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Organization Design is for Lovers
Organization Design is for Lovers
Organization Design is for Lovers
Organization Design is for Lovers
Organization Design is for Lovers
Organization Design is for Lovers
Organization Design is for Lovers
Organization Design is for Lovers
Organization Design is for Lovers
Organization Design is for Lovers
Organization Design is for Lovers
Organization Design is for Lovers
Organization Design is for Lovers
Organization Design is for Lovers
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Organization Design is for Lovers

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Future15 talk from SXSW 2012

Future15 talk from SXSW 2012

Published in: Business, Design
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  • MY NAME IS SCOTT MCDOWELL. I help take the risk out of hiring your management team. I also write for the 99%, Behance’s research arm & think tank, and I’m a radio DJ at WFMU. \n\nI’m here to show you how to design an organization for creativity and innovation. And my talk is called Organization design is for Lovers because everything you need to know about setting up an organization for innovation, you already learned from your first boyfriend or girlfriend.\n\n\n
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  • What do we mean when we say that? It’s essentially about how you set up the people in your company to carry out the mission, and as an employee it’s how you fit into that equation. In Star Wars the Empire had a top-down super hierarchical organization design, with Darth Vader just killing his employees if he wasn’t happy with their work, while on the other hand Han Solo and his band of incestuous rebels had a flat organization design: collaborative, cooperative, interchangeable leaders. So, those are two examples of organization design. And I’m sure the only Star Wars metaphor you’ll hear at SXSW.\n\n
  • Innovation is the process of applying and developing a new idea to create a new product, process, or business. So, it’s about CREATIVITY + EXECUTION.\n\n\n
  • \nA new color toothbrush is incremental innovation. The invention of the semiconductor is a radical innovation since it resulted in new technologies, new business models and new products. The trifecta.\n
  • What is love, really? When it comes down to it, when you’re in love, you feel like the best version of yourself. Your capacity for giving is at its max. You feel limitless. A creative company’s job is to do that, to replicate that feeling of possibility and bring out the best in its employees. Like we were hearing earlier from Allison Hemming, Employees are Your New Clients. \nWhich brings us to...\n\nthe TEENage ROMANCE of ORGANIZATION DESIGN\n\n\n
  • YOUR NEW BOYFRIEND comes to the door looking all punk rock. He's a little dangerous. Your parents don’t approve (but they trust you, and they’ll come around eventually.) If you’re going to create something approaching Radical Innovation inside an organization, you'll need parents. \n\nThere are two essential people involved in any innovation.\n\nChampions tend to come from lower down the organizational totem pole, closer to the customers. They're marginal and they don't have a lot to lose. They see a problem and they want to fix it. They are the ones with the ideas that can create transformational work.\n\nSponsors on the other hand are the people that have the resources, credibility and authority to take a Champion's ideas to further stages and test them. An influential manager, someone who can say to the other leaders, “there’s something important here” and then provide access for the champion.\n\nHow do you find a champion? They self-select. They volunteer. Help them by asking for new ideas and being open. Say yes to them.\n\nHow do you find a sponsor? Be one. The best sponsors are previous champions. A lot of people here may have started or run businesses. Maybe you were once a Champion yourself. Now go be a Sponsor.\n\n
  • Who’s paying for this date? This is very important. If you want people to get creative, one way to be a sponsor is to give them a budget that’s not tied to operating costs or department budgets. Separate the funds.\n\nKeep a pool of unrestricted money around specifically for funding innovation.\n\n
  • You need to go make out. Get intimate. Space is one way to do this. Get people out of their usual spaces. \n\nWhat happens in a any organization is patterns for working that allow the place to function. You want to purposely change the patterns for innovative work.\n\nSpeaking of isolating the budget. Isolate in other ways. Space, people, hierarchies, reporting structure. Have the Champion report into a separate boss, or jump levels. It might be a good idea to loosely formalize this activity.\n\nGive time to work on creative stuff in another location, away from the usual systems of work.\n\n
  • Transformational innovation requires two things TIME & FREEDOM. These are two qualities that are contradictory to everyday operations. They’re in direct competition with profits. Ignore the impulse to constrict time and freedom. (This will also attract great employees, which we’ll get to in a minute.)\n\nOne example is Google’s 80/20 model, where people are given time to pursue passion projects.\n\n
  • You need to come up with your own formula for attracting the right people. People with brains. Hiring piece. 1 in 5 employees may not be the right fit. Don't be afraid to hire slowly and fire quickly. Close the gaps by seeking out types that show initiative, are accountable and are HAPPY. Give tryouts. Give them projects before hiring them full-time.  Personality and fit go a long way.\n\nSame goes for those of you in organizations. Find the type of company and the type of work that really excites you and pursue it. Go after it. Don’t settle. Keep trying. Keep pushing.\n\n
  • The heart of this question, is how creative are you, really? Is creativity or innovation in your company’s DNA? Ask your soulful questions. Maybe the path of incremental innovation is for you. Plenty of companies have survived forever on incremental innovations. In fact, most of the consumer products that we use everyday are good examples. Same shampoo, different bottle. \n\n
  • That’s how Organization Design = Teenage Romance. I hope you’ll take the love back to your companies. I know there’s a ton of stuff here and if you do try anything I’d love to hear what you happened. Please email me and let me know! Thanks.\n
  • Transcript

    • 1. ORGANIZATIONDESIGN IS FOR LOVERS #DesignLove @mcd_owell scott@scottmcdowell.us
    • 2. Organization Design?Organization Design?
    • 3. INNOVATION =CREATIVITY + EXECUTION
    • 4. Types of Innovation:Radical Incremental Disruptive New New Next Line Product New Business Style ProductGeneration Extension Improvement Technology Model *chart courtesy of Jay Galbraith
    • 5. LOVE? Love.
    • 6. #1 He rides hismotorcycle without a helmet.
    • 7. #2Going Dutch? Or not?
    • 8. #3Under the boardwalk.Behind the bleachers.
    • 9. #4The best romances are summer romances.
    • 10. #5Sleep around.
    • 11. #6 Find a niceconservative guy.
    • 12. Organization Design = Teen Romance Scott McDowell @mcd_owell scott@scottmcdowell.us

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