On a snowy, bitterly cold Minneapolis afternoon, when my then-preschooler finally fell asleep after hours of stalling and my dog shook off large clusters of ice onto the kitchen floor following his backyard romp, it took some self-control and compassion to not snap at my mother. My compassion came from a place within that reminded me, “We don’t know what we don’t know.” I had just finished cleaning up the kitchen mess and was putting forth great effort to lug the bright green recycling bin from the breezeway to...
This is a story about a website. Like many stories, however, the lessons are not about the obvious. It is a story about how redesigning a website created a structure for reconsidering an organization. I serve on the executive committee of an international organization (actually, a federation of organizations), and have for the last ten years or so. The federation has never really had a physical presence, such as an office with furniture and employees. Like many professional associations, it is run by volunteers on a minimal budget...
The notion of city is morphing, including how it is structured and how it functions as a center of commerce. As they have done down through the ages, cities today are continuing to evolve. They are developing new forms of society and methods of commerce by weaving people and digital technology into dynamic systems not tied to a particular locale. These new forms are sociotechnological ecologies that enhance people and their livelihoods by collectively untethering them from geography and time zones. The emerging Information Age cities, while...
It has been a little over 45 years since the term Organization Development (OD) was first used in print to refer to that distinctive profession and consulting practice which aims to help organizations become more effective by means of systematic interventions focusing on organizational culture, processes and structure. During its short history, the OD profession has maintained a predominant focus on whole system interventions that serve the purpose of aligning organizational structure, strategy, culture, and processes to optimize...
Greater productivity should be a goal of just about every organization. It is often challenged, however, by ever-tightening budgets and low employee morale. Nevertheless, increasing productivity can be accomplished without a lot of money and ultimately result in raising employee engagement. To do this, nothing works better than appealing to people’s intrinsic motivation and letting them decide how best to do the work. It is this combination of aligning people’s passion with the work they do and giving them the freedom on how to do...
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