Saul Kaplan – I don’t care about your organization chart

I don’t even like using the word organization — that’s why I talk about models, because I think models are just networks of capabilities that come together to get a job done or to solve the challenge in the real world, and I want to be able to access capabilities in my network that come from lots of different places. And I don’t want to be limited only to those capabilities that are sitting in organization A. When somebody shows me their organization chart, I’m not interested in that like, I don’t care about your organization chart. I mean, tell me what capability set you have, and can we put them into a sand box where we can combine them and recombine them in different ways. And so the organization of tomorrow has to be much more fluid around how it plays with those parts, how it plays with the capabilities, than the organization designs that we have lived with throughout the whole industrial era.

Saul Kaplan – We’re not enabling people to be more curious

Nous ne donnons pas aux gens le pouvoir d’être plus curieux, d’être — d’explorer plus, de renforcer leurs réseaux, d’être plus intelligents, d’essayer de nouvelles choses. Nous revenons à — nous essayons de forcer les gens à faire une tâche spécifique et ensuite nous sommes frustrés lorsque nous pouvons automatiser ces tâches, et le travail réel que l’être humain devrait accomplir, qui est ce dont vous et moi discutons, nous n’avons pas vraiment donner aux gens l’environnement et les outils leur permettant de le faire. Mais pour répondre en un mot à votre question, je crois que les gens en sont capables.

Je crois que c’est les entreprises dans lesquelles nous vivons, les institutions auxquelles nous sommes connectés qui nous ont roués de coups, et essayent de nous empêcher de le faire, et nous voyons trop d’histoires sur des gens qui essayent de le faire et sont punis parce qu’ils ont partagé quelque chose qu’ils n’étaient pas sensés partager, ou dit quelque chose d’inapproprié. Et nous continuons à renforcer ça, gardez la tête baissée, faites le travail que vous êtes supposé faire, et ensuite nous nous étonnons que les gens ne soient pas créatifs.

John Hagel – The courage to pursue this change

I think at one level it’s going to start at the individual level; people will be less and less willing to accept that traditional model so there will be pressure on companies from that side. I think that companies pursuing change, particularly if you are talking about large companies, that bear extremely challenging undertaking, there are very powerful immune systems and antibodies that have been built up in large companies to resist change in very effective ways.

And so we have been working with clients to pursue an approach that we call scaling edges, but I think what it requires ultimately is somebody as a very senior level in the organization, not necessarily the CEO, but somebody on that persons leadership team who has both conviction, belief in the necessity of change, but also courage, the willingness to standup when they face opposition, because they will face opposition, so the courage to actually continue to pursue that change even in the face of resistance. And then finding a group of people within the company who have sufficient passion that they will be willing to experiment, that they will be willing to take risks, and willing to – again resist opposition – because they will encounter it. So it’s a combination of somebody at very high level in the organization, plus a group of people who are truly passionate about the need for change.

John Hagel – We all have responsibility to take initiatives

In a market system, companies will need to serve the needs of the people in the marketplace, and if the people are just looking for products that are low cost and reasonable value, they will focus at that very narrow level. On the other hand, and I believe that as people in a marketplace we are shifting out what we look for from companies. And again I believe that markets overtime will respond to that changing set of needs on part of customers and consumers, and companies again will have to play a much more, much richer and more diverse role than they have simply developing products and services, and getting them into market quickly, and I think that will be less and less interesting to us as customers.

I think we all have responsibility increasingly to take initiatives and to not simply accept what is being given to us, either as customers or as employees, but understand that for individual success and wellbeing, we are going to have a different set of needs met, and so we can’t just sit back and accept the way it is, we have to step up and start the change process, either as customers or as employees.

John Hagel – The power of narratives

I do not want to underestimate or undervalue the power of stories, stories connect with us in a very emotional level and are very memorable. On the other hand for me the difference is that narratives, stories tend to be very self-contained, they have a beginning in full and a resolution, there is an ending. Narratives are open-ended. There is no resolution yet, they typically identify an opportunity on the horizon, something that’s really exciting and interesting, but its not been achieved yet, it’s the resolution of the narrative is to be determined.

And the other element of the distinction is that stories typically are about me, the storyteller, or they are about those people over there, they are not about you as the listener, you have to use your imagination to figure out what you might have done in that story, but it’s not about you.

And, in contrast, narratives, effective narratives, are actually about you, the resolution of the narrative, the ability to actually achieve that opportunity that’s been identified, will hinge on your choices and your decisions: what’s it going to be? What action will you take in order to pursue this narrative? And to illustrate the power of narratives, I indicate that actually throughout history millions of people have given their lives for narratives. So you want to talk about emotional engagement, they have made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of a narrative, it could be a religious narrative, it could be a social narrative but millions of people have given their lives for these narratives.

I think there is enormous power in them, one of the elements… It’s all connected for me but I believe that narratives actually are a very powerful way to tap into the passion of people, it goes back to that notion of leadership as being asking questions as opposed to providing answers, narratives, if properly framed, identify an opportunity, but it’s not something that’s achieved yet, and it’s a call to action.

It’s a call, it emphasizes the urgency that we all have to make a difference, and motivates us to pursue something that’s long term to get excited about, the challenges along the way because we know there is an opportunity at the end of the journey, and it motivates us to connect with others because the narrative is typically shared with other people, and we want to connect with other people to pursue that opportunity. So… and I think again motivates learning because we are all trying to achieve that opportunity and we know that we don’t know yet how to do that, so we are essentially experimenting, testing, and learning.