Design in the World

The idea of design really comes down to the design over your environment.  If you were stranded on a deserted island paradise, and you had most things that are vital.  You had natural fruits, vegetables and sources of protein.  You had raw materials to build anything.  You had fresh water.  How might you approach design?

You would most certainly try to craft tools and build a house.  You might build a piping system to bring the fresh water to your home.  You might build furniture.  You might try to transplant and grow your vegetables and fruits in a garden that would increase production.  All these things represent design.

Yet, when starting a work place; very little time, energy and effort is put into design of the World or of the Organization.  Think of some of the designs that would be most appropriate.  Maybe you do or don’t agree, but I am sure you have an opinion.

  • Marketing should be located closest to the locations where external stakeholders would frequent.  Stockholders, customers and channel partners would most likely frequent the lobby, the executive briefing centers and the product demonstration areas.
  • Procurement should be located closest to the locations where vendors and suppliers would frequent.  These areas are typically closer to engineering and to manufacturing.
  • There are two thoughts about executives.  One is that executives should be distributed throughout the work environment and be closer to the action.  Another is that the executives should be located in an executive suite, and free the organization from constant over site.
  • Human Resources should be located in a place with security and confidentiality in mind.  Again, because of new hires, like marketing, they should be in a location where they can greet new employees.

Location is not the only issue.  There are roughly 270 variables that impact adult learning.  All of the senses are in play.  Focus, concentration and stimulation are issues.

  • Colors within an organization matter.  Neutral colors provide no emotion.  Blues and greens are more soothing.  Reds and darker colors are more aggressive.
  • Access to windows, access to light are important.  Some people are very adverse to bright light or to fluorescent light.
  • Work group dynamics also are important.  Do specific groups work together or independently?  Does their work require large spaces (such as working with mapping)?

As we grow this thread, we will be talking more about the Design of Organizations.

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