A study in simplicity with takeaways for any organisation that involves people

Book Cover: Organizational Innovation by Integrating Simplification: Learning from Buurtzorg Nederland (Management for Professionals) Hardcover – by Sharda S. Nandram (Author)A brief book review:

If you’re involved with any kind of complex organisation – and quite possibly complicated ones – you’ll find something to take away from this book.

What do I mean by complex/complicated? Any effort that draws on more than a few dozen people trying to achieve an overarching goal often has bureaucratic elements that override effective delivery in the interest of efficiency. In the complex organisation it can be a blocker, in a complicated one it can hold back delivery of the intended outcome altogether. Basically, the work put in is not aligned with the vision of what should come out of it.

This comprehensive case study of a Dutch care organisation (Buurtzorg) delves into how they managed to create self-managing teams, encourage on-going problem solving through a clearly articulated ‘intranpreneural’ model, and ultimately deliver better, cheaper and more reliable care – and I’d venture that many of these approaches are transferable to other fields.

The book also has a useful section on the potential limitations of the overall organisational model which is refreshing.

It is priced as an academic title – and laid out as such which makes for slightly less accessible reading. Nevertheless, worth a run through. You may also want to check out the talk that the founder of Buurtzoorg, Jos de Blok, gave when he accepted the 2014 RSA Albert Medal, (incidentally how I first came across this work). Enjoy.

Michael Ambjorn is Founder@alignyourorg |Vice Chair @IABC | Director-at-Large @NearDesk

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