The second meeting of the European Organisation Design Forum (EODF) took place on May 10-12. It was hosted by Nestlé at their headquarters in Vevey, Switzerland.
The overall theme was “dealing with dilemmas in organization design”. We explored this topic in a group session the first day, where we talked about dilemmas that we had observed or were struggling with ourselves. Many of the dilemmas that were identified had to do with how we conduct re-design processes. Here are some from a group I facilitated:
- Balancing the need for speed with the need for participation and involvement in re-design processes
- “Habits versus desire” – design is about stepping outside and looking in new ways at how you work and are organized, but any new insights must also be integrated into everyday routines in order to have an effect
- The change needed to make a new design work may consist in introducing new ways of working – but could also mean stopping old ways of doing things!
- The way we draw a new design may look simple – but it should support the performance of complex activities.
I held a session myself (together with Mark Lascola) where we addressed the dilemma “integration versus separation”. The idea was to say something about when you should integrate roles or sub-units into larger units, and when you need to separate roles or sub-units – a classic topic. The slides I used are included below and give three reasons for separation. Of course, this is only one part of the story – I was followed by Mark who explained why and how one should integrate. We then gave the participants some brief cases to work on to try out these principles.