Management vs. Leadership

I was searching for articles marking the differences between Management and Leadership, after a discussion in the office.

Three interesting ones I’ve found (literature is huge in this area):

  1. Wall Street Journal
  2. changingminds.org
  3. Harvard Business Review

The Wall Street Journal article is stating a book from Warren Bennies listing in a very nice way the main differences:

  • The manager is a copy; the leader is an original.
  • The manager maintains; the leader develops.
  • The manager focuses on systems and structure; the leader focuses on people.
  • The manager relies on control; the leader inspires trust.
  • The manager has a short-range view; the leader has a long-range perspective.
  • The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.
  • The manager has his or her eye always on the bottom line; the leader’s eye is on the horizon.
  • The manager imitates; the leader originates.
  • The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it.
  • The manager is the classic good soldier; the leader is his or her own person.
  • The manager does things right; the leader does the right thing.

This is resonating a lot, isn’t it? ;-)

6 Management Styles

Last week, I was thinking of the 6 different management styles, something I first heard in 2000 during my MBA. Interesting how some topic can pop up in your mind.

Two interesting inputs in Wikipedia and Leadersin Heels.

As a reminder, also for me (!), the 6 categories:

  1. Directive
  2. Authoritative
  3. Affiliative
  4. Participative
  5. Pacesetting
  6. Coaching

My experience still is that you have to consciously chose the best approach depending on the people and the context. No best style!

Apple ne vend plus de produits…

Pour tous ceux qui pensent encore qu’Apple vend des produits (iPhone 6) et ne comprennent pas leur approche "Ecosystème"…

Une très bonne analyse qui nous change des discussions sur la nouvelle "taille de l’écran"

Apple ne vend plus de produits

Pour chaque euro généré par la vente d’un iPhone, combien d’euros sont générés par les musiciens, développeurs, fabricants d’accessoires ou acteurs industriels ? Car même si Apple ne se rémunère que peu sur ce chiffre global (ce n’est pas leur objectif direct), le stabilité générée autour de chacun de leurs produits est proprement phénoménale. Chaque produit Apple est une comète avec une queue de plusieurs km de long, qui donne une assise incomparable sur le marché. Une assise qui stabilise Apple bien au-delà ce qu’un Microsoft ou un Samsung pourrait rêver avoir un jour.

Innoveo joins Pactera!

As some of you already know, we have joined the US/Chinese PacteraGroup since January 1, 2014. Innoveo Solutions will be renamed in Pactera Switzerland, our software product name remains "Innoveo Skye". The whole team remains in Zurich, Switzerland and will be empowered in the coming time. We are very happy to be able to join these 20’000 people company and to profit from Pactera’s Sales und big customers’ base! Our next coming months will be very exciting, also by entering the Asia Pacific markets. Also a very solid constellation for our existing customers.

Comme certains le savent déjà, nous avons décidé de rejoindre le Groupe sino-américain Pactera au 1er janvier 2014. Innoveo Solutions sera renommé Pactera Switzerland, le nom du logiciel reste "Innoveo Skye". Le team reste à Zürich et sera augmenté dans les prochains temps. Nous sommes très heureux de pouvoir nous joindre à ce groupe de plus de 20’000 employés et de profiter de la puissance de vente et des clients existants de Pactera! Les prochains mois s’annoncent plus qu’existants, tout comme les premières acquisitions en Asie. Cette constellation est aussi très intéressante pour nos clients existants.

Press Release English:
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/pactera-establishes-switzerland-office-and-extends-insurance-industry-solutions-through-key-acquisition-241795041.html

Press Release en français:
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/acquisition-de-la-societe-de-logiciels-dassurance-innoveo-solutions-par-pactera-technology-international-242694801.html

Seth Godin –The business of Software

via Seth Godin

If you are reading this post, you may know how far I like all the super valuable inputs of Seth Godin. Really inspiring! So, when Seth was publishing a post about the business of software, I was super excited.

First I have learnt that Seth’s first job was to lead a team that created 5 games for …. the Commodore64!!

Some, to my point of view, very interesting abstracts from his post. Although I *really* encourage you to read the whole post (even a bit long, really great!):

[…] Clearly, just writing a piece of software no longer makes it a business.
So if it’s not about avoiding fatal bugs, what’s the business of software?

At its heart, you need to imagine (and then execute) a business that just happens to involve a piece of software, because it’s become clear that software alone isn’t the point. There isn’t a supply issue–it’s about demand. The business of software is now marketing (which includes design). […]

COMMUNICATE TO USERS: As we’ve seen in just about every industry, marketing involves effectively communicating a story about benefits to (and among) the people who will appreciate them. For software entrepreneurs, this means identifying a group of people who need the utility of what you can offer them and who are willing to give you permission to educate them about why they should buy. Without either element, the software is dead. […]

I think niche opportunities for software are largely unexploited. […]

So, the questions I’d ask:

  • Who can I reach?
  • Is the product so remarkable that they will talk about my product with their peers?
  • Can I earn and maintain permission to continue the conversation?
  • Once they learn about the utility offered, will they pay for it? […]

ENABLE COMMUNICATION BETWEEN USERS: This is the holy grail of software. […] The network effect is the increased utility of a device that enables communication. […] If you can improve productivity or satisfaction by connecting people, then people will selfishly help you do your marketing.

When building a software business that uses the network effect, I’d ask:

  • Does the connection this enables create demonstrable value?
  • Is there an easy and obvious way for someone who benefits to recruit someone else to join in?
  • Is it open enough to be easy to use but closed enough to avoid becoming a zero-cost commodity? […]

LAST THING: Paying for it. In a competitive market where the marginal cost of an item is zero, the price will move to and eventually reach zero. […] The goal, then, is to create a dynamic where the market isn’t competitive. […] The other condition that’s necessary, though, is that users have to believe that payment is an option. The web has trained the vast majority that interactions online should be free. That makes the act of selling software, particularly to people who haven’t used it yet, really difficult. There are two ways around this:

  1. Free samples. Many software companies (37signals being an obvious one) have discovered the drug dealer model, in which the software is free for a month, connections are built, utility is created and then it begins to cost money.
  2. Move to a platform where commerce is expected. […] The app store for the iPad is like that. The expectation is that this software is going to cost money. It’s far easier to sell a serious app for the iPad than it is on the web, because the platform is organized around commerce.

[…] I wanted to help you realize that just because you can code something that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. The issues of permission, of networks, of scarcity and of the desire to pay are inherent in the business part of the business of software. […]

Wow, really really impressive analysis!

Demonstrating strength

via Seth Godin

Wow, interesting post from Seth (a while ago, but still ;-). It is about showing (or not) “weakness” to the outside, which is seen for Seth clearly as a strength. Totally agree with that. I don’t like people that are making errors and have issue to apologize. For me, always a first signal of “more coming issues”…

Actually, I agree with *every* point mentioned, even if there are not always *easy* to implement ;-) But who says it should be easy?

Apologize

Defer to others

Avoid shortcuts

Tell the truth

Offer kindness

Seek alliances

Volunteer to take the short straw

Choose the long-term, sacrificing the short

Demonstrate respect to all, not just the obviously strong

Share credit and be public in your gratitude

Risking the appearance of weakness takes strength. And the market knows it.

And I’m still convinced you can run your business well *and* follow these kind of rules!

Fear of conflict?

via Jeff Bussgang

Excellent post from Jeff concerning dysfunctioning teams, based on a book from P. Lencioni – Five disfucntions of a Team. Patrick Lencioni lists the five main issues that can araise within a team, and how to combat them:

  1. Inattention to Results
  2. Avoidance of Accountability
  3. Lack of Commitment
  4. Fear of Conflict
  5. Absence of Trust

Jeff is then emphasizing the impact of fearing confllicts within an organization.

[…] Again and again, I see management teams and boards of directors shy away from conflict. It is quite natural for humans to avoid conflict.  In fact, our deeply programmed “fight or flight” instincts are designed to protect ourselves and run away when we sense danger.  Interpersonal conflict is a danger we all prefer to avoid as it makes us uncomfortable. […]

Here are a few techniques I’ve found help address this issue, particularly in start-ups. [more information in the post]

  1. Building Trust
  2. Annual Reviews
  3. Systematic Post Mortems
  4. Go Direct

[…] Conflict can be stressful, draining and uncomfortable.  Yet, it is incredibly natural, healthy part of life, particularly in a start-up.  And creating a culture that can handle conflict effectively clearly has a positive impact on performance.

Whole post is definitely worth a read ;-)

Warm welcome to David!

After the start of Carlos on December 16, 2010, we are again very proud and happy to be able to announce that David Wilson, our new Senior Solution Architect, has started to work at Innoveo yesterday!

David has a Bachelor of Science from the Edinburgh University, and is bringing with him 25 years of IT experience in the fields of Software development, engineering and architecture, consulting, and project management. He knows also the Insurance industry quite well, as he was working as a consultant for Winterthur, Zurich, and ZurichRe in the past.

David (in the middle of the picture) at our recent Innoveo X’Mas Event 2010 with Carlos, Nestor, Roy, Oli and Robert).

We are also very happy to welcome our first “English native” speaker, as David is Swiss and … Scottish!

cross-posted on the Innoveo blog

Warm welcome to Carlos!

We are very happy and proud to be able to inform you all that we have hired Carlos Prieto Cañal, our new Senior Solution Architect. Today is the first day of Carlos at Innoveo!

Carlos has a Master Degree in Computer Engineering of the University of Oviedo/Spain, with a Master Thesis pending in Artificial Intelligence. One of his publication:
Hybridizing a Genetic Algorithm with Local Search and Heuristic Seeding

Carlos is also a SUN Certified Java Programmer 6, and has a Master in J2EE Applications development from SUN.

He was working for CSC (Gijon, Spain) in the last 4 years, where he could, among others, acquire knowledge of the Insurance market while he was involved in an international project developed for a major Insurance company based in Swindon/UK during 2 years.

Carlos (middle right of the picture) at our recent Innoveo X’Mas Event 2010 (I will come back to that ;) with Andrea, Nestor, Laurent and Cédric.

Quite a long time that we haven’t got colleagues from Spain in our Team, so it’s a great pleasure to increase also our “internationality” again!

cross-posted on the Innoveo Blog

Do more vs. do better

via Seth Godin

In extenso ;-)

The easiest form of management is to encourage or demand that people do more. The other translation of this phrase is to go faster.

The most important and difficult form of management (verging on leadership) is to encourage people to do better.

Better is trickier than more because people have trouble visualizing themselves doing better. It requires education and coaching and patience to create a team of people who are better.

Wow….