Be the Designer of Your Own World

green sustainable development earth

We all need to be designers of our own worlds, whether those worlds are our companies, communities, and families. If we don't do it for ourselves, others will do it for us, and this will likely not be the best outcome. As Dr. Bela H. Banathy, used to say: "Design or be designed for."

This type of design involves relationships and collaboration with others, many of whom might have different interests than our own. But this does not have result in an impasse. When we engage in skilled design conversations with others, where we can reach better and mutually beneficial outcomes.

Explore the major areas of my work below and learn how you can engage in design conversations that will lead to building better teams, companies, families, and communities.

Doug Walton, PhD
Doug Walton, PhD

Practical Change Management

My book Generating Change focuses on practical organizational management methods for anyone who want to create positive change in an organization. Through extensive research on effective organizational change methods, I found that a lot of the existing research, even very popular titles, is not really practical for real organizational change situations. This is because a lot of it was developed by consultants and academics without actual on-the-ground experience. So this book captures the lessons I learned from two decades of leading change programs. It captures the best guidance I have given to hundreds of program mangers, people mangers, and senior executives over the years.

There was a lot of material that couldn't fit in Generating Change, so some of it is offered for free below.

Get this FREE booklet on seven questions you can ask to evaluate if your change program is set up for success. It's great as a diagnostic tool for initiative owners to inquire about how their team is doing.

Want to be informed when new stuff comes out? Consider joining my e-mail list.

The Third Wave of Democracy

My research has also included studies on how to improve the quality of public discourse, such that it will produce public opinion that is more aligned on sustainable and equitable outcomes. My dissertation research, published in the book An Internet-based Framework for Empowering Social Change, explored how technology and social systems design could be used to foster large-scale, technology mediated, design collaboration.

The dramatic changes in communications technology over the last few decades have significantly changed how people communicate. The original hopes for the Internet were very idealistic, but the reality has come out differently.  The Internet and social media are now instead playing into extreme polarization of citizens and enabling malevolent players to purposely disrupt democracy.

Rather than let democracy crumble, we need to revitalize it as a third wave. Early Athenian democracy crumbled due to the unrestrained whims of the citizenry, and this was counteracted by the rise of a second wave of democracy, a representative democracy that included inalienable civil rights. These counterbalancing factors are now under an assault that is enabled by modern technology. We need a third wave of democracy that now restores this order.

I'll be writing more on this in the future, but two of my existing articles on this include the following:

Background

For more than 20 years, I have been integrating the latest scientific research into effective and practical change methods.  These approaches have been honed at some of the most well-known companies in the world like Cisco Systems, Lucent Technologies, Memorex, and The Clorox Company.

Additionally, I am an adjunct professor in change leadership at Presidio Graduate School and Saybrook University where I have taught many graduate students the principles of effective organizational change. I have a Ph.D. in organizational systems and a master’s degree in information technology from Harvard University.