I dipped my toe into the field of organization development last year when I attended a workshop on Management by discovery. Despite being a total outsider (I was among people who had advanced degrees in this), people seemed interested in my stories of how large organizations were adapting to the challenges triggered by the web. It only takes a few examples for people to see how designing a user-centered web site can expose gaps in how the business is organized. And how businesses are changing in order to survive. It is sorta a corollary to Conway's Law:
Organizations which build web sites are constrained to produce information architectures which are copies of the communication structures of these organizations
(Thanks to Steve Portigal for helping me find that Conway article from 1968. I started looking for it 6 months ago. Our local library has it stashed away somewhere, but would not send me a copy - who has time to go visit a library?)
I am going to dip a larger body part into "organization development" in two months. I will be attending Nexus for change, March 22-23, at BGSU. "An unprecedented conference bringing together practitioners, researchers, leaders, activists, and educators to advance participative change methods."
I won't be the only user experience person there. Peter Jones of Redesign Research and fellow UXnet local ambassador in Ohio is presenting.
A few hours after this event is over, I will be getting on a plane for the IA Summit in Las Vegas, so I am hoping I will be able to synthesize something from these worlds.
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