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Management by Design: Applying Design Principles to the Work Experience Hardcover – December 7, 2010

5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Management by Design

In this age of consumer-obsessed business, the experience of the worker is too often neglected. In Management by Design, that element is finally given the attention it deserves.

With our new knowledge economy, people have increasing freedom to choose where and when they work. The best and brightest are fighting for entry to those organizations with workplace experiences that are engaging, inviting, and motivating.

Will your business be among them?

Timely and comprehensive, this unique book explores the premise that one of the best ways to attract and retain the most talented people—and their knowledge—is through designing environments that turn today's increasingly virtual workplace into an attractive place for people to do their work, regardless of their employment relationship, or where and when they work.

By applying balance, proportion, and simplicity, you can create a workplace that is efficient and effective, as well as intriguing and intellectually challenging. With sound advice for maintaining this crucial component of business, this seminal book explores:

  • How focusing on employees' work experience brings unimaginable benefits
  • Why great experiences can turn into long-term relationships, positive brand expression, and lasting stories that reflect back on the organization
  • Tips for starting the design process, finessing it to fit specific needs, and putting plans into action

Based on three years of deep research on the relationship between people and the environments in which they work, this visionary book provides you with the right tools to meet head-on the challenges and opportunities of emerging business environments.

From the Back Cover

Praise for Management by Design

"It's one of the great ironies in modern business that even the managers who understand the extraordinary power of design focus that concern only on their products. Managers who appreciate the centrality—and the remarkable value—of good customer experience look no further than their customers. In Management by Design, Daniel Rasmus explains how to turn this same set of tools inward—how we can focus them on our own organizations—to unlock both powerful productivity and extraordinary innovation. These are lessons that we in business have long needed to learn—lessons more timely, in the current climate, than ever. A must-read."
—Lawrence Wilkinson, Chairman, Heminge & Condell, and cofounder, Global Business Network

"Managers will ignore the principles of workplace design discussed in this book at their peril."
—Stephen Denning, author of The Leader's Guide to Storytelling and The Secret Language of Leadership

"Dan Rasmus has been a big thinker about knowledge and knowledge work for more than a decade. He's one of the few to realize that workplace design is far more than just architecture or furniture, but rather the entire work experience in and outside of the office. If you seek employee satisfaction, engagement, productivity, and retention—you'll find they are outcomes of the ideas in this book."
—Thomas H. Davenport, President's Distinguished Professor of IT and Management, Babson College; author of Thinking for a Living; and coauthor of Competing on Analytics and Analytics at Work

"Rasmus makes you think—really think—about what you thought you knew. How many of our organizations are hodgepodges of 'shalts' and 'shalt nots' from HR handbooks. Doesn't work in today's world, Rasmus declares, as he weaves together the new reality forming just below our organizational vision. Managers/employers who figure out how to shape employees' experiences through mindful design will win, creating a workplace that attracts and retains the best and brightest. This book will change the way you think about business."
—Jean Floten, President, Bellevue College

If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 90%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 238 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (December 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470227516
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470227510
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,516,050 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Daniel W. Rasmus, is the Founder and Principal Analyst at Serious Insights. Rasmus uses scenarios to analyze uncertainties in society, technology, economics and politics in order to discover implications that help organizations put their future in context so they can more effectively develop and refine products, services and experiences.

Rasmus is the author of Listening to the Future, which explores his scenario work at Microsoft. His latest book, Management by Design, documents an innovative new methodology for work experience design.

Rasmus's thoughts about the future of work have appeared recently in The African Business Review, Chief Learning Officer Magazine, Talent Management, KMWorld and on HBR's blog.
Rasmus is the former Director of Business Insights at Microsoft, where he helped the company envision how people will work in the future. Before joining Microsoft, Rasmus was a Vice President and Research Director at Forrester Research.

Rasmus is an internationally recognized speaker. He has addressed audiences at Enterprise 2.0, CeBIT, UBTech, ProjectWorld, KMWorld, SAE International and Future Trends. He was a delegate to China's World Cultural Forum in 2012. Rasmus writes regularly about the future of technology and culture at Fast Company, iPhone Life and PopMatters.

Rasmus is a member of the Pinchot University faculty academy in Seattle, WA where he teaches influence and strategy. He attended the University of California at Santa Cruz and received a certificate in intelligent systems engineering from the University of California at Irvine. He is the former Visiting Liberal Arts Fellow at Bellevue College in Bellevue, WA.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
First of all, I have to disclose that Daniel is a client of mine. That being said, he was a friend and colleague before being a client. Daniel was a thought leader at the Giga Information Group where we worked together, creating innovation value for many clients. His specialty was knowledge management and collaboration, which eventually lead to him becoming our VP of Strategic Knowledge Initiatives (read CKO). The thinking behind Management by Design isn't new for Daniel. Although writing it down may have taken him three years, this book is 30 years in the making. Daniel has woven threads of experience that stretch back to the beginning of his career. Daniel observes and mulls and reflects. This book is the ultimately reflection, and extended dialog about how the value of a good workplace environment. Daniel agonizes over these issues, and he works through the details in a painstaking way, even though he claims not to be a detail person. In some areas, he is very detail oriented. He may not care about processes that don't matter, but he really cares about those that do. I am very proud to have an association with Daniel and with this book. I hope you can all take it for what it is: a thoughtful idea by a thoughtful person. If it makes you think, even a little bit, then it is well worth the money you will spend on the book. And if you keep up with Dan's blogs and website you will probably see an event soon where he can engage with you directly. Bring a copy of the book. Talk and get him to sign it. I'm happy I can help connect Dan with his readers.
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Format: Hardcover
Rasmus wants everything to be co-created. That may be a stretch for many, but it is a worthy and achievable goal for all.

As an artist and an accountant for a small college of fine art, I could relate to the author's, use of metaphor (a Calder sculpture) to discuss the issues of balance (think mobiles). This is a great metaphor, because Calder achieves balance out of objects of a different size and weight.

Ideas, like the circles in the sculpture, also need to be proportional in order to create balance. Author Daniel Rasmus rightfully starts with balance at the top of the methodology, because he wants people to confront and name all of the conflicting items they are trying to achieve.

A meeting, he illustrates, isn't just about giving out information. It can be about camaraderie, knowledge sharing or obtaining information (or many other things). You have to look at those things as kind of a blog of stuff that you need to balance before you create the experience.

I learned that if I organize a meeting, that I not only should be concerned with what it is I want to say, but what others might want to add. Seems simple but to me (I am ashamed to say)it was a revelation which has already lead to more productive and efficient meetings. This is why I recommend reading and practicing "Management by Design" as I have.
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Format: Hardcover
Management by Design isn't light reading, but it is intriguing reading. You can almost feel Rasmus grabbling with the ideas as he writes the text. This is not something you find in the lighter management books that tend to moralize through fables and stories. This book helps people think about their work experience in a new way, and hopefully some of those people are managers and executives. As much as this is an exploration of ideas, it is also a book of advocacy for the everyday worker, many of whom feel disenfranchised by the companies they work for. Rasmus firmly plants his feet in the ground and demands that organizations think about their most complex, and most valuable asset, in a respectful way. If you read Management by Design, you will find ways to actively pursue a better relationship between the organization and its employees that doesn't involve rock climbing or falling into each other's arms: it's called dialog Rasmus creates a new way to facilitate that dialog.
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