The employee disengagement topic has been all the rage for the last few years. It has become the new major waste we want to address in Corporatica. Many studies (McLeod’s being the most inspiring to me), many blog posts, there are tons of thinking about it. But what about the doing ?
I hear many people whingeing about it : “the teams are not engaged, they don’t walk the extra-mile, yada yada yada …”
When I hear this, I tend to become impatient and feel like asking that question : and what have you done today to fight this lack of engagement ?
January 23, 2015
Just like football, I love music and I always will. I have been lucky enough to listen to it ever since I was born as both my parents are music fans. I love most styles of music (chamber classical music, jazz, folk, cuban, afro-beat, electro) but the one that resonates the most with me is indie-rock. A huge fan of Jimmy Page as a kid and then Johnny Marr as a teenager, I am fascinated by electric guitars and I started playing when I was twelve, more than 30 years ago. From 15 onwards, apart from the 10 years I have spent abroad (London and then Zürich), I have always been playing in a band.
Being part or leading software development teams for more than 15 years, I have noticed many common traits with the musical activity. Even if for some weird reasons, I may have not sold as many CDs as Radiohead or REM, I still believe there is some value in sharing what I have learnt through these hours of work and all the analogies we can draw with creative work in a collaborative environment.
A post in 8 measures, we are talking about rock’n’roll here …
October 26, 2014
The Lean IT summit 2014 happened earlier this month and as usual it has been inspiring and fun. Inspiring as it was an opportunity to listen to stories from leading figures of the lean/agile community (Jeff Sutherland, Mary Poppendieck, Daniel T. Jones) or from major companies of the 21st century (Amazon, Spotify, ING direct, Nike and, of course, Toyota).
And it was fun because hanging out with the likes of Mike Orzen, Michael Ballé, Jeff Gothelf, David Boagerts and my colleagues at Operae Partners (disclaimer, the company I work for co-organizes the event) always is.
October 16, 2014
Startups have been all the craze for the last 15 years or so and the two bubbles : 1.0 (dot com’s) and 2.0 (social apps). One could argue that their most impressive achievement is succeeding in making technology entrepreneurship sexy and successful entrepreneurs as glamorous as rock stars, despite the swimming pools flip-flap.
There have been many blog posts about what a startup is and what is not but I’ve always thought there were something missing. Until I read this essay by Paul Graham, co-founder of startup incubator Y Combinator. The name of this essay does not hold so much suspense : Startup = Growth. The guy behind the success of dozens of startups including Airbnb explains why. At this point, I can only recommend you to read this essay and come back, as this is probably the most insightful 15mns read you can have about start-up. (Go ahead, take your time, I’ll be waiting here).
First takeaway :
For a company to grow really big, it must (a) make something lots of people want, and (b) reach and serve all those people.
My perspective is that startups have put great focus on (a), the external part of the challenge, mostly thanks to Eric Ries formalization of Lean Startup. However, I believe that these small companies sometimes are left wanting on (b), i.e internal processes and management. As a result, even young companies succeeding in finding their audience and target customer sometimes struggle to deliver and to achieve promised results and growth.
This is where the Lean Scale-up gets in … Read the rest of this entry »
October 8, 2014
Peter Drucker coined the term Knowledge Economy some time ago. For one of the main business thinkers of the XXth century knowledge, work, productivity and innovation are tightly related : “Knowledge is the main source of wealth. Applied to the tasks we know it becomes productivity. Applies to new tasks, it becomes innovation.”
That was in 1969 (in his book The Age of Discontinuity according to Wikipedia). There are two ways to put this definition in perspective. The first one is to say : “What a visionary” – I know : I haven’t stop since I’ve started this blog. The second one is to ask : “Well, there has been a couple of changes in the business world for the last 10 years, let alone the last 45, is that definition still relevant ? Is that link between knowledge and value creation still solid?”.
The latter is the aim of this blog post. The answer is “not quite” and here’s why.
September 29, 2014
We are having more fun, in part because of the internet. We also are having more cheap fun. But we are coming up on short on the revenue side so it is harder to pay our debts, whether individuals, business or governments” (Tyler Cowen). Twenty first century Information and Communication Technology, in short, is failing the prime test of being economically significant.
This meta quote, quote about McAfee and Brynjolfsson quoting economist Tyler Cowen, is taken from the Second Machine Age. In the section of the book the quote is taken from, the authors wonder whether ICT are General Purpose Technology such as steam engine or electricity, i.e pervasive technologies that change the way we live, work and do business. They are adamant they are, yet they question the economic return of these technologies.
A strongly recommended read to understand the profound transformation our times are going through.