A regenerative organisational design primer

Emily Bazalgette
3 min readJul 11, 2023
An illustration of an urban landscape, with buildings, trees and a road, coloured in blues and greens, with a hazy yellow sky above
AI generated art (DALL-E)

This post is an update of my organisational design primer from 2020.

Organisational 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, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Justice, leadership and team coaching, HR and Operations.

The sources below reflect the jumble above and my own opinions about how organisations should organise (regeneratively), covering more the how (practice) and the why (beliefs) rather than the what (artefacts, such as operating models, which I’m not keen on).

Exploring what healthy organisations look like

Designing better processes

  • Beyond The Rules: organising and governance for an economy designed for life, including practical toolkits and templates for re-orienting organisational processes (such as employment contracting) towards equity and regeneration. Convened by Dark Matter
  • An example of a regenerative process: returning to work after a period of furlough, illness or caring responsibilities
  • An example of using user-centred design and horizontal organising to re-design an internal process (in this instance, appraisals).

Concepts that I wish were org design memes

Unusual org design-related thinking that I love

  • Sahana Chattopadhyay’s newsletter, Pluriversal Planet: “my way of inviting us to step into a world that is counter-hegemonic, abundant, diverse, and inter-related”, centring voices from the Global South
  • Microsolidarity by Richard D. Bartlett: “Microsolidarity is a community-building practice. We’re weaving the social fabric that underpins shared infrastructure”
  • Millennial management science by Venkatesh Rao: exploring “the centrality of lore, as in folklore, the lore of a fictional extended universe, or more pertinently, the water-cooler lore of an organization, in the framing of the traditional concerns of management and organizational theory”.

What resources would you like to see on this primer?

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Emily Bazalgette

Regenerative organisational desiger. Coach. #ChronicIllness advocate. Creator of GriefSick: https://griefsick.substack.com/. Website: https://www.emrosebaz.com/