Meritocracy isn’t Democracy by Jim Whitehurst, CEO of RedHat

Interesting 6min video interview during which Jim Whitehurst, CEO of RedHat, explains what “Collaboration” means to RedHat employees from Top to Bottom:


Strategy under uncertainty – McKinsey Quarterly – Strategy – Strategic Thinking

Strategy under uncertainty – McKinsey Quarterly – Strategy – Strategic Thinking.

This “must read” article was first published in June 2000 by McKinsey. However, it has never been so timely to give a second look at it. By reading it, you will discover:

  • The 4 levels of uncertainty:
  1. A clear enough future
  2. Alternative futures
  3. A range of futures
  4. True ambiguity
  • The 3 Possible strategic postures to respond to the 4 levels of uncertainty:
  1. Adapting
  2. Shaping
  3. Reserving the right to play
  • and finally the 3 possible strategic actions:
  1. Big bets (used by Shapers)
  2. Options (used by companies reserving their right to play)
  3. No-regret moves (will pay off, no matter what)

Daniel Kahneman on behavioral economics – McKinsey Quarterly – Organization – Strategic Organization

Daniel Kahneman on behavioral economics – McKinsey Quarterly – Organization – Strategic Organization.

Here is a great 17min-long video interview during which you will learn:

  • To run a pre-mortem analysis to strengthen your company (or team or project) decision making processes
  • What Anchoring is and why it is important to know that it exists
  • That people love to discuss at length about what they are in violent agreement on already 😀

The second economy – McKinsey Quarterly – Strategy – Growth

The second economy – McKinsey Quarterly – Strategy – Growth.

Here is a thought provoking article on the emergence of a digital economy to support the physical one of goods and services produced and delivered all around the globe. Unfortunately, this second economy does not supplement the existing physical one, it cannibalizes it by automating the manual tasks and activities previously taken care of by human beings. Net net, this new economy kills more jobs than it creates exacerbating the unemployment problem globally. Looking one step further, the real question becomes: when all workers of the physical economy will have lost their job because their tasks have been automated, will there still be enough consumers on the planet to sustain and support not only the physical economy but also the digital one? As a matter of fact, the digital economy is worth almost nothing if there is no need any longer to move goods and services around because their consumers have vanished at the same time they lost their income.

All economic transformations so far have resulted in a net compression of the total number of job opportunities. How much longer can we sustain such a trend before the system as a whole breaks apart? First, we moved jobs from the country side (farming) to manufacturing plants (industrial age), then we moved job overseas (labor arbitrage: off-shore, near-shore, right-shore… etc) to focus on a services economy. Now that services will no longer be delivered by human beings but by computer grids instead (services “commoditization”), how will we earn our living in the future? What will come next? We may actually see a resurgence of Proximity services or Community services because these are “High-touch” and “trust-based”, hence still very difficult (at this point in time at least) to delegate to a machine.

“Progress” in its largest sense is expected to benefit mankind. Funnily enough, we very often struggle to keep up with it and accommodate it in our daily lives. Finally can Progress be truly Progress if we are always running behind it?!?!?

Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address (with intro by President John Hennessy) – YouTube

Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address (with intro by President John Hennessy) – YouTube.

Of course, there will be a lot of people to talk about how truly unique Steve Jobs was. For me, he will be mostly remembered for his extraordinary commencement speech at Stanford in 2005: maybe more than a highly successful business man, he was simply a Great Person !

God bless him !

Have GM skills become irrelevant in the 21st century?

Lynda Gratton: Everyone needs three posses | Management Innovation eXchange.

Here is a thought provoking video interview of London Business School Professor, Lynda Gratton, in which she argues that GM skills are too superficial to remain relevant in today’s economy. Instead, people should focus on building Mastery, yes Mastery, in something that will make them unique. They should also actively build and maintain an active network of People, they can truly rely on, not an endless contact list they have nothing to do with. Finally, they should focus on the quality of their experiences rather than the quantity of their consumptions…

Waouh, these are bold provocative statements,  provocative enough anyway to make me buy her book and read more…

From eGovernment to GaaS

We see them all over the place these days: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS),  Everything as a Service but GaaS, this was the first time I saw it in a paper and while reading it, it really started to make sense. GaaS or Government as a Service is the public sector implementation of “big data” on one side and “Everything as a Service” on the other side or IT innovation at the service of Citizens of all nations. This is a very ambitious and impressive public sector project where emerging countries like Kenya and Georgia are showing the way.

Interested? Read on…

Innovation in government: Kenya and Georgia – McKinsey Quarterly – Public Sector – Management.

Growth under pressure

It has been a while since the last time I read a courageous article about what the private sector shall do to support economic growth again. I finally found one on McKinsey: What businesses can do to restart growth

Enjoy !

Is Effectual Entrepreneurship the solution to unemployment in mature economies?

I’m currently reading the book by IMD Professor of Marketing, Stuart Read, about “Effectual entrepreneurship”. He has nicely summarized his book on 5 short videos all available on YouTube:

I’m now getting close to the end of the book and seriously wonder:

  • Would effectual entrepreneurship by the answer to the unemployment problem in many mature and underdeveloped economies today?
  • If yes, don’t we need to teach our Youth that the future will be less and less about “finding” a job vs “building” it by applying in your venture the 4 heuristics (aka principles) of effectual entrepeneurship?
  • How much longer longer shall we wait to make it happen?

Maybe there is in today’s post the seeds of my next personal venture 😉

2011 World competitiveness presentation at OWP 2011 by Professor Stephane Garelli

Economy is often believed to be a boring topic to teach or to present. In OWP2011 (Yearly Orchestrating Winning Performance event by Lauzanne School of Management IMD), IMD Professor of Economy, Stephane Garelli is making a brilliant demonstration to an enthusiastic crowd that Economy can also be fun even if the challenges ahead of us are immense.

The session has been cut into 4 individual segments all available on YouTube.

If you would like to take one step back from your daily work and understand the macroeconomic trends that will shape the world of tomorrow, then this presentation is for you.  Enjoy!