“I’d like to know more about organisation design, is there anything you could send me?” — Curious designers and digital folk
People ask me this question fairly frequently. I have an “org design primer” email that I send to curious people, but thought it might be more useful if I chucked it into a public post.
Organisation design is a jumble of disciplines and capabilities, which, depending on who you talk to, includes some of the following: organisational development, learning and development, systems design, user-centred design, agile working, digital transformation, culture design, organisational psychology, leadership and team coaching, HR and…
Emily Bazalgette, who has 12 years experience supporting the supporting nonprofits through organisational design and coaching, shares some practical approaches to “know by trying”
To develop supportive, people-centred, equitable and humane organisations, we need to accept that (many) organisations are complex systems. This means embracing organisational development (OD) practices that work with complexity, rather than seeking to flatten it. Before we explore these complexity-informed practices, it’s worth examining the “flattening” approach and why it is so persistent.
This post is a organisational design case study of applying service design to internal organisational services — in this instance, appraisals. It covers:
I led the project with With You’s People and Culture teams in early 2019. We Are With You (formerly Addaction) is a national charity that supports people who have issues with drugs, alcohol or mental health. …
Most of work is “conversation design” most of the time, for which good questions play a critical role. Questions disrupt our default ways of thinking, communicating and designing. Questions are conversational and cultural interventions that invite and entrust. Offering a solution collapses options. Offering a question opens up the space for possibilities and plurality.
These ten questions contain within them the mindsets and practices of your future organisation: psychologically safe, decentralised, equitable, agile, complexity-informed, ecologically-minded. If you want to change the mindsets that underpin organisational behaviours, consider starting with good questions. …
What I use to run my business and do my work
I welcome suggestions for
Still figuring out an efficient knowledge management process, this situation is a hot mess.
Google Workspace (docs, presentations, spreadsheets, forms and basic surveys)
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I was recently reminded of this very long, very good article How to make your iPhone work with you, not against you by Coach Tony. It’s a 75-minute read, enjoy.
Since I read this article over the Christmas period of 2018, I have been slowly but surely crafting a Boring Phone.
2018: Did most of the things in the article
2019: Deleted all social media and news apps
2020: Deleted the Gmail app. Apart from my daily walk, I now spend all day on my laptop, there is no good reason to check emails on my phone
2021: Deleted the…
Defining your values gives you confidence, stability, consistency and helps you to make decisions. I first defined my values when I went freelance, in May 2017, over three years ago. The end of this strange year felt like a good time to revisit my values, with the help of my wonderful coach, Lou Shackleton.
I did some prep work with Lou, capturing significant moments of my life. Lou then posted me a pack of about 150 potential values, with some instructions for sifting through them to find the right ones for me.
When I got down to the clusters you…
A new project to inspire and support radically better organisational development in the UK nonprofit sector.
In the last six months, the UK nonprofit sector has rapidly adapted to the disruptions of Covid-19. Within weeks, charities, voluntary and social enterprise organisations have created new services, secured emergency funding and increased partnership working. What if this rapid adaptation contains the seeds of radically better organisational development?
Open OD is a project to explore how we might inspire and support radically better organisational development in the nonprofit sector. …
I’m collaborating with lot of different people and groups at the moment, from paid work with clients, to side projects with friends, to Covid-19 volunteering. I’m publishing my user manual as a way to give a quick intro when I start working with someone (thanks to caitlinconnors for the prompt). User manuals are really useful for developing your team culture and ways of working, particularly when working remotely.
A few caveats:
I am sharing some principles for coping with isolation that I learned through being housebound due to chronic illness. I spent September and October 2015, and February, March and April 2018, mostly at home. It was self-isolation, but because I was too fatigued to work, walk very far or talk to people. An uncertain and fearful time. Would I get better? Would I be able to work again? Routines and plans didn’t work for me, but, looking back, I can see that learning to follow these principles helped me to cope with isolation*: