IDEO was founded as a product design company, creating the first mouse and the first laptop computer. In that world, prototyping made a lot of sense. But how do you prototype an org chart? Or new ways of hiring? Or more efficient ways of working, all while simultaneously operating a multi-billion dollar entertainment company? We set out to bring IDEO’s rich history of prototyping excellence into the org design arena.
A major entertainment company came to IDEO with the request that we bring our design-led approach to a sticky org challenge the company was facing — how might it align its traditional ways of working with the new viewing habits of Millennial viewers (think Snapchat, YouTube and lots of cable cord cutting)? As part of the IDEO approach, we worked to redesign workflows within the company from the top down (aka, the CEO perspective) and also the bottom up (immersing ourselves into the lives of frontline employees). That's where I came in.
I led the workstream that focused on designing, implementing, and evaluating org design prototypes throughout the company (aka, real live experiments with real live employees). This approach broke new ground for IDEO and directly impacted both our final deliverable and the way that IDEO began approaching org design challenges going forward.