Appreciating Systems

Appreciating Systems for Genuine Efficiency
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Reblog: Seth Godin’s Blog: The Acute Heptagram of Impact – a #systemsthinking view (#stwg)

Seth Godin recently published an interesting article about how one’s can achieve high impact: Seths Blog: The Acute Heptagram of Impact (click to open in a new windows to follow my thinking below).

Upon rapid staring on that 7 headed star, it occurred to me that it might provide more insights than initially advocated in Seth’s article. Let me show you my own wandering around this star… using some naive systems thinking on it.

Following edges

The first wandering follows the edges. Let’s see:

Strategy is what allows good tactics, which fuels one’s desire for more. This allows to overcome fear which surely enough is good foundation for reputation. The latter is the one that once fed back to you maintains your persistence which allows for steady execution of your initial strategy.

Ok, this one was easy. Let’s try another.

Round the clock

This time I’m reading the vertices in order:

A good strategy will fuels your persistence which is what will allow you to overcome fear, clearing the way for sound tactics which you will be able to bring to bright execution, surely enough building up your reputation, which will fed back to yourself and further reinforce your desire to continue on your strategy.

Not bad, eh? What about embracing opposites? Let’s go…

Head and two opposites

Here I’m looking at the two opposite vertices from each point, clock wise:

  • Strategy is tactics with a good execution.
  • Persistence is fueled from steady execution coated in your own reputation.
  • Fear are easily overcome by your desire for more along with your own reputation fed back to you, since it usually believe more in you than yourself.
  • Tactics grow out of your desire to pursue some strategy.
  • Execution only is possible by giving persistence to one’s own strategy.
  • Reputation surely is grown out of your persistence and your overcome of fear.
  • Lastly, desire is fueled by your successful tactics and your repeated successes over fear.


What about considering each vertex with its two neighbours? Here we go:

  • Strategy is sustained by your persistence in your desire.
  • Persistence grows out of a strategy to overcome fear.
  • Fear is defeated by persistent application of well sounded tactics.
  • Tactics succeed by diligent execution of plans to overcome fear.
  • Execution is possible through sound tactics fueled daily by your own reputation fed back from others.
  • Reputation grows of steady execution of plans to make your desire a reality.
  • Desire for more grows out of your reputation for achieving successful strategy.

Where unrelated concepts show danger

Now my last part. Each vertex faces a barring line, whose perpendicular leads to itself. For instance, the Reputation-Fear line has a perpendicular that passes through Strategy. Let’s see how this works out:

  • Strategy can be defeated by lack of reputation and too much fear.
  • Persistence is void when desire is absent of tactics fail.
  • Fear grows out of a lack of strategy and derailing execution.
  • Tactics are hindered by bad reputation or lack of persistence.
  • Execution isn’t just possible without desire and is paralyzed by fear.
  • There is no Reputation without perfect strategy and tactics.
  • Desire can’t exist without persistence and successful execution.

As a final note, I need to say that I see all these relationships taking place at the same time, and the resulting emerging consequence is that of IMPACT, as set out by Seth Godin.

Very good job, @SethGodin!!!

(The clever reader might want to have a look at Constructivism and Hermeneutics on Wikipedia 😉 I might have just invented blog hermeneutics, here…

What Drives Entrepreneurs to Win (@gallup article on #strength)

September 25th, 2012 Posted in Strengths Tags: , , , ,

Gallup wrote an interesting article: What Drives Entrepreneurs to Win.

What’s interesting in this article is that it’s not another one on how to start a new businesss (there are plenty of those like The Lean Startup or Business Model Generation for instance). Although the article does give a glance at the process, it focusses more on what are those behaviors that makes entrepreneurs successful.

What I feared first was that they would identify people’s Strengths, as per their Strength Finder survey, for that would condemn (self-fulfilling prophecy) those not having the proper strengths to try at being an entrepreneur.

Rather, they took the “behavior” perspective that allows everybody to imagine how they build on their strengths to replicate these successful behaviors.




Self-Determination Theory and the Facilitation of Intrinsic Motivation, Social Development, and Well-Being #engagement #motivation

I just found this article on the topic. Looks great, will read it later.

The original web site redirects now to Self-Determination Theory which is a concept that has been integrated into Motivational Interviewing which I used in my paper regarding coaching executives into Lean Management without raising resistance.

Will speak at LKFR12: Hands-on experience on Strength-based Kanban: a Metaphor and Tool to boost your lean implementation coaching skills #lkfr12 #lean

I will be a speaker there along with David Shaked from Almond Insight.

You can read about our common presentation (and that of others) on the LKFR Speakers page. We intend to do a highly interactive sessionà la workshop where we hope attendees will get back home with a huge number of ideas that will work for them.

Our intervention will be a “Hands-on experience on Strength-based Kanban: a Metaphor and Tool to boost your lean implementation coaching skills.”

The agenda and list of speakers is incredible, make sure you come exchange with us!

Reblog: Dan Jones: Five years into lean » The Lean Edge

August 20th, 2012 Posted in Lean Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Just read the following on a summer blog entry of Dan Jones. This is a rather simple explanation of what’s everybody’s role at all hierarchical levels in a Lean company:

[…] By then I would expect top management to be setting the direction for lean, middle management to be focused on streamlining their value streams and the front line to be deeply engaged in problem solving.

Although this is simply expressed (as is typical of someone’s wise in any field as Mr Jones is in Lean), this has profound implications:

  • top management being able to 1) devise a strategy that is coherent with Lean principles (not black magic, though some strong character is necessary to stick to some consistent True North) 2) deploy it “properly”, using Hoshin Kanri to embark all levels of the organization, and not trump any motivation by unilaterally imposing it
  • middle management being able to 1) identify value streams 2) connect the streams transversally through the organization and most importantly 3) communicate with one another to make improvements possibles. This is what A3 thinking is about I guess…
  • base employees being able to kaizen, kaizen, kaizen all the time so as to make the value streams identified above pull and approach one piece flow as much as possible.

Of course, this works if top management coaches middle management to do that VSM stuff (value stream mapping) and A3 thinking, most importantly with proper nemawashi (going to see all middle management involved, and any necessary stakeholders so as to devise the final solution with them, not without them). And middle management to coaches base employees into doing kaizen all the time and ensuring learning occurs (standards get improved to as not to forget and not to fall back). In the end, employees work so as to produce basic indicators related to Safety, Quality, Delays and Costs that are reviewed by top management to inform the top strategy (feedback)…

Read the rest of the article here: Dan Jones: Five years into lean » The Lean Edge.

Reblog: Increase Your Team’s Motivation Five-Fold – Scott Keller – Harvard Business Review

Well, this is exactly what Appreciative Inquiry or Solution Focus is about. I’m really glad some kind of research has been done to put a number on it. Five times more commitment for a self-designed change vision, when compared to a top-down one.


Remember this number!

Conversely, it also means that the current way people see their situation is FIVE times more appealing to them than the change you might propose. Meaning that if you want to impose your ideas, you’ll have FIVE time more work to do to turn them over.

The article states that some company that made “people write their own lottery tickets” took twice the time to do so.

That mean that by investing TWO you get FIVE (a 2,5 investment). Not a bad deal when you know that you are the one that need to invest FIVE otherwise! So, the deal is:

  • Give FIVE or
  • Give TWO and get FIVE.

See original article here: Increase Your Team’s Motivation Five-Fold – Scott Keller – Harvard Business Review.

Thinking about Rio+20: who owns the Green Economy? | Opinion | Whitsunday Times

I read the paper here: Rio+20: who owns the Green Economy? | Opinion | Whitsunday Times and I’m worried (also see the other document from the parallel People Summit at Rio “Another Future is Possible” which is referenced from that “Tragedy of the Commons” blog post of the School of Commoning).

I’m worried because, like so many expert advices in organizations and governments, it’s unheard by those in a position to lead the change. To the best case, it will end on presidential desks and maybe will be read by them. To the worst, it will be forgot or even fuel that “tragedy of the commons” we’re experiencing regarding ecology on a global level where the more pressing the situation is, the more pushy ecologically aware people will become, thereby making leaders resist.

To me, the problem is two-fold: 1) experts having a non systemic perspective and 2) experts  pushing leaders to change using fear.

Let’s look at these. Read more »

#ENST – Projet #Lean Entreprise – L’importance du respect dans une démarche Lean

June 15th, 2012 Posted in Lean Tags: , , , ,

(french article)

Voici un excellent editorial du Projet Lean Entrprise de l’ENST mettant l’accent sur cet aspect trop souvent néglifé du Lean, le Respect. C’est toute l’essence de ce blog ( que de remettre sur le devant de la scène ce pilier du Lean (il y en a deux: Respect et Kaizen).

Toutefois, si les deux vont effectivement bien de pair comme énoncé dans le billet, il me semble important de commencer par le Respect. Commencer par le kaizen, c’est courir le risque d’utiliser les outils du Lean à la mode du taylorisme. C’est le meilleur moyen pour provoquera une résistance des collaborateurs et du management et un désengagement dommageable pour la suite.

Au contraire, commencer par s’intéresser au Respect et permettre aux employés de retrouver de l’intérêt dans leur travail, c’est initier une démarche qui ne peut qu’être profitable, à terme, à l’entreprise.

J’en réfère le lecture au point #12 de Deming qui résumé bien tout cela:

Supprimer les obstacles qui privent les ouvriers, agents de maîtrise, ingénieurs et cadres de leur droit à la fierté du travail.

Bonne lecture!

ENST – Projet Lean Entreprise – RespectProjetLeanEntreprise.

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