a designmethod that really deals very well with emotion I think. If weretalking about being customer centered, if were talking aboutworking towards that, OK, customer centered, whats the centerof the customer? The center of the customer is what they feel.There are many words out there to approach that, whether youhave your little graphs with one smiley, two smileys, threesmileys for what the customers experiencing.Thats great, you should do that, but, to be honest, its a bit of ablunt instrument. Emotion is more complex than one, two, orthree smileys. Sometimes a customer is torn between this andthat. Some of them like this thing and not that thing quite somuch or they feel something other than happiness likesatisfaction or meaning in what youre doing and you cant reallyshow that in smileys, but theater can deal with that quite well.We have this very theatrical toolset which we use initially to talkabout the front end of the experience, what are the people, thecustomers, and the staff really experiencing? Thats my job in theorganization. Then Marcuss job is to more think about how thisfits in with the business processes that already exist and howdoes this affect the things that are actually running. Is this goingto make money, for example, in the end for the people? Insight into the Customer Experience through Theater Copyright Business901
  20. 20. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsIts important to remember theater is not just lipstick on a pig.Its not about being at the front end of everything. These thingsmust have roots that go back into the organization and whichreally create value at the end. The other thing that were knownfor, I think, is high energy. I have a lot of fun doing this.We also do a thing called the Global Service Jam, which is anevent which Marcus thought of and I told the world about, whichis when people come together for 48 hours during a weekend andthey spend 48 hours of mad super-fast working having a goodtime designing new services. The last one took place in about 90cities worldwide of one weekend and we got 300 designs out of it.The people who come out of that say, "This is great. It was reallycool to work with high energy, to work with short time frames, tohave impossible deadlines and know theyre impossible but tryand get them anyway, and to be playful, to be seriously playfulwhile youre doing this." If you say how we work Id say we workin a theatrical, high energy kind of way which often involvesrubber chickens but we cant talk about that.Joe: Do you have something coming up in the short term? Iknow the Global Service Jam just got over with but are thereplaces that youre speaking at or Marcus is speaking at?Adam: Yeah, weve got some conferences coming up. Im notsure what were doing there. Were certainly involved in thetourism and Service Design conference which Mark Stickdorn isorganizing in Innsbruck in August, I think. Lovely time to be inAustria. Well do something there. We are setting up some thingsjust now in Scandinavia in the winter which is nice and darkwhich I cant talk about yet but it sounds like it will be a very,very exciting format for a conference, actually. A real conferencewith lots of doing. Also talking but more doing than youre usedto at a conference. Youll normally find us at the usual Service Insight into the Customer Experience through Theater Copyright Business901
  21. 21. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsDesign conferences. We like to go to SDNC, which is a greatconference, Serv Desk is a great conference, things like that.What we also try to do a couple of times a year is take somethingoff the wall that is not directly linked to our skillset. Two yearsago we went to the Applied Improvisation Network conference,which was absolutely eye opening and a brilliant conference to goto. AIN are the group behind that. This year we went to an Agileconference, Agile management, and found lots and lots ofparallels there and lots of great new ideas.There are actually some projects springing out of that now to dowith overlapping Service Design, Agile, theater, and all of thesethings. You pretty much find us popping up wherever you like. Interms of jamming, the next jam will be the Global SustainabilityJam, which is our sister event to the Global Service Jam, andthats coming up around October this year.Then we have a fixed date already on the first, second, and thirdof March for next years 2013 Global Service Jam. You can checkthose out in the web. Just Google those names and youll findthem.Joe: How does somebody contact you?Adam: Were pretty easy to reach. You can email us at, were arather long company name, but at Adam or Theres no punctuation in that, itsjust all written together. Youll also find us, for example, Id like to thank you very much, Adam. Its been delightfulconversation.Adam: Thank you very much. Thanks for talking to us, Joe, andhave a great weekend. Insight into the Customer Experience through Theater Copyright Business901
  22. 22. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systems Joseph T. Dager Lean Marketing Systems Ph: 260-438-0411 Fax: 260-818-2022 Email: Web/Blog: Twitter: @business901 What others say: In the past 20 years, Joe and I have collaborated on many difficult issues. Joes ability to combine his expertise with "out of thebox" thinking is unsurpassed. He has always delivered quickly, costeffectively and with ingenuity. A brilliant mind that is always a pleasure towork with." James R.Joe Dager is President of Business901, a progressive company providingdirection in areas such as Lean Marketing, Product Marketing, ProductLaunches and Re-Launches. As a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt,Business901 provides and implements marketing, project and performanceplanning methodologies in small businesses. The simplicity of a singleflexible model will create clarity for your staff and as a result betterexecution. My goal is to allow you spend your time on the need versus theplan.An example of how we may work: Business901 could start with aconsulting style utilizing an individual from your organization or a virtualassistance that is well versed in our principles. We have capabilities toplug virtually any marketing function into your process immediately. Asproficiencies develop, Business901 moves into a coach’s role supporting theprocess as needed. The goal of implementing a system is that the processeswill become a habit and not an event. Business901 Podcast Opportunity Expert Status Insight into the Customer Experience through Theater Copyright Business901