Book list for business models and stakeholders

The CCA Design and Strategy MBA is getting ready to go. It's a new program starting September at the CCA and I'm teaching the Business Models and Stakeholders module. Last week I was asked what books I would like the library to buy (not textbooks). Here's the list as it currently stands:

Bhagwati, Jagdish. (2007). In Defense of Globalization. Oxford University Press

Egan, Gerard. (1994). Working the Shadow Side. Jossey Bass

Freedman, Edward, R. et al. (2007). Managing for Stakeholders: Survival, Reputation, and Success. Yale University Press

Ghemawat, Pankaj. (2007). Redefining Global Strategy: Crossing Borders in a World Where Differences Still Matter. Harvard Business Press

Heskett, J. (2005). A Very Short Introduction to Design. Oxford University Press

Klein, G. (1999). Sources of Power. MIT Press

Meyerson, Debra, E. (2003). Tempered Radicals: How Everyday Leaders Inspire Change at Work

Morgan, Gareth. (1996). Images of Organization. Sage Publication.

Nadler, D. et al (2005). Building Better Boards: A Blueprint for Effective Governance. Jossey Bass

Phillips, R. (2003). Stakeholder Theory and Organizational Ethics. Berrett-Koehler

Pink, Daniel, H. (2005). A Whole New Mind. The Berkeley Publishing Group

Seely-Brown, J. and Duguid, P. (2002). The Social Life of Information. Harvard Business School Press

Senge, Peter, M. et al. (1999). The Dance of Change: The Challenges to Sustaining Momentum in Learning Organizations. Currency

Stanford, N. (2005). Organization Design the Collaborative Approach. Elsevier

Stanford, N. (2007). The Economist Guide to Organisation Design. Profile Books

Tennent, J. and Friend, G. (2005). The Economist Guide to Business Modelling. Profile Books

Weick, Karl, E. (2000). Making Sense of the Organization. Wiley

Architecture and neuroscience

Organization design as Galbraith, Nadeler, and others looking at organization design from a business operations perspective have not traditionally included the physical space that people work in as contributing much to the delivery of the business strategy. Space configuration and physical environment is generally seen as part of the facility management responsibility. More often than not space is seen as a necessary cost not a way to positively invest in employee productivity, motivation, and morale.

However, there's a gradual shift going on and it seems that the connections between design/architecture and people's responses to it in a business setting are moving up the organization design agenda. Take a look at the work going on at the New School of Architecture and Design, Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture.

"The Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture supports studies, workshops, and university-based educational programs designed to explore research that "bridges" neuroscience with architecture. It is the first such institution in the world to link neuroscience, one of the newest frontiers of knowledge, with architecture, one of the oldest disciplines of human civilization."

Boston Marathon

Well a couple of days ago I got my Boston Marathon bib number. The training to run for it is taking all the time I might otherwise be devoting to getting this website up and running more effectively. The lesson is on trade-offs. Which is going to reap the most value in the short and long term as an investment? The same trade off applies in organization design work – are we designing for the short term or with an eye to the future? The common way is to do both – the difficulty then lies in doing both well. That's where I like concepts of 'good enough'.

Global nimbleness

Tomorrow I'm speaking at a conference on the relationship between globalization and nimble design of organizations. It's been difficult getting a slant on this as it's raised a number of questions in my mind. For example, are there specifics about responding to globalization that make for different 'nimbleness' design requirements than from non globalization? Isn't every organization actually responding to globalization even if it operates in its home markets only?

The Social Life of Information

At long last I'm reading The Social Life of Information by John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid. It's been out for several years now (since 2000) but is packed with nuggets of good sense and sharp observation on the interactions, and lack of them, between information, knowledge, technology and social fabric. Some of the standouts I highlighted. 'Work is rarely well understood', 'You can't redesign process effectively if you don't understand practice', 'all organizations have to balance routine and improvisation. It was written pre Facebook's huge growth and I wonder whether the authors would have (or will) write on that type of phenomenon. Take a look at John Seely Brown's website.

Business models and designers

I'm starting to think about the curriculum for the 'Business Models and Stakeholders' course that I'm going to lead on the new CCA Design Strategy MBA. My module does not run until spring 2009 so there's planning time available. I'm thinking of having one session on the business models architectural firms use. On the basis that they are also designers. Philips might be another good business model to look at as they have a whole strategy around design of their products. It would be interesting to see if design, and design related companies have distinctive business models, and whether they approach their stakeholders in an identifiable way that's different from non-design oriented organizations.