Jérôme Bouquet

Jérôme Bouquet

  • Trained as an engi­neer at l’Ecole Poly­tech­nique with an Execu­tive MBA from HEC, Jérôme Bouquet has spent 15 years in the indu­stry working on inno­va­tion projects within embedded infor­ma­tion systems. He now uses his exper­tise in government work on inno­va­tive ecosy­stems.

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The acce­le­ra­ting evolu­tion of tech­no­logy forces us to revisit stra­tegy and execu­tion time­lines, and can become the deci­ding factor for success. The gap between the context of these emer­ging chal­lenges and the lengthy processes and hier­ar­chical pyra­mids that struc­ture modern-day firms has a nega­tive effect on team enga­ge­ment. How can we bolster a posi­tive dynamic, and quickly deliver results with stra­tegic advan­tages?

Inno­va­tion chal­lenges existing stra­tegy, and can be an excel­lent tool for expe­ri­men­ting with new prac­tices and new values.

The path that enter­prises have followed for decades has been the pursuit of scale­able growth and coping with the five forces of Porter. As such, the stra­te­gies forged in the best busi­ness schools have been deve­loped via systems and culture guided by processes, and have deployed tools of stra­tegic plan­ning; of manage­ment by objec­tive, balance score­card, budget allo­ca­tion, KPIs and so forth. These methods have made it possible to build high-perfor­mance indu­stries.

However, the high disen­ga­ge­ment of employees in these enter­prises displays the limits of both the system and the culture. With only 10% of employees fully engaged, the dyna­mics of enter­prise manage­ment do not always reflect the dynamic of its employees1.

Further­more, with the rapid deve­lop­ment of new digital tech­no­lo­gies, the envi­ron­ment remains vola­tile. The adequate process mecha­nics to create these empires does not offer the agility that is needed in order to react to rapid changes. The solu­tion that is usually envi­saged when this discrepancy becomes appa­rent is still a top-down approach, often accom­pa­nied by a signi­fi­cant turnover in the key func­tions.

As a result, this mecha­ni­sa­tion and specia­li­sa­tion of func­tions does not provide an answer to the problems posed by changes and inno­va­tion. As their means of opera­tion is taken up by driving the current busi­ness using numbers and processes, manage­ment often lacks a perspec­tive on the possi­bi­li­ties made avail­able by new tech­no­logy. Internal mecha­nics thus take prece­dence over a rapidly chan­ging envi­ron­ment.

Under­stan­ding these emer­ging trans­for­ma­tional tech­no­logy dyna­mics and their impact on your busi­ness won’t cost you an arm and a leg. To do this, you have to get out of the comfort zone provided by the original logic and culture of your busi­ness. Before manage­ment or processes create the demand for change, you must first create a space in which inno­va­tion and trans­for­ma­tion are the objec­tives.

These initia­tives should present chal­lenges for your teams, with limits on resources and time, and issues based on poten­tial or actual clients. Above all, open-minded thin­king encou­raged, as should be the possi­bi­lity for there to be external solu­tions to internal problems. This step in parti­cular is an important chal­lenge to stan­dard thought processes, and could have a major impact on ever­yday company beha­viour.

Expe­ri­ence, combined with a number of studies by psycho­lo­gists such as Edward Deci, show that human beings have an insur­moun­table need for novelty, and for new chal­lenges which herald lear­ning and growth. People will not agree to dedi­cate the full scope of their ideas and intel­li­gence solely under the direc­tion of autho­rity. Giving teams a space for self-fulfill­ment and auto­nomy will result, on their side, in stronger enga­ge­ment, fresh ideas and new capa­bi­li­ties.

The energy produced by activity in this auto­no­mous space can be harnessed. By giving your team an oppor­tu­nity to conduct short-term expe­ri­ments without impac­ting the core processes of your busi­ness, you can learn the real possi­bi­li­ties of new avenues. Addi­tio­nally, the expe­ri­ments and initia­tives in this space provide mate­rial for manage­ment, when they under­stand the need for change and want to hear your sugge­stions.

Tran­si­tio­ning from a culture based on processes and control to a culture steeped in expe­ri­men­ta­tion and open to alter­na­tive solu­tions is not easy. A number of obsta­cles, prima­rily tied to collec­tive company spirit, can hinder or distort the proposed initia­tives. Their success relies on the team’s commit­ment to questio­ning company culture, and being open to new ways of problem-solving.

1. Gallup, 2013 http://www.gallup.com/services/178517/
state-global-workplace.aspx

Jérôme Bouquet

Jérôme Bouquet

  • Trained as an engi­neer at l’Ecole Poly­tech­nique with an Execu­tive MBA from HEC, Jérôme Bouquet has spent 15 years in the indu­stry working on inno­va­tion projects within embedded infor­ma­tion systems. He now uses his exper­tise in government work on inno­va­tive ecosy­stems.

Want to get to know Jérôme Bouquet?

Get in touch

Still curious?
There is more to see here:

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