Firm Follows Form

Organisation Design Blog by Nathan Waterhouse


Image by Susi Watson
February 14, 2016

Mindful Leading

9 ways to be a more mindful leader

How many of your resolutions have you managed to keep to? Did you try Dry January? Did you manage to attend that workout class every week? If you did, then congrats. But if you didn’t, don’t worry, resolutions are supposed to be hard to keep. A while ago I made myself a promise to meditate every weekday for a whole year. I just realised that it’s been three years and I’m still going strong.  

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May 31, 2015

Eight tips on running a great team offsite

Eight tips on running a great team offsite

It’s been reported that corporate offsites cost companies millions every year purely in just employee salary time — that’s before factoring in the costs of gallons of cool aid and corporate getaways. Yet, if done well, I’m a big believer in the value of a team offsite, whether your team is distributed or centralised. Here are a few tips that I’ve found helpful to bear in mind when planning and running them.

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May 31, 2015

OpenIDEO relaunches with new design

How to enable greater impact through collaboration relaunches with brand new design.  Six years ago, a team of us at IDEO asked ourselves: if we are creating global impact with just a few hundred designers using IDEO’s design principles, what might happen if we open up the design process and invite hundreds of thousands of people – Read More –

May 31, 2015

Dramatically simple tip to improve hiring at your startup

Dramatically simple trick to improve hiring at your startup.

One of the experiments we’re trying at IDEO’s collaborative problem solving platform, OI Engine.

 Investing time in finding the best talent for your startup is crucial. Yet if you’re an entrepreneur, time is your most precious commodity. So how do you maximise time spent searching for great people? Here’s a simple trick we’ve been using at OI Engine (collaborative problem solving platform from IDEO):

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May 31, 2015

The Impact of the Crowd

You might have spotted the name Caldas on your last visit to your local coffee shop. It’s a mountainous region in Colombia, known as part of the ‘axis of coffee’. But perhaps less well known is its ageing population, poor literacy levels, a lot of malnutrition, and that about 70% of people there live in poverty, 25% in extreme poverty.

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February 25, 2014

Collaborating to eradicate global poverty

In 2011, Sarah Fathallah, a consultant in Washington DC shared an idea to improve the health of low-income communities with no healthcare infrastructure on She could not have known at the time, but months later, this idea would be picked up by a team of doctors and development experts in Caldas, Colombia and brought – Read More –

December 10, 2013

Ideas are Cheap

Working in the world of innovation and creativity you hear a lot of talk about ‘ideas’. In the vernacular of innovation, the emphasis placed on ideas is overdone. It’s Saccharin sweet. You can see this in the cynicism some people have towards brainstorming: there’s a perception that it’s all happy clappy fluffy hot air and no action. Personally I think they’re right to be cynical. The real challenge is that most people are jumping to the middle of the creative process (probably because there’s a thing called brainstorming they’ve heard of and that’s what they associate with being creative in a team). All too often the start and the ‘end’ of the process are skipped over – the two most important place to invest time. – Read More –

September 3, 2013

Knight Foundation’s next challenge: Health & Data

Knight Foundation’s latest newschallenge launches its Entries phase today, seeking new ideas to improve the Health of communities by asking this question: “How can we harness data and information for the health of communities?” The platform is our first public instance of IDEO’s new open innovation platform OI Engine. Read on to learn more about the latest challenge and some of the stuff we’re learning about running open challenges with financial rewards.

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July 31, 2013

Community Design Principles of Span Homes

Exactly a year ago I moved from sunny California to London and (with my wife and two kids) we now live in a lovely community – I jokingly refer to it as a commune to colleagues at work. We knew no one when we arrived and now we and our kids have new friends. I never thought I’d have such good neighbours in a big city like London. How is this possible? – Read More –

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