Liens de la semaine (weekly)

  • “Companies have been flattening out their management hierarchies in recent years, eliminating layers of middle management that can create bottlenecks and slow productivity. The handful that have taken the idea a step further, dispensing with most bosses entirely, say that the setup helps motivate employees and makes them more flexible, even if it means that some tasks, such as decision-making and hiring, can take a while. “

    tags: casestudies management leadership Valve GE Github Gore


      At Valve, there are no promotions, only new projects. To help decide pay, employees rank their peers€”but not themselves€”voting on who they think creates the most value. The company declined to provide information about how much salaries vary.

    • When no one takes the lead, he adds, it’s usually a sign that the project isn’t worth doing.
    • The system has its downsides. Without traditional managers, it can be harder to catch poor performers.
    • One study, by researchers at the University of Iowa and Texas A&M University, found that teams of factory workers who supervised themselves tended to outperform workers in more traditional hierarchies,
    • They work with each other, they encourage and support each other, and they coordinate with outside teams.They collectively perform the role of a good manager.”
    • For years General Electric Co.  GE -2.01%  has run some aviation-manufacturing facilities with no foremen or shop-floor bosses.
    • One leader, the plant manager, sets production goals and helps resolve problems but doesn’t dictate daily workflow.
    • Moving up can be hard when there is no corporate ladder. But many employees feel it is easier to grow in their careers without layers of management,
    • At GitHub, a small cadre of top brass handles companywide issues and external communications but doesn’t give orders to worker
    • The bossless structure can be chaotic at times, he says, but “you feel like there is total trust and an element of freedom and ownership. It makes you want to do more,”
    • Gore’s 10,000 employees, who work mainly in engineering and manufacturing, take on leadership roles based on their ability to “gain the respect of peers and to attract followers,” says Ms. Kelly, the CEO. Those who choose not to take the lead also are valued, she adds, noting that the company prides itself on staff “followership.”
    • s flat management structure has helped the company stay innovative, because ideas can come from anyone in the organization, regardless of tenure or position.
    • Gore’s employees, who are called “associates,” each have a sponsor to guide their career and orient them to company culture.
  • “We are accustomed to thinking that the intangibles of life exist separately from tangible things; material things separated from spiritual, personal things distinct from commercial. This is not so. The knowledge economy has taught us how intangibles like intellectual property and design can be converted into money. Consider how much of the cost of a computer covers its tangible components versus how much you are paying for its technology and software. Tangibles and intangibles are often interchangeable. Material wealth can buy intangibles like lifestyle, time, rich human experiences, and education. In the same way, intangibles like knowledge, wisdom, culture, and caring can generate tangible wealth, too”

    tags: culture intangiblecapital intangibles tangiblebenefits casestudies corporateculture southwest leadership

    • Southwest’s decades-long dominance of its segment of the airline industry was the product of more efficient operations, flying only one model of aircraft, and removing the frills of travel such as food and pre-assigned seating. However, if those factors alone were responsible for its astounding success even in the toughest of times, then others could have successfully replicated it.
    • Southwest’s success was possible because although it stripped the tangible commodity of its offering (airline transportation) down to a “no-tangible-frills” minimum, it gave customers something equally valuable in return: a superior intangible experience.
    • Southwest converted its intangible culture into tangible benefits, including market share growth.

      Business school case studies often focus on Southwest Airlines and its founder. However, they seldom acknowledge the most important key to Kelleher’s success: his commitment to building intangible competitive advantage with as much vigor as he built tangible operational efficiencies.

    • Why could other airlines not do what Southwest did? Because the intangible offering that truly differentiates a company resides in its corporate soul and is created by the company’s culture and its values, not by its products, process, or structure.
    • People are not a means to an end (profit), but an end in and of themselves (satisfied customers, happy employees). Success was the outcome of caring, not the reason for it. 
  • “The more frequently you look at data, the more noise you are disproportionally likely to get (rather than the valuable part called the signal); hence the higher the noise to signal ratio. And there is a confusion, that is not psychological at all, but inherent in the data itself.”

    tags: data signalnoiseratio information informationoverload cognitiveoverload

    • I’ve long suspected, based on observations of myself as well as observations of society, that, beyond the psychological and cognitive strains produced by what we call information overload, there is a point in intellectual inquiry when adding more information decreases understanding rather than increasing it.
    • If this is indeed a problem, it’s not an isolated one. We have a general tendency to believe that if x amount of something is good, then 2x must be better.
  • “Until recently, organizational leaders had no choice but to rely on communication channels that were one-way in structure, and on communication practices that were one-way in spirit. In large and growing companies especially, channels such as the corporate newsletter and the executive speech have traditionally been the only practical means by which leaders could reach all their employees. As a result, the culture of communication within organizations has tended to evolve in a way that favors monologue over dialogue.

    That’s now changing, thanks in part to the increasing availability of interactive technology. Robust videoconferencing systems, dynamic intranet platforms, and software tools that turn executives into bloggers are among the technologies that enable back-and-forth communication to unfold across an organization. “

    tags: leadership intranet intranet2.0 socialintranet conversations trust

    • 1. Show your face. Thanks to the increasing quality and decreasing cost of network-enabled video technology, leaders today have a powerful tool for interacting with their people €” even when company size and physical distance make in-person communication impossible.
    • 2. Reinvent your intranet. Borrowing a practice that has become common on the public Internet, many leaders have installed tools on their company’s intranet site that allow employees to rate, share, or comment on much of the content that appears there
    • 3. Cultivate conversation. Interactivity can flourish only where leaders have taken active steps to prepare the ground for it €” only where they have nurtured a safe, open culture.
    • Interactive leaders, therefore, know when to leave their computer so that they can talk with their people in a direct, unmediated fashion.
  • “Les salariés seraient, de leur propre aveu, près d’un sur deux (41,2 %) à  ne lire qu’une infime partie (moins de 20 %) des mails qu’ils reçoivent au quotidien. Ils ne sont que 26,4 % à  lire 100 % de leurs courriels. C’est

    ce que révèle une étude menée par One Poll pour le spécialiste des outils collaboratifs Mindjet, auprès de 1.000 salariés français. 46 % des sondés avouent souffrir d’une surcharge d’information. Et pour 22,3 % d’entre eux, c’est même le plus gros problème qu’ils affrontent au bureau. 68 % des sondés réceptionnent jusqu’à  100 mails par jour. Les Français ne sont pas les seuls à  en ptir. 43 % des Belges, 57 % des équipes aux Pays-Bas et 65 % des cols blancs au Royaume-Uni disent que

    le flux d’informations 2.0

    est un problème pour eux. “

    tags: email informationoverload attention

  • “Exceptional organizations think about their business as a two-sided ledger: strategy and culture.

    94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is important to business success.
    When considering which factors substantially contribute to a company’s success, a significantly higher percentage of executives identified “a clearly defined business strategy” (76%) rather than “clearly defined and communicated core values and beliefs” (62%).
    In contrast, relatively equal percentages of employees cite these factors as contributors: “a clearly defined business strategy” (57%) and “clearly defined and communicated values and beliefs” (55%).”

    tags: culture strategy leadership corporateculture happiness

    • There is a correlation between employees who say they are “happy at work” and feel “valued by [their] company” and those who say their organization has a clearly articulated and lived culture.
    • 45% of executives say social media has a positive impact on workplace culture while only 27% employees agree.
    • 41% of executives compared with only 21% of employees believe that social networking helps to build and maintain workplace culture.
    • As it relates to management visibility, 38% of executives think social media allows for increased transparency while only 17% of employees agree.
    • There is a disconnect between organizations simply talking about their culture and those that are embedding their beliefs into their operations.
    • Only 19% of executives and 15% of employees believe strongly that their culture is widely upheld within their own organizations.
  • “La problématique des réseaux sociaux met aujourd’hui davantage l’accent sur les pratiques et les usages, tandis qu’elle relègue au second plan les considérations techniques, au cœur de l’attention il y a quelques années à  peine. Les besoins des utilisateurs dans l’exercice quotidien de leur activité se trouvent en effet au centre des réflexions du Web 2.0 (par nature interactif, collaboratif et communautaire) dont le réseau social d’entreprise est l’une des expressions.”

    tags: enterprisesocialnetworks digitalidentity governance socialsignal

    • L’exploration fonctionnelle et technique du réseau social d’entreprise conduit donc à  identifier la multiplicité des traces laissées par les collaborateurs sur le dispositif d’ensemble, lorsqu’il l’utilise dans les situations les plus diverses de la vie quotidienne, en lien avec la richesse des fonctionnalités proposées. D’où l’émergence de la prise en compte croissante de la notion de signal social.
    • Mais qu’est-ce au juste que l’identité numérique ? Elle conjugue de manière disparate les informations mentionnées lors de la constitution de profils, la contribution aux fonctionnalités du Web 2.0 (blog, wikis, etc.), ainsi que les traces €“ multiples et cumulatives €“ abandonnées par tout individu lors d’une navigation sur un site web.
    • la problématique du réseau social d’entreprise conduit à  se pencher en parallèle sur le chantier de la formalisation de l’identité numérique des collaborateurs de l’organisation du travail concernée, en lien avec la question centrale de la gouvernance d’ensemble, dans ses dimensions déontologiques, éthiques, mais aussi réglementaires (CNIL, etc.).
  • tags: socialsoftware socialbusiness gtd businessprocesses integration erp crm talentmanagement HCM workflow activitystream sap sapcrm streamwork activities ibmconnections

    • The New Mantra€¦ “Integrate  social   into  core  business   processes”   Yes!  But  what  does  that  really  mean?
    • Level  1   Stream Level Integration Can  help  informa/on   CRM   reach  a  broad  audience  
    • Level  2   Embedding Streams In Other Sites €¯Intranet
    • Level  3   SAP Business Intelligence & StreamWork
    • Level  4   Ex: SAP CRM and StreamWork 20  
    • Level  4   Integration With Invoicing Collabora+on  +  CRM  +  Task   Management  +  Invoicing
    • Level  4   Collaboration In Contex
  • “Of all the buzzwords & acronyms being bandied about out there, “gamification” pisses me off above all others (maybe it deserves a shiny badge). I cringe whenever I hear it or read it. It cheapens what I and others have worked our asses off to achieve in our careers. It reminds me of the fat kid in grade 6 that got a ribbon because he managed an astonishing 7 situps in 1 minute (for the record, it wasn’t me). As a professional, equating my work with games, however obliquely, insults me. Games are what I play with my friends and family.”

    tags: gamification games incentives rewards humanresources motivation engagement recognition

    • My kids don’t get rewarded for just doing stuff that’s expected of them (e.g.: cleaning their rooms, picking up after pets, doing well in school). They get rewarded for exceptional behaviour & performance; the rest is just life.
    • But we’ve generally received them because we’ve performed exceptionally or taken on additional responsibilities. I can’t recall one instance in my career where I’ve given or received a reward for simply doing my job. It’s just not something that makes any sense to me.
      • It works like this:



        1. Say something not completely stupid.
        2. Someone, who may or may not be stupid, rates your stuff (or gives you a badge or a cookie or a pin, who cares?).
        3. Someone else sees the rating, and being equally as stupid, or not, bugs your ass for your opinion or for help.
    • When I write a post I don’t write it to garner likes, +1’s, follower, or increase my Klout score (Klout is Krap, IMO). I write because I have something to say that I think and hope will benefit someone, or at least make them think. If
    • As a consumer, I love [the word I hate], but prefer to call it loyalty rewards or some such.
    • I also like discounts, upgrades, and complimentary in-flight hookers (not available on domestic flights). But when it comes to me spending money that I’ve worked hard to earn, don’t equate it to playing games.
      • On the corporate side, there’s a few areas where I think [the word I hate] is apt:



        1. Projects requiring participation of people that have “real” jobs;
        2. Organizational change management;
        3. User adoption.
    • [The word I hate] won’t make the transition any easier, but it ought to serve to get the participants more involved and also provide them with a way to measure their progress.

      Give me a raise or a bonus, give me a pat on the back, ask me for my “expert” opinion / advice; I’m cool with all those things if I’ve earned them. Just don’t equate what I do professionally to playing games.

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