HR Departments and Design Firms...

Hello. I’m a part of a very small design firm that does not have a dedicated HR department, but I’ve worked for larger companies that did have them so I have some HR related experience, just not much in the field of ID. My question: are HR departments a death knell for the a-bureaucratic Product Development Ideal made famous by “Deep Dive” and IDEO? A friend of mine has had tragi-comedic experiences trying to arrange interviews with a number of large, well-known product development firms on both coasts, and it’s laughable how much more reminiscent of Dilbert these episodes are versus the picture of the prototypical flat design organization where people of disparate professional backgrounds stand around a room and slaps sticky notes on the wall. I mean I just have to shake my head and wonder if these supposedly fantastic product development firms handle the hiring process so very poorly (not to mention the very act of communicating with each other as well as the prospective employee), just how capable of great creativity can they be? And how can a firm that continues to project the image of a corporation eschewing titles and choking bureaucracy seem to be so conservative and bureaucratic in actuality? A penny for your thoughts.


even funnier than the HR dept is the girl friend or wife of the head designer/manager who runs the place from home!

talk about dedicated getting mobilized!

gaygaruda: I think that an HR department that is more worried about forms and paperwork than creativity can not do anything but reduce the creative abilities of their firms. However, I’d like to hear move about HR at companies like IDEO. Perhaps they are more progressive than they seem from the outside?

I believe that HR will be undergoing a revolution of sorts within the next 20 years. The nature of business is changing and so are people’s expectations of work. Douglas Rushkoff outlines this amongst other creative-oriented topics, in his book “Get Back in the Box”. I highly recommend this book to anyone in business.

wow, i can’t wait.