Posts tagged ‘innovation’

October 29, 2012

Comparaison de l’utilisation des réseaux sociaux pour le recrutement en France, UK, US, Pays-Bas…et la Belgique?

L’étude 2012 HR Beat, récemment publiée par l’entreprise SuccessFactors, et réalisée auprès de 1 500 recruteurs et professionnels des ressources humaines,  relève de fortes différences de taux d’adoption des médias sociaux dans le processus de recrutement entre les pays anglo-saxons, nos pays voisins, et la France, où seulement 28% des professionnels français interrogés communiquent avec des candidats via les réseaux sociaux, les SMS ou Skype, contre 38% en moyenne en UK et plus de 40% ailleurs.

Et en Belgique, qu’en est-il?

September 5, 2012

Innovation Management

Some of the most innovative companies have sabbaticals as part of their employee development program, or empower employees to work on projects of their own, next to their daily tasks. Could it be that this makes happier co-workers, hence a better, more innovative company?

, former Head of Innovation at Sony Ericsson Mobile, explores in her article posted on Innovation Management,  the reasons why these benefit the way our brain works.

Can an organization be too customer oriented? What are the consequences of letting short term requirements of existing customers cannibalize the exploration of your own an agenda? How can a sense of meaning be reinstalled in disillusioned development organizations? Read Susanna’s latest blog post to find out.

Some time ago I had lunch with a friend. She and her husband had just returned from a short sabbatical. His passion is wine and wine making and when an opportunity to go and work at a winery appeared they grabbed it. When talking about the experience my friend admitted that she had done it mostly for his sake even though she had enjoyed some of it too. That led to us exchanging thoughts about our passions, our interests outside “the musts” with work and family and we were both unsure of what we would pursue. In addition, we both admitted some false comfort in using our spouses interests as an excuse to feel overly responsible for food and family instead of taking the time to find and develop a true hobby. We were both jealous of our spouses though, feeling that a part of us was dissatisfied.

Interestingly enough, I have found similar behavior at some of the companies I work with. Development departments claim to be customer driven and market orientated on one hand and on the other hand they’re frustrated about not creating enough innovation, using all available time to try to catch up an ever growing list of demands of product development and sales, aka customers, even testifying a sense of disillusion amongst co-workers. They say that they are stuck in not having enough resources, wanting to but not knowing how to act differently, knowing that the brainpower is there but is not reflected in the results.

Could it be, I wonder, that they, just as my friend and I also feel some comfort in this? After all, being a victim of circumstances is quite nice. Blame circumstances instead of taking accountability for ones behaviors and decisions. Is it not easier to put oneself into the hands of somebody else, a customer or a partner and let them decide what you should do instead of going into an uncertain and sometimes ambiguous process of exploring what it is that they as an organization or I as a person really want?

How do you know it’s the right ladder if you always have somebody else to decide which to climb?

Research shows that the amount of happiness co-workers experience at work is correlated to creativity and the capability to innovate – the happier the more creative and the better innovation. And as it turns out, one of the two factors (the other one being relationships) that heavily influences the happiness level is results: the feeling of making a difference, of creating meaning. Of going home knowing that a good day of work was done. Stephen Covey (author of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) compares being successful (or rather having a career) to climbing a ladder, emphasizing the importance to climbing the right one in order to create meaningful results. So I ask: How do you know it’s the right ladder if you always have somebody else to decide which to climb? If all you do is try to satisfy existing customers and never explore your own ideas.

Short term it may be comforting to have someone else making the decisions for you, but experience tells me that you’re only prolonging the issue of figuring how to make meaning, hoping to avoid dealing with it by using the “somebody else” as a shield of false protection. The price is loosing the sense of meaning since the only thing you do is carry out someone else’s ideas, not your own. No meaning, no happiness. No happiness, no creativity nor innovation. As simple as that.

It is a big mistake to let customer requirements take over at the expense of an agenda of ones own.

You may think that I am pushing things a bit here, but I believe that we as human beings create our organizations, not squares in a Powerpoint presentation. If we are dissatisfied or have lost the sense of doing something meaningful then that will be the state of our organizations as well. I do not argue against customer orientation. But what I see is a deeply unbalanced situation. It is a big mistake to let customer requirements take over at the expense of an agenda of ones own. In many companies the development department is the heart of the innovation activities. It consists of highly skilled engineers with advanced thoughts on where to go in the future and great ideas supporting those thoughts. But if they never get to explore their own ideas at the expense of constantly doing incremental innovation for existing customers then they loose the sense of meaning.

So I say to all of you who want to increase the level of innovation: make sure to have an agenda of your own, a few development projects and activities independent of customer demands. It will add to the sense of creating meaning and allow you to feel complete ownership of an idea or a project. And let your employees and co-workers explore their talents in a way that completes managing daily life and short term issues.

As for myself, I decided to consciously set aside time this summer to pursue one of my interests, kicking it of by watching the documentary of el Bulli (“Cooking in action”). I have chopped, fried, cooked and baked, not because I had to, but only but because I wanted to. It felt great.

By Susanna Bill

About the author

Susanna is the former Head of Innovation at Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications. In 2009 she founded Sustenance AB and since then shares her time between advising corporate leaders in how to make innovation happen by strengthening the innovation capabilities of their organizations, and pursuing a PhD at the department of Design Sciences at Lund University, focusing on the social processes that are beneficial for the innovation capabilities of self organizing teams. Susanna is a sought after speaker and panelist and the moderator of Innovation in Mind conference.

March 6, 2012

Leadership and curiosity: how curious are you?

Have you ever noticed how the best leaders also tend to be the most curious leaders? Great leaders simply aren’t satisfied with what they know. They possess an insatiable curiosity for discovery and learning – they are in constant pursuit of what they don’t know, and what lies ahead. Real leaders are not nearly as concerned with attainment (stasis) as they are with betterment (change). Since the dawn of time the world has been shaped by leaders who understand that curiosity is the gateway to the future. So my question is this –

How curious are you?

Among many other things, curiosity helps frame vision, advances learning, fuels passion, and drives innovation. Curiosity often inspires the courage to discuss the undiscussable, challenge current thinking, deviate from behaviors accepted as normal, and to do what others previously thought impossible. The best leaders understand that usual and customary are not necessarily synonymous with healthy and thriving. The real key to curiosity begins with an open mind – a recognition that those who think differently aren’t inferior, nor are they a threat. An open mind is a sign of confidence which allows leaders to recognize diversity of opinion leads to better thinking and better outcomes.

Here’s where I’m going to throw you a curve ball – while great leaders tend to spend most of their time being externally focused, I want you to turn your curiosity inward and become introspective for a few moments. It was Socrates who said: “The unexamined life is not worth living.” When was the last time you did some serious self-examination on how your curiosity, or the lack thereof, is impacting your ability to function as a leader? Be curious enough to answer the following four questions about yourself:

1. Are you making a difference?

Why should anyone be led by you? Great leaders answer this question with their actions on a daily basis. If you’re not making a difference, you’re not leading. If your actions are not directly contributing to the betterment of those you lead, then you need to become curious about how to make some very real and meaningful changes.

2. Are you growing?

If you’re not growing as a person and as a leader, then it’s very likely those under your charge are following your lead. I’ve often said it’s impossible for a leader who is not growing to lead a growing organization. Nobody is too busy to learn. In fact, you don’t have the time not to learn. Leaders who don’t value learning will quickly be replaced by those who do.

3. Is your curiosity starting conversations, or your lack thereof shutting them down?

If your ego is messaging you have all the answers, and that your way is the only way, then why would anyone ever be inspired to pursue change and innovation? A leader who doesn’t encourage others to challenge their thinking isn’t a leader – they’re a dictator. Dictators suppress individual thought and new ideas, while leaders encourage it at all costs.

4. Is your curiosity attracting talent, or your lack thereof chasing it away?

A leader’s ability to seek out and embrace new ideas will serve as a magnet for attracting the best talent. The best talent desires to be a part of a culture that encourages contribution rather than stifling it. If you’re the leader who looks around the organization and asks “why can’t we attract better talent?” it’s because you value a compliant workforce more than a talented workforce. Real leaders don’t care who is right, they care about what is right – never forget this.

Bottom line – don’t settle for what is, use your curiosity to think what if? and seek out what can be. Thoughts? I’m curious…

February 11, 2012

Filling the talent gap with innovative recruitment strategies

An Accenture survey of 1,088 U.S. workers and unemployed citizens tells the story: The majority of workers surveyed (55%) report that they are under pressure to develop additional skills to succeed in their current and future jobs. But only 21% say they have acquired new skills through formal, company-provided training during the past five years; only 6% have participated in training through podcasts and other informal mechanisms.

While employees take the responsibility to develop their own skills, they’re not getting good guidance from employers about exactly which skills would be most beneficial. As a result, they tend to focus narrowly on technology skills, the Accenture survey reports. Few people have updated other in-demand skills such as problem-solving or analytics.

The Accenture study highlights that there are a number of important innovations in the recruiting and hiring fields that can make it easier to find top-performing, skilled talent on a global basis, quickly and more cheaply. Recent company expernce suggests a number of ways to take advantage of these new techniques

1. Use social media platforms to find talent yourself

Instead of relying on expensive headhunters or job postings, many organizations are moving toward identifying the ideal candidates through social media sites such as LinkedIn or Taleo Talent Exchange, and then contacting those people directly, often with customized employment offers.

When gaming company Red 5 Studios was struggling to compete with large technology companies for skilled developers, for example, it didn’t post a job opening at all. Instead, it identified a list of ideal candidates, learned what it could about each, and then created individualized employment pitches that were recorded on iPods sent to candidates in attention-grabbing Russian-doll-style nested boxes

  1. 2. Identify and filter people by looking beyond what’s listed on their résumés

Numerous studies have found that screening people by looking for key words on a résumé is not an effective way to predict performance. Such an approach can also lead companies to cast their nets too narrowly, missing potential top performers.

New startups are emerging to help companies alter that approach inexpensively, teaching them how to use competency, skills or cultural fit assessments on the front end of the screening process to supplement the initial, résumé-based screening.

Other companies, including Google, are broadening their search for skilled people by screening candidates based on the quality of their work or their personal biography—not only where they went to school or what work experiences they’ve had.

The company might, for instance, ask a series of detailed biographical questions shown to be statistically correlated with top performance at the company: Have you ever set a world record in anything? Have you ever started a club? What Internet mailing lists do you subscribe to? Google also stages work competitions (for software coding, for example), with the winner getting the open position.

Accenture envisions new Internet companies that will work much like a dating service. This would enable closer matches between job candidates and companies, through profiles that contain such information (properly protected and secured) as samples of actual work, assessment scores, answers to biographical questions, competition results, pre-recorded videos with answers to common behavioral interview questions, work motivators and interests, geographic preferences and more.

3. Forge relationships with potential employees before you need them

When 3D design software company Autodesk was having trouble finding skilled candidates, it realized that it needed to proactively build relationships with potential hires on an ongoing basis.

Explains Matthew Jeffery, head of talent acquisition, “It’s all about opening up a conversation to create a talent pipeline. This doesn’t mean just posting your jobs on Facebook; it means revealing your culture, how people are having fun, what the jobs are really like, even the silly things that go on in your office. It’s about being authentic and transparent, and engaging your own employees to be a brand ambassador in a human way, and helping build emotional connections.”

By actively engaging in conversations with candidates, Autodesk built a Facebook community of more than 150,000 members in just 12 months, creating an active and interested talent pool to draw from when the company is ready. Candidate relationship databases that work much like customer relationship marketing databases can also help a company send periodic tailored information to interested parties, creating ongoing relationships a company can tap into when opportunities arise.

4. Hire from alternative talent pools

Increasingly, companies are finding innovative, off-the-beaten-track ways to find skilled people. One way of achieving this is to target selected industries with a surplus of workers.

In the United States, for example, healthcare companies have worked to retrain displaced autoworkers. Entergy Corp., a US energy company, targets ex-military personnel to fill positions as varied as repair technicians and nuclear engineers. JetBlue Airways staffed its reservations department with mostly stay-at-home workers who can take reservations while still caring for their households.

Organizations are also increasingly targeting workers in different geographic regions, including countries where the companies are not headquartered, where there is a surplus of talent in specific skill sets.

4. Partner with schools to help develop the skills you need

An often gaping disconnect between what a student learns in school and the needs of employers contributes significantly to the global skills crisis. But today, leading companies are working with universities, community colleges and trade schools to develop a pipeline of people to recruit years before they need them.

For example, HCL Technologies, an Indian-based global technology services company, has entered into collaborative partnerships with 25 top engineering colleges in India. Managers at HCL review the curriculum and offer input to the colleges, which then tweak and revise the courses as needed to meet the company’s requirements. HCL also works as a member of the national consortium of IT companies called NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Services Companies), helping to define and communicate the skills required in the industry, including the levels of supply and demand for those skills.

What are you doing to help with filling the talent gap?

January 27, 2012

Le dirigeant de demain? Tout le contraire de celui d’aujourd’hui!

A travers le regard de plus de 4 000 diplômés “grandes écoles”, une étude publiée par le réseau Grandes Ecoles au Féminin dresse un portrait robot de ce que sera le dirigeant de demain. Un chef d’entreprise humaniste, exemplaire, visionnaire… et féminin.

Par Sébastien Pommier pour L’


A quoi ressemblera le dirigeant de demain ? Probablement à Shiva, personnage contradictoire, à la fois dieu destructeur mais créateur d’un monde nouveau. Et dans l’esprit de beaucoup, représentant le multitasking.
“Has been”. En interrogeant 4 200 diplômés de grandes écoles, ” Grandes Ecoles au Féminin ” (GEF) dresse une photographie inédite et surprenante. Le chef d’entreprise loué aujourd’hui pour sa capacité à entretenir un réseau (54%), séducteur et bon orateur (41%), sans renier un certain côté dur pour atteindre ses objectifs (44%), est-il déjà has been ? Oui, à en croire l’étude, puisque dans les qualités attendues du dirigeant de demain, figurent désormais la capacité à savoir piloter et préserver l’intérêt de l’entreprise à long terme (61%), un aspect visionnaire (46%), et une capacité à créer l’innovation (33%) tout en préservant un comportement exemplaire, en interne comme en externe (42%). Bref, le dirigeant de demain serait le reflet inversé du dirigeant actuel…


Extrait de l’étude Grandes Ecoles au Féminin

Sociovision / GEF 5ème étude


Clônage. Pour en finir avec les clichés, ce sont les hommes (81%) et non les femmes (69%) qui placent leur vie privée avant tout. Les femmes sont ainsi davantage enclines à quitter leur entreprise pour progresser dans leur carrière (40% contre 34% pour les hommes). Conséquence, pour 84% des sondés, hommes et femmes donc, ” promouvoir des femmes à des postes de direction serait un bon moyen de faire évoluer dans le bon sens le management “, voire même pour 77% ” d’en finir avec un certains clonage des dirigeants “. Et si l’avenir c’était elles ?

Humanisme. La crise économique, persistante et perturbante, s’est muée en une crise des valeurs. Souvent décrié pour son immobilisme, son conservatisme et son manque d’humanisme, le management se retrouve en première ligne. ” On peut être frappé par l’importance que revêt aujourd’hui la notion de réseau dans le business, reconnait Karine Sanouillet, directrice de la fidélisation au Groupe Casino, et membre du réseau GEF. Et pourtant, c’est la composition même du réseau personnel du dirigeant qui est en évolution. Fini le côté ” grandes écoles corporatistes “, avec Internet le réseau s’humanise. On a envie de se mobiliser pour des causes, des valeurs “, explique cette ancienne HEC de 44 ans. Paradoxe de la crise des valeurs, on ” humanise ” les échanges en se coupant du lien direct. Et on affirme désormais ses positions sur la toile. L’e-réputation comme image du réel.

Mixité. Les sondés demandent donc plus de sens, et une vision à long terme, alors que la crise, stressante, changeante, pousse le dirigeant à une remise en cause quotidienne. Toujours militantes pour une plus grande mixité, notamment dans le top management, les femmes du réseau ” Grandes Ecoles au Féminin ” souhaitaient dans cette étude ” prendre du recul par rapport à la question de la mixité, pour se poser la question de l’accession au pouvoir “, indique Karine Sanouillet. Même si cette question reste leur fer de lance, dans un pays comme la France qui ne compte aucune ” patronne ” dans le CAC 40, il semble qu’il faille en passer par le cadre législatif pour atteindre un équilibre. Les principales intéressées y sont naturellement très favorables, et militent pour l’accélération de la mixité aux postes de top management (88% vs 62% hommes). Priorité numéro une des dirigeantes donc. Et des politiques ?

January 15, 2012

Le CEO, premier DRH de son entreprise?

A la lecture du très intéressant article de Franck La Pinta (Follow @flapinta), Responsable Marketing Web et RH 2.0 sur son site “L’Inde, nouveau terrain d’innovation pour les GRH?”, que je ne pouvais que lire, vu mon intérêt pour ces 3 sujets, il est frappant de constater que l’initiative de faire de l’humain la priorité de ces entreprises innovantes n’est ni l’initiative du marketing, ni des GRH, mais bien des CEO’s, lesquels sont les premiers à avoir un oeil rivé sur les performances de leurs entreprises.


Je crois peu au hasard. Aussi, j’ai dans la même semaine terminé la lecture du livre de Vineet Nayar, Président de HCLT « les employés d’abord, les clients ensuite », et lu une interview de Narayana Murthy, PDG d’Infosys, une autre entreprise IT indienne. Le point commun à ces deux chefs d’entreprise : repenser le modèle traditionnel des entreprises et mettre le collaborateur au premier plan de leurs préoccupations. Pourquoi ces deux exemples se retrouvent en Inde, portés par le PDG, et dans les IT ? Faut-il y voir un nouveau laboratoire d’expérimentation du management ?

Ce que dit Vineet Nayar : Il faut redonner le rôle central aux collaborateurs, notamment ceux créateurs de valeur, (Vineet Nayar parle de « zone de création de valeur”), entendez ceux en contact direct avec les clients. Aujourd’hui, l’organisation, la structure et le management des entreprises est plus souvent un frein qu’un facilitateur à la création de valeur, et à l’épanouissement de ces collaborateurs. Vineet Nayar insiste sur la nécessité de créer des conditions qui favorisent la confiance et la transparence, notamment dans la communication, indispensable pour développer l’engagement et favoriser l’innovation. D’après l’auteur, une hiérarchie pesante, qui concentre les pouvoirs et reste maître de l’information ne peut répondre aux enjeux d’une environnement fluctuant, imprevisible et hyper compétitif.

Ce que dit Narayana Murthy : Ce sont les êtres humains qui font la réussite de l’entreprise et donc, la qualité des logiciels développés est directement liée à la valeur, aux compétences et au bien-être des collaborateurs. L’entreprise doit faire quelque chose pour chacun de ses employés. Je comprends qu’il s’agit de ne pas se concentrer uniquement sur les traditionnels « futurs hauts potentiels » ou autres « talents ». N. Murthy est également très fier de son campus, un centre de formation qui accueille chaque nouveau recruté pendant 6 mois, au cours desquels les nouveaux collaborateurs sont payés :« Au lieu de d’avoir à payer pour étudier, nous les payons pour qu’ils étudient. »

La situation des IT en Inde : Les entreprises de IT sont confrontées à un turn over extrêmement important, favorisé par un fort développement de l’activité (plus de 7% estimés pour 2011). La présence de nombreuses implantations d’entreprises occidentales alimente une tension sur le marché de l’emploi, malgré les 75 000 nouveaux diplômés en IT chaque année, complétés par les centaines de milliers de jeunes ingénieurs (hors IT) qui rejoignent également, pour une large part, les entreprises IT. A noter qu’en deux ans, le nombre de travailleurs étrangers en Inde a augmenté de 200 %. Cette croissance est portée par une volonté forte du gouvernement indien qui a investi des sommes considérable pour développer des infrastructures fonctionnelles, par exemple à Bangalore. Ajoutons à cela un système politique stable et une maîtrise de l’anglais.

Une raison culturelle : La société indienne reste assimilée à la logique des castes. Pourtant, cette organisation est de plus en plus remise en cause, notamment chez les jeunes générations, qui aspirent à davantage de libertés dans leurs choix individuels. Mais cette critique des castes porte également sur son inefficacité en matière de progrès, notamment économique. En échangeant avec de jeunes diplômés indiens, cette remise en cause d’une organisation trop stricte et rigide de la société gagne également l’organisation de l’entreprise. Nos deux PDG répondent ainsi à des attentes nouvelles fortes de la part de leurs jeunes collaborateurs : les GenY sont aussi en Inde !

Quel enseignement pour les RH ? A aucun moment la contribution des RH n’est évoquée dans ces 2 exemples. Cela signifierait que ce nouvel état d’esprit qui souffle sur ces deux entreprises n’est pas à l’initiative des RH, mais uniquement de leurs patrons ? C’est-à-dire des membres de l’entreprise qui, plus que tous autres, ont les yeux rivés sur leurs résultats ? Le bien-être des collaborateurs n’est pas présenté comme une fin en soi (le plus souvent hypocritement il faut bien le reconnaître) mais véritablement comme un préalable indispensable à la réussite de l’entreprise. La valeur du capital humain, que l’on semble redécouvrir à l’aune de la crise, a dans la plupart des entreprises, le plus grand mal à trouver une véritable existence au-delà des discours RH. Pourtant, ces deux exemples tendent à prouver qu’un nouveau modèle associant étroitement (mais avec sincérité et réelle volonté) « efficacité » et « bien-être des collaborateurs » est possible, alors que l’on a encore le plus grand mal à ne pas les opposer : une piste nouvelle pour un vrai marketing RH ?



December 11, 2011

Event Information: Harnessing the Global Talent Pool to Accelerate Innovation

Event Information: Harnessing the Global Talent Pool to Accelerate Innovation

As more industries become commoditized and innovation becomes more of a focus, organizations are being forced to move beyond a talent ownership mindset to a talent attraction and engagement mindset.

In this webinar, we will explore how organizations can utilize open innovation and crowdsourcing resources as an essential talent management strategy to harness the growing numbers of retired scientists, unemployed experts, and underemployed talent around the world to generate ideas, solve problems, and further the goals of the business. The webinar will also explore how individuals can bolster their incomes and credentials by participating in open competitive challenges.

Three things you’ll learn:

1. Why having an external talent network strategy is becoming increasingly important
2. How leading organization manage their open innovation and crowdsourcing efforts
3. Strategies for attracting and engaging talent to your organization’s innovation efforts