APPRENDRE L’ORGANISATION

APPRENDRE L’ORGANISATION

Apprendre l’Organisation

Apprendre l’Organisation est une discipline que j’ai développé après avoir découvert l’Organisation Apprenante (The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization – Peter Senge 1990) qui est un moyen de se concentrer sur la résolution de problèmes de groupe en utilisant les Cinq Disciplines. C’est le processus ou la compétence d’une organisation de créer, d’acquérir et de transférer des connaissances dans leur ensemble.

Avant de me familiariser avec les cinq disciplines de l’Organisation Apprenante de Senge, j’étais déjà profondément impliqué dans la gestion de la qualité totale (Total Quality Management – TQM) de W. Edwards Deming et ses 14 points et j’ai réalisé alors que le Système de Connaissances Approfondies de Deming (System of Profound Knowledge ®-SoPK) était en fait une façon d’apprendre l’organisation, une étape logique et naturelle vers la création d’une organisation apprenante.

Le Système de Connaissances Approfondies relie les théories et les enseignements fondamentaux du Dr Deming sur la qualité, la gestion et le leadership dans quatre domaines interdépendants: l’appréciation d’un système, la connaissance de la variation, la théorie de la connaissance et la psychologie. Vous pourrez en apprendre davantage en visitant le site Deming.org.

Bâtir un cadre de référence (framework)

Provenant du point de vue juridique, l’apprentissage de l’organisation était différent de la méthode plus approfondie de Deming qui a pour objet d’approfondir le fonctionnement du système en termes de qualité totale et ses effets sur la réduction des pertes, les variations et la fin de la destruction de la fierté du travail en éliminant les cibles et les exortations. Mon approche était davantage basée sur les actifs en s’appuyant sur mon expérience transactionnelle et les outils que j’ai utilisé par exemple lors d’une vérificaiton dilligente (due diligence). J’utilisais une liste de contrôle (checklist) dans laquelle les éléments étaient regroupés au sein de catégories classes d’actifs.

 

Étant donné que ma pratique du droit impliquait également la planification financière, la structuration des investissements et le courtage, j’ai commencé à faire un parallèle avec l’approche moderne de gestion de portefeuille et j’ai étudié en profondeur ce que faisaient les grandes sociétés de conseil de l’époque. C’est ainsi que j’ai créé Valorize Framework ™ en 2004.

Les réponses sont les questions

L’approche de valorisation organise les actifs utilisés par une organisation, qu’ils lui appartiennent ou non (comme les actifs d’un fournisseur) en classes ou catégories. Ces actifs sont, Organisationnel, Physique, Financier, Clients, Employés, Fournisseurs et Marché (les externalités comme les conditions économiques, la concurrence, le marché, etc.). Ce cadre m’a aidé à mieux comprendre et gérer chaque catégorie d’actifs en posant des questions sur la façon dont je les utilise et les résultats que j’obtiens.

En débutant l’étude de l’organisation que je dirigeais, j’ai assemblé une série de questions inhabituelles ou en dehors des mêmes questions que je me posais. Voici un échantillon de questions que je me suis posées afin d’acquérir une connaissance approfondie de mon entreprise. Je pense qu’il est utile de poser des questions sur une classe d’actifs en particulier, puis d’examiner comment nous utilisons et obtenons (ou non) les résultats de chaque actif.

  • En général – En général – Comment utilisons-nous nos actifs? Les combinons-nous de manière efficace et efficiente? Sommes-nous compétitifs, différents? Certains actifs sont-ils sous-utilisés ou dormants?
  • Organisationel – Quelle est la culture du leadership? Est-ce que l’apprentissage est transparent et accessible? Avons-nous de bons modèles mentaux et de bons filtres pour prendre les meilleures et les meilleures décisions? Faisons-nous attention, cherchons-nous à voir ou à ignorer? Copions-nous bêtement ou améliorons-nous et innovons-nous? Y a-t-il quelque chose que nous ne voyons pas ou ne prêtons pas attention comme les processus, la propriété intellectuelle, les protocoles …?
  • Physique – Utilisons-nous nos actifs physiques de manière efficace et efficiente? Avons-nous des surplus ou en manquons-nous?
  • Financier – Utilisons-nous nos états financiers? Avons-nous une planification financière? Utilisons-nous des mesures en dehors des ratios financiers conventionnels. Utilisons-nous un tableau de bord qui représente vraiment notre entreprise et ce que des tiers nous suggèrent? Nos revenus sont-ils linéaires ou géométriques?
  • Clients – Savons-nous vraiment comment nos clients pensent, ce qu’ils veulent vraiment, les comprenons-nous vraiment et comment nous en assurons-nous? Favorisons-nous les nouveaux clients à ceux qui nous sont fidèles? Quelle expérience client offrons-nous?
  • Fournisseurs – Travaillons-nous sur la base de chiffres visibles uniquement ou connaissons-nous nos fournisseurs et la qualité de leur apport? Avons-nous une bonne relation de travail avec eux? Notre chaîne d’approvisionnement est-elle vulnérable? Si oui, quel est le plan? Dépendons-nous d’un seul fournisseur?
  • Employés – Savons-nous vraiment comment nos employés pensent. Investissons-nous en eux. Sommes-nous en train de communiquer, de les responsabiliser?
  • Marché – Sommes-nous en position de tête ou en retard? Surveillons-nous régulièrement le marché, nos SWOT? Sommes-nous des retardataires, des adopteurs précoces, des précurseurs de tendances ou des innovateurs? Y a-t-il des tendances hautement compétitives qui sont disponibles et que nous ignorons ou auxquelles nous résistons?

Le point!

Le but de tout le processus est d’apprendre l’organisation afin de créer éventuellement une organisation apprenante. Cela peut sembler redondant, mais lorsque nous examinons de près chacune des approches, nous nous rendons compte que l’apprentissage des bases de l’entreprise peut en fait être un bon moyen de commencer à construire une organisation apprenante, c’est le principe de faire la bonne chose en premier, de comprendre le sujet avant de pouvoir l’expliquer. Ces 2 approches se chevauchent à un moment donné, mais je pense que cela crée un avantage significatif d’utiliser les deux.

D’après mon expérience, plus je connaissais de plus en plus profondément mon organisation (quelle que soit sa taille), mieux je pouvais planifier, concurrencer, gagner et agir en tant que leader, mieux financer, mieux expérimenter, etc. Ces 2 approaches servent à développer de meilleures pratiques et à initier un processus de réflexion stratégique.

Donc, apprendre l’organisation est une activité à haut rendement et très satisfaisante, cela m’a permis de transformer une mauvaise entreprise en une entreprise exceptionnelle, cela m’a donné non seulement un énorme avantage concurrentiel, mais cela m’a donné aussi un immense sentiment de sécurité psychologique parce que je savais que chaque pierre a été retournée et cela m’a permis de bâtir une organisation apprenante.

En résumé

  • C’est un principe de faire la bonne action (first thing first)
  • Permet de bien comprendre avant d’être compris
  • Une habitude proactive
  • Une excellente façon de comprendre  et voir l’entreprise comme un portefeuille d’actifs
  • Excellent moyen d’être un meilleur propriétaire

Lorsque vous comprenez mieux votre organisation, cela fait de vous un meilleur chef/gestionnaire et il est beaucoup plus facile d’impliquer toute l’organisation en tant qu’organisation apprenante, mais je crois que vous démontrer d”abord que vous comprenez bien l’organisation et que maintenant l’organisaiton peut moeux developper et étendre ses connnaisances.

Afin de lire à propos de l’organisaiton Apprenante, cliquer ici.

THE LEARNING ORGANIZATION

THE LEARNING ORGANIZATION

 

 

In the early 2000, I partially read the book The Learning Organization also known as The Fifth Discipline written by Peter Senge (1990). Since 1994, I had been a devotee and practician of W. Edwards Deming’s Total Quality Management (TQM) and his System of Profound Knowledge which is a wonderful approach to learning the organization and it never occurred to me that the natural next step was not only to share this knowledge with an organization’s people but empower those very people to significantly augment the knowledge of and about the organization. It was a wonderful realization.

The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization (Senge 1990) is a book by Peter Senge (a senior lecturer at MIT) focusing on group problem solving using the systems thinking method in order to convert companies into learning organizations. The five disciplines represent approaches (theories and methods) for developing three core learning capabilities: fostering aspiration, developing reflective conversation, and understanding complexity. (From Wikipedia).

According to Senge learning organizations are:

…organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning to see the whole together.

This sounds very much like unleashing the full potential of an organization through the power, resources, intelligence and creativity of its people. In order to refresh our memory about the Fifth Discipline, I reproduced the 5 Disciplines and it’s 11 laws directly from Wikipedia.

The Five Disciplines

The five disciplines of what the book refers to as a “learning organization” discussed in the book are:

  1. “Personal mastery is a discipline of continually clarifying and deepening our personal vision, of focusing our energies, of developing patience, and of seeing reality objectively.”
  2. Mental models are deeply ingrained assumptions, generalizations, or even pictures of images that influence how we understand the world and how we take action.”
  3. “Building shared vision – a practice of unearthing shared pictures of the future that foster genuine commitment and enrollment rather than compliance.”
  4. Team learning starts with ‘dialogue’, the capacity of members of a team to suspend assumptions and enter into genuine ‘thinking together’.”
  5. Systems thinking – The Fifth Discipline that integrates the other four.”

Senge describes extensively the role of what it refers to as “mental models,” which he says are integral in order to “focus on the openness needed to unearth shortcomings” in perceptions. The book also focuses on “team learning” with the goal of developing “the skills of groups of people to look for the larger picture beyond individual perspectives.” In addition to these principles, the author stresses the importance of “personal mastery” to foster “the personal motivation to continually learn how […] actions affect [the] world.”

The Learning Disabilities

In addition to “disciplines,” which Senge suggests are beneficial to what he describes as a “learning organization,” Senge also posits several perceived deleterious habits or mindsets, which he refers to as “learning disabilities.”

  1. “I am my position.”
  2. “The enemy is out there.”
  3. The Illusion of Taking Charge
  4. The Fixation on Events
  5. The Parable of the Boiling Frog
  6. The Delusion of Learning from Experience
  7. The Myth of the Management Team

The 11 Laws of the Fifth Discipline 

  1. Today’s problems come from yesterday’s “solutions.”
  2. The harder you push, the harder the system pushes back.
  3. Behavior grows better before it grows worse.
  4. The easy way out usually leads back in.
  5. The cure can be worse than the disease.
  6. Faster is slower.
  7. Cause and effect are not closely related in time and space.
  8. Small changes can produce big results…but the areas of highest leverage are often the least obvious.
  9. You can have your cake and eat it too —but not all at once.
  10. Dividing an elephant in half does not produce two small elephants.
  11. There is no blame.

Huge benefits!

Most of us relate to what we know and take for granted that what we know is what everybody knows and vice versa but nothing can be further from the truth, it is not a generalization that serves us well. We know stuff some people don’t and some people know stuff we don’t and building a learning organization is actually expanding into a diversity of knowledge and specialized knowledge too like from a person, your employee who has developed knowledge around her skills and to which you don’t have a real appreciation and leverage therefore mastering the disciplines Senge outlines in the book will significantly help your organization.

Moreover, a learning organization will:

  • Fulfill people’s need to learn
  • Identify confining assumptions and mindsets and develop more empowering ones
  • Leverage your people and tap into their creativity
  • Focus them on what truly matters
  • Learn system thinking meaning seeing the whole and the parts
  • Develop more meaningful work environments
  • Etc.

According to Senge:

in the long run the only sustainable competitive advantage is your organisation’s ability to learn faster than the competition.

I strongly believe that building a learning organization is the only way that it can really walk the path of the future with ability and agility.

Learn the Organization then build the Learning Organization

Again my path to the The Learning Organization, was through ”Learning the Organization”. You can read it here.

LEARNING THE ORGANIZATION

LEARNING THE ORGANIZATION

Learning The Organization

Learning The Organization happened after I “learned” about The Learning Organization (The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization – Peter Senge 1990)  which is a way of focusing on group problem solving using Five Disciplines.  It is an organization’s process or skill to create, acquire and transfer knowledge as a whole.

Before I got acquainted with Senge’s five disciplines of The Learning Organization I was already deeply involved with W. Edwards Deming’s Total Quality Management (TQM) and the 14 Points and realized that what I have been doing with Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge ® (SoPK) was to actually Learning The Organization which to me was a logical as well as a natural step toward creating a learning organization.

The SoPK ties together Dr. Deming’s seminal theories and teachings on quality, management and leadership into four interrelated areas: appreciation for a system, knowledge of variation, theory of knowledge and psychology. By clicking on the links you will be able to read more directly on the Deming.org website.

Building a framework

Coming for a legal standpoint, learning the organization looked different from Deming’s more profound method of delving deeper into the workings of the system in terms of total quality and its effects on reducing waste, variations and the elimination of pride to workmanship by eliminating targets and admonitions. My approach was more asset-based by relying on my transactional experience and the tools I used for example when performing a due dilligence. I was using a checklist in which the elements were grouped within classes or an asset class.

Since my law practice also involved financial planning, investment structuring and brokerage I started to make a parallel with the modern portfolio management approach and researched deeply into what the big consulting firms were doing at that time. That’s how I came up with the Valorize Framework™ in 2004.

The answers are the questions

The Valorize Framework organizes the assets used by an organization whether thay are owned or not (like a supplier’s assets) into classes or categories. These assets are, Organizational, Physical, Financial, Customers, Employees, Suppliers and the Market (as externalities like economic condtions, competition, prospects, etc.). This framework helped me better understand and manage each asset category by asking questions about the way I used them and the results I was getting.

When I set myself to learn more about the organization I was managing, I assembled a series of questions that outside of the usual questions I was asking. Here is a sample of questions I asked myself in order to get an augmented knowledge about my business. I think it is useful to ask questions about an asset class and then review how we use and get (or not) results from each asset.

  • In general – How do we use our assets, do we combine them in an efficient and effective manner? Are competitive, different? Are some of them underused or dormant?
  • Organizational – What is the leadership culture? Is it learning, transparent and acocuntable? Do we have good mental models and filters in order to make the better and the best decisions? Do we pay attention, do we seek to see and we overlook? Do we copy and paste or we improve and innovate? Is there anything that I am not seeing or paying attention to like processes or any intellectual property I need to protect, policies … ?
  • Physical – Are we using our physical assets efficiently and effectively. Do we have surplus or are we missing some?
  • Financial – Do we use your financial statements? Do you have a financial planning? Do you use metrics outside of conventional finalcial ratios. Do you use a dashboard that really represents your business not some third-party’s? Are our revenues libnear or geometric?
  • Customers – Do we really know how our customers think, what they really want, do we really understand them and how do we make sure we do? Do we favor new customers over the loyal ones. What customer experience do we provide?
  • Suppliers – Do we do business on the basis of visible numbers only or we know our suppliers and have a good working realtionship with them? Is our supply chain vulnerable? If so, what is the plan? Do we rely on one supplier?
  • Employees – Do we really know how my employees think. Do we invest in them. Are we communicating, empowering them?
  • Market – Are we leading or lagging? Do monitor the market for SWOT on a periodic basis. Are we laggers, early adopters, trend setters or innovators? Are there adopted trends we ignore or resisting?

The point!

The point of the whole process is to Learn The Organization in order to create The Learning Organization. This may seem redundant but when we look closely at each of the approaches we realize that learning the basics of the business may actually be a good way to start into building a learning organization, it’s kind of a first thing first or understand the subject matter first before we can explain it. These 2 approaches overlap at some point but I thnk it creates a significant advantage to use both.

It is my experience that the more and more profoundly I knew my organization (whatever the size) the better I could plan, compete, win and act as a leader, better finance, try, enroll, experiment, etc. It is as much a best practice as it is part of a strategic thinking process.

So learning the organization is a high yielding activity and is very satisfying it allowed me to turn around a bad business into an exceptional one, it gave me not only a tremendous competitive advantage but it gave me an immense sense of psychological security because I knew that no stone was left unturned and then it allowed me the get on the pathway of building a Learning Organization.

In summary

  • It’s a first thing first thing.
  • It’s a step to understand before we can be understood
  • It’s a proactive habit.
  • It”s a great way yo understand the business as a portfolio of assets
  • Great way to be a best owner

When you understand more about your organization it makes you a better leader/manager and its much easeir to involve the whole organization as a learning one but you show you own appreciation for knowledge by having a more developed knowledge about it.

To read about The Learning Organization, click here.

BEST BUSINESS

BEST BUSINESS

Reading time:   < 1 minutes

Summary

This article is about how looking at the assets behind the results is a first-thing-first principle.

What is is

As business owners we are not trained and informed to look at what is standing behind the results but we are encouraged to interpret the results in order to drive our decisions. Performing financial ratios and using simple key metrics in order to inform us on our punctual or periodic progression is an important if not crucial business practice.

Assets (tangible and intangible) are an organization’s building blocks of value and it is equally important to take a look at the assets behind financial results and behind the results producing activities. Looking at assets and how we combine them into a business model allow us to get at the heart of what can make a business different or move it into an insurgent posture with an offering that the competitive would find hard to match.

Most businesses operate on a tactical level in their day-to-day activities like selling more but in order to become highly competitive they need to combine their assets in a different and remarquable way so they are not trying to sell a product or offer a service that thheir market has a shrinking appetite for.

In order to help organizations think more about they assets they have and how they combine them to their great advantage requires for them to (1) augment their definition of assets and (2) be able to use a simple format or framework so it becomes an easy habit to implement.

An extended definition of assets

In the old/previous economy, organizations ran mainly on tangible and physical assets. In the current economy the organizations that produce astounding values running do it with much lighter and intangible assets. Uber and AirBnB for example are digital platforms that create value from assets they do not even own. The Virgin Group creates tremendous value from partnerships. An other form of assets that may not really be perceived as assets are processes, it is only when the reengineering movement appeared that companies began to see how much the operational processes (assets) underlying their operations were fundamental to  their success.  The very definition of a value producing asset has extended far outside of what we use to own, measure and see. 

How to organize it

The Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT), a popular investment strategy offered an alternative to stock selection by replacing it with a portfolio selection. This augmented view of investment management offers a superior tool to achieve a better overall success and match to investment objectives like risk management and yield for example. Having a bigger picture is always an advantage.

Applying this portfolio approach to organizations helps them map their assets including for example leadership and culture, intellectual property codified in patents, systems and processes, their partnerships and other assets in their ecosystem.

We call this “Your business, a portfolio of assets”.

This makes it easier to identify all the sources of value, both internal and external. Organizations will thrive or fail based on how they design, invest in, and manage their entire portfolios of value for their company.

Why it is important – Connecting assets with strategies

Mapping all of an organization assets, all of them, is important in order to know whether an organization’s assets are deployed to create or erode value. Organizing the assets into a portfolio also helps them create a balanced scorecard simply because when a broad strategy statement can be broken down into the underlying assets that are being used to deliver value to customers, it helps them focus the balanced scorecard metric selection process on the assets that are critical to achieving strategic objectives.

Managing a business as a portfolio of assets provides an augmented view of the business and its capabilities. It also makes it easier to spot the missing elements with regards to its strategic objectives. Managing a business as a portfolio of assets provides a big picture information for the leaders and managers, it offers a superior information which then can better inform the tactical decisions. It provides an augmented information that then can help create an augmented positioning in the market place. It helps an organization articulate a better startegic plan allowing it to move from improvisation to a planned insurgency. It is extremely useful to highly perform in critical situations like financing, acquisition and acquisition integration.

Implementing the Assets Portfolio approach

We help businesses map and ORGANIZE their assets so they can augment their business information, their performance and strategic stance. You can visit our SOLUTIONS page or CONTACT US.

Template2

Template2

Reading time:   < 1 minutes

Summary

This article is about how looking at the assets behind the results is a first-thing-first principle.

What is is

As business owners we are not trained and informed to look at what is standing behind the results but we are encouraged to interpret the results in order to drive our decisions. Performing financial ratios and using simple key metrics in order to inform us on our punctual or periodic progression is an important if not crucial business practice.

Assets (tangible and intangible) are an organization’s building blocks of value and it is equally important to take a look at the assets behind financial results and behind the results producing activities. Looking at assets and how we combine them into a business model allow us to get at the heart of what can make a business different or move it into an insurgent posture with an offering that the competitive would find hard to match.

Most businesses operate on a tactical level in their day-to-day activities like selling more but in order to become highly competitive they need to combine their assets in a different and remarquable way so they are not trying to sell a product or offer a service that thheir market has a shrinking appetite for.

In order to help organizations think more about they assets they have and how they combine them to their great advantage requires for them to (1) augment their definition of assets and (2) be able to use a simple format or framework so it becomes an easy habit to implement.

An extended definition of assets

In the old/previous economy, organizations ran mainly on tangible and physical assets. In the current economy the organizations that produce astounding values running do it with much lighter and intangible assets. Uber and AirBnB for example are digital platforms that create value from assets they do not even own. The Virgin Group creates tremendous value from partnerships. An other form of assets that may not really be perceived as assets are processes, it is only when the reengineering movement appeared that companies began to see how much the operational processes (assets) underlying their operations were fundamental to  their success.  The very definition of a value producing asset has extended far outside of what we use to own, measure and see. 

How to organize it

The Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT), a popular investment strategy offered an alternative to stock selection by replacing it with a portfolio selection. This augmented view of investment management offers a superior tool to achieve a better overall success and match to investment objectives like risk management and yield for example. Having a bigger picture is always an advantage.

Applying this portfolio approach to organizations helps them map their assets including for example leadership and culture, intellectual property codified in patents, systems and processes, their partnerships and other assets in their ecosystem.

We call this “Your business, a portfolio of assets”.

This makes it easier to identify all the sources of value, both internal and external. Organizations will thrive or fail based on how they design, invest in, and manage their entire portfolios of value for their company.

Why it is important – Connecting assets with strategies

Mapping all of an organization assets, all of them, is important in order to know whether an organization’s assets are deployed to create or erode value. Organizing the assets into a portfolio also helps them create a balanced scorecard simply because when a broad strategy statement can be broken down into the underlying assets that are being used to deliver value to customers, it helps them focus the balanced scorecard metric selection process on the assets that are critical to achieving strategic objectives.

Managing a business as a portfolio of assets provides an augmented view of the business and its capabilities. It also makes it easier to spot the missing elements with regards to its strategic objectives. Managing a business as a portfolio of assets provides a big picture information for the leaders and managers, it offers a superior information which then can better inform the tactical decisions. It provides an augmented information that then can help create an augmented positioning in the market place. It helps an organization articulate a better startegic plan allowing it to move from improvisation to a planned insurgency. It is extremely useful to highly perform in critical situations like financing, acquisition and acquisition integration.

Implementing the Assets Portfolio approach

We help businesses map and ORGANIZE their assets so they can augment their business information, their performance and strategic stance. You can visit our SOLUTIONS page or CONTACT US.