Workshop: Weconomics Case Study & Design (WCS)
We live in a time where physical production (and consumption) more and more is replaced by data production and consumption, especially by ‘the internet’ and, lately, ‘the blockchain’ or Web3. We live in a time when data is becoming the most important production factor. But most of the dominant logic and organization forms we organize our work with were designed in the early twentieth century. They are especially suitable for physical production in large numbers and a relatively ‘quiet’ local market. Traditionally we organize our work within hierarchic institutes (make), or we organize it via traditional markets (buy). Institutes are scalable but not so flexible, and markets are flexible but often not so scalable and transparent. In the twenty-first century context, we need new business- and operating models that are fit for a durable, data-driven, and decentral future. And for the future, the best operating model is the form with the least friction between supply and demand.
We need a new perspective on why we work, how we organize it, and why we organize it with, by default, the most expensive form. If you organize your work via ‘the firm’, the unity of thinking is your organization. Your organization’s borders are literally the border of your thinking and your local IT systems, for example. With the market, the market transaction is the unity of thinking. In the context of the 21st century, we need a new unity of thinking to design new organizational forms. To develop organizations that align with new needs of the twenty-first century: purpose, privacy, productivity, and democracy by design. One of the most promising organizations evolving now is durable, data-driven, and decentralized: ecosystems with the blockchain-based digital assembly line with almost zero friction between supply and demand.
You can play an important role in the study, design, development, and exploitation of data-driven organizing as a new organization paradigm that is fit for the future. With the Weconomics Case Program, you can contribute to this new future.
What does it take?
In an increasingly complex and changing world, maintaining a strategic advantage as an individual and as an organization requires new thinking, perspective change, vision, design and development skills, constructive cooperation, problem-solving, system & design thinking, and decision-making. But it also requires new organizational thinking and forms that help us address these challenges and emerging opportunities. For this, we need future-driven leaders and leading organization professionals in HR, IT, legal, finance, and general management. We train them with the Weconomics Case Program with characteristics of the Harvard Case Method.
The worst thing you could do as an organization that doesn’t want to be fit for the future is looking for problems that fit with your technology or solutions. That makes you a hammer looking for nails. Bertrand Russell once said: ‘The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that allows a solution.’ But it is difficult to define a problem in a state that allows a solution. Perhaps the most important benefit of using cases is that they help professionals and managers learn how to determine the real problem by asking the right questions. An essential part of the work of professionals and managers should be: asking the right questions. Answers are relatively easy to find, but asking good questions during a dialogue or problem-solving process is critical.
But most companies don’t have a problem. If every company in your sector has 30% digital waste: nobody has a problem, and everybody has a problem. It’s like two ships that see the same, whether ebb or flow or a broken clock that is right two times a day. Even better than solving problems is improving existing solutions. For example, single-entry booking on paper is better than remembering transactions. Double-entry bookkeeping is better than single-entry to prove that a forgotten transaction was fraud or a mistake. And triple entry bookkeeping is better than double-entry booking to create a shared, secured, and accessible reality.
With the Harvard Case Method, not the correct answer is important (maybe there is no right answer), but asking the right questions and finding a way to solve problems or improve existing solutions together is essential.
How it works
The case and solution improvement will be viewed from different perspectives during the case study and design. Then various analyses, conclusions, and improvement designs are discussed, and pros and cons arguments are exchanged. Based on the group work and dialogue, participants revise their initial notes. The dialogue is lively because the participants worked with different perspectives on the case. The role of the case leader is primarily to facilitate the dialogue by making connections, challenging participants, and sharing observations. The case assistant will assess the contribution of the participants.
What you’ll learn
First, new thinking about the meaning and organization of work in general and the work of office-, information- or knowledge workers in particular. You learn skills to understand societal and organizational problems or opportunities and how to design, develop and exploit new strategies to improve existing solutions. You will develop new organizational thinking by answering questions like: what kind of work will humans do in the 21st century, how will we organize it, and what will be your role and the role of your organization or industry? This case program allows you to share ideas with other professionals using cases and the Harvard Case Method. You will learn how to deal with modern organizations and new organizational situations. You will also experience an intensive learning and working ethos.
Who is suitable for the program?
This program is designed to meet the needs of new leaders and internationally oriented professionals, managers, and consultants, with some fresh eyes on how we organize the production and consumption of data to solve problems of the 21st century. These professionals work in industries like knowledge-intensive service companies, government, healthcare, education, and research institutes. This Weconomics case program is part of APOLLO, the Advances Program On Learning and Leading Others.
Participants who envision fundamental and radical changes in the way we organize office work and want to design, develop and execute FutureNext organizations.
Who should attend
Strategists, innovation professionals, policymakers, academics, organization advisers, IT-architect, business and software developers, management, and staff such as Data Protection Officers, HR, legal, purchase, facility management, and finance.
In particular, this product is important for professionals engaged in designing and developing new organizations that align better with a new context and technology.
The investment for this service is:
- including preparation, follow-up, 10 books, materials, licenses, local travel time/costs
- excluding VAT, and customization costs
(see also overview of advice tariffs Weconomics Academy).
Essential parts of the case program are:
- Research the case (already done by the case leader or developer)
- Case writing (already done by case leader or developer)
- Develop a program by the program leader (already done)
- Reading, understanding (individually), and preparing the case (You)
- Make initial notes (report1, You)
- Introduction case by case leader
- Extra input from a case expert (domain professional)
- Prepare case in groups, dialogue, and make detailed individual notes (report2, You)
- Case dialogue with case leader, assessment by case assistant (You)
- Evaluation and hand in the final individual report (report3, You)
- PLATO (Hospital: privacy by design, digital waste and actor risk assessment)
- Poliscom (Financial; local IT systems)
- Sysco Labs (IT company: Internet)
- XFM (IT/consultancy company: data-driven organizing and the digital assembly line)
1 day part
This workshop is interactive. In addition to some context from the case leader and expert, the participants will have a dialogue and ask each other questions. They try to fathom the situation through analysis and conclusion. From this stage, they try to convince each other which organizational design will be best.
To be well prepared, to get the most out of this product, and to be able to participate actively, participants can prepare for these introductions:
- read several articles, blogs, and whitepapers
- visit the Weconomics Foundation website
- visit the Weconomics Solutions website
- read the paper: ‘Why digital transformation (often) fails.’
Participants receive the book ‘Blockchain Organizing for Managers.’
Individual preparation, presentation by an expert, dialogue in group work, and debate during the case discussion and the plenary review should give enough fundamentals for a good decision and design that solves the case problems or benefits the opportunities. The result of this workshop is the experience of how you can actually design a new organization based on a use case.
Possible next steps:
- Weconomics learning-working program
- Weconomics membership: With this, you can, among other things, gain access to the extensive network and knowledge center of Weconomics and start your project.
Paul Bessems was the first to introduce the Harvard Case Method at a European summer school. It was held on the University of Eindhoven (The Netherlands) campus in the summer of 1992. A group of 30 European students joined this first European summer school bases on the Harvard Case Method. Paul received his training from several universities in the Boston area (Harvard, MIT, and Boston University). He made some changes to the Harvard Case Method (more dialogue instead of discussion) and prepared more cases with data-driven ecosystems as a starting point and not existing organizations with specific interests, paradigms, and operating models.
For more information, see also the website:
Also in company
The program is composed in consultation with and after an intake interview with clients/participants.
For enough interaction: minimum 12 – maximum 30
- beamer and screen
- plenary room (U-shape)
- sub-room for case groups
If you want additional information, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.