Today I read an article about a New River Valley entrepreneur, Bill Ellenbogen (www.nrvmagazine.com). He was asked what guides his business decisions and said it was the Rotary Four Way Test. "Of the things we think, say or do:
Is it the TRUTH?
Is it FAIR to all concerned?
Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?"
I'd not come across this test before but it seems an admirable one to bear in mind when doing organization design work – particularly with regard to communicating any projected changes in jobs (numbers and types).
I'm a week behind on my reading of the Economist so I've just caught up with the piece in the July 14th – 20th issue on the way BMW builds flexibility into its shift patterns 'for example extending shifts by 30 minutes, adding extra ones …' and making 'liberal use' of temporary workers. (See: Back above the bar again.
Both points suggest organization design questions. For example: What impact does adding in extra shifts have on HR systems (like payroll and productivity). How do managers make the decision to put in an extra shift and what are the processes for doing so?
Managing temporary (and contract) workers is another thorny design issue. The answers to such questions on whether they should be included in training events, subsidised meals or other things that payroll staff get all affect motivation, productivity, and performance (of both the temporary workers and the permanent workers).
My brother pointed out an improvement possibility in my email signature block. He noticed that the url pointing to my new book was very long (in fact broken over two lines) and that made it difficult to activate the link.
He suggested using a tiny url (see: http://tinyurl.com/) instead and then acted for me. So in tiny url my book, Guide to Organisation Design, is available
at Amazon UK: http://tinyurl.com/2r9m8m
at Amazon USA: http://tinyurl.com/3cw236
What I enjoyed about the suggestion was a) that my brother saw a process improvement idea and acted on it and b) that the orginator of the idea did similarly.
It's often difficult in organizations to successfully act on an idea.