Appreciating Systems

Appreciating Systems for Genuine Efficiency
Home » Page 10

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!!!


#AppreciativeInquiry Summit for 750 — Profound Conversations

Neil facilitated an AI Summit for 750. His short report of it is really exciting! I wish I could organize one like that here.

I love this:

We had one ground rule: “Everyone is a fully functioning adult making informed choices about how to participate.”

Please continue!


#Lean and @simonsinek’s Golden Circle : there’s hope for you, yet…

February 24th, 2014 Posted in Lean Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

I had a sort of epiphany this morning during commute.

Lean isn’t, or shouldn’t, be transmitted or taught about improving performance or best to achieve performance.

The recent history of Lean seems to me to have gone through the following steps, which, in my mind, mirror the approaching of the WHY center circle of Simon Sinek.

Whats of Lean were the first to be taught (probably because they were the easiest to spot and understand inside Toyota plants) – and is still probably the main line of teaching Lean. Incidentally, these were those Taiichi Ohno warned us against:

  • Results: is orientated toward increasing performance of the company
  • Teaching of Lean: based mostly on using tools

Hows of Lean saw the beginning of a change in how Lean is transmitted:

  • Results: are sought through people and therefore “Respect” comes again to the fore (which it should never have left anyway)
  • Teaching of Lean: centered on how you achieve results (through people), that solutions come from them, not from the sensei. I think the epitome for this is the great “Toyota Kata” approach to teach Lean from Mike Rother.

Whys of Lean is when executives understand there’s really something more to improving a company, and that “respect for people” really is meant for more than mere words:

  • Results: are about contributing to something bigger than the company
  • Teaching of Lean: Lean is about making people flourish both inside and outside the company

Funnily, the more you advance in how you see Lean (according to the preceding three steps), the less you speak about Lean stuff and more about personal and organizational purpose.

Of course, I can’t end this post without this famous quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry:

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.

Simon, I bow before you…

#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?


#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 !

Mail List

Join the mailing list

Check your email and confirm the subscription