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

J’ai regardé tout Koudetat… et j’ai les yeux carré…

#koudetat on demand : j’ai regardé tous les cours…

Alors oui, j’ai les yeux carrés. J’ai regardé la totalité des cours de KOUDETAT on Demand. Pas d’un coup. Mais bon quand même. A une heure et demi la video, 34 videos (initialement) ca fait quelque chose comme 50 heures d’Oussama Ammar en live. Ces derniers temps, je l’ai vu presque plus souvent que ma femme 😉

Le contenu du cours, On en pense quoi ?

Bon honnêtement, faut avoir le temps de regarder les vidéos. Est-ce que ca vaut le coup de passer autant de temps à regarder son écran ? Non. Par contre est ce que le contenu est en lui-même de qualité? Oui, définitivement oui même. Oussama nous livre là un compendium d’insights, de conseils et de témoignages complets. Fouillé, plein, bourré d’anecdotes, les « cours » qui sont plus de conférences « témoignage » permettent de mettre en lumière beaucoup d’aspects inconnus au néophyte de la création d’entreprise. C’est très intéressant pour le débutant, pour celui qui envisage de créer une boite, pour l’entrepreneur débutant. Et ca tombe bien, c’est le positionnement de Koudetat, « Everyone can be an entrepreneur… »

Alors on regarde ?

Bein honnêtement, faut voir. Si vous avez le temps, pas de famille ( ou du temps le soir…), un bon casque et un écran de compet alors oui, regardez la série, prenez de notes, faites votre propre sélection d’insights et lancer votre projet.

Autre chose, quelques modules (au moins) datent un peu…

Si vous êtes comme moi , un boulot, des aspirations d’entrepreneur, pas de temps et une famille avec des enfants qui rêvent de jouer aux legos avec vous, alors à vous de voir. Si vous avez 50h de libre pour cela et si vous êtes prêt à les dégager pour regarder Koudetat. Petit dormeur, vous avez un avantage certain, j’en témoigne.

Après sur le contenu, franchement, j’ai essayé de monter 3 boites, toutes ont (lamentablement) échouées (pour le moment) mais j’estime maintenant avoir un peu d’expérience dans le domaine. Cependant j’ai appris des choses. Au travers d’exemples, de témoignages, Koudetat aborde des concepts complexes de l’économie et de la création d’entreprise. Le Business Model, l’évaluation du marché, le positionnement, la scalabilité etc… tous ces concepts très simples en apparence mais qui lorsqu’on regarde sont complexes à aborder.

L’un des points très intéressants est l’ADN fondamental d’une start-up… et la différence entre une start-up et une entreprise. Qu’est-ce qu’une start-up, est-ce que votre entreprise à venir en est-une ? Parce que les méthodes et les moyens à mettre en œuvre sont différents si vous êtes une start-up ou si vous êtes une TPE. Et si vous êtes une start-up alors là vous trouverez de nombreux insights très intéressants : Entreprise ou Start-up ? Innovation de Business Model ou innovation technologique ? Communauté avant ou après features ? Faire différent vs faire mieux ? L’anticipation rationnelle ? Qu’est ce qui est de l’ordre de l’analysable ? du modélisable ? entrepreneur vs chef d’entreprise….

Bon après y a de la redite, le cout de la requete Google, Uber, le choix d’Achille etc… les exemples sont bons mais souvent les mêmes.

Et pour la Corporate Innovation ? (Spoiler)

Pourquoi les start-up sont dangeureuses ? On l’apprend dans Koudetat : Parce qu’elles n’ont rien à perdre et tout à gagner. C’est pour cela qu’elles sont dangeureuses pour les Grands Groupes et c’est pour cela qu’elles sont perçues comme une « menace » pour les grands groupes. Si les grands groupes et les personnes qui gèrent l’innovation et les produits ne comprennent pas les drivers de start-upers alors ils ne pourront pas manager ces risques. Les start-ups ne managent pas les risques, elles vivent avec et avancent à une vitesse qui n’est pas compatible avec les organisations d’une grande entreprise.

Comment être entrepreneur dans une entreprise ? L’entrepreneur est un travail d’un nouveau genre, son job est de trouver un BM et c’est très différent d’un chef d’entreprise.

Avez-vous regardé le programme? Qu’en pensez-vous?

Another step forward

And I like it!!

I just received today my prototype for my Creative Problem Solving toolkit. So I ham very happy to share with you this set of pictures. I am very happy because from the box to the cards, the quality is perfect and the design looks absolutely gorgeous. All hours spent on Illustrator just rocked! DSCN1625[High def pics can take time to load]

A high quality package…DSCN1627 DSCN1632

DSCN1633

You have seen here the fully customized box, let’s discover what’s in!!DSCN1634

The booklet is cool and the cards are package in a pro plastic foil. DSCN1636

I will have some work on the booklet as I think I could add more value for you by including more info in there.

The cards.

DSCN1638 DSCN1639 DSCN1640 DSCN1641

The touch is perfect with a very nice plastic finish that make the cards robust while keeping the design beautiful.

As I know  that the content works, I think this is exactly what I was waiting for.

Now I need your help. I am at the time printing it in Asia because it was cheaper and faster. However this is my goal to have it printed in Europe. If you know a company that can print a deck for a descent price I would be really happy! Let me know!

Corporate Hacker(s)

Hacker-5

Do it, do it fast, do it often

Read also on the same subject my other article (in french)

As Innovation manager in a corporate, I nurture a hacking mindset within a group of “champions”. Why is hacking mindset so important within an innovation culture?

What is a Coporate hacker?

A hacker is someone smart but with creativity. Thinking from a different point of view at a given problem gives new original solutions.

Hackers are smart. That’s the starting point. However they leverage the self-learning to establish a new standard that puts the creativity at its highest level. Engineering is not the only way to develop things and necessary qualities are not necessary learned at school.

The Hacker principles

  • Do it, even imperfectly

Don’t try to deliver something perfect the first time. First iteration are always unfinished. At that point we can connect that to Lean Start-up with its very fast iteration and feedback from the customers. It is really important to see things, to test things to validate.

As Corporate workers we have learned to plan everything. To be sure that everything will be delivered and established as planned. If we failed then we are not good at delivering. That’s something that is inverted by the Corporate Hacker mindset. Corporate Hackers should be allowed to deliver incomplete product, test it and learn from feedback to iterate and reengineer their product. As Project and Product manager, I have developed Human Interface mainly on card box thanks to Bill Baxton method of sketching User Interface. Is it imperfect? Definitely. Does it give you more info than weeks of coding? For sure. What is the best solution in terms of ROI and OTD? I let you decide.

  • Deliver quickly

That’s the second point of Corporate hackers. They have to deliver quick and often. One can understand that concept in the field of IT but be sure that it is not only IT related. I have myself experimented that kind of methodology in a B2B electronic device development project with a great success. If you are able to deliver quickly, then you are able to sustain the effort to test functionalities o your product, iterate, learn from customers feedbacks etc…

  • Break your work

If you do things imperfectly, if you did it fast, you will break you product often. It is easier to throw away a day of work than a week. So admitting that you can look ridiculous at a first glance is key. Accept that your work can be criticize.

 

Pasteur is a hacker, Dyson is a hacker, Edisson is a hacker. We all know what all their stories are about today. They all did something complicated with limited resources.

Hackers are that kind of people. Be sure that you can do things, wonderful things without any resources. At that point you can connect it to the popular concept of Jugaad Innovation. If you have the appropriate mindset, you can be a hacker and find an innovative solution to a given goal. Not only each problem has a solution, but each problem has many solutions.

A Corporate Hacker?

In a corporate, you have hopefully smart people. So you have the basics. However it is a duty for you to allow your team to stop asking permission to do things. If you want a corporate hacker culture, then allow your team to stop playing with your corporate rules. Asking about permission is the good way to never deliver.

This is a very important fact and step to establish an area within your company where teams can play their rules: A sandbox, within a special HR process to recognize their efforts and results. This is really important to set a frame where your hackers will work. Establishing this frame will free their mind and develop the consciousness of your management of the initiative. Call it whatever you want. Some call it “Corporate Incubator”, come call it “Corporate Accelerator”. In a way you don’t care, adopt the hacker philosophy and create it. You will be learning by doing yourself.

Hacks for you

  1. A very important step not to underestimate is to identify the potential hackers within your company to create and aggregate organically a community. If you can, establish a communication tool among you on Slack or Yammer or whatever tool you have. Connect your community, encourage people to help other. It will first create a real mindset of intrapreneurship and also it will create “virtual” debt among your hackers that will unlock situation later.
  2. Let the things go. Meaning that as manager you have to admit that some projects will succeed without your help. Your job as innovation manager is to establish the environment that will allow your hackers to success.
  3. Read the Lean Start-up (by Eric Ries) and Sketching user experience (by Bill Baxton).

 

 Are Corporate Hackers a special kind of Intrapreneur? Are they intrapreneur?

Do you see more hacks to share? Want to share your comments? Let’s go!

The Danger of bad KPIs for Collective Intelligence

Dont kill my vibeCollective Intelligence is something very fragile and it shouldn’t be endangered by bad KPIs. Let see together how to avoid killing the vibe of the collective intelligence for Innovation.

Establish the vibe using cleaver KPI(s)

Depending of your Collective Intelligence strategy, it can be quite easy to set up KPI(s) that are showing your commitment in growing the community, getting more people involved and getting more results.

However, Collective Intelligence is something fragile and to be protected. It can hardly stands a lack of management supports, a lack of strategy and clarity in pursued goals.

KPI(s) are not only a management tool, don’t forget it is moreover a communication tool. You can engage people in increasing company revenues and innovation rate by giving their ideas of new products and services to you but also seeking and destroying waste along your organisation and processes. To do so, KPI(s) and visual management can help to give the goal, the direction, the target.

Let’s take the standard example of an Idea Box and Idea management system.

Focus on meaning

While deploying your collective Intelligence initiative, focus on the message and on the results.

With our idea box, it could be easy to set up a goal at x ideas  per employee or xx ideas for the whole organisation. What is the message behind? Of course the answer to this question depends of your organisation however in most enterprises it will be more or less « I don’t care about quality, I just want to reach my target to get my annual bonus » or something equivalent.

To give more meaning, set a topic or categories in which you want your people to focus on. Example: Safety, New business, efficiency,… You will see a drastic increase of submitted ideas in correlation with much more quality. Trust people intelligence is key.

Give figures a message

Giving figures is a bad habits in organisation (I think it is « bad Habits N°2 in my ranking, just after using excel for everything but math…). However managers like to establish quantified goals to manage their team. If you just set figures in your collective intelligence intitiative, you will lose support from your employees, trust will fall down and your project will die with no benefit for the company.

Allowing figures you set as target to transmit a message is a powerful tool to have a full alignment of your teams.

For our idea box, let’s imagine your management want you to set a figure of savings. Let’s say, achieve 2M€ savings this year with the submitted ideas. Please consider changing the message and giving the numbers a new horizon, because here it just says « give my money back ». Encourage your team to seek and destroy wasted time or unproductive tasks in your processes with a target t xx% of your « whatever number is relevant » for a global amount of 2M€. Communication changes everything when embedding people.

Worst and best

The worst KPI ever when dealing with Collective Intelligence, esp. with idea box: idea per FTE.

The best seen so far: % of implemented ideas on a specific subject

Do you have good or bad KPIs to share? Share it as a comment!

Thanks for reading.

You are a start-up mentor? Be sure you worth it

2015-10-26_21-15-20Last October I have been lucky enough to be a mentor at the BigBooster event in Lyon, France. BIG BOOSTER is an international acceleration program in cooperation with MASSCHALLENGE in Boston (the sister city of Lyon if I am not wrong).

That was my first time mentor and I have been very interested sharing my comments, experience and knowledge with 3 very promising start-ups (it ended with one of our mentored start-up ECHY@echycontact – being selected to go this February in Boston and at last being selected among the 10 most promising start-ups of the pool. One more step in April and they might get the price 😉 ).

However during the days we were working I did to myself several comments regarding this kind of events and my own value to the start-ups there. That was a life changing experience for me and a truly new vision of what need and what is a start-up that have changed the way I am envisaging working and collaborating with them as Innovation manager in a Corporate.

Here are the points I would like to share:

  • Be sure you provide value to your mentored startups but also to your start-ups representatives as an individual. Not only for the company but also for the representative it should be an opportunity to grow.
  • Made clear among mentors what are your skills, in which topics each of you is a killer and in which topics you can’t really help. That’s key for your mentored to understand what they can seek from you and what they have to find elsewhere
  • Clarify frankly and from the beginning what are the objectives of the startups: winning a slot at the accelerator? working on their projects with professionals with no particular needs or wills to be selected? Challenging their approach? That’s key for you to be sure you provide the need values and advises to your mentored.
  • Made a clear and honest feedback. As for an example, we had a start-up which was way to early to confront with the others. That was our duty to tell them and help them making progress during the 3 days.
  • Work together on the subject. As a mentor you are also here to work and produce what is needed by your start-up. You are not only a counsellor but also a kind of Blue collar…
  • Last but most important: Be humble. Those guys are working hard on their project, that’s their life, their passion. And frankly I have learned a lot from them during those days. Being an entrepreneur is hard.

Thanks for reading and connect to my mentored startups @echycontact and @stimergyfr