Appreciating Systems

Appreciating Systems for Genuine Efficiency
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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.

#Video about the future of #Lean: #Strength Based Lean by @DavidShaked1

David Shaked (@DavidShaked1) as authored a video promoting his book “Strength-Based Lean Six Sigma“. If you want to know more about what this beast is about, check it out below!

Also, you’re warmly invited to contribute to the LinkedIn group on the same subject!


Here are my @LeanIT2013 slides about #Lean and #ITIL

November 5th, 2013 Posted in Lean Tags: , , , ,

My slides have been put online by the Lean IT Summit team:

You can also see them at their web site, with others from all the exceptional speakers (there are some videos there too).

Overall, it was an exceptional moment with great speakers!


Reblog: #Kanban and #Lean – a challenging association (from @djaa_dja)

October 28th, 2013 Posted in Lean Tags: , , , , , ,

David J Anderson posted a very nice piece some months ago about the relation current “Lean Kanban” and Lean initiatives have in common (or lack thereof for some part of it).

Indeed, the reasons advanced by David are the same that launched me on a journey to find some new ways to make Lean sticks once the coach turns away from a team (as if often requested from an internal Lean Coach, which is my situation). More precisely, this might be why the best approach to Lean teaching might be to work with a Lean sensei (as advocated by, for instance, Michael Ballé [web]).

Although I totally agree with David’s reasons for being wary of the way most consulting companies introduce Lean, I would not throw the baby with the bath water. There are some people who try to promote a respectful deployment of Lean (as if “respect for people” should have gone away from Lean!). The original “Boston Lean” authors as mentioned by David are just the first of them, despite the fac that their work has too often been misunderstood and the focus on tools be the norm. Granted, at the time the initial Lean books were written, Toyota Production System knowledge outside Toyota was mostly focused on the visible parts, namely the tools. Yet the respect part of it was already there. Michael Ballé’s two (Shingo) prized books (“The Gold Mine” and “The Lean Manager“) also feature the people aspects intertwined with the tools.

Lastly, Michael’s latest book in french have a whole part dedicated to that respect for people and how Lean is supposed to turn the gemba into a thrivable environment (“Le Management Lean” with Godefroy Beauvallet).

So, should we be wary of “Boston Lean“? Definitely when it means focusing on “toolbox Lean”! But I’m not sure that creating a side track with Lean Kanban is also the thing to do, despite helping in the short-term.

A reinforcement of the respect for people part of Lean, what it can bring in the short, middle and long-term to the organization’s betterment is, to me, the definitive path to look after. It’s the duty of Lean coaches to prove that we can achieve safety, quality, delays and cost improvements all the while making employees thrive at work. Indeed, this is the only thing that works on the long-term.


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