Appreciating Systems

Appreciating Systems for Genuine Efficiency
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#Lean Six Sigma est mort – vive le #Strength-Based Lean Six Sigma ! | @alexis8nicolas & @davidshaked1

Alexis Nicolas teste le marché pour une formation Lean Six Sigma fondé sur les forces (strengths). Si vous êtes intéressés, allez voir là ! Lean Six Sigma est mort – vive le Strength-Based Lean Six Sigma ! | YisY.


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…


@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!


Reblog @HarvardBiz : Can You Invent Something New If Your Words Are Old?

A nice post that makes you think: Can You Invent Something New If Your Words Are Old?

Lean is deficit-based in its language: what problem do we need to fix? What failure demand do we need to take care of? What’s the gap between where you are now (bad) and where you want to be (customer need)?

Hopefully, I see the glimpse of positive change here and there:

  • Lean Startup is gaining a lot of traction when it comes to doing just what the customer want but with a constant thrust to find more and more added value, even in the form customer didn’t know they had a need for. Lean startup is also starting to be use elsewhere, like in Lean Change for instance by Jason Little.
  • Strength-Based Lean Six Sigma by David Shaked which specifically addresses this (disclaimer: I reviewed the book). The book is due on November 4th.
  • And of course the usual positive suspects (deficit word, again!): Appreciative Inquiry, Solution Focus, Positive Deviance, and much more.

In my book (“The Colors of Change“), I make the case for strength-based change approaches and explain why we don’t use them naturally (why it’s normal to fail), what can we do instead, and list some of the change approaches that I feel are strength-based and make use of a different language to achieve different (and better!) results.

Using a different language, we can co-construct a different reality, and, experimenting it, we can confirm and reinforce our thinking that this indeed works better. It’s usually better because of the absence of so-called “resistance to change”, learning step, etc.

Don’t try to match reality to your dreams (it will just reinforce the gap).

Don’t try to force your dreams onto reality (you’ll find resistance).

Instead, do search for your dreams in reality. I bet you’ll find them!

#Bravo pour le #livre “Le #management #Lean” de @thegembacoach et @godefroy_b!

Je viens de finir “Le Management Lean” de Michaël Ballé et Godefroy Beauvallet ( #reader_2744065528)

Michaël Ballé est un coach Lean (français) reconnu internationalement, auteur de 2 autres livres primés par le Shingo Prize (“The Gold Mine” et “The Lean Manager”).

Ce livre est tout simplement exceptionnel. C’est un “manuel de Lean management” simple et surtout, il explique très très clairement dans sa dernière partie l’importance du respect des gens et notamment des employés.


Selon cet idéal [de l’entreprise Lean], l’entreprise est créée par des êtres humains pour satisfaire des besoins humains et est composée d’être humains. […]

Le “respect pour l’humanité” est au coeur de la performance et la clé du juste-à-temps. […]

Respecter ses employés est lié à la conviction que chacun est capable de progresser et à l’effort du management de tenir compte des aspirations du personnel qu’il emploie.[…]

Cette réalité humaine est une richesse pour l’entreprise, et non une complexité inutile.[…]

Le respect des employés n’est pas un supplément d’âme pour pays nantis, c’est la voie de nouvelles relations sociales, dans une certaine mesure plus tolérantes et apaisées, assurant que chacun puisse donner le meilleur de lui-même.[…]

Les clients, employés et partenaires sont des personnes et non des ressources, des rôles ou des fonctions.[…]

Une performance intrinsèquement collective dépasse de loin les résultats obtenus avec une logique mécaniste de l’action, qui sépare “les têtes qui pensent et les bras qui font” et invente des règles à n’en plus finir et des incitations en tranches de plus en plus fines.

Je m’arrête là, ce livre regorge de pépites du même genre dans sa 3e partie (et les 2 premières sont limpides sur la manière de réaliser l’idéal du Lean Management, en tout respect des collaborateurs, afin de libérer leur engagement (cf. rapport Gallup sur les résultats catastrophiques de l’engagement au travail, notamment en France)

Une dernière pour la route:

Dans les termes employés par des managers d’entreprises dirigées dans un esprit véritablement lean, ils ont l’occasion de “s’éclater au travail”. Le travail ne devrait pas être un lieu de souffrance, mais un espace de réalisation.

Ma conclusion : fuyons le déploiement tayloriste des outils du Lean, et revenons à ce qu’il devrait être réellement : un outil de libération de la motivation intrinsèque et de l’engagement des collaborateurs et des managers. Alors la performance client et financière suivra.

Pas l’inverse.

#Lean Analytics is the missing piece of #leanstartup : learn with @acroll in Paris #prodmgmt

October 14th, 2013 Posted in Lean Tags: , , , , ,

A crowdfundingly organized event is planned to have Alistair Croll deliver a workshop on Lean Analytics in december in Paris, France: Lean Analytics Masterclass.

I probably won’t be able to make it, but I can only highly suggest that you give it a head in order either to experiment with Lean Startup with your own ideas or (and?!) experiment with the Lean Startup concepts with what you’re trying to achieve at work. Even if your work isn’t explicitely related to Lean!

Using crowdfunding to testbed whether people are interested in the even or not is very Lean Startup in spirit as well. I love the organizing idea!


A proposal for a new #Complexity- and #Strength- based #PDCA (for #Lean or else)

Thinking during commute the other day (should I have to live nearer my work, I’d be much more dumb!) I pondered how a better strength-based Plan Do Check Act loop could look like.

I find the current version of PDCA to be a bit too deficit-based and tainted of Command & Control. All too often we see managers or project managers deciding on a plan in their offices and rolling it over employees, without much consideration about what would work for them (they’re the ones with their two feet in the daily work, so they should know best). Sure, if you’re doing nemawashi, this doesn’t concern you. But not everybody does it, yet.

So, since we’re speaking more and more about complexity (hmmm, Google Trends on complexity is making me a liar it seems – a construction of mine?)… anyway, I came up with the following new version:

  • Connect ideas of different people: who are they? what are their strengths? What ideas do they have? Aspirations? Opportunities they see? Results they expect?
  • Select ideas that you (collectively) would think are the more interesting to try?
  • Effect these ideas: go to the gemba and put them to the test of work. Measure heavily what happens of course (People side: does it enhance the work experience? Quality? Delays? Costs?)
  • Reflect on what happened: what did you learn? What new opportunities do you now see? What hopes does this give you? What else?

PS: well, at least the Cynefin  framework is trending more 😉

Forthcoming book on #Strength-based #Lean #SixSigma by David Shaked #appreciativeinquiry #solutionfocus

A new book called ‘Strength-based Lean Six Sigma‘ will be available from November 4th. Its author, David Shaked, has worked with Lean Thinking and Six Sigma for over 15 years and more specifically using a strength-based approach over the past 7 years.

The book is the first book to create bridges and combine the best of both the strengths and the deficit worlds in the drive for greater efficiency, by combining Appreciative Inquiry (and other strength-based approaches like Solution Focus), with the leading approaches to efficiency and quality improvement (Lean Thinking and Six Sigma – normally practised with a deficit-focus). The book contains principles, fresh ideas, stories and useful tools.

It is hoped this book will expand the community of Strength-based practitioners & enthusiasts by creating inroads with many more organizations and people who are keen followers of Lean Thinking and Six Sigma.

If your organization or clients are using Lean Six Sigma and you would like to use the best of their existing knowledge while introducing them to AI – this book is for you (and for them…)!

You can now be pre-order the book directly from the publisher (with a special launch discount) using the details in the following flyer.

It is also available for pre-order on both Amazon US and Amazon UK:

  1. Amazon UK
  2. Amazon US

It may also be available via other Amazon sites or other online/off line retailers of your preference. You can search it using the book title or the ISBN number which is: 0749469501. An e-book version (e.g. for Kindle/iPad) will also be available closer to the launch date.

There’s a LinkedIn group on the same subject as well, feel free to join to talk on the topic of strengths applied to Lean and Six Sigma.

Level 1 Module 1 – ThinkNation @iDSRP #systemsthinking: why we need it so much

I’ve just viewed the video here about the DSRP “thinking toolkit” I’ve already blogged about. Indeed, I even used it for my introductory Systems Thinking Slides out of my recent Napkin skills.

Level 1 Module 1 – ThinkNation.

Check the web site!

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