The Lean Scale-up

October 16, 2014

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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 »

Sunday Quote : #LeadWithRespect

September 21, 2014

“In so many places I’ve worked at in the past, people looked at the future with fear and the past with anger. My dream is to create a place where people look to the future with hope and the past with pride.”

Lead With Respect is an awesome book that #hypertextual has already discussed. This essay by the team Ballé (Freddy and Michael) sheds an unprecedented light on how to build alignment throughout an organization. Read the rest of this entry »

This is an awesome video by Mike Rother at Lean Summit 2012. It’s not a friendly format as 18 mns TED’s. It is one hour 15 minutes long but it is worth every second of your time.

I have been interested for the last year or so in neuro-sciences and how they can help in understanding organization culture and how to change it. Mike Rother also had.

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Surf Lacanau

(Version Française)

When I decided last year to take a new turn in my career, I was lucky enough to be able to choose from two different options, both very exciting: Enterprise 2.0 / Social Business on one hand , lean on the other.

After much thought, I have chosen the second option because it seems to me more deeply aligned with the challenges of today’s business, namely the need to navigate through the turbulences of our uncertain world. These turbulences and uncertainty are largely related to the digitization of our daily lives: the digital transformation of the organization therefore seems inevitable.

My hypothesis is that today, Lean is the obvious strategy to carry out this transformation, for the following reasons:

  1. digital transformation actually means a radicalization of the use of new technological opportunities,
  2. it’s all about management principles
  3. a model exists, embodied by the born digital companies (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Pixar, Twitter etc. …)
  4. their management cultures are explicitly or implicitly aligned with the principles of Lean.

(Warning, long truck ahead : more than 1800 words) …

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Surf Lacanau

(English Version)

Lorsque j’ai décidé l’an dernier d’infléchir ma carrière professionnelle pour me diriger vers le conseil, deux chemins se présentaient, tous deux  prometteurs : Entreprise 2.0/Social Business d’un côté, Lean de l’autre.

Au terme de longues réflexions, j’ai choisi la seconde option car elle me semblait plus profondément en phase avec les enjeux des entreprises d’aujourd’hui, à savoir la nécessité de naviguer dans les turbulences du monde incertain qui est le nôtre. Ces turbulences et ce monde incertain sont en grande partie liés à la digitalisation de notre quotidien : la transformation digitale (ou numérique) des entreprises semble donc inéluctable.

Le Lean m’apparaît aujourd’hui comme l’évidente stratégie pour mener à bien cette transformation, pour les raisons suivantes :

  1. la transformation digitale correspond à une radicalisation de l’exploitation de nouvelles opportunités technologiques,
  2. il s’agit avant tout de principes de management
  3. un modèle existe, il s’agit des entreprises nées numériques (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Pixar, Twitter etc. …)
  4. leurs cultures de management sont toutes, explicitement ou implicitement, alignées avec les principes du Lean.
  5. (oh : et l’Entreprise.fr part avec un handicap culturel dans cette transformation)

(Je vous écris un long billet car je n’ai pas le temps d’en écrire un plus court, paraphraserais-je Pascal : attention, plus de 2000 mots)

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#hyperchange – le petit guide de la conduite du changement dans l’économie de la connaissance, premier e-book de #hypertextual est maintenant disponible en téléchargement gratuit. Le lien est disponible ici.

Cet e-book a initialement été publié il y a 18 mois (le 13 Mars 2013) sur la plateforme Scribd pour pouvoir suivre de façon chiffrée l’intérêt qu’il pouvait susciter. Le problème avec cette plateforme est que les lecteurs ne peuvent télécharger gratuitement l’ouvrage et la lecture ne peut se faire qu’en ligne sur le site.

Après avoir un moment envisagé de publier une version 1.1 corrigeant les coquilles et incluant les aspects liés aux neuro-sciences sociales, sujet qui m’a beaucoup interessé depuis la publication, j’ai finalement choisi de conserver le charme des erreurs de jeunesse.

Les objectifs initiaux en terme de diffusion ayant largement été atteints et ayant été sollicité à plusieurs reprises pour obtenir le PDF, le board de #hypertextual a décidé dans sa grande magnanimité d’offrir le téléchargement de cet e-book à ceux qui le souhaitent.

En vous remerciant pour l’intérêt que vous avez porté à cet ouvrage.

Skate Race 2-600

I have seen this situation happening quite a few times in my career in Information Technology. I am pretty confident that it can be generalized to other types of industry as well.

Here is the scene. The executive has a vision and strategy. But the teams just do not deliver : delay in delivery, quality problems requiring unplanned correction releases at an unforeseen costs, an eventually reduced scope of what is delivered etc… Executive is subsequently disappointed and struggles in adjusting the vision as she doesn’t have a clear understanding of the capacity of the teams : how to set a vision when the outputs are unpredictable ? The trouble with adjusting the vision then impact the teams : how to set clear priorities when a strategy is no longer clear enough?

The organization has entered the vision – execution deadlock : no clear strategy > no clear priorities for delivery > no predictable outputs > no clear strategy … and so on. As a result people feel overwhelmed with the issues and the problems they are facing, not knowing which one to start with as they all seem intricate.

How to break the deadlock ? I have seen Lean helping in fixing this while addressing both perspectives …

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