What is Organization Design?
“Organization design is how people and work are organised to carry out an organization’s strategy and achieve its aims.” By Naomi Stanford, Guide to Organisation Design, The Economist, London 2007
What is not Organization Design?
Organization Design is not a simple operation of designing or re-designing the structure and hierarchy of an organization. Organization Design starts with the business vision, is driven by the business strategy and the environment in which the business operates, and is a holistic approach to business management.
Organization Design is also never an imposition, but a collaborative and customized process.
How do you work with an architect / architectural practice?
I start by meeting with the architect/team leader and assess the working situation and environment. We have an open conversation about which issues he/she is facing, what needs to be solved, which are the existing dynamics within the organization and what is its core. It’s very important that the architect/team leader understands the process and collaborates in analysing these factors as well as sharing all the important information.
From this first meeting, face to face or online, I draw a scope of work with a clear definition of tasks and a schedule to be negotiated together. Every project is customized to best fit the architect’s requests.
Can this process be developed online?
It’s a mix between personal and online interaction, always taylored on the specific project. When possible I like to have the first meeting face to face, in order to fully understand the situation and the working environment, and most importantly build a trust relationship with the people involved.
I then mainly work from the distance and exchange information, updates, q&a’s through an online platform. I make sure there is always an open communication, and at the end of the process I organize a workshop with the team and the necessary follow-ups to verify how the process is being implemented.
Which are the crucial points of the process?
The most crucial point is to have an open conversation and mutual trust with the architects, a relationship where they feel comfortable in sharing their views on their practice, how they want to grow, where they experience the most of frustration.
Second most crucial point is their collaboration. No design will work without the collaboration and support of the people whom the design is aimed at. Especially when working with a team, it’s very important that everyone feels involved at some time of the process. Change requires focus and motivation, these elements are not to be given for granted, but need to be built up with the team, present and future.
I’m a senior architect with almost 20 years of experience, 12 at international level. I’ve never been a leading character, meaning I’ve always loved to work behind the scenes and collaborate with a team. I love to share with fellow architects my insight and experience, whether is organization or management, design or know-how.
I like to see myself as a sort of PA, helping the architects developing tasks they might not have the time and resources to take care of, by offering a professional support for a limited time and investment.