If people are disengaged, they don’t even need to sabotage, they just need to scrupulously follow the rule! (Y. Morieux)


Didier Marlier

June 16, 2018

From Disruption to Engagement

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I am a fan of BCG’s Yves Morieux’s interventions. I see the one here below as his best (and shortest), a must seen!

Morieux’ topic here is about three levers needed to get a better performance in today’s Disruption Economy and its V.U.C.A. (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous… anyone who still didn’t know?) consequences. He calls for three axes of intervention:

  • Vertical (Leadership): Yves proposes a great definition of leadership: “The role of leaders is to make people do what they would not spontaneously do!” That definition suggests that “leaders are people who make a difference”, which strongly reminds us of Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey”, starting with the Call to Adventure. Leaders constantly inspire their people to renew their organization’s adventure.
  • Horizontal (Cooperation): Morieux defines it as “the value each leader adds to the others”. Cooperation is about unconditionality, trust, intelligence and generosity. It is also about “Putting myself in danger for the benefit of the team”. Morieux uses a perfect formula: “Cooperation is not about interface; It is about face to face!” Meg Wheatley, one of the first thinkers to use “Complex Adaptive Systems” theories in the management world, explains that it is all about relationships. We say that, would you want to expand in the Disruption Economy, one of the paradigms to challenge is to change your mindset “from transactional (interface) to relational (face to face)”.
  • Engagement (named through its consequence, Value Adding Execution): The BCG partner calls here for a true Civil Disobedience Campaign which will terrify the admin’, roles, rules and procedures freaks: “Do not follow the rules! If we have the right rules, exhaustively designed and people scrupulously follow them, we are not going to create value!” This is what we call the difference between “play safe”, Good Weather, Maintain-the-status-quo managers and audacious, taking measured risks, inspiring “the extra mile mindset leaders.

I am a blessed man who doesn’t “only” have clients in this business (who are already a huge blessing by themselves!) but also have the privilege of counting on many Friends. The conversations I have with them are the first source of my creativity and permanent re-invention. One of them showed me this clip of Morieux, back in October when we met somewhere in Italy and I am very grateful to him!

Enjoy your own Hero’s/Leader’s Journey!


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“Engaging Leadership” has been written for leaders who are about to engage their organisations in change."

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