“Do I need to read this? Organisation Design (whatever it is) is not on my list.”
Let me tell you a short true story, that you may recognise.
I bought a new flat pack book case. I get it home and I empty the contents of the packaging onto the floor. My partner suggests I look for the instructions. Not me. I do not have the time to read instructions. How difficult can it be?
Two hours later, it’s done, and I proudly call my partner into the room for the great unveiling. My partner looks around the room and notices a few “spare bits” scattered around my workspace. “Don’t you need these?”. “No”, I reply with proud confidence.
Then the moment of truth. I proudly take a book and place it on the middle shelf. Then, as if in slow motion, the book case tilts to the left, my book slides off the shelf and all that is left is a heap of wood in the middle of the floor. I look up and my partner is reading a small booklet. I note the words on the cover, … ‘Read before attempting assembly’.
Why should organisations be different? We are not working with lifeless inanimate objects, but with people who matter, who have so much to offer and when engaged can bring a community to life. Designing our organisation gives us the opportunity to include people, to collaborate, converse and co-create, hearing from those who may have different perspectives, from different backgrounds. Our definition of organisation design includes the word “we” at each stage.