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Designer’s Playlist #5

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Mar 14 2017

In this series, we ask IDEO designers to share the stuff they're digging right now—tools, books, music, sites, people, places—so you, too, can drink from the fount of inspiration bubbling up here. This week's guest star: Tony Browne.

Name: Tony Browne
Location: London
Role at IDEO: I’m an organizational design director. I help people build modern, purposeful organizations through design, and a more human use of technology.
Joined IDEO: January 2017
Twitter: @misterbrowne
Titillating Fact: I was crowned UK Computer Gaming champion in 1994 and haven’t really given up the joystick in the 20 years since. Approximately 60 percent of our household arguments are over who is allowed on our Playstation—me, or my 5 year old son, Spencer.

1. Corporate Rebels

I mean, just look at them. With their long hair, nonchalant stance, and leather/denim apparel, Joost and Pim have corporate rebellion chic down. But they didn’t start out like that. In fact, they came from a fairly standard finance and consultancy background—until they quit their jobs, and committed to traveling the world in search of “rebellious” organizations.

Their blog has some great case studies about companies that are experimenting with radically different ways of working. Check out their insights into Zappos, Gutmann, and my personal favorite, West Coast tomato processing company Morning Star.

2. The Meaning Conference 

Established in 2012, the Meaning conference is an annual UK event for those of us who believe there is more—so much more—to business than making money. It started off as a fairly small, low-key affair, but by 2016 it had grown enormously, attracting leading UK economists, global business leaders, and politicians. I always come away from the event buoyed by conversations with passionate and like-minded people, and excited that meaning and purpose are really starting to be taken seriously in the business world.

Look out for news of the 2017 event (where I’ll be a volunteer).

3. A16Z Podcast

I’m a tiny bit obsessed by all things digital. I love technology, and I love thinking about how it is blowing up business models, transforming organizations, and creating entirely new sectors. The A16Z podcast from venture capitalists Andreessen Horowitz (16 refers to the number of letters between the A and the Z in their names) is the best I’ve found to help keep my thinking current and fresh. There are other podcasts that may be closer to the cutting edge of technology trends, but none that are able to translate it all into usable business insight as well as A16Z does.

  • Mollie West Duffy

    Senior Organizational Designer, IDEO New York
    Mollie loves creating order out of chaos and helping people work better together. In her free time, Mollie enjoys taking personality tests, listening to podcasts, and seeing comedy shows.
  • Tony Browne

    Organizational Design Director, IDEO London
    Equal parts contrarian, dreamer, and activist, Tony is on a mission to make the world of work a more interesting, purposeful place. In the slivers of time left over from looking after two young children and an even younger dog, you can usually find him doing some sports, or ranting about politics.
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