Time and again it seems that thoughtfully designed services fail to be implemented, whether becoming tied-up in commissioning or defeated by stakeholder habits, busy schedules and the lassitude of legacy institutions. This talk addresses the issue of systems versus services. By looking at a series of case studies using a System Dynamics lens it explains how service design and delivery are embedded in complex systems which can subvert or conceal even the best design. It also explores the dynamics which prevent great design from becoming contagious and spreading to other services. Finally, it addresses the dynamics of growing & nourishing the service design profession by highlighting lessons learned from a 60 year history of system dynamics modellers seeking to mainstream their methodology.