Curated Content Newsletter January 2017

Dear colleague,

Best wishes for 2017! Welcome to the January edition of our EODF Curated Content Newsletter, a monthly service exclusively available to our members. In this month’s edition, you will find last month’s most useful content for organisational design professionals, carefully selected by our Curatorial Board.

This newsletter covers a wide range of topics including design thinking, Holacracy, digital transformation, organisational re-design, developing compassion in organisations and a variety of topics related to innovative and emerging management practices. Previous newsletters can be accessed in our Newsletter Archive.

Article: Zappos is struggling with Holacracy because humans aren’t designed to operate like software
By Aimee Groth, QZ.com
For some researchers and management consultants with firsthand experience of Holacracy, it can be seen as a dehumanising system that imposes layers of bureaucracy and adds unnecessary psychological weight on to employees. This article explores the so-called “empathy vacuum” that exists in organisational design approaches characterised by rigid formal structures and management by metrics.

Article & Video: Use design thinking to build commitment to a new idea
By Roger L. Martin, HBR.org
This article discusses how design thinking can be used for helping to gain organisational support for a “new idea”. It argues that the designer needs to pay as close attention to how the new idea is created, shared, and brought to life as the new idea itself. It includes a short explainer video on design thinking.

Blog: Embedding digital DNA in your organization: Think “rewire” instead of “redesign”
By Garth Andrus, Don Miller and Maya Bodan, HRtimesblog.com
This blog explores the challenges of digital transformation and suggests that “rewiring” the organisation—rather than wholesale redesigning it — is an effective approach to introducing new technology. Rewiring is defined as a two-part, interrelated process: (1) understanding the underlying networks of the organisation and (2) embedding any changes through effective governance. When introducing new technology, the goal is to more effectively improve the interactions between the digital and legacy organisations.

Blog: Compassion
By Naomi Stanford
EODF Curatorial Board member Naomi Stanford explores the thesis that compassion is a better managerial approach than toughness. For those interested in developing compassion in both the organisation and in themselves the Charter for Compassion’s tookit is a useful place to start.

New Feature – Organisation Design Classics
We are pleased to introduce a new initiative which features organisation design classics recommended by our Curatorial Board and members.

Webinar: Top-down, Bottom-up, Outside-in, and from the Middle-out: Where Traditional Change Processes Fall Short
By Chris Worley and Sue Mohrman
This webinar discusses tools and examples of organisations that have abandoned the traditional approaches to organisation design to adopt more flexible and agile approaches. It features America’s largest apparel retailer Gap Inc. as a case study and is accompanied by a pdf of slides from the December 12/12/14 webinar.

To access further reading check out the Knowledge Base, which is continually being updated. Please help us keep up-to-date with any recent articles, chapters or books that you feel make a significant contribution to our field — by sending a url to Andrew Bratton at the University of Strathclyde in the Department of Design, Manufacture & Engineering Management in Glasgow, United Kingdom.

Yours Respectfully,
The Curatorial Board of the EODF

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