Research and Insights Archive

Research and Insights from the Center for Effective Organizations

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Your Operating Model Needs a Brand Strategy

Your Operating Model Needs a Brand Strategy

A winning brand strategy is essential for a successful business strategy. Done right, the brand strategy clearly articulates the customer value proposition – why our customers pick us over the competition. Leaders know this and strive for the clarity of purpose a winning brand strategy provides. A simple and compelling brand strategy can focus everyone’s attention on a very small number of strategic priorities that define strategic success, providing a “true north” to focus on.

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Digital Work Transformation

Click here for a PDF of the slides Everyone is talking about how AI, machine learning and digital technologies are transforming business and the nature of work. Yet there is little clarity around how to make sense of the difference between digital product transformation versus digital work transformation, and the implications for what capabilities the […]

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New CEO-WorldatWork (WaW) Monograph on Cutting Edge Performance Management

Cutting-Edge Performance Management: 244 Organizations Report on Ongoing Feedback, Ratingless Reviews and Crowd-Sourced Feedback
Published by WorldatWork, September 2016

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The Future HR: Five Essential but Overlooked Questions

The Future HR: Five Essential but Overlooked Questions

The future of HR is inextricably entwined with the future of work, leadership, society and organizations. It has long been insufficient to consider the future of HR strictly from the perspective of changes in the HR function, its organization, its operating model and its technology. Such questions are important, but HR leaders and their constituents (non-HR leaders, investors, workers, policy-makers and others) must consider the future of HR through more fundamental questions about the future of work.

How impactful is your ERG? Here are 5 important themes most leaders are thinking about

How impactful is your ERG? Here are 5 important themes most leaders are thinking about

Research led by Dr. Theresa Welbourne, Steven Schlachter, and Skylar Rolf focused on the leaders of ERGs and identified 5 key themes of interest on the dynamics of these groups. Using semi-structured interview techniques with ten ERG leaders in three different organizations, Welbourne, Schlachter, and Rolf sought to shed light on ERGs from a leader’s perspective.

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Socio-Technical Action Research Lab Design Lab Description and Process

The STARLab acronym “Socio-technical Action Research Lab” points to a specific type of lab which is designed to create socio-technical action research. This paper outlines the distinctive features of the socio-technical action research lab. First, it outlines the ideas that provide a foundation for STARLab, along with the essential concepts of tacit knowledge and design thinking. Next, it provides a brief background of the origin of the design lab methodology. Last is a description of how the lab works – planning, environment, and process.

STARLab Consortium

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Designing a Digitally Enabled Prototype—Jointly-optimized Social and Technical Work System

A core concern of the STARLab work has been the “technological lead, social lag” problem. Technological advance is hurtling forward; our social technologies have not kept up. New work systems are being configured around a network of digital platforms into which are built algorithms and routines for coordination, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and advanced analytic capabilities. They provide much integration and guide decision making, as well as enable efficient execution. Organizations are proceeding with the adoption of these systems because the technology exists and because they fear that not doing so will disadvantage them competitively. There is inadequate concern for creating the optimal combination of social/human and technological factors.

STARLab Consortium

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Designing a Digitally Enabled Prototype— The “Changing Face” of Innovation Design

Digitalization both demands and provides a medium for different kinds of innovation. An innovation capability will no longer be an option in the future, and it will likely look very different. The “changing face of innovation” will be driven by new technologies that enable orchestrated approaches, often among an ecosystem of partners, to develop process and product innovation, organizational/managerial innovation, and business model/ecosystem innovation. An innovation capability needs to address incremental product and service extensions, changes in the business (i.e., how value is created and delivered) and revenue model, work system innovations to support new business models, and enable greater connectivity, learning and resource efficiency across boundaries.

STARLab Consortium

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Designing from the Future: Building Prototypes for Digitalized Organizations

The STARLab (Socio-Technical Action Research Laboratory) addresses the gap between the rapid advances in digital technology and the slower evolution of the social systems that are being impacted. Technology advances carry the potential to fundamentally change the nature of work, of the employment relationship, of organizations, and of societies. STARLab’s goal is to accelerate the generation of knowledge about how to design socio-technically integrated organizations to simultaneously address economic and human needs.

STARLab Consortium

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Designing a Digitally Enabled Prototype— a Customer-Centric Design

In the past, growth in the population, markets, customer segments, and customer preferences as well as relatively linear technological advancement meant that a product-centric organization could be successful. Digital technologies allow us to quickly generate insights into customer/consumer behavior, expectations, and valued outcomes, and to build the customer facing part of the organization quite differently than we have in the past.

STARLab Consortium

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Digital Organization Design Challenges: Prototype Solutions and Integration

This document summarizes eight specific organization design challenges facing companies attempting a digital transformation, and describes prototype solutions and responses to seven3 of these challenges. It also presents an integrated reflection on these solutions and an induced design scenario.

STARLab Consortium

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Fast Scaling— A Practitioner’s Guide

The STARLab “Scaling” Community of Practice met virtually (Zoom video conferencing) on three separate occasions during the first quarter of 2018. During these discussions, company examples and research findings were shared. A documented case was presented representing a successful “fast scale” approach to enterprise-wide adoption of a new business model and organization design. Community of Practice members found the case interesting and relevant but requested the journal article be leveraged into a fast scale methodology guide for the practitioner. This paper first discusses key points made in the scale community of practice, and then follows with a practitioner-based methodology for fast scale based on the case study. The appendix describes the initial STARLab research finding from members companies identifying scale as a key organizational challenge in driving digital transformation. A brief perspective is provided to the challenge.

STARLab Consortium

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