Friday, November 27, 2020

g-f(2)18 A human-centric, bottom-up approach: Use social design to help your distributed team self-organize



Extra-condensed knowledge

Employees at all levels of an organization matter. We need to realign our organizations to make them more human-centric, responsive, and resilient. 
  • Ultimately, no matter how brilliantly planned, any organizational change is more likely to succeed if it has the enthusiastic support of those who must carry it out.
  • Rather than planning an organization and then populating it with people, start with the people and then help them design a system in which everyone can thrive.


Genioux knowledge fact condensed as an image.

Condensed knowledge 

  • The corner office. The water cooler. The cubicle farm. So many of our place-based work clichés feel suddenly anachronistic in a world of remote work and Zoom fatigue. Many people will be happy never to return to the office, and some organizations will be OK with that. And as we navigate toward the new normal, it isn’t just where we work that will change — how people work together will evolve, too.
  • In my experience, reorganizations are typically top-down affairs.
  • An alternative to the top-down approach is to let function drive form, supporting those most directly connected to creating value for customers. Think of it as bottom-up or outside-in. One discipline useful in such efforts is social design, a subspecialty of design that aspires to solve complex human issues by supporting, facilitating, and empowering cultures and communities. Its practitioners design systems, not simply beautiful things. 
  • I spoke with one of the pioneers in this area, Cheryl Heller, author of The Intergalactic Design Guide: Harnessing the Creative Potential of Social Design. Her current work at Arizona State University centers on integrating design thinking and practice into functions that don't typically utilize design principles.
  • Because working from home has become standard operating procedure, I also spoke with John O’Duinn, an authority on managing distributed teams whose experience long predates the pandemic
  • Heller and O’Duinn separately suggested to me a few concrete steps you can take to incorporate social design into your restructuring.
    • Begin by articulating the intention of your reorganization.
    • Engage with “citizen experts.”
    • Look for your emerging informal leaders.
    • Design processes to meet the needs of workers and supervisors.
    • Be ready to occasionally convene dispersed teams physically when conditions allow.
  • Ultimately, no matter how brilliantly planned, any organizational change is more likely to succeed if it has the enthusiastic support of those who must carry it out. Taking them on the journey, doing it with them, is essential for avoiding the eye-rolling and indifference that can derail the best-intentioned efforts. Heller and O’Duinn, coming from different perspectives, illuminate similar wisdom: Rather than planning an organization and then populating it with people, start with the people and then help them design a system in which everyone can thrive.

Category 2: The Big Picture of The Digital Age

[genioux fact extracted from strategy+business]


Authors of the genioux fact

Fernando Machuca


References


Use social design to help your distributed team self-organize, Eric J. McNulty, November 23, 2020, strategy+business.


ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Eric J. McNulty is the associate director of the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative. He is the coauthor of You're It: Crisis, Change, and How to Lead When It Matters Most (PublicAffairs, 2019). He writes frequently about leadership, change, and organizational culture.



“Pilgrim, there is no path. We make the path by walking.”
~ Antonio Machado

ONE OF TRUST ACROSS AMERICA’S 2018 TOP THOUGHT LEADERS ON TRUST

In his own words, “My work is to amplify the impact of those who choose to lead. I am a writer, teacher, student, conversation catalyst, intellectual adventurer, provocateur, environmentalist, traveler, foodie, and advocate for the local and entrepreneurial. I draw inspiration from nature, the complex environments of cities, and the seemingly endless creativity of my fellow humans.

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