Jim Womack has co-authored  two of the most important management books of the last thirty years : The Machine that changed the world (1990) and Lean Thinking 1995. In Gemba Walks, the Lean Expert has curated about 60 short essays he has written between 2001 and 2010. These were originally e-letters dedicated to the observations he made while visiting the shop floor (the Gemba) of companies on their way to become lean ones.

This is a very inspiring book and a strongly recommended read for anyone interested in the core mission of managament. Jim Womack defines it as fostering a creative tension between management two main axis : functional and vertical towards the CEO and horizontal and value stream driven towards the customer. Read on for enlightening thoughts …

Read the rest of this entry »

berkun

Scott Berkun was in Paris for a few days as he was invited to speak at USI 2014. That was a great opportunity to meet him and to discuss about his books, his time at Microsoft and WordPress, how and where he grew up and how it feels to be a writer in the 21st Century. Scott has been kind enough to allow us some of his time, the most important thing he can give as he wisely writes in Mindfire.

A great dinner at the terrace of La Mauvaise Réputation, in Montorgueil neighborhood. And a few drinks as well : champagne, Armagnac, beers and a bottle of St Estephe 2011 for good measure: a bit young, but we still managed to work it out. It was so inspiring, I’ve still managed to remember just about everything despite the drinks. Yet, if I remember well the ideas, the transcript may not gives good justice to Scott verbal skills and precision in the words he uses.

There are not so many opportunities to meet one of #hypertextual heroes and that evening has been a milestone in the history of this blog. This is how the conversation went …  Read the rest of this entry »

Ed Catmull is co-founder and president of Pixar. After having reached his life long goal (creating the first computer animated feature film) with Toy Story in 1996, Ed faced a terrible dilemma : what should be his next goal ? Looking at smart leaders and once successful companies stumbling and collapsing, Ed soon identified this new goal : overcoming the unseen forces that stand in the way of true inspiration.

This is what this book is all about. Sure there are some delightful back stories of some of the most inspiring animated movies of all time. There also are the little secrets of working closely with Steve Jobs. But the most valuable takeaways of this book are elsewhere.

They are in the way Ed Catmull (with the helped of Amy Wallace) describes the path that a rather successful leader in a creative industry followed to protect Pixar and then Disney Animation from these unseen forces and to make both company strive. Interestingly enough, the core of his management and leadership practices lies in Deming principles and Japanese management : a book hypertextual could not miss … Read the rest of this entry »

guillaume p

Alors qu’approche la nouvelle édition de l’USI (les 16 et 17 Juin à Paris ) #hypertextual a rencontré cette année encore un des membres d’Octo les plus actifs dans la préparation de cet évènement. Après François Hisquin (2012) et Ludovic Cinquin (2013), Guillaume Plouin cette année.

Pour ceux qui ne connaissent pas encore cet évènement organisé par Octo Technology, l’USI est la conférence autour du numérique que l’on peut qualifier sans aucun doute de plus passionnante de l’hexagone, voire d’Europe. Les disciplines présentes sont variées (technologie mais aussi prospective, sciences dures ou sciences humaines, management, leadership, ou philosophie) et les intervenants sont prestigieux : Ray Kurzweil, Michel Serres, André Comte-Sponville, Chris Anderson, Leo Apothecker, Bjarne Stroustrup, Neil Armstrong ou Philippe Starck. Et la liste va s’allonger cette année encore avec des personnalités telles qu’Edgar Morin, Patrick Dixon, Isaac Getz, Nancy Duarte, ou encore mon collègue d’Operae l’excellent Antoine Contal …

L’occasion au travers de cette rencontre de se pencher de plus près sur les grands moments qui ont marqué l’USI et s’attarder sur la mécanique interne de l’organisation d’une conférence qui célèbre sa septième édition cette année…

Read the rest of this entry »

Our decision making is better when we draw on the collective knowledge and unvarnished opinions of the group. Candor is the key to collaborating effectively. Lack of candor leads to dysfunctional environments. So how can a manager ensure that his or her working group, department, or company embraces candor? By putting mechanisms in place that explicitly say it is valuable. One of Pixar’s key mechanisms is the Braintrust, which we rely on to push us toward excellence and to root out mediocrity. It is our primary delivery system for straight talk. (…)

Read the rest of this entry »

sk8 2

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 :

Read the rest of this entry »

Un petit retour sur une conférence Lean Summit 2014 qui s’est déroulée à la cité internationale de Lyon les 2 et 3 Avril. Plutôt passionné par les technologies et tendances du numérique, il s’agissait d’uns conférence de laquelle j’attendais peu. La surprise ne fût que plus belle, avec un évènement qui s’est avéré être un des plus marquants auxquels j’ai assisté, et pas seulement en raison de la fontaine de chocolat.

La raison en est toute simple : il ne s’agit pas d’une autoroute pour consultants, experts ou éditeurs mais d’un espace dans lequel des dirigeants racontent leur histoire, celle de leur entreprise et expliquent comment le lean leur a permis non seulement de survivre mais d’obtenir des résultats exceptionnels tout en impliquant leurs équipes.

A une époque où, à grands renforts de propagande, le Lean est dépeint comme un outil d’assujetissement à la productivité et où le Made in France évoque plutôt une résignation désuète ou un pleurnichage institutionnel, cette conférence rafraîchissante et tonique a clairement rappelé qu’il s’agissait surtout d’une alternative crédible pour continuer à créer de la richesse de façon soutenable dans notre beau pays …

Read the rest of this entry »

cube

This is a conversation I had together with #e20 super-connector Luis Suarez on Twitter whilst at the E20 Summit.

During the engagement panel, he stated that employee engagement was a problem, an idea you can find in many management books (Year without pants by Berkun or Flat Army by Pontefract are recent examples) articles or talks. Even this blog elaborated on that subject a while back, a post which, in restrospect, might seem a bit shallow.

Most of these resources draw on Gallup study who claims that this costs about $US400 Billion per year to the US economy, which, I agree, is a terrible human and financial  waste.

But I wonder : is this employee engagement a problem or a symptom ? Luis insisted that Social Business will help in fixing this. This is where I come to have a rhetoric issue … Read the rest of this entry »

kongress media

Having gained some momentum on the topic of video interview with the last Lean IT Summit, I have been delighted to help Kongress Media mogul and #e20 organizer Bjoern Negelmann in doing some others within the scope of this year edition of the Enterprise 20 Summit. Thanks to Jan Grüb for shooting and editing those.

I was lucky enough to engage in video recorded conversations with #e20 rising star Céline Schillinger, Wirearchy father Jon Husband and IT strategy über-expert and visionary Dion Hinchcliffe.

A huge honor to have access to their expertise and a great opportunity to discuss issues such as the alleged death of Social Business the struggle to implement #e20 successfully and their main takeaways from the conference.

Last but not least, a great opportunity to notch up some more trophies to #hypertextual interviewees record.

Sorry people, I did not have the chance to edit myself out just like I did for the Lean IT Summit ones so I’m afraid you’ll have to cope with my fast talking and body language hyper-activity … Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

mba zanetti

#hypertextual a eu la chance de croiser la route de Mariana Zanetti, auteure de The MBA Bubble qui vient d’être traduit dans la langue de Geneviève Fioraso sour le titre Le MBA est-il un investissement rentable chez les Editions Maxima.

L’ouvrage a ouvert une discussion de l’autre côté de l’Atlantique ou Mariana est citée par le Fincancial Times aux côtés de personnages aussi important dans le monde des écoles de management que le professeur de Stanford Jeffrey Pfeiffer (co-auteur d’un des livres de chevet de ce blog : The Knowing Doing Gap).

Il n’était pas envisageable que #hypertextual soit absent de cette conversation car le sujet de l’enseignement du management aujourd’hui réside à l’intersection des thèmes de ce blog : management, culture et 21ème siècle. Un sujet traité indirectement dans de nombreux billets et fontalement dans la revue d’un autre ouvrage polémique sur le sujet : Managers not MBAs de Henry Mintzberg. Tout comme ce dernier ouvrage, Le MBA est-il un investissement rentable s’avère être une lecture indispensable pour ceux qui envisagent ce cursus ou qui souhaitent prendre du recul sur le sujet après l’obtention de ce diplôme.

Mariana a eu la gentillesse de nous expliquer pourquoi : c’est ici et maintenant … Read the rest of this entry »

Robert Sutton is one of the business writers this blog discusses the most. A professor at Stanford Management School he made himself famous in the business literature with his best seller No Asshole Rule. Though an excellent book and provocative read, #Hypertextual still prefers The Knowing Doing Gap he wrote together with Jeffrey Pfeiffer which, in my view, really nails down what management success is all about.

Another key question for leaders is being dealt with in Scaling Up Excellence (“spreading constructive beliefs and behavior from the few to the many”) an essay he wrote with Huggy Rao. A very interesting read with a spectacular amount of examples from all different types of industries and professional activities (hospital, education) you may think of, and many inspirational thoughts from psychologist and behavior researchers …  Read the rest of this entry »

photo(3)

I am fortunate enough to count Antoine Contal and Régis Médina as my colleagues.  We have been discussing this extensively, especially  following Régis breakthrough on the topic (check his enlightening interview on InfoQ) and the dedicated panel Antoine moderated during the last Lean IT Summit in Paris.

Interestingly enough, we have somehow followed a similar path, though they were ahead of me by a few years. We found with Agile Methodologies a way to solve the same vexing issues while managing software development projects. How to better align software development with business value, how to release on a regular basis, how to build-in quality, how to engage development teams, how to embrace change : agile has helped us a big deal in answering these questions.

But still, we all bumped into some roadblocks that Agile alone can not tackle. We needed to go beyond and extend the reach of our improvement to include management, leaders, operations, marketing, problem solving and make continuous improvement a daily issue. And this is how Lean extends Agile reach in the enterprise …

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 »

speakers_e20s_2014

Get ready people, the next edition of the Enterprise 2.0 European Summit will happen in Paris from 10th to 12th February ! Already the fifth edition (first one was in 2010).

A chance to witness that if Social Business moniker has been downgraded in the buzzword ranking of some consultants, real people are still leveraging digital transformation in their organizations to achieve meaningful results. The conference propose a rather exciting cast with many different returns of experience from many different industries and many different countries

Last but not least, an exciting set of keynotes with Zdnet digitalization oracle Dion Hinchcliffe (who made an excellent one last year), Rachel Happe the leader behind the Community Roundtable, Jon Mell from IBM and Dan Pontrefact, author of the acclaimed Flat ArmyRead the rest of this entry »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 336 other followers