My (short) summer reading list

At that time of the year flourish lots of reading list with fancy names.

My reading list for this summer is kind of short. As during that time of the year I spend most of my time with my family playing with my kids and taking care of my wife, I have selected books that I consider the reading cannot wait any longer.

readinglist

The Leader’s guide by Eric Ries

In a previous post I explained you why I have been among the firsts to back Eric Ries new book on Kickstarter. After some time waiting for the book to come up, it is at the end at the front of my door and on the top of my summer reading list. I really can’t wait jumping into it and see all lessons learned and tips gathered by the Lean-startup community and shared here by Eric.

MakeStorming, le guide du Corporate Hacking

MakeStorming, the guide to Corporate Hacking.

This book is in French and as far as I know there is no translation into English so far.

I discovered this book through the workshop I run and facilitate in other enterprises. One participant told me he had read it and found it very interesting and close to my methodology “Creative Problem Solving”. I bought the book from their website a couple of days ago and just received it today. I spent also sometime on their website to understand their approach to corporate hacking and digital transformation inside corporate and established organisation. It looks at a first glance very interesting, close to my own method but with a fairly better organisation, and clear focus on making things (the maker philosophy) and a wonderful collection of easy to use tools.

I will let you know about it later on. In the meantime you can read my articles on Corporate Hackers and How Pirates can hack the organisation (in french)

 

That’s all for me folks. This summer, near the pool in the beautiful city of Firenza, one will be able to spot the blue and yellow covers of my books. If so, please feel free to speak with me and share a glass of chianti talking about Innovation, Corporate Innovation and Project Management.

See you there.

 

249$: the price of your pro life

I am not used to write article in reaction to news but at that point I have to write it down.

So Microsoft just bought LinkedIn for over $26 B. That’s a lot of money but what is important is another figure: 249$.

I found this number on the net and it is the first time I see a pricing for a profile.

Take $26.2 billion, divide it by 105 million, which is the total number of active members on LinkedIn, and you get $249.52. And that tells us exactly what our professional information and allegiance–yours, mine, and virtually everybody we know–is worth.
Inc.com

Just take a moment. Think about it and what it means for you, for us and for the business.

That’s pretty interesting. Really.

 

FIERS DE VOUS PRESENTER INNOWEO SOLUTION!!

Sans titre-1Depuis plusieurs moi nous travaillons sur le concept d’INNOWEO SOLUTION et nous sommes fiers aujourd’hui de vous le présenter.

Le pitch?

Les Managers de l’Innovation travaillent pour vous!

Pas envie de recruter un Directeur Innovation??? Pas assez d’activité pour un Directeur R&D???
Besoin de définir votre politique Innovation?? Besoin de résoudre une problématique de manière innovante?? D’un hackathon interne?? De déployer l’intelligence collective??

Pas de souci, INNOWEO Solution est là pour vous.

Des managers R&D et Innovation, en poste, tous avec plus de 10 ans d’expériences dans ces projets particuliers que sont les projets R&D / Innovation se mettent à voter disposition pour:

  • Définir et vous aider à mettre en place vos démarches Innovation et R&D
  • Animer vos ateliers de créativité / problem solving / Lego Serious Play
  • Déployer l’Innovation Collaborative pour s’appuyer sur les connaissances inexploitées de vos employés,
  • Utiliser BOOST notre solution d’Innovation / Performance pour découvrir de nouveaux gisements d’amélioration
  • Mettre en place vos Innovation Lab et FabLab

INNOWEO SOLUTION vous accompagne

Notre équipe est constituée de professionnels en poste. Ils vous apporteront toute l’expérience, le vécu et cet inestimable accélération de ceux “qui sont déjà passés par là”.

Évitez les écueils, gagnez du temps, soyez plus rapides et agiles!

INNOWEO Solution vient vous assister, vous aider et vous faire gagner du temps tout en vous évitant tous les pièges!

VISITEZ NOTRE SITE WEB !

10 steps to successfully present your new Product (or service)!

Skyrocket(infographic)

The most impressive product advocates like Steve J. share the same method to be sure to create an extraordinary moment when presenting a product. Here is what they do to convince you and millions that the brand new thing they have for you is an absolute must:

 

  1. Prepare, prepare, prepare!
    Success needs hard work.
  2. Find a name: Short, clear, straight to the point
    This is one the most important thing to do. A good name will allow everybody to remember your product and its positioning, a bas one…
  3. Find a good moto: “The car, without the gasoline”
    Refer to the main solved problem, summarize the advantages, make the value clear
  4. Explain the main functionalities of your product: “Phone + email + internet”
    That’s where you show why your best, not 1 or 2 times, 100 times better!
  5. Make a demo that will help your audience to picture themselves
    Show it real, show it works!
  6. Present a problem you solved, the competitors don’t (and show how you solved it of course)
    That’s where you hit the target.
  7. A second one?
    That’s where you hit the target, a second time.
  8. Summarize quickly all the advantages / innovations / key features of your product
    so much advantages, so many innovations…
  9. Explain the pricing vs competitors or equivalent solutions
    Convinced that your product is THE solution, explain to your prospects that your are not a escrow (at least pretend it).
  10. Train, train and train
    Do it in front of your mum, your son, your wife, your dog, do it and do it again and again so that the D-day it will be smooth, clear and efficient.

Some more to add?

Infographic 1

Project review? Prepare the good scenarii

Image result for business meeting

I have just attended to a meeting regarding one project of my running program. This kind of meeting is called “Project Meeting”. Initiated by the project manager, it aims to discuss with the program manager and other selected stakeholders some important facts about the projects before the official Project Review. It aims to deal with important issues and collect options from important sponsors beforehand.

Really often the project team uses those meetings to announce:

  • a budget exceeding,
  • a delay

What I realize today is that in most of the meeting I have participated to, the project team forgive to bring important information that are keys to their counterparts: a plan.

Explaining that budget is going wild, planning is dead and gold-plated deliverables are everywhere is in a sense not really interesting to take decision about the project. What the project team should focus on are its strategy to take the project on track according to the available options:

  • Budget should remain unchanged
  • Planning should remain unchanged
  • Scope should remain unchanged

According to those 3 different strategy the team should provide scenarii to their stakeholders in order to have clear direction.

What is the plan to keep the budget unchanged while our scope is booming or delay is out of control?
What are the consequences if we keep the original planning (i.e. deliverables dates) regarding to the scope (descoping) or budget?

When experiencing troubles on projects, project teams should of course understand the reasons and act to stop the deviation but also work on alternative and scenarii about the future of its project. If not, the decision taken during a project review could be somehow definitive.

Do you see other things to focus on in that case?

 

thanks for reading.

 

 

Mindmapping, the swiss knife of your innovative life

Mindmap your life!

Do you know mindmapping? That wonderful technique is a way to keep organize your thoughts whatever you are doing.

Trying ot innovate? Mindmap your thinking to find the right problem.
Trying to solve this problem? Mindmap it to make a clear statement of the situationTrying to find agood technical solution? Mindmap your opportunities to rank them
etc… etc…

My last one? Trying to find a new job? Mindmap your career to find your strength and weaknesses and define a good strategy (this is really a wonderful tool to realize how many things you can do 😉 )

Mindmapping is one of the most powerful tool to set up and visually organize information and thoughts

What is mindampping?

According to Wikipedia

A mind map is a diagram used to visually organize information. A mind map is often created around a single concept, drawn as an image in the center of a blank page, to which associated representations of ideas such as images, words and parts of words are added. Major ideas are connected directly to the central concept, and other ideas branch out from those.

Mindmapping will allow to organise visually and with a clear hierarchy all your ideas.

How to mindamp?

First be sure you have enough space on a blank sheet of paper. grab at least 4 makers of different colours.

One can summarize mindmapping by those steps:

  1. Write down the topic in the center of your sheet
  2. From the center, write keywords that come to your mind around your central topic,
  3. Connect keywords to your central topic with lines. if keywords have a connections together, connect it also but with a different kind of line (dotted as an example)
  4. Use different colours either for different branches or different concepts of your maps
  5. Use the radial construction to show a clear and good hierarchy
  6. Shape your map in order to make the most powerful concept more visible.

Start with something easy to handle. I did my first mindmap with “dog” as the central topic.

Examples

Here are some examples I grab on the net.

You don’t need to be an expert in drawing. Those maps are much more beautiful than the most beautiful one I have ever made or seen.

Tools

Lots of tools are available on the internet to draw a mindmap.

  1. Xmind, my favorite
  2. FreeMind, a very good tool too
  3. Mindmeister, often recommanded I personnaly have never used it
  4. MindManager

A quick search on the net will give you even more possibilities.

Thanks for reading.

Wisely use Sticky notes in your Workshops

lean-office-manage-sticky-notes It might seem obvious to use but sticky notes are not that easy to use in a workshop. Let’s discover how to use it wisely for the good of your workshop and to achieve the results your participants deserve.

Sticky notes are somehow the most used tools in Innovation, Creativity, Brainstorming, Problem Solving…. well it is the most used tool when dealing with ideas, structuring and organizing things.

As easy as it seems, using the sticky notes at their top power requires some tips we will share with you.

Why are the sticky notes such a Star?

Sticky notes have a bunch of advantages for organizing and structuring ideas of any kinds.

  • Visual: Images are processed 6000 times faster than text. With their colours and shapes it amplify information and provide quick understanding of the underlying contextual contents.
  • They are legions: As they are easy to set, you can catch all ideas coming up in your team life like a streaming of content
  • Movable: as you can rearrange them, it is easy to cluster ideas, create connections and reorganise your thinking

How to get the most out of it?

A sticky note is more than just a piece of coloured paper glued on a wall. It has 4 characteristics giving them their abilities to organize and visually shape your mind:

  1. Writing
    Too much text makes it unreadable and will alter the necessary “quick” understanding, giving too much details.
    Too less text will not give enough contents to understand the deep meaning.
    The good writing of a sticky note should be concise enough to be understood.
  2. Drawing
    Humans understand much better images than text. A sketch illustrating the ideas will ease the understanding. Sketching is also a good way to stay concise.
  3. Colour
    Using different colours allow structuring and managing your different ideas and concepts. One colour, one group, one category is a good technique to stay your workshop organized.
  4. Shape
    Sticky notes are now coming in various size and various shape. Choose the ones that are the most suited for your workshop.
    3d_sticky_notes_and_pointers_set_310506SMS-Sticky-Notes

Last tips

As I have used thousand of sticky notes in hundreds of workshops, I can share with you some tips.They are not definitive, so feel free to add yours as a comment.

I personally use the traditional squared one in different colours (at least 4) and the “citation” one. I categorize the notes and structure my mind.From time to time I like other shapes but only for a dedicated use only. As for an example, I use arrow-shaped ones for process analysis and I have found an bulb-shaped ones for good ideas!

My tips for your next workshop:

  • Be sure the sticky band is positioned on the top to avoid the sticky note to be up side down,
  • Write upper case to be readable from away,
  • Keep the same ink colour during your workshop, unity creates readability.

 

Thanks for reading.

FabLab d’Entreprise: Retour d’expérience (Saison 2)

Pour retrouver la saison 1, c’est ICI

Voici maintenant près de 2 ans nous inaugurions notre FabLab d’entreprise. C’est l’une des briques qui définit aujourd’hui l’écosystème d’innovation de l’entreprise. Ce fablab, pensé, conçu et réalisé en interne, partait sur des hypothèses assez tranchées et peu communes:

  • pas d’équipe d’animation dédiée mais des “champions”, des référents qui avaient pour mission d’animer et de promouvoir le lieu,
  • Un Lieu “DUAL” avec une partie orientée INNOVATION (Design de SERVICE, workshop de créativité, Business Model génération, Design thinking etc…) plutôt orientée concept et réflexion et une autre partie clairement orientée PROTOTYPAGE avec principalement une imprimante 3D, des moyens électronique (ARDUINO etc…) et maquettage plus classique (carton etc…)
  • Un libre service complet avec des réservation en ligne

Après 2 ans de fonctionnement quels enseignements peut on tirer?

Un bilan globalement positif, des améliorations à mener.

  1. La nécessité d’avoir un accompagnement technique et méthodologique
    Même si les équipes sont formées aux techniques de créativité (+de 30 animateurs formés et certifiés), de BM generation etc… il est indispensable d’avoir un accompagnement plus proche et précis des utilisateurs et un process pour le soutenir. C’est une démarche que nous mettons en place actuellement pour accentuer les effets positifs de notre Lab. Cependant la position de ne pas consacrer une équipe à temps complet nous tient à coeur. Cela oblige à l’appropriation du lieu par les équipes, même si du coup la dynamique est plus complexe à enclencher.
  2. La complémentarité du lieu DUAL.
    La mise en place des 2 espaces, en insistant sur la mobilité et sur l’agilité de l’espace est clairement un succès. Le prototypage est alors complètement corrélé à l’intérêt business (pour la partie BM generation) et les idées obtenues lors des phases de créativité sont immédiatement testées. C’est hyper réactif et hyper efficace.
  3. Les limites du libre service
    Comme indiqué plus haut, la nécessité d’un accompagnement est clair. Cependant le principe du libre service sans équipe dédié est pour nous important. Comment faire pour accompagner les équipes alors même que les réservations sont automatiques et les sujets peuvent être inconnus? C’est tout la subtilité de l’accompagnement et du réseau de “champions”, connaitre les projets, susciter les vocations et les demandes d’utilisation et proposer notre catalogue de service d’accompagnement des porteurs de projet (c’est gratuit…)
    Un autre aspect insoupçonné au départ est l’aspect… vol. Disons clairement, c’est un risque lorsque vous mettez une telle structure en libre service avec des outillages et des moyens. Nous avons mis en place une bibliothèque qui a subi quelques outrages au démarrage mais tout s’est remis en ordre rapidement. Le matériel n’a pas disparu mais il s’absente régulièrement. Je trouve cela plutôt positif, montrant que nos équipes s’investissent.
  4. La nécessité d’acculturer la totalité de l’organisation.
    La culture du Lab et du Make n’est pas inné dans une vieille organisation, habituée au processus classique de développement. L’acculturation de tous les étages de l’organisation doit être réalisée avec un très grand soin. Pour le faire nous avons organisé des réunions d’information et des démonstrations dans le Lab. Nous avons également démontré pragmatiquement les gains qu’ouvraient une telle structure dans l’entreprise. Vous avez gagné quand les utilisateurs réparent seuls l’imprimante 3D est… imprimant la pièce cassée (le ventilateur en l’occurrence).
  5. L’évolution et le change permanent
    Le fabLab et la culture Maker tournent autour des concepts de test & Learn. Ces concepts s’appliquent aussi à la strucuture et il faut s’avoir adapté les choses à l’usage et l’utilisation que font de cet outils nos collaborateurs. Cela induit une remise en question permanente du lieu, de sa conformation et de son équipement.
  6. Le grand vainqueur? L’impression 3D
    Comme dans tous les lab je pense, notre imprimante 3D est sans aucun doute la grande gagnante du concours de l’équipement le plus utilisé. Avec un ration d’utilisation supérieur à 75%, c’est un équipement en danger du coté maintenance. Nous envisageons de réinvestir rapidement sur une machine plus perfectionnée et surtout plus industrielle.
  7. La nécessité méthodologique
    La culture Maker n’est pas inné dans nos organisation. Grand groupe ou PME c’est un vrai shift de fonctionnement, de management et d’ambition. La tentation est grande, et nous y avons parfois succombé, de penser que les choses “vont se faire d’elles-même”. C’est faux, il faut le lieu, les hommes et les méthodes pour arriver à des résultats probants. La mise en place d’un processus de définition et d’accompagnement des projets est clé.
  8. L’utilisation dans tout ça?
    Tous les acteurs ne se sont pas appropriés le lieu et toutes ses possibilités. Cependant si la structure est aujourd’hui connue, l’utilisation est grandement inégale.
    La partie INNOVATION est très utilisée, notamment pour nos séances de créativité et de business model. Toutes les réunions ayant un objectif INNOVATION ou CREATIVITE sont organisées dans le cadre du Lab et profite des méthodes qui y sont déployées.
    La partie PROTOTYPAGE est plus complexe car elle nécessite une implication et un savoir-faire plus fort de la part des utilisateurs, n’ayant pas mis en place une équipe dédiées. L’imprimante 3D, nous l’avons dit, cartonne et a un taux d’utilisation frisant l’esclavage. Les plateformes ARDUINO de prototypage électronique sont aussi très utilisées. Le maquettage classique peine à s’imposer, malgré les possibilités et la facilité de mise en œuvre, sans doute par un manque de méthodes et d’exemples.

Pendant ces 2 ans, nous avons découvert les limites de notre approches et nous travaillons à rendre plus efficace et plus attrayant ce lieu pour tous les makers et innovateurs de l’entreprise. Des actions d’animation et de communication vont être lancées pour encore plus mettre ce lieu au centre des pratiques de développement.
Preuve de l’impact de ce genre de lieu sur les mentalités, le FabLab a permis l’arrivée sur Lyon de la première salle d’immersion 3D en réalité virtuelle de l’entreprise. Le Lab est donc aujourd’hui voisin de cette salle et la synergie des deux équipements est surprenante.

 

Merci d’avoir lu.

Avez-vous  un retour d’expéreience à partager sur votre fabLab?

 

Corporate Social Network

enterprise-social-networkI have been solicited lately by a company which wanted to deploy a Corporate Social Network. It wasn’t their first try. Let’s see what they did wrong and how to ensure that you CSN will be a success.

The Initial Project

Deploying Yammer!, the company had taken an approach that led to the failure of the deployment and very low acceptance ratio within the teamsYammer

  1. A limited deployment
    The first approach was planned to be deployed on a limited number of people. As the company did want to take too much risks with its employees, it has been decided to deploy the CSN on a limited number of places and people. Those people were chosen according to their specialities, knowledges, expertise etc…
  2. A community or group approach
    As most of the people who had early access to the CSN were selected according to their knowledge and expertise, it is natural that the project team organized the CSN with communities and groups. Those communities and groups were decided by the CSN manager and the company management.
  3. A lack of EXEC support
    No EXEC were planed to be on the CSN in its early time. If the EXEC were supporting the project they were not users and did not really understand all its possibilities and capabilities.

 

Diagnostic

Why this initial project failed?

A limited deployment impeaches your community to reach its break even point. If you don’t have enough members, then your members cannot produce enough contents to reach a point where the interest is high enough to attract the reluctant and put your CSN into a great dynamic. A social network is before everything, social.
My first tip if you are planing to deploy a CSN: Open it widely and don’t limit the access to your tool.
The adopted community/group approach is also a major factor which can affect the success of your project. The Essence of a Social Network is to be more or less self organized. If you put too much constraints then the community will react and reject your organisation (which happens in our case). To maximize your chance to have a successful CSN, let your users organize themselves the groups and communities. What is important to understand is that the users will self leverage the interest of communities and groups according to their true interests and needs. It is very interesting for your  CSN because it will help you to determine the true center of interests of your employees.
My second tip if you are planing to deploy a CSN: Trust your employees and let them organize by themselves groups and communities. (You can still gently create other communities and groups later on)

The last point is the EXEC involvement. Not only funding and promoting but also particpating to the CSN. As no EXEC were on the CN, employees took it as granted that the CSN was not something EXEC took really care to. If my EXEC don’t care about it, why shouldn’t?
My second tip if you are planing to deploy a CSN: Involve your EXEC as early users

Our new project

  1. A strong EXEC support with clear objectives.. and lots of change Management
    All EXEC had their own profile, posted news and even realized some PR on the Yammer! The CEO wrote the first message on the new platform.
    As the EXEC, all employees had to have their profile filled (part of their annual objective).In addition, early users were used as “evangelist” to train their colleagues and explain them how to use the platform. On line and off line training sessions were deployed.
  2. A company wide deployment
    As a limited deployment cannot allow your CSN to reach its breaking point it is important to open it widely. In our project, the new platform has been promoted to everyone, included in their annual objectives. Profile filled is also of a great tool for the company has the Search allow you to find competencies within your team. It is a new way to gather and access knowledge and competencies with your company.
  3. A self organized network
    We did not organize the CSN in anyway. After a while, the self organisation worked and groups and communities were created by the users. Interesting was the comparison among the initial project communities and the actual projects: none were common. However users defined the groups and communities they really needed. No management induces communities are planned because it also helps the company to determine what kind of interest and concerns their employees have.

 

Did you have such a project? Do you have access to a CSN within your company?

You can find an interesting article by Charlene Li on HBR here