Organizations Need to Adopt a Human-Centered Design for Management

By Paul R. Pace

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Organizations need to look toward the future to create new best practices, says Gigi Tsontos, MSW, LCSW, MPA, says in the NASW Specialty Practice Sections webinar, Managing Organizations in 2021 and Beyond, available on demand.

The future for organizations includes:

  • A human-centered futurist practice
  • A human-centered design thinking
  • And organizational adaptability.
“When we think of organizational management, we think of the traditional structure; there is someone at the top and things go downward,” Tsontos says. “Over the past several years we have changed that.”

We have moved beyond the traditional hierarchical decision-making, she says, and it’s important organizations use human-centered approaches just as social workers are trained to do with their clients.

Organizations need to connect with their staff and have their voices be part of management decisions, Tsontos said.

Employees need a clear communication path to success to feel empowered, she says, and leadership should understand the organization’s most valuable assets are their employees/stakeholders. Human-centered management is a focus on human outcomes. It requires diverse and empowered teams, and takes continual reinvention for final assessment.

A culture of openness takes time, Tsontos said. “I have worked at organizations where communication was key. Do an assessment (of open communication), making sure everyone’s on board.”

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