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A New Book by Andy Swann, Change Maker at BDG architecture + design

Redesigning Organizations Around People Unlock Creativity, Instill Enthusiasm, Ignite Innovation

“Whether an organization is made up of 100 individuals or 100,000, people are its driving force. The connection between people and organizations has never been more important, and creating an environment for success, where the creativity and talent can be unleashed should be the goal of every leader, yet executives are often too bogged down with management theory and organizational charts to understand the real factors that influence people’s potential,” says Change Maker at BDG architecture + design, Andy Swann, in THE HUMAN WORKPLACE: People-Centered Organizational Development.

THE HUMAN WORKPLACE is a practical guide to taking a people-centric approach to organizational development. Exploring how people-centered organizations behave and evolve, the book explains how to:

  • - Use design thinking to create optimal organizational structures

  • - Make a business a community

  • - Use communication to inform and empower people

  • - Use technology to allow employees to work more efficiently

Swann challenges traditional views of organizations with examples, ideas, and observations, accompanied by a series of exercises and actions for making an immediate impact:

  • The context within which organizations operate

  • How organizations are structured

  • How to connect people and organizations

  • Creating the right environment for people to thrive

  • Driving actions, innovation, and creativity

  • Making the change to become a human organization

The central message that Swann delivers is that the way people create, understand, and interact with organizations is changing, and that no matter what a person’s position, it’s possible to create positive impact within an organization because when people thrive, organizations thrive too.

Based on Swann’s first-hand observations of organizations that are in the throes of change, THE HUMAN WORKPLACE is filled with examples of companies that have restructured their organizations around people, such as Microsoft, Lego, Coca-Cola, CGI, and many others.

Swann articulates a framework for making the change to a human organization. “Intention to change, company-wide resolutions, and board-level strategies are fantastic, but it’s action that really counts,” he says. “Making your workplace human cannot be achieved by words. Something needs to happen, even where the task at hand seems insurmountable.”


  • How to drive adoption through seeding and spreading ideas

  • Inspiring organizational change through people

  • Discover-Imagine-Create: a method for making change human

  • Positive activism: the secret weapon of change

The goal is to create a platform that connects people with their work, workplace, organization, and each other. Because people are creatures of habit, impacted individually and collectively by things changing, they need a level of reassurance to convince them to adopt change. “Just like people need to be connected with the business and community they work in, they need to be connected with the changes that impact them,” says Swann.

By applying the principles in THE HUMAN WORKPLACE, anyone in business can unlock his or her future and achieve success. In addition, C-level executives and middle managers will be in a position to build a human organization and reap the benefits of what can happen when they do.


People-Centered Organizational Development

By Andy Swann

Publisher: Kogan Page

Publication date: October 2017

Price: xx/ trade paperback

ISBN: 978-0749481223

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