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Where Strategy Meets Structure
Peter Morville & Lisa Welchman, IA Summit 2013 1
Why Web Governance?Peter (10)
What is Web Governance?Lisa (10)
Conversation All (10)
Web Governance FrameworkLisa (15) / All (10)
Levers for ChangePeter (15) / All (10)
Conversation All (10)
Fragmentation into multiple
sites, domains, and identities is
clearly a major problem. Users
don’t know which site to visit
for which purpose.
Users can’t find what they need
from the home page, but most
users don’t come through the
front door. They enter via a web
search or a deep link, and are
confused by what they find.
Even worse, most never use the
Library, because its resources
aren’t easily findable.
Web Governance Board
1. Core Areas
2. One Library
3. Network Intelligence
The building of the railroads
(and the telegraph system)
made possible this growth of
the great industrial enterprise
(from about 1850 to 1950).
“The need (for divisionalization
and decentralization) did not
result from the larger size of the
enterprise per se. It came rather
from the increasing diversity
and complexity of decisions that
senior managers had to make.”
Alfred D. Chandler, Jr. (1962)
“Give me a fulcrum and a place to stand,
and I will move the world.” – Archimedes 13
We are all dramatically affected by information flow
and webs of relationships within social networks.
These networks often are not depicted on any formal
chart, but they are intricately intertwined with an
organization’s performance, the way it develops and
executes strategy, and its ability to innovate.
Networks also have a great deal to do with our
personal productivity, learning, and career success.
How Org Charts Lie by Rob Cross and Andrew Parker (2004)
It is difficult to overstate the extent to which most managers and the
people who advise them believe in the redemptive power of rewards.
Rewards undermine the processes they are intended to enhance.
Extrinsic motivators do not alter the attitudes underlying behaviors.
People who do exceptional work may be glad to be paid and even
more glad to be well paid, but they do not work to collect a paycheck.
They work because they love what they do.
Why Incentive Plans Cannot Work by Alfie Kohn (1993)
“Customers are adopting
disruptive technologies faster
than companies can adapt.”
“The individuals who make
up the company must be fully
conscious of the job that they
are doing for customers…
(and of) the jobs customers
are trying to do.”
Small, agile, autonomous
teams that are “authorized to
represent the company and
deliver results to customers.”
Pods are flexible, fast,
scalable, and resilient.
Pods are designed so that
decisions and changes can be
made as quickly and as close
to customers as possible.
“A platform is a government.”
“When it comes to language, protocols, culture, and values,
you don’t want variability, you want consistency.”
“Backbone activities are about coordination and consistency.
Backbones should be as lightweight as possible.”
Donella Meadows tells a wonderful story from the 1970s about electric meters
in Dutch houses. Near Amsterdam, a subdivision was built with houses that
were identical except for the position of the electric meter. Some meters
were in the basement while others were in the front hall. Over time, the
houses with visible meters consumed 30% less electricity.
In Donella’s words: It’s an example of a high leverage point in the
information structure of the system. It’s not a parameter adjustment,
not a strengthening or weakening of an existing feedback loop. It’s a
new loop, delivering feedback to a place where it wasn’t going before.
The System of Information Architecture
by Peter Morville
Organigraphs are much more useful than traditional charts
in showing what an organization is – why it exists, what it
does…(and) how a place works, depicting critical interactions
among people, products, and information.
Organigraphs: Drawing How Companies Really Work
by Henry Mintzberg and Ludo Van der Heyden (Harvard Business Review, Sep/Oct 99)
“It is now my suggestion that
many people may not want
information, and that they will
avoid using a system precisely
because it gives them
Calvin Mooers (1959)
“Willpower is the single most
important keystone habit for
“Some habits have the power to
start a chain reaction. Success
doesn’t depend on getting every
single thing right, but instead relies
on identifying a few key priorities
and fashioning them into
Paul O’Neil as CEO of Alcoa
“I want to talk to you about worker
safety. Every year, numerous Alcoa
workers are injured so badly that they
miss a day of work. I intend to make
Alcoa the safest company in America.
I intend to go for zero injuries.”
“We killed this man. It’s my failure of
leadership. I caused his death. And
it’s the failure of all of you in the
chain of command.”
“If a factory is torn down but the
rationality which produced it is left
standing, then that rationality will
simply produce another factory. If a
revolution destroys a government,
but the systematic patterns of
thought that produced that
government are left intact, then those
patterns will repeat
themselves…There’s so much talk
about the system. And so little
always kicks back.”
IA Therefore I Am
Understanding IA (Prezi)