Team collaboration, humanistic management – a new Taylorism?

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Publications multiply, which examine trends in managerial practice in the last twenty years, and contend that a certain dehumanization would have made its way in management-employee relations. A de-professionalization, or even a systemic alienation of personnel, emanating from the implementation of binding, productivity-focused processes and controls. The comparison is often made with Taylorism, aggravated here because walking masked under the deceiving designation of “humanistic management” Read more

De-coding grid for intercultural teams communicating in English…

In a previous article on ‘The intercultural challenge in the professional setting’, I highlighted how “Communication issues, often justified merely by the language barrier, are in actuality far more complex. Individual team members, and of course their managers, must be cognizant of cultural filters, which affect multiple factors including perceptions of other cultures, temporality, discipline, authority, formalism, body language…”. An ‘Anglo-EU de-coding device’ recently posted by Strategy analyst Duncan Green is a perfect example of that subtle mix of factors beyond the language. Read more

The intercultural challenge in the professional setting

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Few companies today operate in one single country or region. Besides, this situation no longer seems dependent on company size, and a growing number of small organizations develop internationally. And thus, companies are faced with a variety of intercultural challenges, concerning both their expatriate employees and their multi-national teams, and increasing risks of misunderstandings, operational inefficiencies, or faux-pas, that can have dire consequences for organizations. While management is at the heart of this challenge, all team members are directly concerned.
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Measuring performance of innovation initiatives

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Whichever model used or its degree of sophistication, performance management generally revolves around 3 key principles:

  • Measure (selection of performance indicators, choice of measure, frequency…)
  • Monitoring (introduction of a dashboard, establishment of a performance monitoring process (who, what, how/system)),
  • Communication (determine recipients of results/reporting, establish communication plan)

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Paintbrushes or painting?

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One of our regular clients recently decided to invest in project management software for broad deployment in their teams… Let’s not give this sofware a name and just say that it is a long-time market leader, powerfully integrated tool, that has seen its user-friendliness improved many times over the past several years. This is certainly a legitimate stategic choice, which does come with real financial commitment, and hence deserves careful deployment efforts.
Faced with heavy multi-licensing costs, companies will typically try to limit their deployment costs, which may seem like sound management practice, but if pushed too far could also be a very damaging miscalculation for such investment initiatives. Read more

So British!…

“It’s not unreasonable to think that this presentation would not have been less untimely had we chosen to defer it to the next monthly meeting.”… A very British way indeed, of saying a lot without saying all, but yet counting on the unsaid to say what really needs to be said… If you see what I mean… Well chances are this might be somewhat of a challenge in intercultural team settings, where shared technical knowledge of the English language just won’t be enough to actually communicate. Read more

Labour, Management, and the Process

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Labour is a structuring dimension of both our individual lives as well as our social organization. It spans over mutually exclusive categories, depending on whether it is the product of one’s own will and desire, as is the case for most creative professions, or whether it is the product of another’s, as is the case for slavery. It is oftentimes painted to us as a value, other times presented to us as a curse. When challenged to think about the “reasons” to work, one always brings up motivation. Always seeking new recipes, managers are always wondering how to tackle the issue…

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