The business of service: why think tanks need service design

Traditionally the notion of “business” is perceived incongruent with the values of think tanks, writes Melanie Rayment. Those in academia, the third sector, and government policy makers often distinguish themselves in their pursuit of knowledge and positive social change from corporations, where values can be reinterpreted at the sight of poor economic performance.

As a think tanker, the reports you provide might appear like your product. However, what people are “investing in” is your knowledge, answers to policymakers’ questions, public events, monitoring and evaluation of policy, and the constant development of knowledge and skills of your audiences in a cycle of co-creating value.

Therefore, as people’s overall service expectations rise collectively in both our interactions with governments and business, so does the need for think tanks to address and analyse their level of “service” to their audiences.

Read her analysis