Managers: You’ve got more power than you think

We live in an age which idealizes managers, yet never have these managers felt so powerless. Whatever their level in the hierarchy, they are confronted with increasing pressure in terms of control, reporting, senseless procedures, all resulting in a loss of autonomy which is immensely frustrating. As one of them was telling me recently “I have a superb company car, a personal assistant, a huge office in a very nice location in a great city, I am paid handsomely, feeling like Zeus on the tope of the Olympus, and yet when I want to buy a copier I need to ask the head office, and it’s not getting better. I am losing autonomy as time passes. All I’m doing more and more is filling Excel sheets.”

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Innovation: This Silence That is Killing Your Organization

Memo to the CEO:

You tell me that you want your business to be more innovative. That it is necessary to free the energies of your collaborators, to transform your organization into an enterprise 2.0 or 3.0, to adopt a startup spirit, and what not. You seem to be enjoying the stories of Google, 3M, Apple of course, just like you liked to hear childhood’s tales. Again and again. Fascinating and moving. You say innovation is a strategic pillar. It is in the foreword of your annual report, illustrated with nice pictures with children. For children are the future. You organize creativity seminars, you set up ideas boxes, you also set up an innovation cell, hosted in a loft with designer furniture, and of course you open a Lab. You assure me that innovation is a priority. At least that’s what your managers are telling me. But this is not true.

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We must talk to the boss!

We often think that it will be enough to talk to the boss to solve the big problems of the organization. This is unfortunately false, and this often reflects organizational naivety and, above all, a refusal to take responsibility on the part of managers who have much more power than they think.

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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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My New Forbes Piece: The Cargo Cult of Digital Transformation

My latest post on Forbes, written with Milo Jones, is a reflection on difficulty of transformation by incumbent companies in the face of digital disruption. It’s available here.

My article on the Peter Drucker Forum blog: “The 5 principles on which we can create an entrepreneurial society”

I have just published an article on the Global Peter Drucker Forum‘s blog, at  which I will be a panel member, titled: “The 5 principles on which we can create an entrepreneurial society”. It can be accessed here.

The Forum’s program is available here.

How We Underestimate the Disruptive Potential of a New Technology

In a previous article, I discussed how we miss the potential of a new technology by holding it to a standard of perfection. I continue on the same topic by discussing how the initial low performance of a new technology explains why it is dismissed by incumbent players by taking the example of 3D Printing.

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