Let's GROW !

As yearly assessment is starting again, I'm summarizing all the elements that made people grow during the year, and what will keep on making them following the same trend next year.

As I read John Whitmore books on coaching, which inspired me, I've prepared the interviews by using the GROW model, widely used in coaching.

Goal: The Goal is the end point, where people want to be. The goal has to be defined in such a way that it is very clear to the employees when they have achieved it.

Reality: The current reality is where the employee is now. What are the issues, the challenges, how far are they away from their goal? What are the obstacles stopping her/him getting from where they are now to where they want to go?

Options: Once Obstacles have been identified, the employee needs to find ways of dealing with them if they are to make progress. These are the Options.

Will or Ways forward: The Options then need to be converted into action steps which will take the employees to their goal, using their sheer will.

By presenting things this way, I hope that people better feel their accountability in their careers, and I hope provoking some interesting self-reflection on their own drivers and desires.

Chaging the game - Amazon faces industry incumbent Hachette

As an obsessive reader, as well as being strongly interested in economics and business models design and execution, I paid attention to the conflict between Amazon and Hachette around e-books.

Indeed, what is interesting in this conflict is the reflexive survival behavior of the current leader faced to a challenger who definitely want to change the world.

Amazon, as many challengers who want to introduce disruptive changes into the market, comes with arguments which state that

  • Change and healthy competition will incept new dynamics into the global market, thus providing side benefits to the current incumbents
  • Lower prices does not necessarily mean lower revenue, and create a win-win relationship with customers
  • Generated benefits spread out into all components of the value chain, thus motivating contributors to value thus reinforcing positive market dynamics
  • Industry incumbents think "in the box" too much, and are blind to emerging and raising competition

Challengers arguments are fact based:

About the price of e-books: Costs are simply far lower than for a paperback copy

With an e-book, there's no printing, no over-printing, no need to forecast, no returns, no lost sales due to out of stock, no warehousing costs, no transportation costs, and there is no secondary market — e-books cannot be resold as used books. E-books can and should be less expensive.The Amazon Books Team

About the blind spot:

They [Industry incumbents] think books only compete against books. But in reality, books compete against mobile games, television, movies, Facebook, blogs, free news sites and more. If we [Amazon + Readers alliance] want a healthy reading culture, we have to work hard to be sure books actually are competitive against these other media types, and a big part of that is working hard to make books less expensive.The Amazon Books Team

About the positive win-win market dynamics:

The important thing to note here is that the lower price is good for all parties involved: the customer is paying 33% less and the author is getting a royalty check 16% larger and being read by an audience that's 74% larger. The pie is simply bigger.The Amazon Books Team

Incumbent who feel threatened in their fundation often react through legal actions, instead of trying to open their mind and benefit from these insights brought in by competition to build on top of it. We could also see this kind of struggle in France between Taxis and VTC (acronym for private drivers) using Uber. In IT domain, the result is often massively hegemonic companies grasping main of the market value after the market revolution occured. Market could benefit from more innovation from threatened companies which often have the cash to fund interesting ideas from their people, and also bringing insights unravelled by competition into the equation.

By the way, I stand for more people being able to access to knowledge, and e-books clearly go into this direction. That's why I support Amazon in this conflict.

You can read the entire letter from Amazon Books Team on http://www.readersunited.com/

Step into the light!

I'm just back from Mumbai, where I experienced an exciting and fantastic leadership one week journey.

A lot of team and group challenges allowed to foster an incredible team spirit and even friendship amongst members from within only few day.

Amongst all these insights, there's a quote we shared within the group I felt really inspiring:

What is your core competency ? Get real !

Such a question can look like an easy one...

My point is, if you ask it to different people within the company, I bet that you'll get many different answers. And the bigger the company, the most diverse answers you'll get.

Some will speak about the miraculous technical experts who design and build the products which are sold, others will speak about fantastic project managers which make the company exist thanks to huge profit margin they ensure, others will put foremost the unbridled creativity of marketing guys without which nothing could ever be possible...

QOTD: Gems inside each of us ?

Automn LeavesEach year, in September, as invariably as leaves change colors and begin to fall from trees...

QOTD: Perception and control

A quote in French today

Je ne suis capable de contrôler que ce dont j’ai conscience. Ce qui échappe à ma perception me contrôle. C’est pourquoi l’ouverture d’esprit renforce mon pouvoir.~ John Whitmore

Which would approximately mean "I'm only be able to be in control of what I'm aware of. What is beyond my perception controls me. That's precisely why openness strengthens my power."

Great leaders know the key role of perception and always try to grasp any aspects of situation by practicing active listening, trying to obliterate any kind of bias or prejudice and their openness and clarity of mind is often well received by those they lead.

Well done, Mr Whitmore !

QOTD: The path...

Do not follow where the path may lead.
Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

~Harold R. McAlindon

I love that one !