Edward Snowden & the NSA @ TED

We are having a long debate with some colleagues about Edward Snowden: Hero or Zero? No in between choice, a sort of binary attitude! Of course, it is not that simple, but it is sometimes good to choose side… What do you think?
We did not reach an agreement, and in the end of the day, it only shows the level of people’s trust in the institutions at large.
Listen to him:

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Decentralize or Centralize? Why?

Why Decentralize?
Wished outcomes:

  • - Flexibility in operations
  • - Sensitivity to the client and the constraints
  • - Empowered and accountable Professionals
  • - Increase customer proximity
  • - Approach internal services to users
  • - Increase the time response
  • - Countering the bureaucracy
  • - Closer Service
  • - Service more accessible
  • - Better understanding of the constraints (link)
  • - Information channel to the top executives

MIT Decentralize or Centralize?
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Notes Organisation Structures and Models Analysis (2)

What are the four main attribute that must concern the manager when it comes to create his/her company model of organisation?

  • Environment (The list of significant (external) factors is defined – Appreciate each horizon of certainty (1-5 years) and express the Central tendency? Put that tendency onto the scale: No exceptions, Few Exceptions, Periodical Exceptions, Regular Exceptions, Frequent Exceptions)
  • Autonomy (Who defines the objectives or Allocate the resources? Who creates the Operations rules, manage the exceptions or evaluates the results?)
  • Segmentation (How do you segment your organisation? By functions? By products? By regions? Etc.)
  • Coordination (What coordination mechanisms to support the chosen organisation?)

This is a sample of the model’s graphic representation:

When the organisation model is coherent, the line is quite straight. So:

    An organization whose units’ configuration is uniform allows the use of standardized management tools and greatly facilitates its control. This keeps its management quite easy and its coordination is simpler, and therefore, management costs are lower.

    An organization whose units’ configuration is diverse limits the use of standardized management tools and therefore its control is more complicated and, of course its management is more complex and demanding. Complex coordination and management costs are higher.

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Notes on Organisational Structures and Models (1)

Let’s start with a short quote:

Everywhere, we celebrate the famous entrepreneurs, but organizations “modeler”, rarely. If the foresight or recklessness of the former is a necessary (but not sufficient) condition of economic development, it is the second discrete engineering that allows companies to grow and last.(i)

What do those discrete engineers of organisation have to have in mind in today’s world?

Have a quick look at the historical perspective:

1946-1972: Development (glorious) demographic, economic, infrastructure, welfare state
1973-1992: Creep (pitiful) Budget adjustments, review of management practices, reforms at the margin
1992 -? : Turbulence (rough)
So, Briefly:
• Perspective confused
• Recurring problems
• The often partial solutions, imperfect, temporary.
• Much unrest
• Magical thinking
• Scatter (thinking, actions, etc…)
• Increased complexity and partly artificial
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Immunity To Change Map (Change Management)

Immunity to Change Map (ITC)! Quid?
A simple and strong tool that we practiced during the MBA with the executive coach (Hanneke Frase).

First, it is a tool that can be used both at a personal and company level. They can reach quite a level of complexity, but they -at least- are able to capture that complexity and hopefully help to solve a change that is meant to be complicated.

Very few simple questions:
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Notes on Change Management and Fair Process

Following up the last post, I wanted to add a point that with it will definitely fit well!

Fair Process vs Fair Outcome

This is based on the MBA module that we had with an excellent executive coach (Hanneke Frase). It is also extracted from this article that presents nicely the situation.

Imagine a change that an organisation wants to undertake. A change that has an impact, let’s say, on the human resources. All organisations have.
One angle is most often not taken into account on top of some steps described earlier. It is the question of fair process vs fair outcome. Is someone anyway happy if the outcome of a change is fair, and what is the needed degree of fairness in a process?
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Notes on Change Management

One of the best course, if not the best, was the one about Change Management.
A great deal of transverse knowledge coupled with change management theory can lead to success.
Soft skills are however key. Understanding the forces in presence and what are the particular worry of each stakeholder is indeed crucial for success. But there is also a method to avoid this:

pic from apmg-summaries.com

(pic from apmg-summaries.com – click it)

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To be or not to be… Evil

Juilan Browne. In a quite long essay, he defends the fact that being, or better becoming Evil for corporation is inevitable.

And to make the story short, Julian basically says: “Small company” => Good, “Big company” => difficult, “A company listed on the stock exchange” => definitely Evil. This could be seen as politically sided, but it is not the core of his paper.

From his large experience, he observed that there seems to be fatty layers adding up to a growing company, inevitable. And then, when a company is listed on the stock exchange, unhealthy growth would be the defining factor for becoming Evil.

“Whether it’s through greed, or lazy simplistic thinking, the route to evil corporations is via unhealthy growth. And unhealthy growth can be defined as exceeding a size beyond which you notice the presence of anybody who doesn’t contribute directly to the work the company was set up to do.
Unhealthy growth is in fact the norm. It’s the path of least resistance. Markets, in even obscure products, are huge which means the opportunities to grow are vast. Effort to stay healthy is hard.
A lot of middle-sized companies and a ton of small companies is better for employees and for customers, even if it’s not a very efficient model. In fact, for obvious reasons, efficient models aren’t good for the employment prospects of large populations. Which is probably why we tolerate such fat and waste in large companies. Growth should lead to frightening levels of efficiency and yet big companies are always hiring people to do jobs that aren’t real (what is an Information Architect anyway?). People with jobs that aren’t real have a lot of meetings. And meetings are dangerous because to fill up the time these people make decisions about anything and everything. Most of the time these decisions are thankfully ignored, but occasionally they break out of the meeting room as a policy in a code of conduct.”

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