By Stuart Wigham
Set on the shores of Lake Geneva, the Nestle Global Headquarters was the venue of our next conference. The walk along Lake Geneva to and from the conference venue was a joy, one participant suggested it was “the best commute to an office in the world!” The setting could not have been more magnificent, and attendance had grown by 45% since Frankfurt! Again, the agenda and speakers were impressive and set the standard for years to come:
1. Organization Design challenges and dilemma’s currently facing Nestle Global in the 21st Century – Gary Martinolli
2. Design for Complexity – Niels Pflaeging
3. Design Challenges – What Leading Companies are Trying to Achieve? – Win Dhat
4. Holistic re-design and development for organisations – Rob Farrands
5. Role and Unit Grouping Principles: Separation or Integration? – Nicolay Worren and Mark LaScola
6. Building Organisation Design Capability – Guy Redshaw
7. How Workforce Design and Organisational Design Work Together to Deliver the High Performing Organisation – Paul Lambert and Alastair Mitchell-Baker
8. Computer Based Versus Behavioural Simulation: Conflicting or Complementary Tools? – Julie Beedon and Tore Christiansen
Like Frankfurt, the design and build process of creating the new continued with the many opportunities for connecting and reflecting woven in to the jam packed two days:
1. Getting Connected – Werner Pfeifer
2. Reflections (on the opening session) – Dr. Paul Tolchinsky
3. Plenary Reflections – Julie Beedon and Mark LaScola
4. Reflections – Werner Pfeifer
Nestle provided delegates with great food, delicious coffee and chocolatey treats to keep us going throughout the two days. There were a number of opportunities to learn about the redesign efforts of Nestle on a global level which was a useful reminder of the globalised world of many organisations we work in. In addition, there were moments controversy as differing perspectives on what Organisation Design is and how it should be done was debated. EODF was centre of providing new spaces for discussions on the landscape of Organisation Design enriching our collective understanding and meaning making.
We also had a moment to refresh and recalibrate our understanding of some of the fundamental building blocks of Organisation Design, organisation performance and then the challenges of computerisation of our work.
There were many opportunities to share, discuss, laugh and debate over dinner and drinks at the conference over the two days in the evenings and at dinner with a glass (or more…) of wine. From here the key debate about EODF was not just where next, but how. The building blocks of the organisation needed to become more formalised, we were becoming an organisation of substance. If form follows function it was fitting that the next location for the conference would be in the heart of where the 18th Century Industrial Revolution had been located, in Birmingham, UK.