Here is a review of my favourite books that sit on my bookshelf. I hope you enjoy them and they help you further develop your transition to a services based business.

 

From Products to ServicesFrom Products to Services: Insights and experience from companies which have embraced the service economy

Laurie Young’s book, From products to Services, is clearly and concisely written and gives a wide overview of the workings of service focused businesses. It’s not the most exciting read, but what it lacks in sensationalism it makes up for in sensible, clear ideas. This is not a one hit wonder business book full of anecdotes — instead it’s a practical how-to guide for delivering change within service businesses (or businesses that are getting into services).

It sets out in plain language many of principles and practices around the internal workings of service organisations that design schools just don’t teach you about. HR, operations, service marketing and the important differences between service business units and other business functions. Illustrated with lots of case studies and many useful diagrams, this is the best business book I’ve read in ages, and definitely the most directly useful to my practice — unlike many trendier pop business books, which tend to be more generally inspirational and have made their only real point by the end of the first chapter. Readable and relevant. Click here to order your copy from Amazon.

 

This is Service Design ThinkingThis is Service Design thinking: Basics – Tools – Cases

This is Service Design Thinking outlines a contemporary approach for service innovation. Service design and design thinking are lately evolving into buzzwords for management and business consulting. This is Service Design Thinking strives to unveil the practical meaning behind these terms in everyday use. The book introduces this new way of thinking to beginners but also serves as a reference for professionals.

Although service design and design thinking in general recently gains vast interest by both business and research, until now there was no comprehensive textbook outlining the approach, including its background, process, methods and tools as well as contemporary case studies. A set of 23 international authors created this interdisciplinary textbook applying exactly the same user-centred and co-creative approach it preaches. “The unique visual language of This is Service Design Thinking extends the idea of a classic textbook. Based on workshops and contextual interviews using prototypes of this book, the reader is now supported with various visual aides to facilitate a pleasurable and effective reading experience” highlights Jakob Schneider, co-editor and graphic designer of the book. Click here to order your copy from Amazon.

 

Marketing Technology as a ServiceMarketing Technology as a Service: Proven Techniques That Create Value

Despite the fact that vast engineering networks are the foundations of modern society, the services that technology companies provide over them have been a relatively neglected area of study. As a result, marketing in some technology businesses has been depressingly tactical and inconsistent. Marketers with little experience, and even less professional training, run around presenting PowerPoint decks to each other, chasing after the latest fad and throwing erratic, changing activities at the market each quarter. Many work on the unchallenged assumption that markets are fast changing and that customers only want the lowest prices.

Yet this industry has liberated human imagination in the Internet and convinced the world that they must have a PC and a mobile phone. Now, as a result of profound, relentless, global forces, some of the leading firms and greatest minds in it are at last turning their attention to service. With the advent of ‘cloud computing’ and radical changes in the engineering of some utilities, the marketing of services that are based on a technical infrastructure is about to become as important and sophisticated as in, say, consumer products. This book explores their story and experience. Click here to order your copy from Amazon.

 

Service Operations ManagementService Operations Management 

From the Author – Graham Clark

This book has been used by senior managers within a wide range of service organisations to inform and structure their development and implementation of service strategies. It is written with senior managers in mind, but is very relevant to those on postgraduate management programmes as well as undergraduate core service operations management modules. The illustrations and case studies reflect the authors’ extensive experience in teaching, consultancy and research. Click here to order your copy from Amazon.

 

The Lords of StrategyLords of Strategy: The Secret Intellectual History of the New Corporate World

Imagine, if you can, the world of business without corporate strategy. Remarkably, fifty years ago that’s the way it was. Businesses made plans, certainly, but without understanding the underlying dynamics of competition, costs, and customers. It was like trying to design a large-scale engineering project without knowing the laws of physics.

But in the 1960s, four mavericks and their posses created instigated a profound shift in thinking that turbocharged business as never before, with implications far beyond what even they imagined. In The Lords of Strategy, renowned business journalist and editor Walter Kiechel tells, for the first time, the story of the four men who invented corporate strategy and set in motion the modern, multibillion-dollar consulting industry. Click here to order your copy from Amazon.