Appreciating Systems

Appreciating Systems for Genuine Efficiency
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Call for articles on #Strength-based #Lean for @AIPractitioner november 2015!

Do you work on organizational improvements using Lean?

Are you strength-based and connect Appreciative Inquiry, Solution Focus or Positive Deviance to your practice?

We want to hear from you!

Have a look at our call for paper and get in touch!

@thegembacoach Column: #LEAN = #TPS {#KAIZEN + #RESPECT} and I infer from that…

August 26th, 2014 Posted in Lean, Strength Tags: , , ,

Ballé did it again: an excellent blogpost on what Lean is all about: Michael Ballé’s Gemba Coach Column.

Making people think by themselves. Man is this terrifyingly difficult!!!

Yet, on other aspects, people do think by themselves when they really are interested in the thing they want thought through.

That they just don’t think about their work should trigger an alarm in management’s heads about what it to to be a leader and having their people be interested in the work they do.

You obviously can’t force interest. And the more we advance in time, the more the new generations of workers seek interesting, meaning making jobs.

And you can’t exactly know what someone will find meaning in, so my conclusion is:

Let people organize themselves and define meaning as what works best for them.

Strength-based Lean, eh? 😉


How I moved beyond #SystemsThinking methods…

This, I posted on the Systems Thinking World LinkedIn group:

I feel like I moved beyond ST methods (the one I cited in a previous blogpost). I was swallowed by Complexity and Ashby‘s law of requisite variety was the crack through which I came on the other side of the mirror.

What this means is: I recognize the complexity of the world and our (recent) capacity to acknowledge it. I recognize my own limitation to understand that complexity in a decent (short time) way: I simply acknowledged that I don’t have the requisite variety.

I also do recognize that people are structurally coupled to their own conditions and their own understanding of them, far better than I will ever be capable of.

So, my own ST way of approaching life is now to help people weave their own mental models with that of others (when they’re supposed to interact successfully) so they can co-build (ie, influence each other) a new one that work for both of them.

In any situation, the best strengths to use and the one of the people inside that very situation. So I help people weave themselves and make their co-intelligence emerge and address the situation.

The generic term for that is “strength-based approaches to change”, but, to me, it goes way beyond just identifying people skills and traits and using them…

Why do people don’t adopt #systemsthinking?

This is a recurring question in the LinkedIn forum “Systems Thinking World” hosted by Gene Bellinger. And one that haven’t had any satisfactorily answer so far.

Indeed, I think that the opposite question is valid too and even provides a hint as to one possible answer: “why do people using systems thinking don’t reverse to another way of thinking?

A more general question might be “why do people think the way they think?

Read more »

What are “good” #questions? (#strengths with @alexis8nicolas)

May 20th, 2014 Posted in Strength Tags: , , ,

Well, is this question a good question in itself? I’ll let you answer it after reading what follows.

This came out of an exchange with a friend and colleague: Alexis from YisY.

A good question is one that serve the purpose of the person asking it, obviously. It would be a bit long to explain what our purpose is with Alexis (hint: we’ve developed a kind of workshop to help people grow using “soft” social technologies which we named “Laboratory of Social Technologies” and a provisional french only leaflet is available here), but here’s what I came to.

If you have complementary criteria, please contribute in the comments below!

So, good questions might be:

  • questions that seek what is rather than what isn’t: they work from strengths (what you want, what you do that works, what you desire, etc.)
  • questions that bring closer rather than move away: they help bring ideas or people close rather than move them apart
  • questions that encourage collaborative rather than individual answers: they foster social constructionism or collective intelligence, if not wild emergence
  • open rather than closed questions: they make people think something new/more profound rather than stay on the surface and elicit automatic response
  • exploratory rather than justificatory questions: they invite “why if?” rather than “whose fault?”
  • questions that stretch rather than contract: they help people grow rather than force them to stay at their place
  • questions that encourage rather than threat: they help develop people rather than command them

What are your good questions?

Glass in half – A #strength-based #Lean perspective compared to other mental models…

March 11th, 2014 Posted in Lean, Strength Tags: , , ,

Someone just posted this on LinkedIn and I thought I might add my own vision of it (I don’t have the original from LeanPost):

half glass




This cartoon lacks a fourth picture, that of the strength-based Lean thinker (besides, does someone around here remember that Lean is indeed a business model [that is, to create value!], and not a cost-cutting program?!)

Woohoo, we already know how to fill half of the glass, and guess what, we still have room to have twice of it. We can do more!

The paradox of improvement and #change in a #deficit or #strength-based vision of the world…

I was considering change this morning, in the context of how the brain, as a complex adaptive system, deals with it (this is explained in my book “The Colors of Change“).

When you work from a deficit-based perspective on life (that is, you have a vision or an ideal in mind and all you see are gaps between it and reality around you, that is, problems):

It’s easy to point out problems, but it’s difficult to solve them.

It’s difficult because you will want to fill a gap using things absent. Which is difficult obviously.

On the contrary, when working from a strength-based mindset, the situation is just the opposite:

It’s hard to point out strengths, but it’s easy to improve on them.

Because strengths are so easy to use, they are hardly noticed on first sight, especially by the person expressing them. For others, it’s a bit easier because someone’s strengths might look so different to one’s own mental model that singling them out is easy.

As for improving, well, the person exercising a strength needs to notice it first before being able to do more of it. But once it’s made visible again (using a slight shift in perspective, for instance), then it’s far easier to do more of it, because you know exactly what it is: you’re going to do more of something you already have done before. Compare this to doing something you never did or for which you’re not so good at!

As far as efficiency is concerned, I’d rather think a bit more beforehand to understand the strengths at play, and then act more easily afterwards, rather than the opposite (jumping straight on a problem but being dragged in acting out a solution to it).

Of course, there’s the middle path where you identify a problem, and then work out to find times when the problem was not present, what the corresponding strengths might be that made the situation better, and then do more of them. A bit simpler than strict problem solving, though still longer than pure strength-based work.

So what? Well, my conclusion is to just don’t damn look for problems in the first place. Just identify what you want more of because you just seem to like it, identify how come you’re good at it, and just-do-more-of-it!!!


#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.


Articles @LesEchos : Génération Y, les 5 révolutions de l’entreprise

My Twitter Social Ego Networks

David R. via Compfight

Je viens de lire cet article très intéressants sur Les Echos : Génération Y, les 5 révolutions de l’entreprise.

Je suis globalement d’accord avec le contenu. Mais j’ai l’impression que les entreprises actuelles encore 1.0 ont déjà perdu. L’avènement des smartphones et les applications sociales a déjà cassé les frontières de l’entreprise. Avant, l’espace interne d’une organisation était plus ou moins protégé de l’extérieur, une sorte de sanctuaire où pouvait se passer plein de choses sans qu’elles soient dérangées.

C’est maintenant fini. Nos smartphones nous rappellent sans cesse à ce qu’il se fait dehors, aux opportunités existantes ailleurs, à nos amis, à notre famille, etc. Seule une petite partie de notre esprit est concentrée sur l’interne d’une entreprise.

Si les entreprises n’embrassent pas maintenant cette ouverture en utilisant les mêmes fonctionnements sociaux (intelligence collective, travail collaboratif massif, encouragement à la co-création entre ce qu’elle est et les potentialités de ses collaborateurs, …) elle risque de péricliter.

Au lieu de laisser l’énergie de ses collaborateurs se disperser dans les réseaux sociaux (technologiques ou non !) l’entreprise se doit d’être le lieu où ces énergies pourront au contraire se connecter et aboutir à quelque chose qui lui soit utile (et évidemment utile aux collaborateurs, l’exploitation sauvage, c’est aussi fini, ça).

On n’embauche plus une personne, on embauche son réseau social. Que fait-on pour valoriser cela? S’il y a des “fuites sociales” vers l’extérieur, c’est que l’attrait de l’intérieur est insuffisant. Et si les gens sont attirés par le social, alors il faut faire du réseau social de manière encore plus intensive à l’intérieur, pour inverser le flux !

Quelle démarche active avez-vous dans votre entreprise pour connecter les cerveaux sociaux de vos collaborateurs?

@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?


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