Appreciating Systems

Appreciating Systems for Genuine Efficiency
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#NoProjects – why projects (in IT) don’t make sense via @allankellynet

July 9th, 2014 Posted in Change Tags: , , , , ,

I just stumbled upon this marvelous piece of read: Why projects don’t make sense.

Just spot on, I love this!

Moreover, when Allan says

Destroying team destroys knowledge – knowledge has value, knowledge exists in heads not documents

I would further add that knowledge exists in the interactions too (social constructionism). Destroy relationships, destroy knowledge.

How to break the first rule of #systemsthinking via thinkpurpose

Here’s a nice blog post about the Vanguard Method (it calls itself “systems thinking” which I don’t quite agree, but hell, the result’s good, so who really cares? Besides, nobody really knows or can define what ST *is*)

How to break the first rule of systems thinking | thinkpurpose.

Next time people in your organization complains about a lack of time, have them count the marbles!


Social constructionism is to #Lean what lecturing is to #Taylorism

I just invented this one…

Of course, that Lean promotes cooperation and co-improvement of the organization (through nemawashi) makes the sentence all the more interesting ūüėČ

All those consultants that try to force Lean down the throat of the managers that, according to them, are too dumb to “get it” are just, IMHO, plain wrong. This is the surest path to “change resistance“. Of course, telling is quicker than letting people experiment and trying to understand things from the perspective of the people.

Yet, if management is supposed to learn how to have their people conduct experiments, and then learn from them, then share them with their colleagues throughout the organization, why on earth are they lecturing and teaching them Lean?! If managers learn anything, that will be to continue in command-and-control mode and impose Lean tools and processes onto employees that won’t necessarily understand the purpose of them. And since the managers don’t know exactly how things happens on the Gemba (of many managers do “standing in the circle” for hours ?), they commands will be just resented as unsuited at best by employees, further decreasing their engagement levels, and the few trust left they might have had in their managers.

Is that really what’s wanted?

Of course, putting on my “Systems Dynamics” hat, I can see that the more consultants do it that way, the less organizations really improve on the long-term, and the more need will be felt for more Lean consulting.

I am not saying that consultants want the situation to be that way. I’m just saying that doing more of the same Lean teaching method will just produce more of the same long-term failed results.

Doing more of the same and expecting different results is the definition of insanity according to Einstein

Connecting #Holacracy with #VSM (Viable System Model) – there’s hope yet!

I’ve been reading quite some stuff recently on Holacracy, and I think it would make for a very nice mashup with the Viable System Model. Here’s how:

  • The circles look a lot to me like Systems 1 and a hierarchy of them (super-circles, sub-circles) smells like VSM recursive levels to me. If you add that you can have Cross Link representatives (connecting circles that are not hierarchically connected), that starts to looks like true recursivity to me.
  • Then, you have the “process breakdown” part of the constitution that, to me again, is a way to detect unmatched variety at some level and pass it up the hierarchy/recursivity for managing (System 2)
  • And of course, the Lead Link/Rep Link roles match somewhat naturally with the vertical channels: the ones going down from system 3 to System 1 and up through System 2 as well.
  • Separation between operational meetings and governance meetings would fit well with an S3/S1 separation as well
  • Holacracy incorporates some features of the personal productivity method “Getting Things Done” (GTD) from David Allen, and this obviously would make for a very nice addition to a VSM-based organization (or any other one for that matter).

Indeed, Holacracy looks like a very nice way of running a VSM at whatever level you consider it. Where people might mismatch a VSM organization for a hierarchical one, having circles one inside another as a way to feature the recursive nature of VSM¬†and at the same time having each circle functioning as a viably entity in its own would be a great addition. Holacracy doesn’t address the viability of circles explicitly, yet it provides for some nice alerting mechanisms (algedonic signals in VSM terms) that would allow to bootstrap viability.

Where VSM brings a bit more to the picture, to me, is with its specific focus on the Environment (bringing the outside in, something that Steve Denning identified on Forbes) and the explicit focus on the Future and Ethos through System 4 and 5.

What do you think?

#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-Exup√©ry:

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 ‚Äď vive le #Strength-Based Lean Six Sigma ! | @alexis8nicolas & @davidshaked1

Alexis Nicolas teste le march√© pour une formation Lean Six Sigma fond√© sur les forces (strengths). Si vous √™tes int√©ress√©s, allez voir l√† !¬†Lean Six Sigma est mort ‚Äď vive le Strength-Based Lean Six Sigma ! | YisY.


Articles @LesEchos : G√©n√©ration Y, les 5 r√©volutions de l’entreprise

My Twitter Social Ego Networks

David R. via Compfight

Je viens de lire cet article tr√®s int√©ressants sur Les Echos : G√©n√©ration Y, les 5 r√©volutions de l’entreprise.

Je suis globalement d’accord avec le contenu. Mais j’ai l’impression que¬†les entreprises actuelles encore 1.0 ont d√©j√† perdu. L’av√®nement des smartphones et les applications sociales a d√©j√† cass√© les fronti√®res de l’entreprise. Avant, l’espace interne d’une organisation √©tait plus ou moins prot√©g√© de l’ext√©rieur, une sorte de sanctuaire o√Ļ pouvait se passer plein de choses sans qu’elles soient d√©rang√©es.

C’est maintenant fini. Nos smartphones nous rappellent sans cesse √† ce qu’il se fait dehors, aux opportunit√©s existantes ailleurs, √† nos amis, √† notre famille, etc. Seule une petite partie de notre esprit est concentr√©e sur l’interne d’une entreprise.

Si les entreprises n’embrassent pas maintenant cette ouverture en utilisant les m√™mes fonctionnements sociaux (intelligence collective, travail collaboratif massif, encouragement √† la co-cr√©ation entre ce qu’elle est et les potentialit√©s de ses collaborateurs, …) elle risque de p√©ricliter.

Au lieu de laisser l’√©nergie de¬†ses collaborateurs se disperser dans les r√©seaux sociaux (technologiques ou non !) l’entreprise se doit d’√™tre le lieu o√Ļ ces √©nergies pourront au contraire se connecter et aboutir √† quelque chose qui lui soit utile (et √©videmment utile aux collaborateurs, l’exploitation sauvage, c’est aussi fini, √ßa).

On n’embauche plus une personne, on embauche son r√©seau social. Que fait-on pour valoriser cela? S’il y a des “fuites sociales” vers l’ext√©rieur, c’est que l’attrait de l’int√©rieur est insuffisant. Et si les gens sont attir√©s par le social, alors il faut faire du r√©seau social de mani√®re encore plus intensive √† l’int√©rieur, pour inverser le flux !

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

Ma r√©ponse √† “Le but de l’entreprise, au-del√† du sophisme et de l’id√©alisme” via @alexis8nicolas

J’aimerais r√©agir √† cet excellent (comme toujours) article d’Alexis Nicolas. Alexis recadre le d√©bat du but de l’entreprise, le faisant passer du seul gain financier √† la proposition de valeur √† la soci√©t√© :¬†Le but de l’entreprise, au-del√† du sophisme et de l’id√©alisme.

Globalement je suis d’accord avec lui et viser l’apport de valeur ajout√©e √† la soci√©t√© (de mani√®re durable !) me semble plus pertinent qu’un simple calcul sur les aspects financiers.

Et pourtant?

Personnellement, j’ai tendance √† penser que viser des gains financiers¬†sur le long terme peut √™tre une bonne chose. Mais quand je dis long terme, je veux vraiment dire¬†de mani√®re durable. C’est √† dire que si vous visez, comme Alexis d’ailleurs le remarque, les seuls gains court terme, vous appelez l’asphyxie par √©puisement de vos ressources rares : talents, environnement et probablement clients (car vous exploiterez le filon le plus rentable du moment en oubliant la n√©cessaire adaptation pour suivre les mouvements de la soci√©t√©).

Mais je pense que lorsque l’on vise le long terme ou mieux, le soutenable / durable, d’autres √©l√©ments entrent dans le cadre de r√©flexion. On devient plus facilement capable d’avoir une vision syst√©mique de l’entreprise. En effet, sur du long terme, on comprend plus facilement comment au moins trois param√®tres entrent en compte et sont √©troitement li√©s¬†:

  • les clients (qui fournissent la mane financi√®re) ;
  • les collaborateurs (qui r√©alisent la valeur ajout√©e) ;
  • l’organisation elle-m√™me (management, actionnaires qui organise les relations entre les deux premiers).

Si l’on prolonge encore le long terme pour devenir permanent ou soutenable, un quatri√®me param√®tre entre en ligne de compte :

  • l’environnement (qui fournit le contexte dans lequel les trois pr√©c√©dents peuvent exister).

Donc, si √† court terme on peut se focaliser sur l’un des √©l√©ments au d√©triment des trois (ou quatre) autres (puisque l’accroissement important de l’un peut¬†se faire¬†sans probl√®me, bien qu’au d√©triment des autres), sur du long terme, il devient √©vident que les liens syst√©miques ont des effets sensibles, d√©tectables, des uns sur les autres. Et l’on comprend alors comment les quatre √©l√©ments sont intimement li√©s.

Pour moi (et on me pardonnera cette analyse de cause sur un blog o√Ļ l’on cherche surtout ce qui fonctionne), les critiques targuant la recherche du bonheur des salari√©s (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’app√Ęt financier court termiste est le plus important. S’il s’agit de simple ignorance, alors il est sans doute encore temps d’√©duquer.

Heureusement, l’√©poque actuelle met l’emphase sur l’aspect environnemental et la soutenabilit√© de tous types d’initiatives, et l’on peut esp√©rer qu’√† d√©faut de proactivit√©, le pilotage syst√©mique des organisations finira par diffuser de l’ext√©rieur vers l’int√©rieur des organisations…

Merci de ton article, Alexis !

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