Daring, inventiveness, flexibility, authenticity … Everyone agrees that our companies must reinvent themselves to differentiate themselves. When we talk about innovation, we think strategy, supply management organization and very rarely, namely how one leads and Men. What for ?
You who find this article, would you work in a company where:
the missions that are entrusted to you exciting?
relationships are authentic and based on trust?
you have a sufficient level of autonomy and freedom?
teams are integral and constructive collaboration between services?
Is this the case?
Although 85% of executives believe that innovation is essential to remain competitive, companies are agreed that about 10% of their time. [I] If 54% of employees suggest new ideas to their managers, only 11% of them are considered. [Ii]
The management: poor relation of innovation
According to an Ipsos survey in 2013, innovation is entrusted to 72% to the functions Research & Development, Quality and Marketing, which represents between 5-8% of the workforce. The other functions they would not be affected by the search for new ideas?
When we talk about innovation, we think first of all to technological innovations or creation of new offers. Moreover, rankings innovative companies are based on the number of patents and in this, it is true, France is the 3rd most innovative country in the world. [Iii]
But few decision makers who talk about managerial innovation.
And when state managerial innovation, developments focus primarily on the organization and information systems. The “collaborative principles” came last while it is certainly in that direction lies the real (r) evolution of management.
Indeed, it is not enough to “graft” a new management theory it takes, must accept entire body. If Toyota is the quintessential example of Lean management, can not be said of other companies for which this experience ended in a fiasco. What would be the reason? Simply because, at Toyota, Lean management is not a method but a philosophy, a way of working and behaving strongly rooted in all employees, regardless of their responsibilities.
History of management: when “always more of the same thing the same effect”
If the tools are evolving, managerial paradigms remain unchanged for a century. Certainly the hierarchical levels were reduced but the decision-making processes remain the same (it is always the “chef” who decides). If you ask employees to be more autonomous and force proposal, the management tools are still “descendants”. Employees are certainly better trained and more knowledgeable but still expects them to remain in the “frame” of their job description. The strategy is still the privilege of governance etc.
Basically, whatever the name that was assigned over the years (boss, chief, frame, leader …) the manager has always primary role to prescribe and monitor the work of his team (when he has time).
If the great thinkers of the management were still among us (FW Taylor, H. Fayol, P. Drucker, E. Deming …) they probably would be astonished to find that their models are still relevant as the world has changed significantly in 10 years.
Some even ask why our companies have retained only the organizational aspects of their recommendations without taking into account the relational dimensions. Did you know that if H. Fayol advocated “unity of direction” and “division of labor”, it also stressed the importance of “the initiative of employees” and “the union staff”? Why these dimensions have not been incorporated by virtually majority of French companies?
Compared to considerable changes in other areas of life (technology, geopolitics …), management seems to move at the pace of a snail.
Managerial innovation: the logic to intuition
For nearly a century all management models have been developed on the basis of logical thinking: How to increase productivity, gain market share, improve quality and more recently to fight against competition by lower costs? These questions led rational answers, based mostly on statistical and mathematical foundations that form the heart of Management education provided in our schools great (if we want to increase production must be hired and if we want reduce costs, license, QED).
No wonder that most of our leaders still argue as such since they reproduce what he has been taught by professors, consultants themselves strongly imbued with this way of thinking (just for you convinced to watch the content of training of our elites).
And if the companies have integrated the motivational dimension in the 80s, it was primarily to increase productivity (in reference to the experience of Western Electric 1930), rarely to contribute to the welfare of their employees. Similarly, the prevention of psychosocial risks is not at the initiative of enterprises, but the government following the media coverage of suicides at France Telecom (although few companies were engaged in this process before 2009). But deep down, now she aims to make people happy or earn the most money?
If the management is the poor relation of innovation, it is certainly due to the fact that this dimension is the most difficult to change (a change in technology takes between 6 and 18 months, a cultural change between 1 and 5 years ). But difficult does not mean impossible because the difficulty lies not in the ability to be open to new ideas but to free themselves from old ideas.
Management matters Innovate no longer rests on the adoption of concepts straight out of Harvard or thought by the great American gurus. Rather, qualified innovative managerial practices come from companies themselves and are more the result of leaders belief, a little crazy paris in response to a crisis situation, common sense, exchanges between people, bold experiments for most antagonistic to everything that you have known until now for the simple reason that our old models have become inoperative or against productive.
The managerial innovations that you will discover can be classified in the category called “disruptive innovation”. They are either antagonists, ie contrary to common practices (wage increases decided colleagues, thinking business strategy by employees) or “integrative”, that is to say, in response to the values, ways of thinking and emergent behaviors of our society (self declaration mood, valuation of error …).
Managerial innovation: easier said than done
The first stage of managerial innovation is undoubtedly acceptance that this exercise is very difficult, and this for four main reasons:
1. The anchor certainties: it is difficult to question what is considered an absolute truth! Remember, however, that our ancestors were certain that the earth was flat and that the sun revolved around the Earth and all those who challenged these views were likely to pay with their lives. The only certainty is that you can have a manager in 2014 has nothing to do with the way the teams were headed in 1924 and that the management of the XXII century will be very different from what we know (if he Management is still a mission).
2. The fear: losing control, of power, of making mistakes. To think otherwise is bound to take a risk, simply because it is not possible to refer to something existing. And in our country, the risk is synonymous with danger. In others, risk taking is seen as courage and an opportunity.
3. Social pressure: many people turn to an idea on the grounds that it is said to be unrealistic or that it will be rejected by others. Or managerial innovation is above all a matter of conviction and should not depend on the eyes of others with a tendency in our country, rather pessimistic (we are the world champions in this respect according to a recent survey conducted by Gallup ), critical and conformism (until we have proof that it works!).
4. The reasoning limits: Hard to think otherwise. How to do ? There is a popular belief: creativity is a gift and depends on the personality. Fortunately, this idea is completely wrong. Creativity is an ability, so it can be learned!
Engage in managerial innovation activities presupposes above all to learn to unlearn.
World Tour with innovative managerial practices
According to Benjamin Chaminade, creativity involves four steps. The first is the Inspiration. Therefore, rather than bludgeon you to beliefs and theories, we preferred to present some examples of managerial innovations adopted by size companies, different sectors and nationalities. All have in common, however: they managed to reconcile development and performance!
Here are some innovative practices of 6 different levers according to the order of importance given by French companies (trust, commitment, welfare, agility, collaboration and creativity).
“The superior man is one who first puts his words into practice and then speaks according to his actions” – Confucius
“We do not tell us everything,” “He did not keep his promise,” “It seems that there will be a merger”, “Our competitor has fired 20% of its employees, when our turn?” … broken Promise, Uncertain Future, abstruse changes, opaque information, fear of being misjudged … so many reasons that have in recent years created a surge of distrust in companies. Or point seine and profitable cooperation without trust.
(Re) build trust within companies assumed to follow some criteria such as compliance, management credibility, reliability and transparency of information, congruence between words and deeds, or the encouragement and ‘sense of expression of dissatisfaction or doubts.
Basically, this means just one hand, to trust and to trust others. On paper, everyone wants. But how?
3 examples of managerial innovations that build trust
In France, At Mars Chocolat, Thierry Gaillard, CEO, organizes every 6 weeks a 30 minute meeting, entitled “It will discuss” where he answers all the questions from employees. This practice is even more interesting when we know that employees have far less confidence in their leaders that their direct managers.
In India, at HCL Technologies, employees can express their doubts and queries via an internal forum called “U & I” (you and me) to the members of management who are committed to meeting the CEO including even answer that ‘they do not know. Building trust involves going through a must and not always pleasant for Management: allow the expression of doubts, fears or criticism. Better to channel their expressions than letting them spread themselves in the corridors, around the coffee machine or to customers.
In California, the Intuit software company organizes what he calls the “party of defeat” in which are evoked the failures so as to “collectively turn the page” and learn from mistakes. To err is human, so why deny it? Better to accept the failures and leverage than deny them and let them darken the mood and affect confidence.
Commitment and Accountability
“The best manager is one who can find the talent to do things, and who also knows curb his urge to get involved as they are the” -T. Roosevelt
“It’s not up to me to do it,” “I’m not paid for it,” “I say it will not walk”, “This is the fault of accounting” … So About destabilizing of managers who do not understand why their employees do not invest as much in their work than they.
The dedication she would belong to the past?
According to a Gallup International survey, about 11% of employees say they “engaged” (motivated volunteers), 61% are “uncommitted” (it just do what they are asked) and 28% are “actively disengaged (they a negative view of their business and can go up to go against its interests if necessary). These figures have not evolved much in 10 years.
The sense of responsibility is born with the commitment. In other words, I feel responsible for what I decided, not necessarily what is decided for me. But to be honest, it is rare that employees decide their missions or objectives. The flexibility of staff lies more in the “how” than the “what” (definition of the objective by the employee).
As long as employees are not fully involved in the definition of what is asked of them, we will maintain a management system or condescending manager, a good father, reward success and punish (or by a lack of reward, either by a penalty ) failures, nonconformities or professional failure.
And it is precisely the fear of being “punished” that hinders accountability. This sword of Damocles is often the cause of tensions between managers and employees. The concepts “0 defects”, “total quality” or other injunctions to excellence position employees in a defensive position (it’s not my fault!), While the valuation of error (provided it is neither voluntary or repetitive) allows to instill a culture of continuous improvement (provided you have previously reinstated a “climate of trust”).
3 examples that strengthen the commitment and accountability
In France Leroy Merlin, the strategy is developed by employees through numerous meetings integrated into an approach called “Vision”. At the start of this project, all employees have contributed to the realization of this strategy in this business where “it is good work.” Every employee is concerned about the realization of this project. No doubt that all employees of Leroy Merlin are shareholders in their company he also helps that everyone feels responsible for the results whose benefits are also distributed equitable manner for all employees?
In the US, at Morning Star tomato processing company nearly 700 employees, employees negotiate their goals between them, depending on their ideas and what they think good for their business. No leader to tell them what to do. These negotiations lead to “contracts of employment” accessible to all employees. This practice differs from the setting of targets for the perpetrators of these commitments are the actors who will implement them.
In France, the airline Air France introduced it a few years ago a “charter of error not punishment.” Having realized and accepted that one of the main causes of accidents and incidents was of human origin, and considering the consequences, the airline decided to encourage its employees to express (anonymously) their report errors and malfunctions in return for which it undertook not to practice sanction when the errors were revealed and agreed. The only sanction envisaged concerns employees who have not expressed their mistakes.
Pleasure and well-being
“Choose a job you love and you do not have to work not a single day of your life” – Confucius
“It is true that my job is not very exciting but it allows me to feed my family,” “I go around my position, what do you propose?”, “My manager is not motivating “… If 80% of French people are satisfied with their working conditions (space, time, level of autonomy …) [iv], only 20% see their work as a source of pleasure. [v] Perhaps it is due to the fact that 46% of French do not work in the desired function [vi]?
What interest to a company that its employees are happy at work?
Before the media coverage of suicides in 2009, well-being at work was not really a concern of leaders. And if companies had to heart to motivate their staff, it is undoubtedly to increase performance, not really for their welfare. These words may seem shocking. And yet, in our society, it seems that the social is still in the service of economic, and not the reverse.
But contrary to what you think, improving working conditions affect satisfaction, they do not increase the pleasure to work.
But who is responsible for the pleasure felt by each employee? The company? The employee ? Both ? A priori, it depends firstly on what the employee search.
According to our studies, the fun at work is primarily based on two factors:
The content of activities and assigned responsibilities,
friendliness and good atmosphere among colleagues.
If the company can act on this second factor depends on the first feeling experienced by the employee to carry out its missions. It is thus an endogenous factor which falls under the only professional choice of collaborator (as too many employees feel it belongs to the company to make them happy).
That is why the well-being and pleasure to work may only be at the sole initiative of the employer.
This is a joint responsibility.
3 examples of practices that enhance the well-being and pleasure to work
In Brazil, workers of Fiat’s plants report their mood every morning, when they start work: green, hopefully; orange, if moderately motivated and red if it encounters a problem. Employees who say red is then received by a manager and a specialist of the HR function (about 80% of workers said they were in red once a year). This is particularly interesting since the company authorizes and assigns responsibility for declaring a discomfort to the employee (and not the management).
In the United States, within the company WL Gore (nearly 8,000 employees), new hires have a few weeks to tour projects and choose the teams with whom they would like to work according to the pleasure they experience to contribute to the project. The acclaimed team can accept or decline the nomination. This practice clearly highlights the two principles of pleasure at work, namely the interest of the work and membership in a group where you feel good.
In France, at Euro Disneyland Paris, this business about 15 000 employees established a “City Council” consisting of voluntary collaborators in charge of finding solutions to the “small daily hassles” identified by “area leaders” (relay information). This community meets 4 times a year outside of institutional meetings supervised by social rules.
Agility & Liberty
“A business without order can not survive, but without a messy business is incapable of evolving” B. Nadoulek
“Sorry, Mr. Customer, I can not answer you, this decision depends on the site and I have no information,” “We have always done it this way, why change?”, “Here it is Versailles, no employee has no real autonomy. All decisions are centralized at the Executive Committee. ” Most of our companies are still organized according to the good old principles of Taylorism, ie a structured organization by business, centralized decision-making authority, supervised by job descriptions from a heavily negotiated classification, absolute compliance with procedures which Compliance is given to hierarchical authority.
That some of whose leaders are not aware is that this mode was perfect for a linear and predictable world but becomes counterproductive in a society increasingly complex, ever-changing and unpredictable.
Total quality, cost control, risk … The level of precision what needs to be done and the formalism that results (rules, procedures, forms …) and the associated control and reporting tools allow obviously ensure compliance but generate a level of rigidity and bureaucracy that impede responsiveness of our businesses.
Worse, those who want to break free from these chains admit their inability to do so, they are forced by the multitude of standards imposed either by the state or by their sector or their customers (ISO, public market, CSR, Solvency, Basel …).
Yet the difference between competitors is now playing largely on their capacity to be reactive or proactive. They must be free of old management methods, founding superb gas plants, and reconnect with the correct orientation (to focus on creative activities values), simplicity (reducing the number of procedures and chase the non-value added activities …), resourcefulness (learning to do more with less, from the constraints …), change their structure (organization by customer or product), offer more freedom in how to perform the tasks (nomadism, telecommuting …) by giving meaning, mobilizing around shared values and focus mainly on the results.
3 examples of practices that enhance the agility and freedom
In France, under the leadership of Colonel Marlot, director of the fire department of Saone et Loire Centre (about 2,500 people), a “Network of Territorial Intelligence (RIA) was established to complement the institutional organization chart to solve the “problem with no known solution.” This body aims to mobilize “the intelligence of crowds.” Also, those involved agree to let their grades, functions, seniority early in the meeting to ensure maximum freedom of expression.
In Brazil, within the company Semco (over 3000 employees), employees who want it (about 75%) are free to set their own wages, to come to work when they want, to organize as they see fit, provided, however to commit to a result and to reach it. The counterpart of this freedom? Meet its commitment. And for those who would have fun to not do so, they will be held accountable, not to their superiors but to the entire company.
In France, at Poult, to face an alarming financial situation in 2007, employees have decided to dispense with certain supporting tasks (time management, inventory …), to share more of their missions so as to focus on creating new values. The reporting has been simplified and everyone is free to explore new ideas and share them without hierarchical or functional constraints with colleagues.
“Men build too many walls and not enough bridges” – I. Newton
“Explain to me why management talks about solidarity while each manager spends his time defending his territory”, “With an organization in silos, not surprising that everyone stays in his corner,” “We grew so much soon we no longer know who is who in this house, “” Here, it’s every man for himself. ” The division of labor has not only the consequence of slow agility, it also affects the relationship.
It is common to find a phenomenon of “star system” of certain functions which can sometimes be up to the establishment of a kind of competition between businesses. This effect is accentuated by budget cuts (each function must “defend his parish”) or individual rewards policies (why has he been promoted and not me when I worked better?).
The primacy of the result, the partitioning induced by the division of labor, bureaucratic dominance and centralization of power have affected the quality of the collaboration.
Managerial innovation is to recreate the link, proximity, mobilize collective intelligence, to allow everyone to express themselves, give an opinion on a process, a person, reinforce the links between entities and create moments of conviviality within service, between management and the level of the entire company.
the are many ways to regain what has been lost: collaborative workspaces, team coaching, workshops co-development, “live my life”, extensive evaluations or “open innovation”. Because collaboration is not limited to the company, it now extends to relations with its partners, customers and even competitors (concept of coopetition).
3 examples of practices that strengthen collaboration and cohesion
In the US, at Zappos, the online business selling shoes 2,000 employees has grown so fast that people knew more. Anxious to preserve the conviviality and the proximity of its teams, its CEO, Tony Hsieh, has developed a computer application that consists in presenting at its connection on his computer each morning, a photo of an employee and ask to choose between 3 names. Once the choice is made (whether good or not, whatever) collaborator of the presentation form then appears. This practice, unique in the world, strengthens the knowledge of employees in a context of strong development or remoteness of the workforce.
In India, at HCL Technologies, an IT services company of about 80 000, its CEO, Vineet Nayar, introduced a device called “Feed Forward”. On a voluntary basis, everyone can communicate, whenever he wants, feedback on skills he likes and those he recommends to develop / reinforce in a colleague with whom he was brought to work, without as be part of a formal process. This process is anonymous and obviously caring. The idea is, after stating the positive side, to allow a voluntary employee benefit a mirror effect on its professional development areas outside of traditional hierarchical evaluations.
In France, S.N.C.F. instituted a “managerial community” via a portal accessible to all supervisors. Within this portal, managers can share issue, share their practices and even dial a direct phone number to receive support or advice by an expert other than his manager. This practice is particularly useful in companies where managers are so compartmentalized in their functions they are left alone to deal with managerial situations which they do not find solutions. It strengthens the links between managers who share common problems, although they have different professions. The opportunity to share with colleagues supervisors also allows greater transparency in trade, which is not necessarily the case with the hierarchy (fear of being frowned upon, sensitivity of certain subjects …).
Creativity & Innovation
“The difficulty is not to understand the new ideas, but in escaping from old ones” JM Keynes
“I’ve never return my superiors about the ideas I propose”, “Anyway my ideas, I will offer them elsewhere because here you do not ask us to be sheep,” “J ‘ I realized, I offer nothing because every time my manager appropriates my idea “,” We are asked to be innovative but it does not give us time to think. ” Yet everyone knows that nowadays the difference is played on the ability of a company to differentiate itself from its competitors through innovation.
The governance advocate boldness, creativity, “out of the box” but do not change their practices and management methods.