Hello, thanks for dropping by this site, I hope you enjoy it and find it useful. The idea behind the site is to create an online resource for organisation design. The author at the moment is solely me, but if you’re interested in writing, get in touch below.
A bit about me, I live in London and run a startup called OI Engine which I co-founded with Tom Hulme and Haiyan Zhang. We make and license open innovation software to help organisations and communities solve problems collaboratively. I am a co-founder of and currently on the board of OpenIDEO, which was our first experiment with OI Engine, and is IDEO’s public platform and community for tackling big social challenges online.
My background is Organisation Design & Interaction Design. I started this site off the back of a talk I gave in 2009 to Esade business school and Art Center. This site builds on the same idea, that organisations should always be looking to their offer, understanding how it needs to change to remain competitive, and then designing their organisation to optimally deliver that offer.
Form follows function was the adage of the modernist architect Louis Sullivan, and the battle cry of the modernist movement. The idea was that the aesthetics of an object or building should be dictated by its intended function or purpose. Today it seems to me that the more important argument is about how companies have become so complex that their internal design has come to strongly affect their external output. Take Nokia for example, if you’ve wondered why many of their different applications such as ‘messaging’ or ‘maps’ don’t work very well together, it’s because the organisation is exactly the same: structured in a way that prevents the maps and messages guys to talk to each other, and disincentivises them from creating seamless applications that allow you to do the simplest things, like send a friend a map to where you live.
If you take this idea further, that organisations, in order to remain competitive, must be consciously looking after the way they are setup to deliver their intended purpose, whether its to make new gadgets or provide clean water, it suggests that organisation design is a fundamentally vital asset in solving some of the greatest problems we have today.
This site aims to collect the best examples of businesses, societies, communities etc working in novel ways to create added value for both their employees and their end users.
If you’ve enjoyed the site or have an idea for how to make it better, I’d love to hear from you.
Nathan 5 Jan 2010, London