Majid Iqbal

At Cafe Angelica in Madrid

I’m an expert on implementing strategy through the designs of services. Services fail in unexpected ways due to gaps and conflicts in their designs. I lead teams through a dialogic process in which stakeholders together solve a design puzzle, to produce a strategic narrative that is also a script with multiple threads. Executing the script results in the condition of harmonious, orderly interactions.

Both, customers and service providers are better off this way, with more optimal designs in terms of the qualities of outcomes, experiences, and price.

Thus, I empower product managers, policymakers, and strategists to negotiate success, in terms of profitability, growth, and public good, in the markets for services in which they choose, or have been chosen. I’m doing this rolling up my sleeves and joining their effort, teaching courses that are ‘grueling fun’, and reaching them through my book.

In general, I am often brought into difficult projects to work on problems that have frustrated previous efforts. I make problems easier to work on by setting up ‘conceptual jigs and fixtures’ around them. Then, I help teams make leaps of imagination, bound by critical reasoning, to arrive at solutions that are less likely to fail due to gaps and conflicts, or changes in their operating environments. They would not make such leaps, without first trusting me and my judgments.

Where Majid stands out is that he comes up with fresh unexpected solutions for complex problems … creating thinking tools that enable you to understand and build on the problems and solutions yourself. ~ Stephan Jenniskens, former colleague at RVO.NL

I have been an employee of firms such as PwC, Gartner, Carnegie Mellon, PSI-Bull, and HCL-HP, playing my part well, in roles such as: product manager, salesman, analyst, teacher, and consultant. I have lived and worked across many cultures, in the United States, Europe, and India. My curiosity and imagination extend to kitchens.

Our thinking shapes our tooling, and thereafter our tooling shapes our thinking. When we design tools, we design thinking. Thus I am a co-founder of XLAB – a special unit at RVO.NL to solve problems of unusual shape, and in the process develop new thinking and tooling, that eventually become a part of the usual ways.

I am presently starting up a similar unit, at the Dutch Ministry of Defense. We are developing alternate frames for solving difficult problems, the solutions for which could be possibly be new services. In the process we are developing new thinking and tooling, using which our colleagues across the government can more boldly execute on options, while complying to rules and regulations.

I have been an employee of firms such as PwC, Gartner, Carnegie Mellon, PSI-Bull, and HCL-HP, in roles such as: product manager, salesman, analyst, teacher, and consultant. I have lived and worked across many cultures, in the United States, Europe, and India. My curiosity and imagination extend to kitchens.

I am visiting faculty at IE School of Human Sciences & Technology, in Madrid. I have done some guest-lecturing, such as at TU/Delft (Netherlands), JAIST (Japan), and UFRJ (Brazil). At Carnegie Mellon I developed and taught the very first course on strategy, design, and organization for services, at the Heinz College of public policy and management. For six years.

In 2010, I 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, followed by Lowe’s, Boeing, UnitedHealthcare, and the US Department of Defense. Thus evolved a new system and method, putting a new kind of power in the hands of product managers, policy makers, and strategists.

In 2018, I wrote Thinking in Services, a book that brings new levels of clarity on what services are, what they can be, why they even exist — toward a deeper understanding of why they fail in unexpected ways. It is a book that is finding itself in the hands of those who are themselves broadening the scope and impact of service design.