WORK STYLE of DESIGN ORGANIZATIONS

Post 563 by Gautam Shah

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Design Organizations operate in two sets of conditions. One set is an environment that varies at a faster pace with the times, and the Second set is the work style or culture that evolves as a matured manner of operations. A design organization comes into being over a period of time. Even when its conveners have years of experience before the venture, it needs a maturation period. A design team is a fluid entity continually affected by internal and external circumstances and in perpetual evolution.

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The work environment in a design organization is formed by immediate issues, like combination of resources, humans and situational conditions and public concerns. The work environment is also seen as empathy, created with the staff members, clients, collaborators and stack-holders. It is related to the leadership, and their priorities on the basis of current values, available skills, complexity of the assignments and permissible actions. The work environment can flourish well where there are historical precedents in the form of work-culture or style. An individual, a fresh or short term leader can easily vitiate the work environment but cannot alter the deep-rooted work-style of the organization.

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Lab at National Design Centre Singapore Wikipedia image source  https://www.flickr.com/photos/maltman23/15966053506/ by Mitch Altman

The work style of the organization represents the effectiveness of leadership beyond the duties as owners or conveners. Organizations trying to develop, core competence or acute specialization, needs to be aware of the work-culture. A leader can hope to mould the work-style of the organization by improvisation of the day to day work environment. Work-style is a historical formation, and must develop from formal and informal systems of past. It cannot be a policy diktat and cannot be enforced from outside.

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Manufacture of pleasure carriages Designing room 1879 wikipedia image from Scientific American Feb 8 1879

Each design organization over a time develops its own distinctive response mechanism. Where, the work-style is a synergetic mix of authority and responsibility. The work-style embodies the projectssuccesses and failures, team memberscontributions and prejudices, clientssatisfaction and anger, adhered programmes and failed schedules, Innovations perceived, supported and carried through, and learning from new ventures and shortcomings.

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For each organization, the style of task handling is always exclusive, because it is formed by the team members, projects and the times. Some team members persist for a longer period, but many others stay for an assignment or shorter duration. The projects are routine or radical, but carried through the organization for the long-term policy goals. The organization deals with many such circumstantial combinations, but the situations never recur in time or space, and for anyone else.

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Wikipedia image by Mike Peel (www.mikepeel.net) (Perm CC-BY-SA-4.0)

The physical spread of the organization in the society makes it a trustworthy professional entity. The societal pride permeates in to the organization, and impacts the behaviour of its members and the nature projects being offered.

Carpet Selling Lord

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WORK CULTURE and WORK CLIMATE

Post –by Gautam Shah

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Each organization has its own distinctive work culture. The work culture is a historical formation, a long term evolution. Work culture in an organization emerges from the revered formal and informal systems of the past. It is a combination of the collective history, the continuum of leadership, residual effects of events and crises, and the physical spread of the organization in the society. This results in traditions, routines, taboos, pride, prejudices, etc. that permeate in the organization. The cultural setting of the organization impacts the behaviour of its members.

The work climate results from the recent working of the organization. A climate reflects the quality of current leadership. An organizational climate is directly related to the leadership and management style of the leader, based on the values, attributes, skills, and actions, as well as the priorities of the leader. It is seen as the empathy the organization creates in its members, clients and collaborators. An individual or a short term leader cannot easily create or change the work culture because it is very deep rooted. Work culture influences the characteristics of the Work climate by its effect on the actions and thought processes of the leader. A leader can hope to mould the work culture by improvisation of the work climate.

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Leadership and Management Style

Leadership in organization is seen in terms of the structure of authority and responsibility. Authority refers to the right or prerogative of requiring action over others, or simply a right to command, whereas, Responsibility means being prepared for the consequences of application of authority. A leader passes on a part of the authority to selected subordinates, and makes them responsible for their actions. By sharing the responsibility a leader strengthens the ultimate authority.

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Examples of Japanese bowing (Wikipedia image by Asanagi )

A leader establishes a rational link between the authority and responsibility. Leaders create a well-balanced structure of authority and responsibility within their organization through selective participation of subordinates. A logical and transparent relationship between authority and responsibility motivates other subordinates to belong to the process.

The structure of authority and responsibility develops over long period of time, and continues to evolve with every crisis, achievement and also from the consistency of work.

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Work Climate (Wikipedia image by Lamiot)

Members of the organization take on responsibilities with different concepts, as an assignment, as a perceived duty, as something to reimburse the favours or the compensations, as a share of power or prestige, or even as a compulsion. The responsibilities unless accompanied by adequate handout or recognition of the authority, causes unpredictable responses.

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