Whilst the basic principles and logic of co-creation are widely understood, little attempt has been made to identify and distinguish the different styles of value co-creation that companies can deploy. In this article, I make an attempt to address this shortcoming by defining eight styles of customer value co-creation along with a few examples of companies practising each.
Often, I get asked how I define a health ecosystem to frame problem enquiry, find opportunities and inform system-level value design, innovation and strategy. In this quick piece, I provide a summary of the key parameters (or types of context) I use, together with a few examples from projects I have undertaken with the Umio team.
In a recent post, I asked what design thinking can do better when seeking to intervene and address problems in complex social systems. I argued that despite best efforts, many design thinking type interventions add only limited or incremental value in such multi-stakeholder, non-linear, highly connected, high diversity contexts. They tend to merely tinker around the edges due to their lack of a systemic view. They suffer from low adoption, participation or engagement, may even create or exacerbate stakeholder conflict, do not scale and/or are not deployed on a sustained basis.
In this follow-up, I offer some perspectives and prescriptions for addressing the limitations of design thinking in the context of complex system problem situations. I do so by exploring three interrelated questions:
- Reality - What is the reality of complex systemic problems?
- Limitations - How does this reality help identify the limitations of design and systems thinking?
- Synthesis - How is it possible to forge a practical synthesis of design with systems thinking to achieve sustained positive and scale impact of interventions?
Today, organisations require advanced capabilities for understanding complex system problems, finding improvement or transformational opportunities, developing ecosystem strategy, designing compelling value propositions, and executing valued interventions.
This is particularly true in complex markets or systems such as healthcare, communications, transport, energy, and in many industries. In healthcare for example, despite ongoing improvement and intervention efforts, and high rates of scientific, technology and treatment innovation, there remains a great struggle to improve outcomes at scale. Under conditions of increasing resource pressure, the imperative to design root cause, systemic-level - rather than piecemeal, symptoms-focused - interventions has never been greater.
Design thinkers face particular challenges when seeking to intervene to improve value and outcomes in complex adaptive ecosystems such as cities, health and social care, education, energy, food production and distribution, the built and natural environment and development. In such systems, the root causes of problems and the origins of poor outcomes are often hard to identify and difficult to address due to their nested, interconnected and dynamic nature, as well as the fact that they consist of a diversity of humans, technologies and resources whose actions and effects are not wholly predictable.
Despite best efforts, many design thinking type interventions that seek to address complex system problems and improve outcomes add only limited or incremental value. They merely tinker around the edges. They suffer from low user participation or engagement, may even create or exacerbate stakeholder conflict, do not scale or are not used on a sustained basis. Worse of all, they can even reduce long-term ecosystem wellbeing in favour of short-term gain.
I am excited to announce that my latest publication is now available to download from the Umio website.
In this paper, I explain how a commonly used but often misapplied metaphor for health systems – ecosystems – can be applied more deeply and appropriately to better understand complex health system problems, find novel possibilities and opportunities, and design better strategies, interventions and solutions to address them.
Increasingly, health (and other social) systems are perceived as service ecosystems consisting of interconnected and collaborating stakeholders – patients, practitioners, payers, care providers, industry and government bodies. Before designing or planning a technology, product or service intervention, an innovator or planner will typically map the different stakeholders to determine if the innovation has the potential to satisfy, and align with, their diverse set of goals and needs.