Posts Tagged ‘companies’

It’s in fact a strategic question, launching a startup, with the “all-in-the-hurry” rush of the beginning: dreams, passion (core!), energy. Straight from an idea, new innovation (techs, economics, social…), a team or sometimes a single person and it goes: idea, prototype, business plan, network to make the buzz and finetune the concept. Well…and here surges the problem:

  • is vision strong enough to be long term and hold a big market enough?
  • isn’t the idea already dead-born, too mainstream, crowded?
  • which kind of stakeholders, partners for which use, in the jungle?
  • how much cash available and for how much time?
  • how much time before new comers, copy, better and cheaper?
  • and when will surge the “Peter Principle” and how recognize it before it runs?
If all the topics were evaluated with patience and attention, there would probably less startup ventures…Because one would be feared and discouraged facing such unknown and risks. But fortunately, “creation comes from pulse, rythm, power and passion, sometimes in pain, loneliness and shadow”. There’s somehow something strong behind, to learn, raise, fail too, change the world and manage. Anyway, anyone who passed by these steps know that it worths largely the game.
Then comes a time to confirm and sustain the whole project. And that’s another affair, for who has passed through starting steps and succeed to convince partners to go further: market, journalists, angels, funds, customers…Even if you hide your face, some will remind you “hey, when do your build the big picture next?
There were some days where funds tried to get rid of founders, prefering to introduce senior management with experience, to build the next organization. Because creation is one, but raise the whole story might be more difficult and tied to special skills founders may not hold. Funds may be  tempted to protect their investment and bring it to team with more track record and success in the past, that guarantee them the best result, and that may be not with former founders…Understanding huge organization, build and manage teams, know how to grow up motivation, efficiency, productivity, dealing with ERP and IT solutions is lots of challenge founders may not afford and/or didn’t experience in. Management, as a global mean to grow together all forces and resources in a company has to be practiced before, with long years in several companies from different sizes and sectors, and it’s not obvious for who didn’t, in the past. “Driving” people means having done it before, with a diversified platform of cases, companies, cultures, countries, jobs to draw the best of it.
A young creator may not have the required sensiblity, patience or touch to get the best of teams. I agree that some of them have sometimes such a charism and track record that can replace experience. And that’s maybe part of the speed of enlightment, around the project. A trend that takes off now, prefering to keep founders at the right place, to hold the pioneer spirit: rid of with all money needs, founders can concentrate them to global strategy and seem to reassure investors as they engaged some resources.
Despite this, a good leader knows first how to build his trusty board and operational ranks: he has to. and what about an ideal friendly, efficiency and “good team on the bus” look like? According to me, I would suggest a team around:
  • founders inside, of course!
  • investors, for their role only: lending money (but not leading strategy, for heaven’s sake!)
  • consulting/advising: out of the company, not involved, not too close (no mates, no husband or wives!) ; good friend for with no engagement at all in the company, it’s important to be outside with no pressure, to keep “fair thinking” as best as possible
  • failure stars: draw the best from others mistakes is core for starting business
  • models: mentoring, icons…everything that keeps a goal, target, dream alive with all the power around
  • professors and academic sources to keep on the knowledge environment and hold the  growth for learning more
  • experience, throughout senior management, veterans, successful storytellers who can give method, process and business behavior
  • youth: concrete, essential, sheer access to young blood to hold the spirit of “building something that can change the world”. Young generations don’t hesitate to push the limits and keep the “gear up” to next level
  • network and networkers. More linchpins, fellows who drive the dance, link people, give their arts for free. Hooked to several networks, to stare and share the next pratices, and learn the “lean startup” methods
Thinking of what’s all these things could produce in fair, bright and well driven hands and brain?
Startup’s begining is like a single musician, but always requires tabs: how, where and with who? and these questions become more important, as the startup rise and burst the ceiling. It needs next a good leader, good musicians, good tabs, good map and be sure nobody’s lost. And this kind of experience is rarely understood, experienced, with youngest generations and young creators, who only see speed, miracle and energy.
Well, we’re not supposed to fire all young creators, saying they are unskilled for the follow up, but it’s to say they should be surrounded by many skills and advises, they sometimes don’t fell or value. And the whole system must go on, with energy, passion, envy and team innovation: hold the light, generate the spark for future generations, means oldest show them the way, because they know, because they failed too. And failure is probably the most difficult thing to swallow, but gives you a special taste: taste for danger, taste for forbidden, taste for fear. Everything that is full of speed and power, to build something strong, relevant and remarkable…

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It happened to be our daily life now, living with “social” behaviors and encounters. Last time I was for my MBA program, at HEC session for “social networks” in companies, I understood two things (at least!), starting the session:
– seems to move in companies, while social networks could be a solution for change (tip: my session was on “transform your business”, and I was supposed to get keys to do it)
– nothing was really new: a stone in the window…while discovering, “social networks” had nothing to see with social web in fact, considering they were  1) there since a long time  2) in fact in DNA for any organization   3) drawing the informal patterns, representing not authority (anything to see with organization charts), but “how companies do things…”


I had the idea to write something that could exorcise me (!), and making another building tool in the forest of social web.

First idea: I was not fool and out of the subject, while sharing ideas with excellent speaker, Marco Tortoriello, at the end of the session. What we always call “social networks”, is in fact  “informal networks” into companies. We obviously see that social web can improve a lot these understandings of such apps, but quicky I realize that web (already said several times, seems to be true), is just a tool. It gave us kind of “power” to save time (and time is important we’ll see further) in social graphs, and simplified a lot, sharing, finding information, find experts…and answers (an old post of last year reminds me about “instant search” that now burst…threat for search majors…)

Second idea: more your company is large and full of complicated graphs and organization, the more you’ll have to listen and be careful of informal situations. Anything you can consider as futile or useless can be your best weapon to understand others and pass through several steps more easily tomorrow. That is to say, spend time for “nothing” is really important if you want to get the “codes”, no one will ever give you. Public companies complicate the game with some political ladders too…

Third idea: as you could be disappointed, nothing to see with web in fact, in the fact that web is only a way (tool) to achieve your goals and maybe save times for networking more, fast and better. But nothing more. I always see people staring at web as the next thing that will resolve all their problems. Some in the history already did this this with totems and others idols…

Last idea: nothing is more important than listening and spending time (no waste at all!), to look, understand, and then act. Lots of unfortunate situation, seems driven to death, by urgency. There’s no much time than take time.

Maybe you’ll find gems in unknown territories: has anybody ask for reputation, those who do, don’t have any in fact. But those who live in silence and whispering minds, are the wisdom cell. Reputation and power are rewards, and reality show us that true ones, are long to get, are not “self-told to the world”!
Practically, don’t avoid anything: take care of every moment, from lift trips to small talks at coffee breaks, from sport sessions, to transportation random meetings. Any opportunity is real to empower yourself, reinforce your track record and perception, learning all small things to save time (and tears!).

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A novel to enlarge points of view of 2.0 wave in companies, while some of them are frightened by 2.0 applications and uses in their walls. An Inside report, full of concrete and real acts, hopeful I swear…

Companies are still shy about social platforms usings in the field of their core business, and with their employees. But nobody can’t now ignore the generation Y, because of its potential and in the way they’re now building the next future stories of companies behaviors, renewal of old process, reshaping our habits. But some of them, even in the most important corps, do. They seem to be hypnotized, sometimes by surprise, but by the fear and threat they seem to feel too. Fear? Yes, for sure. The battle for information is since several years, settled down in all commitments, and often produce rude wars. Audience can make the fire bigger, and that’s why, there’s an inside, invisible and covering curse, that is named “ability to express yourself without any control”, ability eased by 2.0 tools and practices. Mistrust now makes the deal, and enemies of social web are spreading new rules to slow use of it, setting control panels for users, but instead of controlling users, trying to control contents. An endless quest, far from reach, and difficult to achieve. Companies often make mistakes, are wrong about the target: controlling why not, if control makes higher quality of contents, participation and moderation; but if the aim is controlling contents, all of it, from reading to forbid using, it’s not why I call “a progress, exploiting all potential”. They might have lots of give up in jobs, in the genY rows…Because, they’re born in, with it, by it. They don’t know how to manage without such behaviors and work inhabits.

We can say social web facilitate spreading ego behaviors and self promotion, but why would it be bad, according the fact that you work for a company, which could exploit, serve its interests, by using your personal shining success, mixing it with its own brand…Be sure some do it. Why gen Y couldn’t use social web (Facebook, LinkedIn…) as they use their mobile – personal stuff btw -, at the office?

But there’re really some obvious advantages, pros for social apps. According to McKinsey ‘s last survey “building the web 2.0” and others, we can underline 4 among them, probably more to follow…

1) Inside communication, by the fact that is facilitated, speeded, with IM, micro-blogging and so long

2) Companies events, organisation, subscriptions management and the ability to react live, comment and make the events more alive and real time

3) Training and coaching, ability to follow more efficiency employees and executives, in their career, wish and next steps of progression; some bad advisors may see another “big brother” in there, maybe, maybe not…a risk to remind

4) Innovation and change management, ability to move quickly; immobile corps are dead and social apps can make you go faster and a step ahead, before competitors

So, we talked about controlling yes, but controlling users, some identified users with potential, treating them as stars, leveraging their work, facilitating communication, can get you on the highest step of the wall. And become the star of Gen Y, a company where youngest like to work in, a innovating brand, forecasting the future, leading markets.

I know it’s really difficult not to control brand, valuation and goodwill of a company, but I’m afraid it’s quite now really impossible in the facts: that’s why, set your efforts on moderators, opinion leaders and not on what they write/say. Add them on levels of strategy, they’re the most adequate way to buzz and take the information to the highest leverages levels to consumers and stocks markets. Communication is a hard job  but let’s jump from public relation to public relationship, warmer and more friendly. And be sure the most thing to avoid: block, forbid using of it will drive to internal revolution, bad notoriety and something like rejection of brand…

You can visit this new expert’s site for talent managementand if you like to gear up, read this funny guide…funny, but real. Don’t forget.

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