can we design organizations for beauty?
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DESCRIPTIONThe future is ours to imagine, design and create. And if we’re dreaming the future into being, why not dream of a future where business is beautiful. Where business delivers the promise of happiness. Where business is an incredible force for positive change in the world.
Can we design organizations for
orc / mordor/ sarumon’s dark place
“They could NOT
make beautiful things.”
We aren’t Orcs (even though sometimes we act like it)
…shareholder value is the dumbest
idea in the world. Shareholder value is
a result, not a strategy...your main constituencies are your employees,
your customers and your products.
They could NOT
make beautiful things.
we need a new narrative for business
Why is the language of business so sterile, so uninspiring and so relentlessly banal?... Customers, investors, taxpayers and policymakers believe there’s a hole in the soul of business. The only way for managers to change this fact, and regain the moral high ground, is to embrace what Socrates called the
good, the just and the beautiful. Gary Hamel
“Never has there been a more exciting
time for all of us to explore this next great
frontier where the boundaries between
work and higher purpose are merging into one, where doing good really is good for
1. Build sports car 2. Use that money to build an affordable car 3. Use that money to build an even more
affordable car 4. While doing above, also provide zero-
emission electric-power generation options
Here's to creating the greatest car company of the 21st century, and to
making a real difference in the
world, and to moving us off fucking oil as
fast as possible. Elon Musk, Tesla
When I say ‘fool,’ I am
talking about a company that
wisdom. Tom Gardner
Bridge has the potential to create a minimum standard of education for every child in the world that is much higher than it
is today. Hands-down, it is the most innovative company in the education space at the base of the pyramid and has created a model that will be studied and
replicated by organizations across the world. I will be sad to
leave, but I am optimistic that the company will change the
world. Josh Weinstein
Handmade School in Rudrapur, Bangladesh, Architects: Anna Heringer, Eike Roswag
places we call beautiful are… the work
of those rare architects with the humility to interrogate
themselves adequately about their desires and the tenacity
to translate their fleeting apprehensions of joy into
logical plans – a combination that enables them to create
environments that satisfy needs we never consciously
new we even had. Alain de Botton
Stefano Boeri’s Urban Vertical Forest: Bosco Verticale
people at the center
Procter & Gamble Olympics Mother's Day Ad
powered by purpose
product of deep integrity
loving of all stakeholders
WikiPearl™ draws inspiration from the magic of grape skins to eliminate plastic from foods and beverages. Revolutionary and delicious, WikiPearl™ is triply good
-- good for the planet, good for you, and just plain good.
Now we look at prosthetics and don’t think of
them just as technology solutions, but think of the
problem of a missing limb and whether there is a way to incorporate design and the
arts and human emotion into the solution. It invites us to
see problems and solutions in an entirely different light.
Scott Summit, Bespoke Innovations
The Born Friends Family Portrait , by Skype, www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nRKyQ11494
delivering a promise of happiness
illustration by Sunni Brown, Delivering Happiness
I love Apple. I use multiple Apple products every day. I get excited to walk into Apple’s
candy colored immaculate stores. I walk through the different sections enamored with each product. I could spend hours exploring
each product’s nuances. Surprisingly enough though, my love of all things Apple
wasn’t love at first sight; it was more like a seed planted that slowly grew… My love of
all things Apple will continue to grow. I know this because the company is always
reinventing its products in a way that makes the coolest thing you own even cooler!
forging lasting relationships
turning impossible into possible
Mindsets play strange tricks on us. We see things
the way our minds have
instructed our eyes to see.
making the world a better place
Question for the Blue Monster Crowd: “Who owns the soul of Microsoft? Hugh McLeod
To call a work of architecture or design beautiful is to recognize it as a rendition of values critical to our flourishing. Alain de Botton
business can be a terrible force for
The very essence of capitalism is under threat as business is
now seen as a personal wealth accumulator. We have to bring this world back to sanity and put
the greater good ahead of self-interest.
Paul Polman CEO of Unilever
or an incredible force for
We owe our existence to innovation. We owe
our prosperity to innovation… We owe our
future to innovation… Innovation isn’t a fad –
it’s the real deal, the only deal. our future no less than our past depends
on innovation. Gary Hamel
capitalism needs a brain
and a soul Nancy Koehn
for it’s the
soul of business that keeps us
moving forward as a society
Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital is unlike any hospital in
the nation. We believe in a comprehensive health
care experience that includes mind, body
and spirit as essential elements in the healing
Sanitary napkins produced in a “Small is Beautiful” model
can deliver livelihood, hygiene and dignity to poor women, and help them strengthen
…if we put customers first, other stakeholders will also benefit, as long as they’re willing to take
the long-term view. And a long-term approach is essential for invention,
because you’re going to have a lot of failures along
What is your organization saying?
with its public space
with its employee space
Wish You Worked Here: Beautiful, Productive Office Spaces, HBR
with its communications
reduces violence by
with its information
with its meetings
with its behaviours
The world we see around us, countries and continents, have
been built on the back of these signatures. The
future too will be written on these
signatures. Signatures of employees... Truth is,
every employee is a hero.
with its employee experience
How to make your business a
better version of
itself. Hugh McLeod
with its language
with its stories
The Scarecrow, Chipolte www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUtnas5ScSE
“Imagine your organization powered by
technology that's beautiful, easy-to-
use, and designed to speed performance.
Beauty as core competence drives
with its products
intranet can be beautiful
… ‘beauty’ is not just about what it looks like, but in
how it works, allowing
employees to share knowledge…
with its employee apps
with its innovations
This is one of the most beautiful things I know. It's a plastic bag. And
when I looked at it first, I thought, no, there's no beauty in that. Then I
found out… if I put it into a filthy puddle or a stream filled with
coliforms and all sorts of disgusting stuff, that that filthy
water will migrate through the wall of the bag by osmosis and end up
inside it as pure, potable drinking water. And all of a
sudden, this plastic bag was extremely beautiful to me.
Richard Seymour, How Beauty Feels
with its packaging
because the presentation was
so lovely that I felt like I was
being sent a gift to say thank you for supporting
Who Made Your Pants
with its footprint
with its user experience
… it'll begin "learning" immediately. Over the next seven days, Nest will collect data about
the way you adjust your heating or cooling, and only then will it begin
giving you smart feedback to help you
through its service
with its service experience
signaling its empathy
Beauty requires us to think in new ways
image by Medi Belortaja
It’s impossible to develop new
styles of organization and
management while continuing
to think in old ways.
Without a deeply felt – and a powerfully lived – sense of meaning, every business will devolve to what the investment banks became: machines engineered with relentless precision to destroy long-run value, often implosively so. Umair Haque
Always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question. e.e. cummings
Today’s users are experiencing a renaissance of user-centric consumer software— beautiful, engaging, and easy-to-use applications such as Flipboard℠, Instagram℠, Mint.com, and Facebook. With this in mind, Infor created Hook & Loop, an internal creative think tank made up of more than 50 designers, information architects, and creative storytellers, all focused on creating the next generation of business applications for the next generation of business application users.
“At our core is the eternal question—
what if? What if business applications
were agile? What if they were social? What
if they were beautiful? What if
people worked the way they live?”
What if you imagined the kind of city in which you’d like to live, and then designed a car for this ideal place?
Can organizations be beautiful? Can organizational designs be beautiful? Is there a ‘designerly-ness’ to the process of organizational design?
Are there overarching design concepts that can be described as beautiful? I think Shaker communities might be considered beautiful, not just because they created beautiful things but because of the simplicity of structure, clarity of purpose and thoughtfulness for every aspect of the experience. Tim Brown, IDEO
what if? �… leaders embraced truth, beauty and goodness as ideals worth striving for?
… organizations mentored employees in designing the story of their life’s work ?
… you imagined the kind of business that could win a Noble peace prize, and then designed it?
… organizations were designed as epic narratives?
how might we? �… design organizations for beauty?
… architect organizations for happiness?
… make empathy an organizational core competency?
… craft organizations as creative forces for positive change in their communities?
The Connected Company, Dave Gray
Tomorrow’s management systems
must give as much credence to such
timeless human ideals as beauty, justice,
community as they do to the traditional goals
of efficiency, advantage, and profit.
image by Michael Chimero
is it beautiful?
… if the solution is
not beautiful, I know it is
And so perhaps that old trinity of Truth and Good and Beauty is not just the formal outworn formula it used to seem to us during our heady, materialistic youth. If the crests of these three trees join together, as the investigators and explorers used to affirm, and if the too obvious, too straight branches of Truth and Good are crushed or amputated and cannot
reach the light—yet perhaps the whimsical, unpredictable, unexpected branches of Beauty will make their way through and soar up to that very place and in this way perform the
work of all three. And in that case it was not a slip of the tongue for Dostoyevsky to say that “Beauty will save the world,” but a prophecy.
When people talk about new forms of capitalism, this is what I have in mind: companies that show, in all transparency, that they are contributing to society, now and for many generations to come… Success will require courageous leadership. We will need companies that are prepared to march in the vanguard and pioneer new ways of working and build new business models. By doing so they will rebuild trust in business and, I am sure, grow profitably. Paul Polman, CEO Unilver
Being good in business is the
most fascinating kind of art. Making
money is art and working is art and good business is
the best art. Andy Warhol
what is beautiful is loved
be an artist, an architect, a designer of beauty