Entries Tagged 'Environment' ↓

Gary Hamel

I was lucky last week during the APM convention in Lyon to have got some insights from the very famous Gary Hamel of Strategos. Wall Street Journal, named Gary Hamel as the world’s most influential business thinker last year. His message could be summarised in 3 chapters: 1. Speed of change 2. Intensity of Change 3. The transition from the knowledge economy to the creativity economy.

I went through the series of articles which I held from Gary Hamel which although written in 2003 remains valid and up to date.

The challenge of systemic, radical innovation leads to two questions: How do you generate breakthrough ideas? And how do you manage that process to achieve breakthrough performance?

Innovation typically comes from looking at the world through a slightly different lens. In talking with innovators, four perspectives—four lenses—seem to dominate:

1. Radical innovators challenge the dogmas and the orthodoxies of the incumbents.

When most people think about the future, they typically take 98 percent of the industry orthodoxy as a given. Before they start, they’ve already limited their potential for innovation to about 2 percent of the available “space.” To innovate, you need to spot the absurdities that no one else has spotted, to ask the stupid question that no one else has asked, to take some existing performance parameter and push it so far that suddenly you have illuminated a new possibility.

A good place to start is by looking for trade-offs, situations where a competitor is telling itself or its customers, “You can have one or the other.” Twenty years ago, the U.S. auto industry said that you could have either quality or low cost. Toyota offered both. The U.S. airline industry said that you could have the lowest fares or the highest customer satisfaction. Southwest managed to deliver both. When you hear “or,” it’s an invitation to innovation.

2. Radical innovators spot trends that have gone unnoticed. I’m not a big fan of forecasting or scenario planning, because you can’t predict the future, but you can ask, “What things are already changing that most people (especially my competitors) haven’t noticed yet?” The way to find new answers is to look where your competitors aren’t. Every CEO needs to spend some time on the fringe of technology, entertainment, fashion, and politics where new possibilities first present themselves.

3. Radical innovators learn to live inside the customer’s skin. This is not another plea to be customer focused. Getting “close to the customer” rarely provokes real innovation, because you’re talking to customers whom you already serve, and you’re listening to what they’re saying—not paying attention to what they’re feeling.

Innovation almost never comes from an articulated need; it comes from an insight into an unarticulated need. We never asked for eBay, Starbucks, or downloadable music, but somehow, we got those things. Radical innovators have a boundless empathy with human frustration that allows them to see beyond articulated needs to the unexpressed need.

To get to the unexpressed need, you must develop an experiential sense of what it means to be a customer. My company recently worked with a major hospital that was trying to create a more customer-centric experience. We took a slice of the hospital’s employee base—a dozen or so people—and we asked them to list their 10-best service experiences. Maybe it was a day at Walt Disney World or a first-class flight to London on Virgin Atlantic. Then we asked them to take cameras and notepads and go enjoy some of those experiences. Anytime something they experienced evoked a great feeling—anytime they felt respected or had their expectations exceeded—we asked them to take a picture, make a note, and tell us exactly what happened.

Next, we asked the same team to live through the experience of being patients in their own hospital, to lie in bed with an IV, to use a bedpan, to traipse around in one of those gowns that flap open in the back, to put up with a procession of medical personnel poking and prodding them. Not surprisingly, the inpatient procedure teased out some not-so-great feelings. You have to do two things to get at deep, unvoiced needs: Get an experiential insight into what it feels like to be your own customer, and assemble an inventory of first-person analogies (like the Disney World or the Virgin experience) from which you can draw out potential solutions.

People get the courage to try new things not because they are convinced to do so by a wealth of analytical evidence but because they feel something viscerally. Until you feel something in your gut, until you’ve experienced it and know it to be true, you simply won’t have the courage to act.

4. Radical innovators think of their companies as portfolios of assets and competencies. The real foundation for growth and innovation consists of a company’s assets (its brand, its customer relationships, its subscriber database) and its competencies (its skills and the ideas that are locked in people’s heads). One trick you can use is to think of the world as a Lego kit of different competencies and assets, owned by different companies, that you can put together with the skills and assets that already exist in your company. One company that has done just that is Swatch.

Revolution/Evolution

CEOs are starting to understand that without radical innovation, decline is inevitable. We all must start to take innovation more seriously.

Still, barriers to innovation seem to be everywhere. But what sustains me—and everyone who wants to build an organization that is consistently innovative and allows us to bring the full measure of our creativity to work—is this: There was no such thing as a large corporation 150 years ago. There was no AT&T, GE, GM, or Sony. These are products of our imagination. We invented them—and we can reinvent them. There’s no law of nature or act of God that keeps us laboring in organizations that treat people as mere factors of production.

Let’s respect that the large corporation has brought us unmatched material prosperity. If you have two cars, three televisions, and a couple of PCs, you have industrialization to thank for that. We have built companies that can efficiently churn out products and services by the zillions. But in building those companies and in reaping those efficiency gains, we have also made a burden for our own backs to bear.

We’ve produced organizations that aren’t much fun to work in and too often fail. And as they fail, so do the aspirations of the people who have devoted their lives to building them. What we invented can be reinvented. We should take revolutionary steps to achieve evolutionary goals.

We’re not going to build companies that are capable of systemic, radical innovation in one gigantic leap. We’ll get there the same way we have gotten to total quality and real customer service: through a series of steps where we build the new skills, metrics, processes, and values that turn rhetoric into reality.

The challenge is to know where you’re headed, so that those steps can lead you in a new direction. And then, one day, you’ll find yourself in territory where no one has gone before.

Greener Paint in Mauritius?

How much Paint is used in the country and how much chemicals are used to produce paints & solvents?

Is it not time for the rules to change to better our environment?

Why should we go BIO?

I have inquired with the two largest paint manufacturers. They told me that they are not producing paints that may have the eco green label?

The authorities have the vision to make Mauritius greener could well move towards making a plan and implementing it?

Why Use BIO Product

NON POISONOUS
Makes your home and your environment a safer place using Bio Products.

BREATHING WALLS
BIO Products do not seal your walls. They can breathe.

SOLVENTS
Our product range is totally free of dangerous solvents, like toluene, xylene, glycol ether derivates etc.

PIGMENTS
Typically our pigments such as earth or metal pigments are naturally occurring substances.

PRESERVATIVES
Natural ingredients act perfectly as a preservative.

HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT
By using BIO Products you are promoting the maintenance of a healthy balance between mankind and nature.

Territorialisation 2030

Un groupe d’experts multi-disciplinaire d’un réseau structuré pose des scenarii. Je suis en pleine lecture des scenarii sur différents sujets qui me semblent  probable. Bien sur la prospective ne sera jamais la réalité, mais aide à appréhender le future. N’est ce pas le propre de l’entrepreneur  eclaire que d’anticiper le futur avant les autres?

Réflexion sur les thèmes : démographie, habitation, mouvements des populations, communication  mondiale et écologie.

En 2030, la population mondiale était légèrement inférieure à 8 milliards, proche des prévisions minimales de l’ONU en 2006. Le changement climatique avait ruiné la vie de centaines de millions de personnes. L’énergie demeurait un pro­blème majeur, malgré la diminution de moitié des taux de croissance par rap­port à l’ère pré-2012. De fait, confrontées à une situation d’urgence permanente, les administrations et les entreprises n’avaient pas vraiment investi pour modi­fier leurs modes de production.

Les individus avaient pris une longueur d’avance en raison des contraintes éco­nomiques, et parce que des millions de chômeurs avaient inventé de nombreux emplois de proximité : taxis locaux (souvent à 2 roues) sur demande, collecte sélective des ordures, gestion du recyclage, répare-tout, etc. Ces nouveaux mé tiers finirent ainsi par jouer un rôle social essentiel.

Les multiples équilibres locaux qui avaient émergé de la post-mondialisation ressentirent vite le besoin de redéfinir (et de défendre) leurs territoires. Elles voulaient affirmer et vivre leurs nouvelles valeurs, définir qui leur appartenait et qui leur était étranger, protéger leurs fragiles économies contre la concurrence. Après la Cata­logne, beaucoup de régions européennes, ainsi que certains Etats d’Amérique du Nord, obtin­rent– au moins de fait – un statut de quasi-in dépendance. Des villes comme Barcelone firent pratiquement sécession. Des passeports internes apparurent dans plusieurs pays et les frontières furent bien entendu rétablies (dès 2020) dans l’Union Européenne.

Les réfugiés climatiques et politiques avaient également be­soin de territoires. L’une des rares initiatives internationales de cette époque aboutit à la création de trois « Refugistans », achetés à la Russie, à l’Australie et à la Tanzanie avant d’être via­bilisés. L’histoire de ces nouveaux pays reste à écrire, mais leurs premières années font penser à la naissance de l’Australie à la Conquête de l’Ouest américain.

Les « territoires » n’étaient toutefois pas tous géographiques. Qu’elles soient re­ligieuses, ethniques, culturelles ou autres, des communautés finirent également par constituer leurs propres frontières, définir une notion de citoyenneté, créer des règles et des institutions et utiliser l’Altronet pour fonctionner de manière cohérente. L’état quasi-indépendant de Californie fut le premier à reconnaître leur existence en révisant sa constitution pour devenir un « Etat des Commu­nautés ».

L’Altronet joua un rôle majeur en permettant à de nouvelles formes d’organisa­tions fédératives d’émerger. Les devises locales et les systèmes d’échanges l’uti­lisaient pour le commerce et la compensation des échanges entre eux. Plusieurs conflits opposant des communautés furent réglés grâce à l’Altroverse, la fédé­ration libre des univers virtuels qui émergea dans les années 2015 sous le nom de « Metaverse », et qui fusionna avec l’Altronet quelques années plus tard. De véritables procès, avec juges, procureurs et avocats, furent ainsi été organisés dans cet espace en 3 dimensions. L’Altronet permit sans nul doute d’empêcher de nombreux conflits depuis sa création, même si, bien sûr, il permit aussi de multiplier d’autres formes de conflits, moins meurtriers : les cyberguerres. Cer­tains pensent que l’Altronet est le mécanisme qui permettra de regrouper effi­cacement les nombreuses communautés entrelacées dans une nouvelle com­munauté internationale, plus ouverte.­

Democratisation of the Mauritian Economy

I just had last night the enjoyable moments of watching AMY CHUA’s interview in ‘Conversation with History’. That interview followed the publishing of her book ‘World on Fire’.

The essential message of the book is: How exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethic Hatred and Global Instability.

In Mauritius, it is a fact that the economy is controlled by the 7 odd families of the same ethnic group. The present government has initiated a democratisation of the economy programme. Implementers of the program could well learn from the book and be warned of the possible dangers, -social unrest, and resentment from the majority,- whilst the 7 odd families be also be warned of the dangers and the need  to dilute faster their ‘ sweet wine’  by allowing opportunities to the majority to flourish faster, in the light of what has happened elsewhere.

The book review of the book issued by the British Guardian discusses the content of the book but the interview named above supplement largely AMY CHUA points of view on the subject.

World on Fire
by Amy Chua
346pp, Heinemann, £12.99

There is a plethora of books about globalisation, many saying roughly the same thing. This one is different. It is rare, indeed, to read a book about globalisation where ethnicity is at the core of the argument. That must have something to do with the fact that the great majority of authors of such books are white and from the west. The author of this book is a Chinese-Filipina. That is also surprising because, alas, there is little Chinese writing on ethnicity either. But this book is a gem. It is not that everything Amy Chua argues is correct – it is not – but her theme is different, rich and compelling.

Her starting point is that in many developing countries a small – often very small – ethnic minority enjoys hugely disproportionate economic power. As she points out, this is not true in the west: on the contrary, we are accustomed to small ethnic minorities occupying exactly the opposite situation, a very disadvantaged economic position. The classic case is southeast Asia, where the Chinese, usually a tiny proportion of the population, enjoy an overwhelmingly dominant economic position. In the Philippines, the Chinese account for 1% of the population and well over half the wealth. The same is true in varying degrees in Indonesia, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia and Vietnam.

As Chua argues, rich and powerful minorities attract resentment everywhere: but when those minorities are ethnically different – and highly visible – then that resentment can carry a dangerous charge. “In the Philippines, millions of Filipinos work for Chinese: almost no Chinese work for Filipinos. The Chinese dominate industry and commerce at every level … all of the Philippines’ billionaires are of Chinese descent. By contrast, all menial jobs … are filled by Filipinos.” There is very little social intermixing and virtually no intermarriage. And the disparities, Chua argues, have grown more acute with globalisation and western-inspired market reforms.

Southeast Asia is an acute but by no means isolated example. Throughout Latin America, a small white elite has traditionally enjoyed both economic and political power, as well as cultural and racial pre-eminence. However, while in east Asia anti-Chinese sentiment has long been a powerful political force, in Latin America, at least until recently, there has been little ethnic – as opposed to class – resentment against the white elite. The dominance of a small white elite has long existed in southern Africa. Although the black majority now enjoys – as do their counterparts in countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia – political power in South Africa, economic power remains firmly in the hands of a tiny white elite. In east Africa, that economic elite is largely Indian; in west Africa, it is often, though in a less extreme form, the Ibos. The picture that emerges is that in much (though not all) of the developing world, economic power is largely concentrated in the hands of – to use Chua’s phrase – a “market-dominant” ethnic minority.

She argues that this disparity between the economic power of a small ethnic minority and the disadvantaged position of the majority ethnic group is a source of great political instability. Ethnicity, as we know, is potentially a highly combustible issue. “That ethnicity can be at once an artifact of human imagination and rooted in the dark recesses of history – fluid and manipulable yet important enough to kill for [Chua’s aunt, who came from an extremely rich Chinese family in Manila, was murdered by her Filipino chauffeur with the complicity of her Filipina maids] – is what makes ethnic conflict so terrifyingly difficult to understand and contain.” As Chua rightly argues, the mass killing of Tutsis by the Hutus in Rwanda in 1994 and the grievance felt by the Serbs towards the Croats in the Balkans were partly related to the economic advantage enjoyed by the Tutsis and Croats respectively, and the deep rifts that this engendered.

One of the difficulties faced by many developing countries is ethnic diversity of a scale utterly unfamiliar in the west, even the United States. Africa is the most extreme example. The major exceptions to this are China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, all relatively homogeneous, ethnically speaking, and very successful economically. Chua argues that globalisation has exacerbated the ethnic disparities in wealth in many countries, with the “market-dominant” ethnic minorities, for a variety of reasons, enjoying disproportionate rewards, thereby fostering growing instability. This is liable – as happened in Indonesia with the fall of Suharto and the anti-Chinese riots – to boil over at any time.

Further, she suggests that the western mantra of free markets plus democracy is ill-conceived and a recipe for disaster in such circumstances. Here the author, in challenging such a verity, not to say cliché, of modern western discourse is on powerful, if heretical, ground. The western assumption is that democracy engenders a more liberal and tolerant society, but where that society is marked by a profound ethnic cleavage, the reverse may be true. There is no doubt that the anti-Chinese riots in Indonesia reflected the sentiments of the majority; similarly, in Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe’s desire to appropriate white farms was not least a populist appeal to the overwhelmingly black electorate. For Chua, free markets exacerbate ethnic divisions and, furthermore, democracy can act as the vehicle for a huge ethnic backlash by the majority. She believes that the idea that the two somehow form some kind of virtuous circle is wrong. Historically, this was never the case in the west: the rise of capitalism and the market long predated the achievement of democracy. And when democracy was achieved, the market was rapidly attenuated by redistribution and the welfare state, the antithesis of the kind of market policies preached and applied to the developing world by the Washington consensus.

One of the refreshing aspects of this book is not just the centrality of ethnicity, but the honesty with which Chua treats the issue. She doesn’t shy away from talking about ethnic divisions or racial prejudice. She is also thoroughly realistic about their tenacity and endurance. The roots often reach back centuries, as in the case of the Chinese in southeast Asia.

In the latter part of the book, Chua widens the geographical reach of her argument beyond the nation-state and suggests that the Middle East conflict should, in certain respects, be seen as a regional conflict between a “market-dominant” ethnic minority, the Israeli Jews, and the overwhelmingly larger Arab majority, far poorer and getting relatively poorer all the time. Finally, she considers the position of the United States in the post-cold-war world and argues that its global position is akin to that of a market-dominant ethnic minority (overwhelmingly white and perceived by others as such), which helps to explain the tidal wave of resentment against the US since September 11 and the sympathy for that event among many in the developing world.

In the western world, we are still largely in denial about the importance and potency of ethnicity. That is basically because the western world stands in such a privileged position towards the rest of the world, a situation that is intimately linked to colour: whites rarely, with the obvious exception of Jews, experience systemic prejudice. Rather they mete it out and enjoy the benefits of racial advantage. It is a pleasure to read a book that presents ethnicity as a fundamental organising principle of the era of globalisation.

· Martin Jacques is a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics Asian Research Centre.

Laptop hazard

I am a regular user of LapTop. I may spend a good 4-5 hours daily on my laptop. Recently Olivier who spends most of his time on a laptop started having wrist pains. For him as well as for me it is becoming an occupational hazard. What is needed to be done? I found an article which discusses this issue and would like to share it with you.

Ergonomic Tips for Using a Laptop Computer

Text partially adapted from Cornell University Ergonomics Web, Professor Alan Hedge

Laptop computers, also known as notebooks, are not recommended for use as primary computers that are used for numerous hours everyday. However, they have been adopted for just that purpose by thousands of people.

  1. Laptops are not designed ergonomically – The design and construction of laptops violates a basic ergonomic requirement for computer usage, namely that the keyboard and screen can be positioned independently for appropriate viewing and typing. In the very early days of personal computing, desktop devices also had the screen and keyboard integrated as a single unit, and this resulted in widespread complaints of musculoskeletal discomfort. By the late 1970’s a number of ergonomic design guidelines were written calling for the separation of screen and keyboard. The reasoning is simple. With a fixed design, if the keyboard is in an optimal position for the user, the screen isn’t, and if the screen is optimal the keyboard isn’t going to be placed properly. Even contemporary laptop designs fail to satisfy this basic ergonomic positioning requirement, which means that users must pay special attention to how they use their laptop in order to avoid muscular-skeletal disorders, headaches, fatigue, and similar complaints that result from non-ergonomic computer use.
  2. Laptop user type –  Are you an occasional user who works on your laptop for short periods of time or less than two hours per day? Are you a full-time user whose laptop functions as your main computer? Occasional users will have less risk of injury than full-time users, but all users should pay attention to how they use their laptop computers.
  3. Computer Posture – As explained above, laptops violate basic ergonomic design requirements, so using a laptop results in some tradeoff between either poor neck/head posture and poor hand/wrist posture.

Occasional users – Because the neck/head position is determined by the actions of large muscles, people who use their computers occasionally for short periods of time less than two hours can more easily compensate for neck posture than arm and wrist posture. Examples include:

o Find a comfortable, adjustable chair that allows you to recline very slightly.

o Angle the laptop screen so you can easily view the images with the least amount of neck deviation

Full-time users – Many people use these portable computers as fulltime laptop workstations. If you use your laptop frequently and for periods of longer than two hours, as is typical in workplace settings where a notebook computer may be the employee’s main computer, begin to sit in a correct computer posture consistently and utilize other ergonomic practices, including the following:

o Position the laptop on your desk/work surface directly in front of you.

o Set the unit’s height and screen angle so the images can be easily read without bending your neck. This may require that you elevate the laptop off the desk surface using a stable support surface, such as a computer monitor pedestal.

o If your desk height is satisfactory for your screen’s placement, attach a separate, full sized keyboard to your computer and use an independent mouse rather than the touch pad, trackball, or small joystick incorporated into your keyboard. Connecting ports for a keyboard and mouse can usually be found in the rear or side of your computer. However, there wireless devices have become increasingly popular.

o Place the separate keyboard on a negative-tilt keyboard tray connected beneath your desk surface. This helps ensure a neutral wrist posture.

o The mouse can be placed on an adjustable position mouse platform.

o Shoulders should be in a relaxed position and arms at your side, with elbows at a 90° position when typing. (Arms should not be splayed wide or extended to reach and use the mouse)

o Sit in a comfortable, adjustable chair with lumbar support and which allows you to sit at a slightly reclined position. This takes much weight off muscles and joints in the low back.

o Take “microbreaks” every half hour or so (including moving your eyes off the screen image to rest on distant objects for several seconds), perform desk stretches (neck, shoulder, arm, and leg stretches) at your desk occasionally,  and get up from your desk to move around or perform standing stretches every couple of hours.

o Follow the guidelines outlined in Ergo In Demand’s

  1. Laptop dimensions – Laptops are available with screens as large as 17″. However, bigger is not always better. Consider your likely usage. The larger the screen the more difficult it may be to use your laptop in mobile locations, such as airplanes or trains. On the other hand, if you enjoy DVDs, “wide screen” laptops are also be proportioned with screens of less height but wide viewing for DVD convenience. There are a number of smaller notebooks and ultra portable laptops on the market that provide more compact portability and lighter weight. Consider issues of screen size and screen resolution, as well. A small screen (e.g.12.1″) will be useful in mobile settings, but if the resolution is high (e.g. XGA – 1024 x 768), make sure that you can read the screen characters and can easily use the input device to point to areas on the screen. The smaller the laptop, the smaller the keyboard, so make certain that you can comfortably type on a keyboard that may be only 75% the size of a typical laptop’s keyboard.
  2. Laptop weight  – People who travel frequently and use their laptops on the road must consider the weight of the system they’ll be carrying. By “system” we mean the weight of the laptop plus the required accessories (e.g. power supply, spare battery, external disk drive, printer, etc.). Many lightweight portables can become as heavy as larger laptops after you add all the components into your carrying bag.  If your laptop and components weighs 10lbs or more, certainly consider using a pull-along laptop carry-on bag.  If you prefer a smaller bag and can comfortably carry your laptop, select a bag that is quality designed for that purpose and features a well padded shoulder strap system.

Managing Change by Vicki Heath

Are we not  in transition? Are we not in perpetual change? Are we not in a continuous motion?

I am very fond of this article by Vicki Heath that compares my early learning of Physics: Newton’s Law of Motion with her laws for successful Transition.

Managing Change: The Three Laws for Successful Transition

By Vicki Heath

Change programs that succeed adhere to certain enduring principles of effective change management. Organizations that act in accordance with these change management principles are more likely to see their efforts result in real organizational benefits. Here are three principles that have well stood the test of time.

Isaac Newton was a giant in the field of physics. We can all remember him from our school days as the genius that discovered the law of gravity. The picture of an apple falling from an apple tree on to Newton’s head is etched indelibly on our minds.

Newton is also famous for his three Laws of Motion. The formulation of these three laws was the largest single scientific advancement since the days of Aristotle, some two thousand years previous. Newton’s laws of motion apply to physical entities operating in space and describe how they interact at the most fundamental level. However, they can just as easily be applied to human entities interacting in an environment of change. When we apply them to people and organizations, we call the principles the Three Laws of Change Management©.

Newton’s First Law of Motion states that an object will remain at rest or in perpetual motion until an unbalanced force acts upon it. Think of your change program for a moment as the object in Newton’s First Law. Once your change initiative gets going, think about what will keep the program moving towards your goal.

As with the object in Newton’s Law, your change program will need a force to get it going and will need a force to move it to each new level. Also, given the natural inertia in organizations, if the driving forces dissipate, like a rolling stone the program will eventually come to a halt.

Just as with Newton’s First Law, the force must be immediate for your program to progress. A potential force that will provide an impetus in the future is of no use in the present. What is the immediate force that will get your people moving and what are the forces that will keep them moving? For some, discussing with them the forces for change may compel them to follow and support you. You could point to:

  • legislative changes such as corporate governance, occupational health and safety, and risk management
  • competitor activity such as new entrants and decreasing market share
  • financial results such as profit and loss and share price
  • quality indicators such as defects and delivery to commit
  • customer feedback from surveys, mystery shopper, focus groups and field reports
  • employee satisfaction survey results
  • benchmarking comparison results

You could also highlight the impact of not changing. Impacts that you could discuss with people may include:

  • loss of market share
  • fines or jail sentences for non-compliance or personal injury
  • tarnished business reputation
  • increased rate of customer complaints
  • loss of key staff

Whatever the forces for change, make sure that the forces are applied to the people needed to bring about the change by communicating often and using a variety of methods.

As you think about what strategies you will use to keep the momentum going in the new operational environment, I encourage you to draw a lesson from Newton’s Second Law of Motion. Newton’s Second Law states that the rate of change in motion of an object is proportional to the force acting upon it and inversely proportional to its mass. Consider the object as being the people working in the new organization and the force to keep them moving in the right direction as the various practical techniques that you can employ.

Your practical techniques could include:

  • aligning systems of reward and recognition
  • feeding back performance results to employees
  • achieving some quick wins
  • celebrating achievements
  • creating meaning through introducing symbols of the new culture
  • operationalizing the change
  • aligning recruitment and selection criteria

Newton’s principle is telling us that the greater the mass (that is, the more pronounced the resistance to change), the more diligently you will need to apply the techniques (that is, increase the strength of the force). Think about and record what concrete steps you will take to institutionalize the change and who will be responsible for each action.

The final lesson on managing change comes from Newton’s Third Law. Newton’s Third Law states that every action is met with an equal and opposite reaction. What the principle teaches us is that if you confront resisters with shouting, lies, mistrust, sarcasm or apathy, you will be confronted with shouting, lies, mistrust, sarcasm and apathy in return. On the other hand, if you treat resisters with respect, acknowledge their feelings and listen genuinely to their concerns, you will be met in kind. How can you apply this principle? Things to consider include:

  • Communicate openly and often with employees and other stakeholders, and without using commercial confidence as an excuse to not communicate.
  • Meet resisters face to face whenever possible.
  • Point out unacceptable behavior without resorting to character assassination, sarcasm and other methods that serve to attack people’s sense of self-esteem.
  • Keep your commitments in order to build trust and respect. Trust can be lost in an instant and take years to regain.
  • Don’t shy away from bad news. Tell people candidly but sensitively.
  • Choose people for key positions that have well developed interpersonal skills.

That’s three important keys to guiding successful organizational change. We can summarize these Three Laws of Change Management© as:

First Law: Overcoming the natural inertia in organizations requires the constant application of the forces for change.

Second Law: The greater the inertia or resistance to change, the greater the required forces for change.

Third Law: The way that change agents treat resisters is the way that resisters will treat change agents.

Next time you want to bring about positive change with maximal impact, think about Isaac Newton and the Three Laws of Change Management©. Most importantly, think about how you can apply these three principles to your change program to get it moving in the right direction.

Port Louis Cruise Hub Indian Ocean

cruise-terminals

The last time I was in Barcelona to join a Cruise, I was amazed by the Cruise terminal and the set up of the Port Terminal. Since traveling to the less prosperous countries of South America, I had the opportunity of using and testing more modest facilities.

In the Indian Ocean region, whilst Mauritius is the star Tourist destination, is it possible to build up Port Louis to be the  main hub of Cruise liners by setting up the appropriate facilities?

With the improving technologies with the latest  cruise ships, the ride could be as calm as in the Caribbean region. The Indian Ocean of our region would well be developed into a cruise ocean. This could well be a regional project spearheaded by ‘Commission de L’Ocean Indien.’ Adequate part facilities could be coordinated to be ready to allow cruises to operate in Mauritius, Reunion, Comoros, and ports of Madagascar.

One could very easily image the ripple effects that Cruise liners have on the economy of the countries?

We just need to have the vision and to go for it. Let us hope the right quarters can hear my plead.

Tim Smit & Social Enterprises

Corporate Social Responsibility seems to be now  a buzz word in Mauritius. The government would like to see the involvement of the private sector in shouldering the burden of the social pains. Is not the responsibility of the government to look into this aspect through the ministry of social affairs? It would appear that by lowering the taxes, the government would be introducing some other types of revenue earning devises through compulsory payment. Is it fair or not? At this stage I would stay on the fence. We have still to evaluate the use of the compulsory tax levied on training and the benefits derived from it. How can we break the ingrained mentality that is prevailing in the public sector that tenure is over riding productivity?

However, this article which was published on the Guardian in January 2009 is enlightening and has some food for thoughts. Is it possible to start Social enterprises in Mauritius?

Think bigger and better

Social enterprise is not just about tiny community projects: it is a model for running big business and public services alike

Have you noticed how everybody talks about us as if the words “charity” and “competence” don’t go together? This indicates to me that the first battle for social enterprise is a psychological one. I would like to think that companies such as Unilever, Shell and BP could be social enterprises – and that anyone running a social enterprise should aspire to be good enough to run organisations like that well.

It is my view that there are a number of private businesses that should be social enterprises: water, energy maybe, and railways?

One of the real big cons about social enterprise is that there is a belief that the private sector is rigorous and professional and dynamic. But many of the best charities are run like very, very fine businesses, and a lot of companies I come across are run like accidents.

Innovation comes from the confidence to trust your instincts, having the bravery not to believe that hidden in the endless array of business management manuals is the secret to being Gordon Gekko. The truth is that they are all bibles, they are all motherhood and apple pie, and they are all bollocks. When you read The Harvard MBA in 10 Days, it does not tell you anything about attitude. But it is attitude and values that should distinguish a social enterprise.

Transformative power

Social enterprise is hugely important, but we need to be more bullish about its potential – to understand its transformative power, not in terms of getting jobs for people who previously found it difficult. That’s kind of a loser’s mentality. What we should be about is talking about how we can transform services in this country to act efficiently and how we can bring wealth back to a wider stakeholder group.

We’ve got to get the news out to the people about social enterprises, but there is no definition of a social enterprise. The soppy one is: it is an organisation with the rigour of the private sector and the citizenship values of the public sector. But the real battle for us is to think of rules of engagement that can actually bring that welding power of private and public together for a greater good.

Last year I spoke at the 40th anniversary of Resurgence magazine, and asked the audience if they believed that everybody on Earth should have access to clean drinking water. They all put their hands up. I asked them who supported WaterAid, a fabulous charity, and almost everybody put their hands up. Then I asked who believed WaterAid could provide clean drinking water to everybody on Earth. Nobody put their hands up. I laid into the audience. I said: “The problem is you’re in love with hippie shit.”

The truth is that the very organisations that make your tummy turn, because your politics suggest you shouldn’t be supporting them, are the only people capable of it. Shell, ExxonMobil: these companies have the project management, the drilling skills to actually do this stuff.

That is our battle ground. It’s to grow up and not take the baggage of the 60s – the radical chic of being pro-business or anti-business – with us into the next phase of our development. We need to understand that there is a new configuration developing, and if we can’t bring business together with the sort of value driven systems that we have, that will be our failure.

So if we are going to talk about innovation, the starting proposition is to leave some of that old baggage behind, and not to demonise any particular sector, but to look at how we can do things better.

Eden is a social enterprise, which we built out of innocence. We were fortunate that it was in a place of great deprivation, which meant there was a predisposition in government officers who were looking after that area to look at anything that might bail us out of a really awkward situation. But it was built completely out of innocence. I went to the local development committee and said I had this great idea to build the eighth wonder of the world [in Cornwall]. I had no business plan, but said they had to believe me that it was going to be absolutely fantastic. They gave me £25,000 to go away. Then I raised a bit more money, and very soon we had a little fighting pot and went to see the Millennium Commission. It, eventually awarded us half of the then project cost of £74m.

We brought the Eden Project in on time and on budget, and have since invested £130m.

If you were to ask me, if you were to put a rusty razorblade to my throat and say, you have one minute to say why you did it, it would be that we wanted to find the most derelict place on Earth and create life in it. We then wanted to show how clever human beings are, by building something totally fit for purpose, which I hope we did.

I wanted to run a place that had the values of sustainability. We do fantastic local sourcing – 90% of everything we consume at Eden is locally sourced, our waste strategy is highly regarded, waste neutral. It is a lot easier than people say. But ultimately, I wanted to see how we could answer the question, what does a great place to work feel like?

Piddling little things

Our social enterprise at Eden cost £130m and has already put £800m back into the Cornish economy – which is more than double the entire money that has come from Europe for the whole of the south-west. So to think of social enterprises as being piddling little things that you have to talk about in hushed library tones is nonsense.

All over the country, as a result of the climate change debate, there is going to be an opportunity for starting new energy companies that will link agricultural production with all sorts of different aspects of the economy. These drivers of energy are fantastic areas for social enterprise. And they’re social because if you set them up regionally then everyone who lives in that region is likely to buy their energy from that company, and if they know that their purchases will create profits that can be used to pay for social benefits in those areas, it is a wonderful virtuous circle that means the revenue is going back to stakeholders, and so on.

I think it’s fantastically exciting, because we can do it and it works. I think social enterprise is the future model for organising our collective state assets.

· Tim Smit is chief executive and co-founder of the Eden Project in Cornwall. This is an edited extract from his speech to the Social Enterprise Coalition Voice 07 conference last week.

BIOMIMICRY

In the world envisioned by science author Janine Benyus, a locust’s ability to avoid collision within a roiling cloud of its brethren informs the design of a crash-resistant car; a self-cleaning leaf inspires a new kind of paint, one that dries in a pattern that enables simple rainwater to wash away dirt; and organisms capable of living without water open the way for vaccines that maintain potency even without refrigeration — a hurdle that can prevent life-saving drugs from reaching disease-torn communities. Most important, these cool tools from nature pull off their tricks while still managing to preserve the environment that sustains them, a life-or-death lesson that humankind is in need of learning.

As a champion of biomimicry Benyus has become one of the most important voices in a new wave of designers and engineers inspired by nature. Her most recent project, , explores what happens if we think of nature by function and looks at what organisms can teach us about design.

“The sophisticated, almost pro-growth angle of Benyus shows the great potential profitability of copying some of nature’s time-tested, nonpolluting, room-temperature manufacturing and computing technologies.”

New York Times

Hindutva

Do you know the word Hindutva? The voice of Hindu is better known in Mauritius. It may be worth while reading the view from a Hindutva perspective.

As we live in one of the countries which are inhabited by a majority of Hindus outside India, we Mauritians should be aware of the terms and more importantly keep an eye to what is happening in India. Thinkers and brains triggering the consciences of Hindus inside India or elsewhere as well as Muslims in the world should be read to understand where they are coming from ; how they feel and what they intend to do. On both sides of the fence there are radicals, violent fundamentalists and peace seeking moderates.

I consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity as a non Hindu to have been exposed to much Indian culture and to have traveled often to the home origin country of the majority Hindu community. I understand some basics fundamentals of the Muslims religion for having worked very closely with a number of Muslim organisations during the time when I was involved with the organization of the Haj and Umra pilgrimages. I had made a couple of trips to Saudi, namely to Jeddah, Ryiad and Daharan.

The tension that exists in the  sub continent with in India itself with a large population of Muslims in the midst of a majority of Hindus is often echoed in our country. Whilst India has its own issues to deal with its bulging Muslims populations, particularly in some of its states where the proportion of Muslims to Hindus do not reflect the national average, let not the animosities  spilled over to us.

I only wish that in our nation country is able to sort our own issues without being influenced by imported events. Needless to mention the events of Mumbai and the recent unrest in Pakistan have negative effects on the peaceful cohabitations of the two communities. I believe that there have been some confusion in Phoenix recently on the celebration of Yaum un Nabi.

May the moderates on both sides bring a peaceful settlement to keep the belligerent moods of the radicals at bay? Let religions not divide us or break the harmony of our peaceful living.