Appreciating Systems

Appreciating Systems for Genuine Efficiency
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10 arguments pour convaincre votre direction …[d]es media sociaux | missphilomene @happy_laurence

December 3rd, 2013 Posted in Uncategorized Tags: , , , , ,

Laurence Vanhee a commis cet excellent article que je vous enjoins de lire immédiatement maintenant tout de suite :

10 arguments pour convaincre votre direction de vous laisser utiliser les media sociaux pendant les heures de bureaux | missphilomene.

C’est direct, fun, 100% pertinent et à appliquer de suite ! Et tellement vrai…

 

 

@NancyDuarte #resonate #free #book on making presentations: what if you could *really* turn your audience into a hero?

I’m reading the beginning of this great book from Nancy Duarte she just released for free in beautiful HTML 5: Resonate. The book’s (or the beginning of it at least) is about the Monomyth as it’s been described by Joseph Campbell in “A Hero’s Journey”.

The purpose of a presentation should be to tell a story and make your audience like it is the hero of it, by making it visualize “what could be” in comparison to “what is“. The intent is to “sell” your proposal of how to achieve the “what could be” part of your message.

Yet, I’m thinking of all these strength-based approaches to change I’ve learned these recent years. For instance:

  • Appreciative Inquiry could be used to have people remember of personal situations where they lived the opposite of the problem (that is a strongly positive situation, that is, an experience of “what could be”). Combined with the social constructionist principle of AI, this could help people co-create their journey rights when you’re presenting (instead of waiting for the “call to action” to start it at the end of the presentation)
  • Solution Focus is explicitly based on the premise that the Future Perfect has already happened, at least partially,and to find again what behavior supported it at that time that could be amplified and done again.

So, instead of just encouraging your audience to just imagine them being a hero, what about having them remember they’ve already been the hero, and probably more than once?

Indeed, the story has already begun albeit in a masqueraded way. The real threshold would then be to have them commit to it and reveal it to the world.

Instead of holding the mirror where the audience can see itself in, what about giving them the mirror to play with? To discover sides of themselves they’ve never imagined they had? And then let them experiment with it right away?

This, I will ponder. I will continue reading the book, because it’s just excellent so far!

 

The Next Wave: how I see the future of #social #networking & blogging on Internet

February 20th, 2013 Posted in Lean, Uncategorized Tags: , , , , , ,

Somesh CirclesThis is something I’ve been pondering since quite some time.

  • Twitter is too short to make for long discourses, and you have to find people, then subscribe to them (not Lean!)
  • Blogs you have to search for and subscribe (not Lean!)
  • #hashtags are a cool way to mark content (so do categories and tags in blog posts)

So here’s what I have in mind for the next wave of social platforms (see picture on the right). It would basically work as this:

  1. people tell the system of what they are interested in using specific #tags
  2. you post whatever interesting content of some kind of a blogging platform and you categorize and #tag your post with as much as necessary #tags your piece of work mandates
  3. the article gets notified to some system: title, @author, all #tags
  4. people who subscribed to some of the #tags you used get notified of your publication
  5. because it provokes some insights in you, you comment back in the system, which notifies other people that the initial blog post is gaining traction. Other people comment as well, or write their own blog posts which get connected to yours in the system…

So, there’s a virtuous circle: you blog, it gets tweeted, people receive it through their #tags subscription, they react and post some more, which get tweeted as well, etc.

This is what (the now defunct) Google Wave ought to become IMO. Only that I removed the constraint of requiring bloggers to belong to Wave or some dedicated blog platform.

 

Reblog: Forget Empowerment—Aim for Exhilaration | Management Innovation eXchange

April 30th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized Tags: , , ,

This really came at a time where I’m considering writing on this very subject.

Can’t say it better than in this article from Management Innovation eXchange, though, so you’d better read it straight!

Forget Empowerment—Aim for Exhilaration | Management Innovation eXchange.

#Lean is hard on processes in order to be soft on people

October 11th, 2011 Posted in Lean, Uncategorized Tags: , , , ,

After yesterday diatribe on the people side of improvement, it occurred to me this morning that when doing Lean management, what we work with are mainly processes, not people; at least not directly.

“Hard on problems, soft on people” is indeed an often cited quote in Lean culture.

Lean is based on a coaching culture where the coaches are the managers (“teach, don’t tell” is another Lean quote). Yet, you can’t coach someone who doesn’t want to (whatever his/her [good or bad] reason).

So, the process is used as a pretext for that coaching. In an organization that needs to make benefits, improving efficiency is something well understood from employees. Yet, it’s hard (if not impossible) to come toward people and tell them how they should work better, because:

  • it’s disrespectful (and Lean is based on Respect for People!)
  • it’s presumptuous unless you did their job before and preferably not long time ago
  • and even if not long ago, you’d be served a well-merited “why didn’t you do it yourself when on the job”?
  • you don’t have requisite variety, meaning a manager can’t know the details of how to do each and every job he’s supposed to manage
  • and finally, it goes against what Lean management teaches us: having employees learn. If you tell, they don’t learn. Period.

So, even if you know how to do it better, you shouldn’t say it. And so you focus on the processes instead. Because by improving processes, you squeeze problems out of them, which means food for thought for your employees, which they will solve because it’s their job (not yours as a manager!), which will improve further the process and make it all the more sensitive to more subtle problems.

So is the virtuous circle of Lean.

(The vicious circle of traditional management is all too common: no problem solving, thus more problems, more firefighting, less time to solve anything, and more problems, leading to people leaving the company, new hires, less experience of the current situation and so further less problem solving). I wrote about it here: Nobody Ever Gets Credit for Fixing Problems that Never Happened (Creating & Sustaining Process Improvement).

How often do you focus on the processes instead of only the results of them?

What my wild strawberries told me about #Lean

July 13th, 2011 Posted in Lean, Personal Development, Uncategorized

At the end of spring this year, I had the pleasure to see that my wild strawberries were 1) plenty and 2) ripe.

It turned out that harvesting them was a powerful Lean learning experience. Here’s why.

Before harvesting, I have had the habit of glancing at them every morning when passing by to go to my car. Only when I thought there was enough did I decided to invest the time in harvesting them. Also, I came to notice the powerful and tasty smell they were releasing. A kind of call for harvesting, for sure. Picking some at random from time to time finished convincing me that the time had come.

So, on that first evening at dusk, I picked up a bowl and started collecting them. Fool that I was! A bowl wasn’t enough for the quantity available (I have around 6 squared-meters of them). The day after, I collected another bowl. And the day after, still another one. I stopped after that (out of laziness I must admit and because I though that what was left wasn’t the burden of picking them up).

But what’s more important to me is what I learned during the time picking the strawberries:

  • that you can trust your nose and eyes as to whether it’s time to harvest or not
  • how you can improve your efficiency by attending to your tactile sensations when picking up berries: some come easily and are good to eat, some are resisting a bit: they probably aren’t ripe on all their surface (the one below often still being green) – so don’t trust only your first eye impression here!
  • that the bigger ones are often hidden by leaves (I suspect it’s because the exposed ones ripe more quickly and stop their growing – the ones being protected by leaves can grow more before ripping. Should I plant a shrub to shadow them? That’s something done for tea plants to increase chlorophyll and taste – with trees in India and artificial shadows in Japan for Gyokuro green tea. Some PDCA for some next year…
  • so I learned to move the leaves by hand to discover the bigger ones
  • I learned to detect by hand the ones already tasted by slugs
  • the ones that are of dark red but still small are often not tasty because they have lots of seeds on them
  • moving the leaves by hand, I shall not fear spiders, for they are more frightened than me
  • if I go in the middle of the gemba, err, the field, I can see more than by staying outside of it
  • so I learned to move among them without crushing them
  • picking some, I looked between my legs (head upside down) and discovered that I could see under the leaves and discover even more than by moving leaves by hand. I ended with a combination of the two (hopefully, my neighbors aren’t able to see me thanks to the hedge while doing this)
  • I also learned to 5S the place a bit, especially at the borders of it, to prevent shoots from colonizing the rest of the garden
  • I removed grass between strawberry plants
  • I also removed the offshoots from a previous hedge that was located where my strawberries are now, before they grow too big

So, as I said, after the third day, I stopped harvesting, believing I got most of them. A few days after, I discovered how foolish I had been. New lessons: don’t trust your mind, go and see by yourself. Also, do the hard work! It turned out that it wasn’t that bad: some strawberries were too ripe to be eaten so I let them fall on the floor so the seeds can make for the Next Generation (although strawberries are perennial here).

So, my wild strawberries told (or remembered) me some powerful Lean lessons:

  • use your senses fully to be efficient (Franck I guess you’ll be happy on this one! 🙂
  • go to the real place, do the real job, to learn practical experience and identify improvement opportunities
  • do the hard work and don’t only rely on what you’re thinking: go and see always and always, even when you think you know already, for you never know completely anyway
  • 5S your workplace to allow for more efficiency, to discover problems or prevent future ones – also, 5S is something you can do while working, not only at dedicated times
  • Flow allows for concentration that allows for deep learning

What have you learned of your work that would allow you to improve it? When have you last improved your work?

When was the last time you learned something out of the work your employees do everyday long?

When was the last time you gave them the opportunity to improve their own work based on what they learn from it every day?

What behavior of yours have you seen successful in prompting improvement activities from your employees? What could you do tomorrow to replicate part or all of that successful behavior on a recurrent basis? What’s in it for you as well?

 

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