ingenuity as a source of beauty in #organisationdesign

One if the more difficult things to grab, when talking about the design of organisation is the question: what makes an organisation? What is it that you are designing?

An organisation consists of a lot of things that in conjunction make what it is. Part is behaviour, part is rules and agreements, part is infrastructure (systems, logistics, factories, etc), part is vision and believe, a large part is the people and their behaviour and relationships, part is tangible output (both products and all kinds of means of communication), part is the physical space, part is management and interaction, part is social meaning. An organisation is a lot and a complex thing to design.

And in this vagueness and ambiguity lies a key for beauty: the opportunity for ingenuity.

We come across objects that are the embodiment of thoughtfulness, creativity and even sheer brilliance. Objects that show in its form a genius solution for a wicked problem. The object shows an original, but at the same time extremely functional solution. This combination gives us a feeling of beauty. The beauty of ingenuity.

This ingenuity certainly contributes to the awesomeness of Apple’s products. It is clever functionality in a new form of a new order. Other artefacts like cleverly constructed bridges, the cleverness of Swatch concept to make a watch with endless easy to realise variations, show the beauty of ingenuity.

And because of the difficulty in defining what an organisation is and the variety of aspects that make it up, there is enormous opportunity for cleverness. Not just adding new aspects that define the organisation but reduction and combination. Bring an organisation back to its essence in an ingenious way. Think products that incorporate  social responsibility, instead of a CSR department.  Think bright buildings that make employees happy and proud in a unique way, instead of coaching and extensive vision documents. Think rituals that incorporate behaviour instead of processes and procedures (and the control that accompanies them). Ingenuity is surpassing the obvious and tedious and finding the neat and surprising.

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