Majid IqbalSpecial Advisor at Ministerie van Defensie
Majid is an expert on implementing policy and strategy through the designs of services. He is a special advisor at the Defense Materiel Organization (DMO), within the Dutch Ministry of Defense. He leads a team developing new thinking and tooling, using which teams in government can more boldly execute on their missions. Majid is also co-founder of similar unit called XLAB at the RVO.NL within the Ministry of Economic Affairs & Climate.
In 2010, Majid made a surprising discovery leading to new thinking on implementing strategy through the designs of services. In 2012, the Dutch government became the first user of a new system and method, putting a new kind of power in the hands of product managers, policy makers, and strategists. Other adopters include Fortune 500 firms such as Lowe's, Boeing and UnitedHealthcare, and Johnson & Johnson.
In 2018, Majid wrote ‘Thinking in Services’ (BIS Publishers, Amsterdam), a book that introduces a fundamentally new way of thinking about the designs of services, exposing the structures and dynamics that determine failure and success. The book introduces a design language called 16x. Based on the book, Majid now teaches a popular course on the strategic design of services.
Majid is visiting faculty at IE School of Human Sciences & Technology, in Madrid. He has also guest-lecture at TU/Delft (Netherlands), JAIST (Japan), and UFRJ (Brazil). At Carnegie Mellon he developed and taught the very first course on strategy, design, and organization for services, at the Heinz College of public policy and management.
Strategic DesignPromises & Patterns
Design is the ultimate expression of strategy. As designers we must be able to construct and deconstruct the strategic intent our designs encode and express. We should know what exactly we are designing for, whom and why. So we design systems that attain the condition of harmonious, orderly interactions, to produce superior sets of outcomes and experiences. Also, our designs are less likely to fail, with they face complexity and scale.
This workshop introduces the concepts of promises and patterns: the building blocks for developing value propositions that are solid, substantial, and sustainable in the face of competition, politics, and climate change. Participants will playfully learn the concepts in the form of a simple puzzle they get to solve. The exercise will challenge their thinking. The result is a new skill that is both creative and analytical. A skill that will also help designers better engage with their counterparts in strategy, finance, and operations.
Strategy and the Design of Services
Strategic design is the process of translating game-changing decisions into clear, concise, and complete instructions for execution: the who, why, how, what, when and where of operations. Encoding them into the designs of systems and services allows us to “take more risk while avoiding it.”
Having it both ways requires dexterity in switching between the abstract and the concrete. It requires thinking and tooling that is at once simple and sophisticated, advanced and primitive. This talk gives two examples of strategic design in practice: within a government agency and a major healthcare initiative.