I’m Majid Iqbal.
I’m an expert on services. Expert enough to argue, advise, and assist on changes to policies, strategies, and designs; to develop a new way of thinking; and to write a book that brings clarity and depth of understanding on what services are, what they can be, and why they even exist.
I’m good at problems that frustrate usual methods. I often start by setting up conceptual jigs and fixtures so the problem is easier to handle or work on. Then, with creative leaps, critical reasoning, and counter-intuitive steps, we arrive at really good solutions that are also less likely to create problems elsewhere.
As a colleague has said:
“Where Majid stands out is that he not only comes up with fresh unexpected solutions for complex problems, but he does so by creating thinking tools that enable you to understand and build on the problems and solutions yourself. And he does so with an infectious enthusiasm that makes working with him a pleasure every time.”
The pleasure was mine, with the rare privilege to serve as a special advisor to RVO.NL, an agency of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate. I helped set up XLAB – a special unit that assists on problems too complex for the core process, develops experimental methods that evolve into future ways of working.
In 2010, while studying why services faiI, I made a surprising discovery about the internal structure of services. I spent the next few years (2010-2014) developing a design method. It was a risky bet. Luckily, I found buyers at Boeing, Lowe’s, and the US Department of Defense. Before them, pioneers in the Dutch government.
Those early projects helped refine the design method that is now called 16x, making it simpler and more sophisticated; for proper use by those without formal education in design. Besides, as Buckminster Fuller said: “If you want to teach people a new way of thinking, don’t bother trying to teach them. Instead, give them a tool, the use of which will lead to new ways of thinking.”
I have range. From modelling a society’s transition toward plant-based proteins to designing algorithms for machine loading. It’s also why 16x has ideas from math, biology, and computer science; using Gestalt psychology to encode principles of design, engineering, economics, finance, and behavioral science.