Category Archives: transformation

How Mental Models Prevent Organizational Change: The Tragedy of the Greenland Settlers

What prevents the transformation of organizations? More generally, what prevents us from changing in the face of a changing environment? There are many causes, but among them is the way we perceive the world and how we perceive ourselves, i.e. our mental model. The importance of mental models is particularly exemplified in an important historical case, the disappearance of the Norwegian colony of Greenland.

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Collective myths and the challenge of organizational transformation

Why is an organization so difficult to transform? The issue continues to challenge the senior management of many large organizations. In large part, the difficulty comes from the fact that what makes an organization unique, that it is a social artifact (a collectively shared artificial object), is not recognized. Viewing an organization from this angle, rather than as a machine or a node of contracts, opens up an interesting avenue and provides the missing key to transformation.

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Why Transforming an Organization is Difficult: Resources, Processes, Values and the Migration of Skills

Why do organizations find it difficult to change when facing a disruption? The question is not new but it continues to puzzle researchers and managers alike. Part of the answer lies in the observation that over time, what an organization knows migrates: its capability initially lies in its resources (especially human), then it evolves to processes and finally to values. It is at this last stage that change is the most difficult.

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Stop Bothering your Employees with Entrepreneurship

It is decided, the theme of your next company convention will be “All entrepreneurs!” You’ll talk about Google, Tesla, Facebook, plus a Chinese champion for good measure. The manager of your Lab in San Francisco will come to talk about the latest local innovations. You will show a film that will explain “the six qualities of a good entrepreneur” with rock opera music. After a closing speech by the leader who, in essence, will say that it is only a matter of courage, the roadmap will be clear.

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Organizational transformation: The method is you

Following one of my interventions in a seminar on transformation, some participants regretted that I did not propose a method. This is not the first time that, faced with the difficulty of leading an organizational transformation, the need for a method has been strongly expressed. But I resist it because I am convinced that not only is transformation not a question of method, but that a method, whatever it may be, is often an obstacle to its success.

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Effectual leadership: How to (really) transform organizations by learning from entrepreneurs

In 1934, a visionary General De Gaulle explained how the massive use of tanks in time of war could give a decisive advantage. The tanks were known since the First World War, but they were only used as reinforcement of the infantry. De Gaulle proposed to revise this conception completely and place it at the center of the military effort. He was not listened to except by the German general Guderian who put this idea into practice successfully a few years later … against France.

The same is true for the transformation of organizations: the importance of integrating entrepreneurs has long been recognized and organizations have made efforts in this direction, but only in order to become more entrepreneurial. It is this conception that must be revisited: entrepreneurs should not just come to reinforce the existing management, but contribute to transform it by their principles of action. Let’s see how.

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The Creosote, this High-Performing Manager Who Destroys Your Business

One of the important factors of organization decline is the type of managers it recruits and promotes. Among them is what I call the ‘Creosote manager’, the one who kills life all around him to flourish. Creosote people populate just about every organization that I encounter and that have so much trouble innovating. Would there not then be a causal link?

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