Service Innovation and Implementation: A Series of 2 Day Modules

(Oct 3-4, 2013 / Jan 10 & 13, 2014)

Organised for the Civil Service Training & Development Institute of the Civil Service Bureau, HKSAR, the “Service Innovation and Implementation: A Series of 2 Day Modules” is one of the core modules of the Innovative Leadership Programme (ILP). The ILP is an integrated leadership development programme designed for Hong Kong civil servants keen to pursue service excellence. The 2 Day Modules aimed to better the creative logic of the participated civil servants in order to improve future public services.

Over two days, civil servants were challenged to explore the possibilities of design in the formulation of policies that could improve and better service innovation. The 2 Day Modules also helped participants to develop a new, alternative and complimentary vision of their important mission: To develop human-centric innovation strategies for social sustainability. 

Attendees were mainly from middle-management positions (MPS Point 38 to 44), and upon arriving at the workshops, had very limited design knowledge. Each workshop hosted approximately thirty-five people, who discussed design theories and solutions with industry expert Rama Gheerawo, the lead trainer of the  2  Day Modules who has spent the nearly 2 decades in a leadership role within Britain’s Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design. He is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Art, and has previous experience leading many seminars and workshops on design thinking.

Attendees were faced with multiple fictional scenarios and were asked to improve the wicked problem using creative logic. One case study examined possible solutions for an overcrowded public market space where a fire had broken out recently. Attendees were asked to compile a series of solutions to lessen chances of future fire-related hazards and improve the safety of occupants. Another case study focused on how to make a web-based driver’s license application more user-friendly.

The sessions were moderated by our Executive Director, Dr. Edmund Lee, who also led a half-day seminar about design-thinking, introducing new concepts and challenges for designing local government services. 


Feedback from the attendees was overwhelmingly positive. Comments from participants expressed that they were extremely inspired because the content was applicable to their line of work. Attendees also said they really enjoyed participating in the case studies because they were “convincingly realistic and thought provoking.”

Attendees also expressed they had a lot of fun during the workshop, and that the speakers were full of energy and “effective in deliberating the topic in depth.” 

Design thinking can be even powerful among complexity and bureaucracy as one had pointed out, “Rama gave us new visions on using innovative approaches to solve government problems.” Based on their comments, attendees felt their time was well spent learning about the logic of service design and said they enjoyed the educational workshops. Win-Win!