Let’s talk about #PresentOfWork


“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.” (Scott Berkun – The Year Without Pants).

Interested in management and the impact of the advent of digital in the our life, I am largely exposed to many thought leaders and fellow professionals discussing about one perceived intersection between both : the future of work. Great hopes are discussed (let’s do X, it will be so much nicer afterwards), radical positions are taken (let’s get rid of managers), some arguably dystopian visions are delivered (holocracy) and dangerous promises are made (innovative socio-technological solutions will solve your organisation problems).

In all fairness, I fully understand the seduction of intellectual projections, I have been recovering from this propensity for the last couple of years myself. Yet, ever since I’ve discovered Agile management methods, I have learnt a very valuable principle inherited from lean : focus on today’s problems.

I am not fully convinced that while discussing about #FutureOfWork we are discussing solutions for the main problems organisations are facing today. Continue reading “Let’s talk about #PresentOfWork”

Better Faster Together

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Le blog de Operae Partners est maintenant ouvert. Ce blog se nomme Better Faster Together car il s’agit de notre tag line et cela correspond à une conviction profonde : le lean permet de faire mieux, plus vite et ensemble.

C’est une grande satisfaction d’avoir un espace d’échanges autour de ces nouvelles pratiques de management. J’ai beaucoup parlé sur #hypertextual de théorie de management. C’est intellectuellement émoustillant mais, au final peu gratifiant car on ne voit pas les conséquences directes de ces théories. Et, comme le rappelle Matthew Crawford citant Alexandre Kojève, l’homme qui travaille reconnait dans le monde effectivement transformé par son travail sa propre oeuvre.

A ce stade de ma carrière j’ai besoin de voir les conséquences directes de mes pratiques et le lean est la voie royale pour y parvenir. Entouré de mes épatants collègues de Operae Partners, c’est le sujet que nous allons ensemble traiter. Nous espérons vous y retrouver.

Pourquoi l’Exécution EST la Stratégie Numérique


“Vision without execution is hallucination” (Thomas Edison)

Un second billet inspiré par la lecture de l’ouvrage de Nicolas Colin et Henri Verdier : l’Âge de la Multitude.

Dans cet essai foisonnant et hautement recommandable, les succès phénoménaux du numérique sont racontés a posteriori en histoires linéaires, comme s’il s’agissait du résultat de stratégies élaborées dans le détail puis exécutées comme prévu pour obtenir les résultats attendus.

Il s’agit il me semble de la faiblesse principale de cet ouvrage, d’autre part essentiel.

Car la stratégie à l’ère du numérique n’est pas dans les idées ou les concepts mais, bien plus qu’à toute autre époque, dans l’exécution, collée au plus près du réel opérationnel. Et voici pourquoi …

Continue reading “Pourquoi l’Exécution EST la Stratégie Numérique”

Ce que signifie la transformation digitale : le passage à l’économie de l’apprentissage


Ce billet est la conclusion de la série Ce que signifie la transformation digitale. Les autres sont disponibles en ligne :

  1. Définition et enjeux
  2. les points cardinaux (1/2) : relation client, produits et services, processus, outils
  3. les points cardinaux (2/2) : leadership, culture, équipe et management
  4. les projets
  5. l’ingénierie

Cette synthèse avance que la transformation digitale marque la bascule de l’économie de la connaissance à celle de l’apprentissage permanent. Et voici pourquoi …

(Note : vous pouvez trouver le slidedeck présentant la synthèse de ces articles ici)

Continue reading “Ce que signifie la transformation digitale : le passage à l’économie de l’apprentissage”

Myths of the 21st century organization and the sad truth about enterprise collaboration


There have been 2 milestones in my story with online collaboration tools. First, at the turn of the century, these have helped me to get out of a very tricky professional situation. Then I was fascinated by the geek culture after I joined an innovative start-up in 2004, where everybody would use such tools while collaborating in a very efficient way. And I kept on telling myself : why on earth isn’t everyone working like this ? This is fun, exciting, engaging I need to tell the world this is the way to go.

I have been a very active supporter of these ever since, in particular during the 2009 – 2011 period during which I have blogged extensively on the topic. Looking back to this activism, I have realized that I was making some major misconceptions, the very same that people talking about future of work or hacker culture are making today IMHO.

  1. People who are not digital literate won’t see the value of online collaboraton tools, especially if they don’t collaborate in the first place. In other words, technology is more an obstacle than an enabler to create a culture of collaboration.
  2. The hacking culture has emerged from people who are more comfortable collaborating online then in real life. Thank God, we are a minority (I’m counting myself in).
  3. Online collaboration tools are used to scale collaboration throughout the organization. If there is no collaboration in the enterprise, you ain’t gonna scale anything but frustration.

If buying enterprise software was actually solving organization problems, my job (organization coach/consultant, i.e. fixing broken organizations) would not be a multi-billion dollar industry. If this a strategy, it is just a CIO/VP self-preservation one (“No CIO hs been fired for buying ${enterprise_software_vendor} solutions”).

This easy approach has even less chances to succeed for something as fragile as enterprise collaboration. It may, though, in very specific contexts, but in my opinion these are more evidences of leadership of the professionals making their project a success (Claire FlanaganDan Pontrefact, or Celine Schillinger being names coming to mind) than evidences of the viability of such initiatives.

Baring in mind these sad truths, this post proposes an alternate strategy to root collaboration in the organization. Continue reading “Myths of the 21st century organization and the sad truth about enterprise collaboration”

Ce que signifie la transformation digitale – 2ème partie

Dans le premier volet de cette série, nous nous sommes attardés sur une définition de la transformation digitale en proposant  d’en circonscrire l’enjeu principal :

Exploiter la radicalité des capacités d’internet (temps-réel, ubiquité, multitude) pour construire et ajuster en permanence :

  1. une connaissance validée de la réalité du marché, aujourd’hui, afin d’élaborer les produits et services les plus adaptés pour y répondre
  2. une connaissance validée de la réalité de l’organisation et des processus pour livrer le plus rapidement possible ces produits et services

Dans ce second billet nous allons décrire les quatre premiers des 7 points cardinaux de cette transformation. Pour chacun, nous allons proposer des principes, des exemples, des anti-patterns et des questions vous permettant d’évaluer votre stratégie. Ces sept points sont les suivants :

  1. la relation client
  2. les produits et services
  3. les processus
  4. les outils

Continue reading “Ce que signifie la transformation digitale – 2ème partie”

The Wirearchy Selfie Meme

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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.