“The Illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn”

Alvin Toffler is is an American writer and futurist, known for his works discussing the digital revolution, communication revolution and technological singularity.

It is a very popular (and slided) quote. I have seen it in the slide deck of two very influent people in my career : Multi-talented blogger and über expert in social collaboration Rawn Shah and connected machine services visionary, Daniel Harari, the Lectra CEO.

Everybody agrees on the necessity of learning. However, not so many people promote the necessity of unlearning, i.e changing habits and mental models. Try brushing your teeth with th other hand or fold you arms the other way as Mike Rother suggests in this amazing talk, you’ll know how it feels to get out of your’s comfort zone.

How do you learn, unlearn and relearn ? How can you tell you have learnt, how do you know ? How is your company doing it ?

La première partie de ce billet était consacrée à une série d’articles dans la presse quotidienne ou magazine. Celui-ci est consacré à un documentaire diffusé sur une chaîne cryptée, documentaire que nous ne nommerons pas afin de ne pas lui donner davantage de visibilité numérique qu’il ne mérite. Le fait que ce documentaire porte le même nom qu’un article du Monde Diplomatique donne cependant quelques indications sur la ligne éditoriale, sur l’originalité de la perspective et sur “l’objectivité” du reportage.

Un sujet difficile avec une enquête sur le terrain qui met à jour d’authentiques problèmes mais l’ensemble s’avère discrédité par des procédés classiques de manipulation audio visuelle. Un reportage aveuglé par une intention éminemment discutable et une haine aveugle d’un mode de management qui est pour l’auteur, ontologiquement, mauvais.

Les tragédies qui y sont racontées sont évidemment bouleversantes mais elles méritent davantage un appel à la raison plutôt qu’à des réactions passionnées. Read the rest of this entry »

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Alors que la transformation digitale (rappel : le qualificatif digital est approprié en français, inélégant mais approprié) est devenue un des enjeux majeurs des organisations, on a parfois du mal à se représenter à quoi cela correspond et à imaginer par quel bout prendre le sujet. Qu’entend-on par cette expression ? Quels sont les enjeux que cette transformation implique ?

Ce billet est le premier d’une série sur le sujet. Il a pour objet d’apporter un éclairage en proposant une définition et en en exprimant les enjeux.

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The Wirearchy Selfie Meme

February 17, 2015

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There are many shiny buzzwords and concepts in the business world. Yet few have the elegance of a single word denomination.  And even fewer achieve the amazing feat of combining 21st century concepts with greek etymology for a dazzling description of what is at stake today in our organizations.

My friend Jon Husband came with Wirearchy a while ago (check his #hypertextual video Interview describing the whole idea) and it is just the best I can think of to describe the challenge of 21st century organizations. My director and sensei Marie-Pia Ignace keeps telling me that my professional weakness is to fall too easily in love with ideas. Here is the sexiest of our times. See I am still doing meme, probably the last blogger attemtping to use this 2.0 Jurassic effect.

But that’s not all. Not only did Jon come with this stroke of genius, he also managed to get it illustrated by Mr Gaping Void himself, Hugh McLeod. How about that as a grand slam of alternative management marketing ?

So here’s the process :

  1. You download the Wirearchy PSD here
  2. You go to your favorite T-shirt maker (mine is Yumie in Bordeaux) and you make your Wirearchy t-shirt (or cap or sweater or underwear) with the color and design you want as long as there is the illustration
  3. You take a selfie
  4. You publish it online – you can even blog about it if you feel like to
  5. You let Jon, myself and the whole free world know on Twitter that you support Wirearchy by sharing the link
  6. We have a beer when we have a chance

Have fun and see you online.

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Since I joined a start-up in 2004, I have been a very active practitionner and zealot of agile culture and practices. Yet, there are a few limits to Agile that I believe Lean tackles naturally : this is why I joined the Lean movement about 4 years ago. One of the limit I have observed during the last few years is a culture trend whereby Agile community thinks they solve problems just by removing the issue : here comes the NO organization.

The NO organization aims to fight the pointless over-complicatedness of our organizations (which is good) by getting rid of the actual topics (which is arguable, at best) : no managers, no process, no paper, no specs, no estimates, no planning, no email, no what_have_you. One could argue it is throwing out the baby together with the bath water.

The NO organization exhales the seductive perfume of the radical approach. It resonates with the (often false) image of the open source community or Agile methodologies.

My 2 cents : this is just as irrelevant as the over-complicatedness it aims to fight. And here’s why … Read the rest of this entry »

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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 …

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The Self Aware Organization

September 15, 2014

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(Picture by Spencer Tunick)

This is yet another topic that has been running in the background of #hypertextual for a while now. Three events have contributed to promote it to the foreground.

First is the insightful essay by Freddy and Michael Ballé : Lead With Respect, and the subsequent conversation we had with Michael, Luis, Claude [FR] and Céline. The latter made an enlightening point.

“Leading with respect is not just a matter of personal ethics. It has to show, in actual behaviors and practices. It requires a constant effort of self-awareness, self-demanding mindset, and empathy with the diversity of team members.”

Second is the title of talk of Mary Poppendieck at the next edition of Lean IT Summit on 16th and 17th October : The Aware Organization. Last is this talk by Mike Rother, at Lean Summit 2012 where the author of #hypertextual favorite Toyota Kata establishes some interesting connections between neuro-sciences and our ability to learn.

The proposition of this post is that self-awareness is critically important for an organization to succeed, that it has to be deployed throughout the whole organization and, this deployment is the job of managers (and coaches).

Read the rest of this entry »

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