Service Design Projects

I have twenty years of experience in Executive Development and Service Innovation. I’ve led both large and small-scale projects across a variety of industries, governmental agencies, and non-profit institutions, and have trained over 5000 executives in the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Asia.

RSA logo

Royal and Sun Alliance, UK

(while at Vision Consulting Group)

The essence of this project was to prepare Royal and Sun Alliance (RSA) to lead bottom-up customer-experience-centric innovation processes. Our challenge was to propose a new service strategy, deliver a new service promise, and turn around a stagnant/declining business. I led the three-year project which involved a diagnosis and pilot design, a pilot execution and business case for investment, a regional rollout, a national rollout, and an extension of the process to new business units. The project was an astonishing success. Revenues increased over 35%, costs were reduced by 30%, and the project showed a 300% ROI within an 18-month period. On top of that, we coached and partnered with the internal RSA team which led a significant portion of the national rollout.

Scottish and Southern Energy logo

Scottish and Southern Energy, UK

(while at Vision Consulting Group)

Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) is one the leading energy companies in the UK and heads the utility market in service performance. I led four major projects with the company:

  • New Customers was the division of the company that handled customer requests for new connections to the power network. There were two key issues for this group: the cycle time from customer request to completed connection was very slow, and pricing was not well aligned with costs. We created a new service promise to the customer with clear deliverables and deadlines, redesigned an end-to-end cross-functional service process, and developed new metrics and dashboards. As a result we cut cycle times in half, we eliminated undesired pricing variances and we created sound practices for competitive fear pricing.
  • The Supply Restoration division managed network supply issues and customer complaints by coordinating the actions of call centers, network engineers, regional teams and field engineers. Our project addressed two key issues in the division: SSE’s competitors were closing the gap in service differentiation, and their operating model was no longer financially sustainable to maintain or improve their service delivery performance. We built a new service promise to the customer which assured flawless customer’s expectation management and zero customer anxiety; we reengineered the entire service delivery process; and we redesigned the call center’s conversational practices and collaborative script development practices. The result was a big leap in their Net Promoter Score -- from about 50% to over 80%.
  • Building a Web Enabled Service Strategy was a critical issue for SSE. They lagged behind the industry in this area and needed a strong Web Enabled Service Strategy to sustain their growth. We delivered an encompassing proposal to pilot and roll out an investment program in Web Enabled Services. SSE is in the process of implementing these changes.
  • Our capital investment project was aimed at addressing new regulatory requirements that demanded a new level of efficiency and flexibility in condition-based and output-based investment projects. We implemented a new operating model for SSE South, which delivered over 20% efficiency gains; we prepared an SSE team to roll out changes in SSE North; and we are currently implementing these changes and assuring new levels of performance in the North.

AEGON logo

AEGON EB, Scotland

(while at Vision Consulting Group)

AEGON Employee Benefits (EB) is an insurance B2B company. Our project was to streamline their processes, reduce their efforts and costs by 25%, make the AEGON Employee Benefits team more pro-active and self-sufficient to reduce management and waste, and improve the AEGON experience for both intermediary financial agents and their end customers. We defined a new operating model for their business unit, and developed a new set of business roles and end-to-end service processes. As a result of the project, AEGON now delivers more than 95% of their renewal applications in less than a month (up from 30%), has reduced their costs in excess of 25%, and has seen a sustained improvement in their Net Promoter Score.

SNIC Chile logo

Sistema Nacional de Innovacion y Competitividad, Chile

The Economic Senatorial Commission demanded a thorough evaluation of the status of the Chilean Sistema Nacional de Innovacion y Competitividad (SNIC). While the Congress had passed a law in 2005 approving fund sources and budgets for promoting regional and national strategic economic clusters, any progress in the maturity of the institutional system and productive regional impact was opaque and controversial. The deliverables of this project were a comparative analysis and benchmarking to five small economies, an assessment on the impact of the strategic clusters, an overview on innovation discourses, and finally an assessment of cultural issues facilitating and obstructing innovation. The project was sponsored and funded by the IDB, and followed IDB standards. Our deliverables were approved by the Economic Senatorial Commission and the congress advisory group.

Genentech logo


(while at BABDI)

I coached members of the Chief Medical Officers Team. The executives I worked with were trained scientists who lacked relevant business capacities to produce large scale ambitious change. I worked with them to improve their communication and leadership capacities and create new practices in their teams.

AstraZeneca logo

AstraZeneca, Delaware

(while at BABDI)

Our project was to deliver a Design and Implementation Plan for the Multicultural Marketing Role at AstraZeneca to improve their impact on medical conditions of different ethnic groups (African-American, Asian-American, and Latino populations). Our project involved:

  • Determining the best multicultural organizational structures based on AZ’s business needs, corporate culture, current organizational processes and market dynamics. Our proposal took into account the pros and cons of the different structures we considered as well as the long-term vision (5-10 yrs) of their organization’s evolution.
  • Developing strategic platforms for multicultural marketing that would ensure alignment and integration of brands with functional areas in the operational and commercialization planning processes. The strategic platforms incorporated best practices; the building of multicultural roles and responsibilities in relation to brands, sales teams, and internal stakeholders; and the elimination of redundancies by coupling with current roles and capacities.
  • Developing communication and integrated implementation processes while identifying expected outcomes.

I delivered the project on time, on budget, and with a proposal that satisfied the AZ customer more than the one they originally envisioned. Our proposal on the MCM functional roles and processes was fully implemented by AZ.

WindRiver logo

Wind River, Alameda, CA

(while at BABDI)

Wind River was a software development company specializing in real-time embedded operating systems -- the software that runs airplanes, cars and medical equipment. Their products demanded reliability and performance. Wind River’s two main competitors were in-house and open source development. Our project’s goal was to dramatically improve their Product Development Life Cycle, increasing the number of releases from one to two per year and adding flexibility to product configuration. We introduced a Product Development Process which managed product requirements as networks of commitments; decoupled requirements from products, adding flexibility to their product releases; introduced risk assessments and differentiated procedures for product requirements; defined development gates, pre-gate preparation, and post-gate action pathways; and moved customers’ involvement and testing to the early stages of development. We again delivered the project on time and on budget.

Beckett Associates logo

Beckett Associates, Chicago, IL

(while at BABDI)

Beckett Associates was a $150 million revenue retail distributor specializing in Short Life Cycle Categories with significant local trends. They managed 2,500 SKUs at 8,000 points of sale using a pay-by-scan system. We designed and implemented a new Operating Model; developed a Category Merchandising Process as the operational backbone of the company; and produced a lean distribution business which saw increased sales and a 30% increase in net profits while using 65% of the working capital.

Deutsche Bank logo

Deutsche Bank Investment Banking IT, New York

(while at Szene)

Investment banking is a feast-or-famine industry. During the expansion cycle, hype hides significant economic wastes while, during the contraction cycle, relevant capacities and IT platforms are lost in the cost-cutting rush. DBIB-IT managed a $2.5 billion annual budget and invited us to design and define an implementation path for a new scalable, responsive Investment Banking IT Operating Model. We delivered new processes in the areas of governance, management systems and administration, innovation and change management, continuous improvement of recurrent processes, and CRM and triage. Our model was migrated from IT to Global Sourcing and CRES in order to support a bank-wide cost-cutting strategy.

Nafin logo

Development Banking, Nafin, Mexico

(while at Szene)

Our project’s goal was to develop a new process to expand credit and manage risks in their small-business segment. The key initiative was the design and implementation of the Sistema Nacional de Garantias. The goal was to achieve a credit volume equivalent of South Korea’s, 5% of GDP in 5 years. We defined the overall project strategy, developed digital community market clusters to provide low-risk and low-interest short-term parametric credits, and provided them with a set of managing practices to optimize the performance of their processes.

Grupo Modelo logo

Modelo Group, Mexico

(while at Szene)

Modelo was a beer manufacturing company facing strong competition in the premium segment of the market, 24 to 34 year-olds. Their traditional approach was not working and they were looking for alternative approaches to vitalize their brands. We proposed a new marketing program that activated extended networked communities, and developed Local Community Marketing and Viral Marketing Strategies for their Corona and Victoria brands based on the local cultural values and festivities. The key challenges of this project were to create a network of local leaders, and a communications channel between local communities and corporate HQ so that HQ could listen to their communities and the communities could effectively lead local marketing. All surveys in experimental markets showed sharp recoveries in top of mind awareness and new qualitative brand dimensions connected with community values and local celebrations.

Centro de Productividad Industrial (Cepri), Chile and El Salvador

(while at Szene)

The projects in Chile and El Salvador were endorsed and funded by the IDB to develop a decentralized market-centric model for supporting and expanding small businesses. The main objective of the six-month program was to train a group of 150 consultants to design and deliver a set of high-impact service offers to small and medium-sized business. The key success criterion was the capacity of the consultant to improve their sales and profits based on the value added by their new service offers. Successive visits and followups showed evidence of a new level of performance and a new capacity for revenue generation by the participants.

Bancomer Bank logo

Bancomer Bank, Mexico

(while at Business Design Associates)

Our project was to turn around Bancomer’s credit card division which others -- a Citibank CC expert, BCG and McKinsey Consulting -- had failed to make profitable. We designed a new operating model for the business, built a new process architecture based on Lean Process Design, radically changed the business practices for Risk Management, Product Development and Origination, and implemented a measures and management system. The 2.5 million cardholder business became profitable in six months.

Previous Employers and Companies

Blackbird Group Inc. (2012-present)

Founder and Managing Director

Blackbird Group is a consulting group that specializes in Service Innovation and Executive Development. We work with individuals and organizations to make them more innovative, creative, and ready for the world that is emerging.

PorotoBlue Network (2011-present)

Founding Member and Yoda

PorotoBlue is a network of individuals in the United States, Latin America, and Europe who gather around issues that intrigue them. We explore and design in these domains, and develop more powerful service offers for organizations, individuals, and networks in our worlds. Current areas of interest include networks, networked technologies, and entrepreneurship and innovation.

Vision Consulting Group, UK (2008-present)

Service Design Leader, Associated Consultant

Vision Consulting Group is a leading European company in service development and innovation that delivers highly profitable and self-replicating innovations using transparent and low-risk investment road maps. I’ve been the Senior Program Delivery Leader for the company for the past four years.

BABDI, LLC, Alameda, CA (2004-2007)


BABDI offered Lean Service Architectures to deal simultaneously with two conflicting business concerns: process standardization, simplification and optimization; and discontinuous and potentially disruptive innovations. Our methodology allowed us to effectively map processes, diagnose waste and opportunities, design missing roles, measure performance variance, and expand emerging capacities.

Szene, Inc., Berkeley, CA (1998-2003)

Founder and Managing Director

Szene offered a qualitative approach that bridged potential market gaps, revealed new value propositions, and overcame competitive convergence strategies. With this approach, we built efficient and responsive service platforms to expand strategic capacities and to deliver new services to the market.

Bancomer Bank, Mexico DF (1998-2001)

Chief Advisor to the CEO and Chairman

Bancomer was the leading retail bank in Mexico with 20% of the market share. After a successful project to turn around the credit card division, I was invited to be the Chief Advisor to the CEO and Chairman. I was responsible for the Overall Leadership Strategy for improving operational efficiency across the bank. While there, I conceived, designed and implemented a Networked Market Strategy, managed two major bank business and organizational restructures in a three-year period, assembled and developed a Lean Service Process Design Unit with 25 people from IT, Finance, and Engineering to lead and implement operational excellence initiatives across key business units.

Business Design Associates, Alameda, CA (1992-1997)

VP and Project Director

Business Design Associates (BDA) implemented Lean Process Design and Lean Service Innovation in companies like IBM, Citibank, ABB, TransAlta Utilities, CEMEX, and Coca-Cola Femsa. BDA’s Workflow and Business Process Design approach was broadly recognized in the Silicon Valley software design community and awarded in PC Magazine. I was with the company from the start-up phase until it was bringing in over $50 million a year. As a VP and Project Director, I was responsible for customer account development, delivering economic results, training consultants and developing core BDA capacities.

RedCom, Chile (1989-1991)

Program Coordinator, Ontological Design Program

The Ontological Design Program (ODP) was a training program originally designed by Logonet, Inc. in California and based in a rigorous application of biology of cognition, speech act theory, hermeneutics, and computer network-enabled practices. The training program was focused on Management and Leadership, Development of Adaptive Business Cultures, and Change Management. As Program Coordinator, I was accountable for elaborating ODP proposals, delivering programs results, and performing R&D on the ODP approach. During my time there, I trained more than 5,000 executives in Latin America, Europe, and North America.

Academic Background

Logonet Inc. Emeryville, CA: Trained in Phenomenology in the experimental Ontological Design Program. 1987-90.

University of Chile: Masters in Economic Development (thesis pending). Escolatina Scholarship. Fulbright Awarded. 1981-83.

University of Chile: BD in Economics. Top two in class. 1977-81.