Articles, Briefing


I’ve started a series of briefing notes about the organization in the digital age. They cover different facets of digital transformation: leadership, change, enterprise entrepreneurship, individual development, along with other topics and challenges.

A selection of recent notes…

2019 Issue 2: Navigating the Gig Mindset Paradox

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Right now I’m working on the section “Navigating the Gig Mindset Paradox”.  The gig mindset and the traditional mindset, apparently opposite characteristics, are actually interdependent and complement each other. They are polarities.  It is not a question of “either or”, but rather a question of “both, when”. The trick is to get the right balance at the right time….

I am adopting Barry Johnson’s polarity management model to help people find the right balance between gig and traditional mindsets in their organizations.  The model takes emotion and conflict off the table, and leads people to a greater understanding and ability to define actions that work for their circumstances.

2019 Issue 1: Individuals inside organizations. Will 2019 be a turning point?

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How do we as individuals take control, steer our lives and interact with others in the workplace? What identity do we build for ourselves? For many people, the gig mindset  is becoming an identity. Numerous people told me that after taking the gig mindset survey, they finally realized why they felt friction, frustration and discomfort in their organizations.

2018 Issue 4: The Gig Mindset, Different Colors for Different People

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The more I talk to people about the gig mindset, the more I learn how people are shaping their futures in very different ways in our era of turbulence and challenges. Roles and practices are being challenged. Leadership is questioned. People are are developing strategies and finding ways to take ownership and “color” their own work experience.

2018 – Issue 3: Navigating Politics

I’m doing a webinar “Don’t Let Politics Block Your Digital Initiatives” with MIT Sloan Management Review on Thursday July 12. (11:00 a.m. EDT, 5:00 pm CEST, and 8:00 a.m. PDT.) I’ll be talking about internal politics, how they can hinder digital initiatives and what to do about it. I wrote about neutralizing internal politics  some time ago, and the webinar will go into more detail. I’ll talk about 3 how’s:

  1. Deepening involvement
  2. Broadening decision-making
  3. Fluidifying silos

2018 – Issue 2: Which way do you lean–gig mindset or traditional mindset?

I’m researching what I call the “gig mindset”. I do not mean external gig workers, freelancers or contingent workers. I mean salaried people who work inside organizations, but behave in ways similar to external freelancers.

To this purpose, I have identified 8 attitudes and behaviors where I compare the gig mindset with the traditional mindset. These are not absolutes. Most people have some of each. But, based on my experience and interviews so far, people tend to lean more to one side or the other….

2018 – Issue 1: Low Engagement. Why?

Was Thoreau right when he wrote “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation”?

It would seem so today, when it comes to the workplace. According to Gallup’s 2017 State of the Global Workplace report, employee engagement is very low: Only 15% of employees on a global scale are “highly involved in and enthusiastic about their work.” The study concluded that engagement was much higher when people felt that their input mattered and that they had the autonomy to develop and implement new ideas. …What are effective levers to combat this phenomenon? Take a look at these 3 articles and share your thoughts with me…..

2017 – Issue 6: Juggling priorities?

Do you ever feel it’s impossible to set priorities and be able to carry them out? You’re not alone. Over 50% of organizations in my annual surveys say that  “competing priorities” is a “serious obstacle holding us back”. They’ve been saying this for several years now. Work life seems to be getting more and more hectic.

In this issue I propose a 5-perspective approach to collecting evidence to make it easier to define priorities. It’s not for the weak-hearted, as it requires time and energy to carry out. But the added benefit makes it worth it. You’ll end up bringing a lot of people on board for your digital initiatives.

My focus has always been people-oriented, and I’m using this final 2017 issue to share my recent work on the People Barometer I have designed. It deals with organizational maturity in terms of behaviors and practices, and can be a useful aid when thinking about priorities from the people angle.

fun and games

2017 – Issue 5: Top down can work if….

Top-down can be negative, and usually is.

But it can also be powerful when you have equally strong bottom-up and horizontal flows of information and influence.

In this issue, I look at two examples. The first example is how “working out loud”, which usually starts at grassroots and spreads, was a powerful management tool at NASA, initiated from the top, but based on bottom-up and horizontal flows. This happened over 50 years ago. It was an extraordinary case of leadership, based on pens, paper and a photocopy machine – food for thought for us in the digital age.

The second example is rolling out a strategic transformation program. These programs – starting at the top – can succeed if certain decision-making principles are practiced right from the very beginning: How you make your decisions is more important that what the decisions are.