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I was doing an Enterprise 2.0 Masterclass to a group of technical national directors at INSEP (French national institute of sports) and one of the attendee asked me this question : “How can I quickly assess my organization culture ?”

It has just occurred to me that this can be carried out very easily, asking just one question, so I asked them :

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williquet e20s

(Illustration by Frédéric Williquet)

The E20 Summit was celebrating its fifth edition in Paris in the stimulating premises of ESCP, and just like Jon Husband said on Facebook : “I have been having a blast”. Notice that it’s rather challenging to be somehow unbiased since I am an ambassador of the event and I always am longing for the opportunity to exchange ideas, stories and drinks with the E20 mob.

Unfortunately, I could only attend the first day of this year edition. Despite my absence I have still been able to follow the conversations of the second day thanks to the “#E20 peeps Tweeting like maniacs” as Lee Bryant noticed.

Some may have expressed their regrets that their were not so many new ideas but I don’t really share this perspective. The main impression I have brought back home is this : we are reaching some kind of maturity on the topic as some patterns of successful implementations emerge. It is great to have thought leaders discussing ideas, principles and concepts but the main value out of these conferences from my perspective are the returns of experiences : those were very inspiring indeed.

Inspiring to such an extent that I after 5 years into the topic, I eventually found my one tweet definition of Social Business … Read the rest of this entry »

“Books about the future of work make the same mistake : they fail to look back at the history of work or more precisely the history of books about the future of work and how wrong they were.”

The Year Without Pants is the story of Scott managing his team working remotely most of the time (it seems that working without pants is a kind of a funny way to say working remote), learning to use new types of online collaboration tools in the process while never using email.

A book to put in perspective with another essay published on the topic of remote work with 37Signals latest publication : Remote.

A complementary set of books about the future of work : a wonderful piece about learning to adapt to a start-up culture (Berkun’s) and some practical advises to evangelise and then succeed in remote work (37Signals) … Read the rest of this entry »

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Wayhay ! I am glad to announce that I will be speaking at the European Lean IT Summit 2013 Edition in Paris on October 3rd and 4th. It is some kind of honor to speak in the same event as experts such as Michael Ballé, Steve Bell, Dan Jones, Yves Caseau, Pierre Pezziardi or Mike Orzen. Read the rest of this entry »

I have been quite intrigued by the intersection of neurosciences and management / leadership lately. It all started on the Organizations Change Practitioners community on LinkedIn.

No disrespect for the other groups I’ve joined, but it probably is the one I find the most inspiring amongst the ones I’ve joined. Luc Galoppin, Bill Braun and Jennifer Frahm are making a fantastic job moderating it. Jen twitted this article about Neuroscience and Change Management that got my attention. A link leading to another, I’ve ended up discovering the SCARF model by David Rock and this has opened my eyes to the topic. I have also been reading and viewing other related materials. This article comes as some sorts of wrap-up of this research work.

I have been discussing about Social Business Vs Social Status lately, looking for solutions. Well, Social Neurosciences may just prove to bring the required tools to address this.

If you are interested in bringing conscious awareness to otherwise non conscious processes, then read further (be warned it’s a long one) … Read the rest of this entry »

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Cet article est tiré de #hyperchange – petit guide de la conduite du changement dans l’économie de la connaissance, e-book publié par #hypertextual le 13 Mars 2013.

Il s’agit ici de la synthèse du livre, synthèse qui propose un plan d’actions suivant 4 phases (vision, élaboration, mise en oeuvre et pérennisation) qui correspondent à 4 axes : leadership, stratégie, management et culture.

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post-it

(Cet article est tiré de l’ouvrage #hyperchange – petit guide de la conduite du changement dans l’économie de la connaissance)

J’utilise quotidiennement le management visuel depuis plusieurs années et je ne cesse d’y trouver de nouvelles vertus. Il rend le processus actionnable et permet de rendre visible les modes de fonctionnement et les interactions. En cela, il redescend la ligne de flottaison des élements explicites de la culture de l’organisation (cf éléments de la culture des organisations selon Schein [EN]). Ainsi, il contribue à la transparence et, par voie de conséquence, à la confiance au sein de l’entreprise. Enfin il permet de rendre visibles les problèmes, de les traiter et de garantir une adéquation entre les activités des équipes et la réalité opérationnelle.

Ce qu’on sait moins, et que nous a rapporté Pierre Masai le CTO Europe de Toyota Motors, c’est que le management visuel apporte une approche cognitive différente qui permet une relation plus efficace entre le manager et le collaborateur. Il s’agit d’un élement essentiel dans la conduite du changement. Read the rest of this entry »

change

C’est avec une grande joie qu’#hypertextual vous présente aujourd’hui son premier e-book : #hyperchange – petit guide de la conduite du changement dans l’économie de la connaissance.

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escalators

(Ce texte est extrait de l’ouvrage #hyperchange – petit guide de la conduite du changement dans l’économie de la connaissance).

Dans la plupart des projets de gestion de changement, on entend toujours ce même refrain : il faut (on va / nous devons) communiquer, communiquer, communiquer. C’est à ce moment que l’ensemble de l’assitance lève les yeux au ciel. Premièrement parce que cela a déjà été dit dans des initiatives de changements précédentes, pour un résultat, au mieux mitigé. Ensuite car cela ne répond pas à la question : d’accord mais comment ?

L’objectif de ce second article sur la conduite du changement est de donner quelques indications pour mieux “communiquer, communiquer, communiquer” (ok : j’arrete).

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tête à tête

(Ce texte est extrait de l’ouvrage #hyperchange – petit guide de la conduite du changement dans l’économie de la connaissance).

Je suis aujourd’hui en charge d’un projet de conduite de changement qui concerne environ 70 personnes au sein d’une équipe de R&D Logiciel et de cette expérience, j’ai retiré quelques bonnes pratiques que j’aimerais partager.

Pour commencer : l’arme secrète de la conduite du changement. Il s’agit probablement d’un des outils les plus puissants du management. Et pourtant il est, malheureusement, très peu utilisé. Probablement parce qu’il nécessite du temps, de la patience, de l’écoute et du courage. Souvent les managers éludent le propos en prétendant qu’il y a des choses plus importantes à faire : participer à telle réunion, préparer tel dossier, présenter tel sujet etc …

Cela nous ramène au rôle du management : quel est-il ? Dans le monde du 21ème siècle, celui de l’économie de la connaissance, qui est celui que je connais le mieux, j’aurais une définition héritée de ce que Edgar Schein appelle la sous-culture des opérateurs : le rôle du manager est de mettre les équipes dans les meilleures conditions pour travailler. Ou encore, pour citer Scott Adams, l’auteur de Dilberts : « Le premier travail d’un manager n’est pas d’apporter la motivation mais de supprimer les obstacles. »

Car si l’équipe ne fonctionne pas, s’il y a des problèmes, il y a la loi de Lefferts rapportée par Scott Berkun : c’est la faute du manager.

C’est encore une fois Octo qui m’a ramené à cette évidence à travers leur ouvrage collaboratif Partageons ce qui nous départage et la présentation de David Allia à l’USI 2012. Cet article donc sur le one-to-one ou entretien en tête à tête, arme secrète pour détruire les obstacles au changement … Read the rest of this entry »

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This is a second sequel to #hypertextual review of Edgard Schein Organizational Culture and Leadership. As you can tell : a very inspiring essay.

The first one was about the 10 dimensions of a Learning Culture. This one is about subcultures. Schein identifies different levels of culture : macro-cultures (nations etc …), organization cultures, generic subcultures (groups within or across organizations) and microcultures (microsystems within organizations).

This blog post will focus on the third one : generic sub-cultures. According to Schein there are three of them : operator, engineering and executive. The key takeaway from Schein is that alignment between these three subcultures is critical for the organization to thrive.

This model is a fascinating way to understand how knowledge work as evolved during the last decade and is a great tool to assess your own organisation.

The idea behind this post is that Executive subculture has shifted from Engineering influence in the 20th century to Operator  influence in the 21st. And here’s why … Read the rest of this entry »

P1040995

This is a sequel of Edgar Schein Organizational Culture and Leadership review, focussing on the sole Chapter 20. In this chapter, the great man discusses Learning Culture and the Learning Leader.

Schein shares Gary Hamel points of view regarding today’s market and economy : we have no idea what tomorrow’s world will be except that “It will be different, more complex more fast paced and more culturally diverse. This means that organizations, their leaders and all the rest of us will have to become perpetual learners.”

Which somehow echoes what Mary Poppendieck said during Lean IT Summit 2011 : “In any industry nowadays, the fastest learner wins. if your competitor are faster learners then you’re in trouble.”

There is a paradox in the concept of a learning culture : how to set up such a culture when by essence, culture is more a conservative force aiming at reducing cognitive anxiety by making things predictable, shared and meaningful ?

The author have identified 10 dimensions of such learning culture, 10 dimensions he has observed in successful companies that are critical for companies to survive in today’s economy, and that requires special skills for the Learning Leader.

I just could not resist discussing how these dimensions are aligned with some of the Lean and Social Business principles …

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Edgar Schein

Edgar Schein is Sloan Professor of Management Emeritus at the Sloan School of Management at the MIT. With this book, Organization Culture and Leadership (4th Edition), the author has published a summary of his life long experience (born in 1928, PhD in Harvard of Social Psychology in 1952) of organizations.

For a blog writing about organizational cultures in the 21st century, this book is some kind of Holy Grail. There are many subjects this blog has tried to address that this book enlightens with wonderful ideas and tools, drawn on vast experience in big organizations such as DEC, Apple, Ciba-Geigy (now Novartis) or Amoco : the tight relationship between leadership and culture, the Doing / Being culture, the alignment of subcultures, the 3 levels, Survival Vs Learning anxiety, the roadmap for the organization to self assess its own values and assumptions etc …

It aims at explaining what culture is, how it affects the organization, how to understand and decipher it and how to act on it with culture change. And it does succeed, providing excellent material, shedding direct light to one of the most misunderstood dimension of organizations.

I will resist copying the full book in this article (I may run into some legal and muscular problem if I try anyway) and limit to some quotes such as this one, which explains the raison d’être of #hypertextual :

“With the changes in technological complexity, the leadership task has changed. Leadership in a networked organization is a fundamentally different thing from leadership in a traditional hierarchy.”

As usual for #hypertextual classic book reviews, this is more of a summary of the main ideas than a proper review. It has proved to be very difficult to curate contents out of this article as the book abounds with wisdom so I’m afraid it is a very long one (about 2500 words) … Read the rest of this entry »

This is the second post dedicated to change management, after the review of William Bridges Managing Transition.

Rather than doing yet another review of this classic book (there are hundreds around, there even is the Kotter’s HBR original article online), this post aims to confront both the ideas of the book and a very interesting paper by McKinsey The Inconvenient Truth About Change Management by Carolyn Aiken and Scott Keller.

John Kotter used to be professor of Leadership in Harvard Business School. He is now Chief Innovation Officer at Kotter International. He has been studying change initiatives in corporations for decades and he has summarized his observations in this acclaimed classic of Change Management. Leading Changes proposes a 8 stage process to successful change management (described below). In addition, the content is enriched with two great essays on 21st century Leadership. Needless to say : an excellent read.

The Inconvenient Truth About Change Management is a paper by McKinsey which brings some (inconvenient) perspective in a post Leading Change world, 10 years or so down the line, where change initiatives remain at the same success level than the one carried out in a pre Leading Change world. This allows to enrich Kotter framework with some reality checks lessons (warning : 2000+ words) … Read the rest of this entry »

Just like John Stepper, I have been studying extensively change management lately and this is the first post of a serie on the topic. Reading the Managing Transition essay looked like a mandatory step in this process.

The version we will discuss here is the third edition (2009), the first one having been published in 1995. Overall there has been more than half a million copies sold. William Bridges has been ranked amongst the top 10 of independent executive consultants by the Wall Street Journal.

The author is a former literature professor, a detail which happens to be key to understand the profound humanist perspective he brings to change management. This is a quick (about 6-8 hours) excellent read, clear and actionable, with many quotes and some tests to benchmark your change initiative.

A strongly recommended essay for anyone involved in a transition project. Disclosure : this is more of a synthesis than an actual review – so if you’ve read the book already you may not find much value in reading further … Read the rest of this entry »

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