Organisation Design: Spreading the Word

In June this year, I was contacted on LinkedIn by Ivan Stefanović, one of the Program Directors of the HR Week event, to be held in a virtual environment (sneak peek here) on 22-26 November, 2021. The event is organized in 5 thematic days – Strategic HR, People-Centric HR, Digital HR, HR Development, and C-Level Day. The target audience is HR Practitioners in South Eastern Europe.  Ivan wanted to know if I would speak at the event on an organisation design topic 

Sadly, I haven’t visited or worked in many countries in that geography, but talking with Ivan suggests that the challenges organisation designers and HR practitioners face there are similar to the ones I’ve seen in countries I have worked in, so I agreed to deliver a 15-minute keynote, that ‘would help strengthen the position of HR as a strategic business function’.  

One of the things they offer in return for my participation is to have my books and other materials promoted within the e-library section of the event.  An ideal opportunity to spread the organisation design word amongst HR practitioners, and prompting me to comb through the year July 2020 – July 2021 to re-discover what I’d actually done – apart from comply with various coronavirus-related restrictions.    

I discovered I’ve done quite a lot.  As I did no face to face anything from 1 July 2020 until 1 July 2021 everything was virtual/online and is recorded somewhere.  Although some of it is on closed circulation, others of it can be freely viewed, read, listened to.  This following is a selection of my publicly available material, that I think will help spread the word on organisation design, that I’ll forward to HR week for their e-learning site.  

Making remote work #20 (Re) designing remote work This is one of a series led by the Organisational Design Community and hosted by Iulia Istrate, Skills for Mars.  It is a public service video-podcast in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Iulia says, ‘In this episode, we discuss the organisational issues surfaced by the pandemic and then move on to more practical advice on organisational (re)design that supports working remotely in all its forms. My guests are Naomi Stanford, Matthew Skelton, and Milan Guenther.’ 

What happens when Silver Bullets meet theory and practice?.. This was billed as, ‘Join Naomi Stanford & Steve Hearsum as we discuss what happens when a client’s need for an ‘expert’ with ‘answers’ meets reality.’   The questions we considered include: How far is the projection of expertise useful and when does it become an ethical consideration? What can we learn from our experiences as consultants and practitioners about how to work with clients’ expectations, however unrealistic they might be? What happens, as it has with Naomi, when guru status is conferred and how does that amplify the problem? In amongst all the theories, can there ever be one that passes for a Silver Bullet?

There were two webinars, catering for different time-zones.  The recording to the first webinar held on the 9th October 2020 is here and the second one on the 14th October 2020 here.  Because each was a free-flowing conversation, the content is different in the two.

In Conversation with Q5: The Future Workplace is Hybrid – Are You Ready?  A panel discussion considering:

  • The opportunities and risks of ‘hybridity’
  • What hybrid working looks like in different contexts
  • Hybrid working versus flexible working
  • The impact of hybrid working on culture
  • Creating your blueprint for the hybrid workforce

The recording of the webinar is here.  I also wrote a blog on this event, which you can read here.

Organisation Design 101: A Conversation with Naomi Stanford  Mee-Yan Cheung Judge of Quality & Equality asked me to contribute to her ‘Just in Case’ series of videos.   In this one I introduce the concept of Organisation Design by answering five questions: What is organisation design and what is its history? How do practitioners do organisation design? Are there examples of organisations known for good practice in organisation design? How do you become an organisation design practitioner?

Pandemic Response – Impact on Organisation Design: A Conversation with Naomi Stanford   This is the second video I did for the Just in Case series.  In it I unpack how the pandemic has had an impact on organisation design through answering the following questions: What is the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and other context factors on organisation designs? How are some organisations responding? What should organisation design practitioners be helping with now?

Intersection20  Reflections on the pattern of leaving  This was a conference presentation for the Intersection20 conference.  In their book Enterprise Design Patterns, the authors discuss 35 patterns that they’ve noticed in their enterprise design work.  One of these patterns is ‘Leaving’. Their opening statement on ‘Leaving’ is, ‘You have been working as an Enterprise Designer for a while now. After some time, you realise there is a mismatch between you and the environment you work in.’ They suggest leaving the work.

In this session I pick up on ‘Leaving’ and discuss it from several angles, based on my experience as an external consultant, as an internal consultant, as an ethical/values based statement, in terms of career enhancement/limitation of the individual, the courage it takes to leave, and so on.

IPC The Human Capital Hub Q & A with Dr. Naomi Stanford on Culture Transformation   Watch this video to find out more on whether organisation culture can be ‘designed’ or whether it just ‘is’.  During the discussion we touch on types of culture, whether an organisation has one culture or many cultures, and why ‘culture’ is so important to organisation effectiveness.

IPC The Human Capital Hub Organisational Design Q&A with Dr Naomi Stanford Watch this video to get more details on identifying the dysfunctional aspects of workflow, procedures, structures and systems and ways in which these can be realigned to fit the current business realities or goals as well as developing plans to implement design changes.

Three webinars I did for Caliber Consulting.   In order to view the recordings, you will have to click on the link, register and then you will be able to view the recordings (very simple).

AIHR Organisational Development Certificate Programme. This is a training programme which I and Giles Slinger developed. The organisation design unit comprises 4 modules where participants learn how to recognize the triggers for organisation design, through selecting the right model, to applying the Org Design process and overcoming common obstacles.

CXO Magazine Designing organisational agility This was an article I wrote that discusses the ways organisation design can help go beyond the surface-level of this century’s buzziest word (agile) and design a truly agile organisation.  To do this enterprises need to understand the intricacies of agility. And beyond that, examine whether an agile approach is likely to benefit their organisation at all.

Designing organisations: why it matters and how to do it well, is the title of the book I wrote during the year which will be published in March 2022.

What resources do you use that help spread the organisation design word? Let me know.