I was THRILLED when these five glossy paperbacks were delivered to my home a few weeks ago! Service Innovation, An eighteen month collaboration with three professors from the CTF Service Research Center at Karlstad University, Sweden, was now tangible and on my coffee table!
What was it like to collaborate on a book with researchers 6,691 km. away? With all the modern tools it was surprisingly trouble free! We posted chapters on Dropbox. The three Karlstad professors seemed to have no trouble coordinating work between them. I typically signed on after in the evening after they had finished for the day.
We had a couple conferences on Skype but primarily communicated by email or Facebook Messenger. I remember thinking how much communication had advanced since I was in Hong Kong in 1993, dealing with bosses in New York.
I, of course knew all three of them by their stellar reputation in service research. I met Per Kristensson (youngish guy in the middle) at a PDMA conference and had shared a few drinks and talked about service innovation. Anders Gustafsson, editor of JBR (distinguished gentleman on the left) was a Twitter and Facebook friend. I sometimes asked Anders his thoughts on service research, but more often we simply traded pictures of our photogenic and brilliant Bichon Friese dogs. I knew of Lars Witell (right) from his research on proactive methods for innovation. I was delighted when the three of them invited me to join the collaboration!
It was an easy collaboration since our views about service innovation were closely aligned. They had published articles on service co-creation and proactive methods to facilitate collaboration. My dissertation and followup conference and research papers were on service co-creation and methods. Very often we even had matching examples: they talked about a Swedish tabloid newspaper; I had done research with the creators of a tabloid in Chicago.
Speaking of my dog…that is Ditka on my lap. I guess he gets an assist for networking!
If you are considering it, I would recommend writing a book! Advice based on my wonderful experience would be:
- Find collaborators whose work you respect highly, and who are demanding,
- Expect the effort to take at least twice as long as you can imagine, and
- Get buy-in from your family before you start! (My wife started pushing me…)
Links related to the book:
- Kindle version on Amazon
- My Amazon Author Page
- Book at Business Expert Press
- CTF Service Research Center, Karlstadt