Appreciating Systems

Appreciating Systems for Genuine Efficiency
Home » Page 10

@DanielPink + @SimonSinek? Connecting Drive to Golden Circles?

Dan Pink (in “Drive“) talks about Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose. Simon Sinek (in “Start with Why“) is all about What, How and Why?

I see a strong relationship between the two models:

  • What <–> Autonomy which would mean that people are better when they are autonomous on the work they do
  • How <–> Mastery which would mean people thrive when they develop their skills in how to do a job
  • and Why <–> Purpose which would mean that people are best when they can make meaning of their work

Incidentally, although I haven’t yet read Pink’s book (sorry Daniel ;), I’ve always wondered how these three values connect with those of Self Determination Theory (SDT) which are: Autonomy, Competence and Relatedness.

There’s a clear link between Competence and Mastery obviously. And connecting “Relatedness” with “Purpose”, although two words with different meanings, seems to me perfectly aligned with what spiritual masters tried to teach us long ago: that life meaning mostly comes out of helping others (or trivially summarized in the saying “man is a social animal”).

What do you think?


#slideshare: La puissance des organisations qui se basent sur leurs forces de @bernard_tollec et @pscheuerer‎

Excellente présentation, en français, sur les approches du changement fondées sur les forces ! Je vous la recommande chaudement !

La puissance des organisations qui se basent sur leurs forces.

#Happiness @ work, science based #positivepsychology

January 15th, 2014 Posted in Strength Tags: , ,

Positive Psychology is the study of what makes people happy, instead of “just” studying how to bring them from sadness to a more neutral attitude. Popularized by Martin Seligman, it has now been the topic of numerous researches.

Some of the more known results are the 24 Characters, Strengths and virtues that concur to happiness. I would like to list them here so that we can ponder how we support those in our respective organizations to help foster more happiness at work.

The 24 are hereafter, questions are mine:

Wisdom and Knowledge (strengths that involve the acquisition and use of knowledge)

  • creativity: do we foster creativity? (eg through facilitation techniques)
  • curiosity: are people encouraged to ask questions?
  • open-mindedness: do we listen to uncommon ideas?
  • love of learning: do we help learning?
  • perspective and wisdom: do we recognize expertise of low ranked collaborators instead of just that (supposed) of management?

Courage (strengths that allow one to accomplish goals in the face of opposition)

  • bravery: do we encourage people to step out and express their concern, and then take their voice into consideration?
  • persistence: “constancy of purpose” was a motto of Deming. Are we capable of it?
  • integrity: do we take care of it?
  • vitality: do we demonstrate it?

Humanity (strengths of tending and befriending others)

  • love: do we seek to love our employees (which means to seek who they really are, and try to understand them)
  • kindness: are we kind and fault tolerant or ruthless?
  • social intelligence: do we cultivate this one?

Justice (strengths that build healthy community)

  • active citizenship / social responsibility / loyalty / teamwork: are these promoted?
  • fairness: are we known for it?
  • leadership: do we encourage it?

Temperance (strengths that protect against excess)

  • forgiveness and mercy: do we demonstrate these?
  • humility and modesty: do we practice these?
  • prudence: are we demonstrating it when taking decisions? Do we keep a door opened for opportunities or late advises?
  • self-regulation and self-control: do we avoid trampling on others?

Transcendence (strengths that forge connections to the larger universe and provide meaning)

  • appreciation of beauty and appreciation of excellence: do we get out of own way to recognize them when we encounter them?
  • gratitude: do we say “thank you” enough?
  • hope: can we demonstrate hope in the middle of problems?
  • humor and playfulness: can we conjugate work AND fun at the same time?
  • spirituality, or a sense of purpose and coherence: how do we collectively make sense of the company’s purpose?

I hope I have given you hope that these soft skills do indeed have a place in organizations. Studies have already shown that happy employees are more efficient, and that happy organizations outperform others (see Gallup annual reports since quite a few years)…

Ma réponse à “Le but de l’entreprise, au-delà du sophisme et de l’idéalisme” via @alexis8nicolas

J’aimerais réagir à cet excellent (comme toujours) article d’Alexis Nicolas. Alexis recadre le débat du but de l’entreprise, le faisant passer du seul gain financier à la proposition de valeur à la société : Le but de l’entreprise, au-delà du sophisme et de l’idéalisme.

Globalement je suis d’accord avec lui et viser l’apport de valeur ajoutée à la société (de manière durable !) me semble plus pertinent qu’un simple calcul sur les aspects financiers.

Et pourtant?

Personnellement, j’ai tendance à penser que viser des gains financiers sur le long terme peut être une bonne chose. Mais quand je dis long terme, je veux vraiment dire de manière durable. C’est à dire que si vous visez, comme Alexis d’ailleurs le remarque, les seuls gains court terme, vous appelez l’asphyxie par épuisement de vos ressources rares : talents, environnement et probablement clients (car vous exploiterez le filon le plus rentable du moment en oubliant la nécessaire adaptation pour suivre les mouvements de la société).

Mais je pense que lorsque l’on vise le long terme ou mieux, le soutenable / durable, d’autres éléments entrent dans le cadre de réflexion. On devient plus facilement capable d’avoir une vision systémique de l’entreprise. En effet, sur du long terme, on comprend plus facilement comment au moins trois paramètres entrent en compte et sont étroitement liés :

  • les clients (qui fournissent la mane financière) ;
  • les collaborateurs (qui réalisent la valeur ajoutée) ;
  • l’organisation elle-même (management, actionnaires qui organise les relations entre les deux premiers).

Si l’on prolonge encore le long terme pour devenir permanent ou soutenable, un quatrième paramètre entre en ligne de compte :

  • l’environnement (qui fournit le contexte dans lequel les trois précédents peuvent exister).

Donc, si à court terme on peut se focaliser sur l’un des éléments au détriment des trois (ou quatre) autres (puisque l’accroissement important de l’un peut se faire sans problème, bien qu’au détriment des autres), sur du long terme, il devient évident que les liens systémiques ont des effets sensibles, détectables, des uns sur les autres. Et l’on comprend alors comment les quatre éléments sont intimement liés.

Pour moi (et on me pardonnera cette analyse de cause sur un blog où l’on cherche surtout ce qui fonctionne), les critiques targuant la recherche du bonheur des salariés (par exemple) d’utopiste sont le fait de personnes ignorant les aspects long terme, consciemment ou non. Si conscience il y a, c’est probablement que l’appât financier court termiste est le plus important. S’il s’agit de simple ignorance, alors il est sans doute encore temps d’éduquer.

Heureusement, l’époque actuelle met l’emphase sur l’aspect environnemental et la soutenabilité de tous types d’initiatives, et l’on peut espérer qu’à défaut de proactivité, le pilotage systémique des organisations finira par diffuser de l’extérieur vers l’intérieur des organisations…

Merci de ton article, Alexis !

Exceptional #Strength based organizations @slideshare from @Bernard_TOLLEC and @pscheuerer

Please take a few minutes to review those exceptional slides on what are Strength-Based Organizations, and why we do believe in their power and the power of appreciating these…


Build a #school in the #cloud by @sugatam, a @TED #video

I finally took the time to view this wonderful video. Mr Mitra experimented with remote villages in India, where children don’t speak english nor are used to computers, and see what would happen in a few months. Guess what? The children were able to 1) learn english and 2) understand scientific concept far advanced for their ages. All on their own, without any kind of help at all.

His wish is thus to build a school in the cloud where children could learn on their own (he calls this SOLE: Self-Organized Learning Environments (go to that link, there’s a PDF toolkit to download for free) with the help of, for instance, remote retired teachers, through Skype.

I’m not into teaching, but I can’t help make the connection with what happens in organizations. Lean was known as TPS (Toyota Production System) in the beginning, although Taiichi Ohno insisted for it to be called Thinking Production System, meaning by this that it was meant to make people think and really learn about their organization so as to improve it. I guess the concept of a Learning Organization comes from the same desires, too.

In order to improve an organization, people need to learn and innovate in the fields of technology, facilitation, psychology (whether to convince other of the importance of their findings, or to better market whatever it is they’re selling, etc.)

Do our organizations really facilitate this learning? I’m afraid not. Mr Mitra tells us that tests and punishments are seen as threats by the brain and stop all learning and innovating activity. Only appreciation and encouragement liberate those.

Isn’t this a really good praise for Appreciative Inquiry or Solution Focus?!

I think the best way to have organizations improve is not to put up new training or innovation programs, but rather to remote all barriers to self-organization. Let people connect to one another, teach one to another, discussion, exchange and experiment! It’s not just stuff for children. Adults can benefit from it too!

Indeed, lots of companies are starting to liberate themselves in these ways. See the french companies Favi, Poult or others such as Zappos (who just announced they will get rid of all their managers and just function with their 1500 productive employees).

Have you read “Freedom, Inc” from Isaac Getz? Do it now! 🙂 I think it just the same kind of principles for a new way to organize organizations…


Le manager comme un banque de micro-crédit: créer la confiance ! #happy at work thx @bgromard

Merci à Brice de Gromard pour le lien vers cette interview de Muhammad Yunus fondateur de la Grameen Bank (publiée sur le blog de Nicolas Cordier).

M. Yunus explique comment la banque, par de petits actes de prêt (5$), a commencé un processus de développement de la confiance des gens en eux-mêmes et comment, ainsi, ils parviennent à se hisser face à des personnes issues de milieux plus favorisés.

Je retiens des tas de choses de cette interview exceptionnelle, par exemple :

  • une approche solutionfocus : faisons de très petites choses qui ne peuvent échouer, et construisons dessus ;
  • même dans les pires conditions, il est tout de même possible de faire des choses ;
  • en donnant la confiance, on la reçoit en retour.

Elle m’apporte aussi des idées énormes :

  • le capital ne devrait pas être limité à l’argent, mais devrait (et peut !) être plus grand que cela : capital humain, social. Faut-il faire de l’argent pour le reinvestir dans plus d’argent, ou faire de l’argent pour supporter une valeur ajoutée humaine (et le surplus d’argent sert à croître afin de produire encore plus de VAH – valeur ajoutée humaine) ;
  • dans plein d’entreprises, l’activité de management semble se comporter comme une banque traditionnelle (ie, on ne prête qu’aux riches). Si on peut faire du micro-crédit aux pauvres (voire aux mendiants !) ne peut-on imaginer faire du management pour les “pauvres” des entreprises ? De micro actes de management pour inciter les personnes du bas de l’échelle à une petite action qui leur permettra de les aider à construire leur propre confiance. Et celle-ci rejaillira sur le manager qui sera ainsi incité à encore plus de micro-actes de management.

Fantastique, merci encore !

Laurence Vanhée pose l’équation “Liberté + Responsabilité = Bonheur + Performance”. Mais il ne suffit pas de donner la liberté aux employés, encore faut-il qu’il la prennent, se l’approprient, la co-construisent avec leurs collègues et leur patron (idem pour la responsabilité). Dans un contexte historique où la prise d’initiative n’était pas encouragée (voire punie) et où la recherche d’un coupable est le jeu habituel lorsque surviennent les problèmes, savoir prendre et construire sa liberté n’est pas une évidence pour tous.

Muhammad Yunus nous montre ici une voie par le biais du micro-crédit. C’est pour moi la voie de Solution Focus, qui a fait ses preuves par ailleurs.

Si l’on peut prêter de l’argent (de l’oseille, du blé, du flouze, le nerf de la guerre, quoi!) à des personnes qui n’en ont pas, ne peut-on réellement envisager de prêter un petit peu de confiance aux collaborateurs des entreprises ?!


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!


Moving Motivators Free Exercise » NOOP.NL @jurgenappelo

November 20th, 2013 Posted in Change, Strength Tags: , , , , , ,

Here’s a nice exercise to check how a change initiative will affect people motivation factors.

I see this as useful in the context of any project (to check and possibly amend before rolling it out), in HR to exchange with people about what motivates them and where they would be more happy & efficient (what opportunities would allow them to raise their motivation factors?). The possibilities are endless!

Moving Motivators Free Exercise » NOOP.NL.

Mail List

Join the mailing list

Check your email and confirm the subscription