On Leaving with Naomi Stanford – Field Notes: Intersection 2020

The final day of the Intersection 20 Summit kicked off with a talk on the topic of “leaving” from organisational designer Naomi Stanford. Her bright blue hair brightened the first session for the final day of the Intersection 2020 experience.


Sometimes, leaving a project or job is the right choice

Key Takeaway

Naomi reflected on one of the patterns from the new book Enterprise Design Patterns: “Leaving”. This pattern is the last of the behavioural patterns in the book. It describes the decision when you have provided all the value you can to a project and when to step away:

“You make a conscious decision to stop putting your time and energy where it does not contribute to positive change.” Pattern 11 “Leaving” from Enterprise Design Patterns by Wlfgang Goebl, Milan Guenther, Annika Klyver and Bard Papegaaij

Naomi explored this pattern through many types of leaving she has experienced in her life: redundancies, leaving projects, leaving organisations, leaving relationships. She also reflected on the question “is there such thing as leaving?” This was prompted by her reflection that we take with us experiences and connections from each experience that influences what is next for us.

Another interesting conversation sparked in the chat during her talk as well: When we move to make change at an organisation, are we asking those involved to leave their current way of doing things, their current way of thinking? How can we apply an effective leaving patter to this process?

This reflection makes a very fitting reflection for the last of my Field Notes from Intersection 2020. Many more presenters spoke over the course of the Basecamp and Summit, including all the case studies that were on at the same time as the master classes. Keep an eye on Intersection’s YouTube channel for the recorded sessions. You can also see my post on the final keynote from Hayley Hughes here.

Thanks for following along with me. Feel free to check out more of my work on my website or reach out on LinkedIn if you want to continue the conversation.

Licks I Clicked

  1. Article (PDF): Rules of Thumb for Change Agents by Herb Shephard

Where to Learn More

Naomi is currently writing the third edition of her book The Economist Guide to Organisation Design. You can also check out her blog naomistanford.com.

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