February 23, 2024

How to Rethink Work Design When Designing Responsive Organizations

The responsive design of websites adapts to the size of a user’s viewport. Instead of creating separate sites and codebases for desktop computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones with different screen sizes, a single website is served up using CSS (which determines the layout of webpages). When users narrow or widen their browser windows, page elements automatically reshuffle.

Responsive designs can also hide or alter content and functionality based on user experience research. For example, GitHub’s mobile version highlights the most popular features rather than showing all of their offerings. This smart content prioritization allows users to quickly discover what they are looking for.

The same principle applies to responsive organizations. While it is important to set a long term vision and make strategic decisions, organizations must continually adapt to changing conditions. To do this effectively, leaders need to ensure their work design is aligned with the way people actually work. Unfortunately, many of today’s organizational structures, workflows and role designs aren’t designed for agility. This is due to years of focusing on efficiency over resilience.

Becoming a responsive organization requires leadership buy-in and a culture of collaboration and innovation. It is also critical to remove existing sources of friction from work and empower teams to rethink their work design. One way to do this is to use tools like Make that enable organizations to automate processes, streamline operations and build innovative solutions at a fraction of traditional development costs.

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