Julian Chender in Work Arts Interview – June 2021

This Work Arts interview highlights my June discussion with Julian Chender, talking all things Organization Design & Development. We discuss where we’ve come from, where we are going, as well as the foundation of social science and management/business science that shape what we know as organization development.

Julian shares some backstory on the historical foundations of the recent ODReview published article, OD in Times of Disruption, he co-authored with Corrie Voss, MOD, Ed.D. With enduring social science, we continue to appreciate and apply the work of original thinkers like Kurt Lewin, Edgar Schein and Jay R. Galbraith, from the early work in the OD field. On the management/business side, we continue to evolve as organizations face new challenges, leading to the need for both scale and agility. Finally, Julian shares insights on what he is learning as a part of the Fellowship Program at Kates Kesler.

Julian Chender is an Organization Development and Design practitioner and scholar. He oversaw Leadership Development at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease during the global Ebola and Zika outbreaks and then at Veldhoen + Company helped organizations align their culture, technology and physical space to meet strategic goals. He is now a Fellow at Kates Kesler Organization Consulting, part of Accenture, where he consults on large organization design projects. Julian is Founder of the OD Salon and was the 2020 recipient of the OD Network’s Emerging Practitioner Award.

Arts We Like is a series of posts spotlighting great thinkers, ideas, products and partners that we share to help enable remarkable performance through more effective and engaged organizations. Contact Us about how to deploy these solutions as a part of a broader HR Strategy or engagements to develop your organization, capabilities and talent.

MeBeBot Founder – Beth White – in Work Arts Interview

When communicating and delivering foundational information and services to your organization lag the rate of decision making and change, It’s like a latency tax that constrains performance and frustrates your team.

“…every business must be world class at all forms of synchronous and asynchronous communications, to sustain culture across the organization.”

Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO – The Hybrid Work Paradox

HR, IT and other functional leaders are working to transform their service delivery models to improve employee experience, performance and cost. While many have mature Shared Service Center operations in Best Cost Countries (BCC), these approaches are being challenged with accelerating labor cost inflation, labor scarcity and turnover.

I was recently introduced to MeBeBot and managed to sit down with Founder and Chief Bot, Beth White, to talk about how MeBeBot brings innovative options that deliver many of the benefits of BCC Shared Service approaches while also improving employee experience and cost through technology integrated into Slack and Microsoft Teams.

If you are considering a work enablement strategy to improve the quality, delivery and cost of your functional service delivery, MeBeBot may fit nicely as an investment in automation for highly routinized tasks that do not require significant collaboration. This can strengthen your employee experience, add capacity without adding headcount, and as Beth states, “this is about job elevation.”

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Boston Consulting Group recently published “The How-to of Hybrid Work”

Arts We Like is a series of posts spotlighting great ideas, products and partners that we share to help enable remarkable performance through more effective and engaged organizations. Contact Us about how to deploy these solutions as a part of a broader HR Strategy or engagements to develop your organization, capabilities and talent.

The Corporate Artist – Marcus John Henry Brown in Interview

When you choose to brand as Work Arts, you search to see what the world finds when they – hopefully – seek you out in the future. The most interesting thing I found is a British Performance Artist, based in Munich, named Marcus John Henry Brown who publishes amazing media worthy of being shared. He describes his work in a film titled Red Pill Blue Pill as “Lighthearted mixed-media nightmares, that will not be seen in galleries. Stories of the future… impact that you and I are having on the future.”

The video above is part three from a four video series that Marcus published titled the Corporate Artist Series, where he presents working as a corporate artist as way to defend your soul and your workplace from the “Corporate Saboteur” (including the mythical Klaus-Dieter from procurement).

Be frustrated less and thwart saboteurs

In the series, he reveals that while this might seem crazy, it lines up with what is sacred at Amazon (I asked about the connection. He knows Amazon… his wife is a leader there).

Marcus shares some simple tips and tricks to take a first step as a corporate artist:

  1. Have a curiosity book – find out something new everyday, write it down, to help you value ideas
  2. Take a photograph everyday – it will make you look harder at the world around you, capturing the world a bit more
  3. Go for walks
  4. Create a body of work – order and structure your work – regard it as art
  5. Work hard at understanding why the world works how the world works

I contacted Marcus and asked to have a call with him to talk about his work. He accepted. The discussion was fantastic.

Summarizing time with Marcus without video didn’t seem right…I decided to be adventurous. With a recorded Zoom call, I downloaded iMovie and share with you my very first video. From a very generous 90 minute discussion, I present 11 minutes of Marcus John Henry Brown in interview. Be sure to watch to the end where Marcus shares insights from his Speakery work (5:20) and readings from his clever, provocative and entertaining poem A Wicked Pack of Cards (7:25).

Thank you Marcus!