|GO Society History|
2009 - Planned
A small group of Toronto requisite organization practitioners organized a memorial service for Elliott Jaques in 2003 attended by 60 or so local practitioners with Kathryn Cason, Jaques's widow, as guest of honour. Following a remark by someone to the effect that "this work is to good to let it die, let's do something," a small group including Ron Capelle, Paul Tremlett, Herb Koplowitz, Don Fowke, John Bryan, Ken Shepard, Charlotte Bygrave and Ann Stevens met at CoreInternational's downtown office to plan our venture.
At first it explored forming an Ontario trade association of consultants, but soon after telephone calls to major requisite organization practitioners around the world expressing interest and support, the effort evolved into incorporating a world professional association including general managers, consultants, and academics.
The legal entity is a not-for-profit corporation incorporated in the province of Ontario under the legal name of the Global Society for Science-Based Management. it is licensed to operate under the style name of Global Organization Design Society. It has an international board of eight members who are also the only voting members of the organization.
Don and Bonnie Fowke championed the development of the GO brand and society logo. A next effort was to build a web site with the intent of making foundational research and writing in the field available without charge to practitioners around the world. We sought and were given permission to post out-of-print books, dissertations, and theses by many pioneers in the work. Marjorie and Richard Brown donated all of Lord Wilfred Brown's books to the society, as did many of Jaques's early colleagues at Brunel University.
Early on, several Toronto consulting firms specializing in RO implementation volunteered four staff members without fee to design and give two two-day RO training workshops in Toronto to spread awareness and to build interest in the field.
The society also launched a video project with the able support of volunteer Paul McDowell. The intention was to produce interviews of senior RO practitioners especially CEOs who have implemented RO systems. These videos proved useful at events and to support web-based professional development and will eventually be used to produce a documentary film on the history of the field.
The society's next major project was to organize a three-and-one-half-day world conference for August 2005 at the BMO Financial Group's Institute for Learning in Toronto. The local Toronto advisory group put up the first $50,000 seed money by registering more that 18 months in advance. Unusual features of the conference included:
At the conference's action planning session, participants pledged:
The next two years, 2005-07 were busy learning how to process, edit, and host the significant video materials we had shot, and designing and producing the book. Forty authors from around the world collaborated in writing 32 articles for the edited book that was to be called, Organization Design, Levels of Work and Human Capability: Executive Guide. It's release kicked off the 2nd world conference also in Toronto at the same venue.
This time GO members volunteered their time to staff a two-day professional workshop the preceeding week and many of those participants from other countries stayed throughout the conference. Again there were video cameras in every session and much of that material is now on the web site.
The society launched its new journal, Organization Design, the first issue to be released in both English and Spanish at the planned world conference in Buenos Aires October 26-29, 2009.
Subsequent conferences are planned in Australia and Europe.