Workforce Digital Transformation Summit in Amsterdam

Workforce Digital Transformation Summit in Amsterdam – Key Take Aways

I’ve been participating in the Workforce Digital Transformation Summit taking place for two days in Amsterdam at that just ended. Two intense days of interesting presentations and discussions, covering a variety of topics all focused on Digital Transformation and the effects on companies and HR.  Day one of the Workforce Digital Transformation Summit Moderator of the day was Sven Sommerlatte. Besides being VP, Head of Human Resources of Sanofi, he also manages a blog, and a busy Youtube channel focused on Leadership and Management. His introduction covered the four key questions that were also the backbone of the event: How is Digital transforming our organisations? What Workforce do we need to respond to the Digital Requirements of the Future? How is Digital Impacting HR? How do we need to Transform HR? He made a very compelling case for the need for reconsidering the entire concept of Digital Transformation. Particularly interesting his point of view on the Workforce Needs, as he referred particularly on the Skills Shift that is happening, with the evolution not just on technical skills, but rather on the increased relative importance of social and …

Book Review: Rebel Talent by Francesca Gino

Book Review: Rebel Talent by Francesca Gino

Rebel Talent is a book by Harvard Business School Professor Francesca Gino. Its subtitle Why it Pays to Break the Rules at Work and in Life already summarises the main message that the book carries: in many situations breaking (or bending) rules can be positive both at work and in life. Of course, it depends on which rules. And the author goes to a great extent into making a case with many concrete examples from different types of organisations. Some are out of our traditional radar, like the Restaurant Osteria Francescanaof Massimo Bottura. This multi-Michelin star winning chef is not the typical chef you would expect. And becomes one of the leading examples in how “breaking the rules” of traditionalism delivers value through agility and creativity. Who is a Rebel? Rebels are defined as people who are deviants but positively and constructively. They challenge the established norms and assumptions and do things differently from the crowd. Rebels break the rules, not in a legal sense or to get into trouble. They break the rules of steadiness, the assumptions that keep organisations static. These …

Book Cover of Rebel Ideas by Matthew Syed

Book Review: Rebel Ideas by Matthew Syed

Some books leave a mark when you read them, and I genuinely believe this is one of them. In this book, Matthew Syed is able to thoroughly revert a big part of Diversity Thinking moving away from being “a politically correct distraction, an issue of morality and social justice” and transforming it in a central notion for performance and Innovation. Not just in teams and organisations, but for the entire humankind. The book title: Rebel Ideas have immediately attracted me. Since the appearance of Gary Hamel’s book Leading the Revolution, I’ve found a way to reconcile my “rebel mindset” with the work within a large corporation. This book has given me once more a confirmation that I’m on the right path! Through compelling prose, well-sustained scientific research and many examples of really appropriate storytelling, the books examine how Diversity adds value in all of the human contexts, and especially in organisations. The way it demolishes the perception of “individual intelligence” and instead builds that of “collective intelligence” is staggering, and somewhat unsettling. The book moves by examining the concept of homophily, the …

Book Review: Why She Buys by Bridget Brennan

This book is considered a milestone in marketing (and selling) for women, and for this reason, I decided to read it. According to Bridget Brennan, 80% of sales are influenced by women. Moreover, at the time this book was written, most of the marketing effort was made towards man. No relevant communication, no specific advertising, no tuned-in marketing. Stop: we all assume there is a ton of marketing addressed to women. However, one of the most exciting chapters of this book is dedicated precisely to Marketing to Women, and is titled “The Difference between Sex Appeal and Gender Appeal“. In short: if you thought that women lingerie advertising are typically done for women, think again. The sexual charge of it is generally addressed to man. Gender is the most powerful determinant of how a person views the world and everything int it. it’s more powerful than age, race, or geography. Bridget Brennan, Why She Buys, page 11 If seen this way (although some might disagree), we understand the fact that the entire process of designing, producing, selling …

Book Review: The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

Why the Many are Smarter than the Few. It’s this subtitle (appeared own the last edition of the cover) that has attracted me to this book by James Surowiecki. He makes the case that large groups of people are smarter than an elite few, no matter how brilliant the individuals are. Crowds are better at solving problems, innovating, coming to wise decisions, and predicting the future. The title The Wisdom of Crowds pays homage to Charles Mackay’s 1841 book, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, yet challenging its premise. By focusing on a lot of social research, and giving tons of anecdotal evidences, the author breaks a lot of assumptions that we have on how groups reason, and how they can effectively reach better results that individuals. But don’t take everything for granted: Groups are not more efficient always. To function properly, “collective intelligence” must satisfy four conditions: Diversity: Individuals have “private knowledge” and insights that stem from their varying levels of knowledge, personal experience and ways of thinking about the world. No …