Research and Insights Archive

Research and Insights from the Center for Effective Organizations

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.

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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.

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Digital Socio-Technical Design

What you will learn
• Basic concepts of high performance organizations
• Examples that demonstrate STS principles, methods, and concepts
• Digital STS design methodology, tools and techniques
• Tools and formats for data collection
• What others are doing and learning from designing digital work systems

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Efficiency-Innovation Tools

This challenge has to do with using digital technology to enhance organizational ambidexterity
Companies reported that designing and balancing efficiency and digital innovation is hard and fraught with tensions and conflicts. The two types of work produce radically different structures, designs and cultures, which are often contradictory in purpose and management.
These tools are intended to help raise awareness of the challenge and to provide useful guides to actions

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Scaling Tools

This challenge has to do with spreading worthwhile digital innovations across the enterprise
Organizations are struggling to conduct four types of scaling activity: (1) rolling out optimized processes to the larger organization; (2) growing a start-up business to a full standalone P&L; (3) scaling agile units; and, (4) pushing a capability out to the value chain
These tools are intended to help raise awareness of the challenge and to provide useful guides to actions you can take to scale innovations

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STARLab Digital Transformation Challenge Toolkit

This toolkit was created for your use in helping your organization through digital transformation
It is based on the work of the STARLab, which brought companies together to discuss common challenges in digital transformation and prototype solutions, including organization redesign
The toolkit was created by members of the STARLab team based on the thinking of the participants and their own experience with digital transformation and digital sociotechnical redesign

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