Most organizations are like VCRs blinking 12:00. They are poorly designed, out of date and ill-prepared to survive, let alone thrive, in the modern environment (Latham, 2013).
Design a “Custom” Organization System
Learn to become an organization designer by designing a custom organization system. Once you have completed the Leading Transformation Lab™ and aligned and integrated your overall leadership approach and organization you are ready to design, develop, and deploy a key organization system that fits your unique organization, leadership, and context. Organizations and their systems are human created entities and as such they are imperfect. They were designed, consciously or unconsciously, by humans and consequently, can be redesigned by humans. The Management Design Lab™ is a collaborative, custom online design studio where you learn how to reinvent your key systems to support the [re]creation of the organization you really want! The knowledge, skills, and abilities that you learn by designing a custom organization system can then be used to [re]design any system in your organization.
Organization systems are flexible groups of inter-connected activities that guide how leaders transform and lead the organization to achieve its potential. This is not a new idea. As Mo-Tze proposed in 500 BCE,
Whoever pursues a business in this world must have a system. A business which has attained success without a system does not exist. From ministers and generals down to the hundreds of craftsmen, every one of them has a system. The craftsmen employ the ruler to make a square and the compass to make a circle. All of them, both skilled and unskilled, use this system. The skilled may at times accomplish a circle and a square by their own dexterity. But with a system, even the unskilled may achieve the same result, though dexterity they have none. Hence, every craftsman possesses a system as a model. Now, if we govern the empire, or a large state, without a system as a model, are we not even less intelligent than a common craftsman? Mo-Tze (a.k.a. Miscius), 500 BCE
Virtual Design Lab
Our collaborative approach to design is a flexible online workshop experience where we work with you and your team to help you design your custom leadership or organization system. Each module is characterized by collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. While the design framework components are presented in sequence, the actual use of the framework is often an iterative “back and forth” give and take between the individual components.
Everyone wants to have a great organization with ever-improving performance. Some want it more than others! Most organizations have tried numerous methods to improve processes and performance, and many of these efforts have resulted in mixed success. Leaders seem to have an insatiable appetite for new management fads and initiatives. And yet, there is seemingly little progress toward creating the performance they desire. So what makes this approach to leadership and design different from those previous attempts?
What Makes Our Approach Different?
- Leaders become Organization Designers – First, leaders become designers of the organization’s leadership and management systems. Leaders “learn by designing” and become self-sufficient with the knowledge, skills, abilities, and tools of organization systems design by designing their own leadership system. They are then prepared to apply those same skills to other systems in the organization.
- Confidence – Our award-winning Design Framework is based on years of experience helping leaders redesign a wide variety of organizational and managerial systems.
- Aligned & Integrated – The design-based approach to organization improvement enables you to “leap” to an aligned and integrated organization with sustainable results for multiple stakeholders.
- Good Design is Careful Design – The discovery process (Modules 1 through 8) pays BIG dividends. The first eight “discovery” components provide a “springboard” to the creative design process. Taking time to understand the eight dimensions of discovery increases the quality of the design, the value it creates for the stakeholders, and the odds of actual implementation and sustainable practice.
- Systems Thinking – A deep understanding of the underlying systems, relationships, and leverage points is the foundation for good organization design that creates sustainable value for multiple stakeholders.
- Creative & Custom – Our methods integrate design thinking to help you [re]imagine, [re]designing and [re]invent or “create custom” systems vs. simply “fixing” the old systems.
- Convenient – We use digital media and methods which are convenient flexible “bite-size chunks” for your busy schedule. The design lab works on a variety of devices including computers, tablets, and phones. Work at your own pace. We schedule the video conference meetings at a mutually agreeable time that fits your schedule.
- Collaborative – We use our digital platform and tools to enhance our virtual video teleconference meetings giving you the best of both worlds – the convenience of asynchronous online tools with synchronous online collaboration.
- Cost Effective – Our digital approach is more cost effective and less of a burden on the natural environment (smaller carbon footprint with less travel, paper, etc.) compared to the face-to-face alternatives.
An Align then Design Approach enables you to “jump” from where you currently are to an aligned and integrated system. In other words, it allows you to “skip the line” of incremental cycles of improvement from no systematic approach to basic approach to aligned approach to integrated approach in one step. There is simply no reason to go through multiple cycles of feedback from an award process to get to a solid, systematic system that is aligned and integrated.
Start designing your own leadership system today!
This 65-page eBook (PDF) is an introduction to all the key elements of the award-winning, peer-reviewed Design Framework including the 8-step Discovery process and the Design, Development, Deployment, and Iterate phases. The book is based on both experience and research on organization and management system design.