M-Shaped Strategy Weekly for 2/1/14
Here's a digest of some of the things we found interesting this week.
That turtleneck is choking you. A delightful diatribe and advice for young designers. "If emulating some aspect of design isn’t going to make you a better designer, what will? That’s another raging post in the making, but in the mean time here are a few simple ideas for how to be a better designer. "
Mass personalization is coming. Are we ready for it? The ongoing reflection on who knows what about us has filled up the airwaves. "One thing is for sure. Our technology is getting to know us to a degree that was unthinkable even a few short years ago and we’re all going to have to decide how we feel about it."
Eight Essential Questions for Every Corporate Innovator. Scott Anthony offers a set of questions to help corporate innovators increase their odds of success. “'Don’t just do something, stand there.' It’s a phrase that young medical students might hear to remind them that sometimes doing nothing (immediately) is the best course of action. The rush to take action before a root cause of a symptom is clear can cause more harm than good. While innovation should no doubt be pursued actively, taking the time to consider these and related questions can be a great way to focus activities and tilt the odds of success in your favor."
In the name of love. I thought this was a very well-considered take on the admonition to "do what you love," and dense with generosity. "In masking the very exploitative mechanisms of labor that it fuels, DWYL is, in fact, the most perfect ideological tool of capitalism. It shunts aside the labor of others and disguises our own labor to ourselves. It hides the fact that if we acknowledged all of our work as work, we could set appropriate limits for it, demanding fair compensation and humane schedules that allow for family and leisure time. And if we did that, more of us could get around to doing what it is we really love."
It Doesn't Matter Whether Or Not You Like Your Open Office. Here is one more attempt at closing the debate on open versus closed workplaces. "...unless the whole is no more than the sum of the parts in your organization, individual opinions about individual work won’t add up to the whole story."
Holacracy at Undercurrent. Neil Perkin has a nice interview with Clay Parker Jones on the organizational concept behind Undercurrent. Holocracy is getting a lot more attention these days. "Our work became more about creating cultures than creating strategies."
Related to that, and a signal of the ongoing assessment and redesign of business, Five Questions Every Leader Should Ask About Organizational Design. "As organization structures have become more fluid and organic, organization design is no longer the purview of a handful of senior executives supported by high-priced consultants. Leaders at many levels of the organization are increasingly called on to reallocate organizational resources and redesign their organizations to support more frequent shifts in company strategy. As a result, they need to have a trusty organization design model in their wallets—and know how to use it."