Steep learning curve: My first years as a manager

NB Equipe WiSEED Toulouse_1_small

Photo by Pauline de Courrèges (via WiSEED)

4 years ago, HBR wrote that “most people don’t want to be managers” ; and more recently I’ve read a number of articles about Millennials not wanting to become managers neither. Despite these studies and trend reports, I always saw a management position as a logical next step in my career, and I am happy to lead the marketing function (team and agencies) at WiSEED.

My first 2-and-a-half years as a manager haven’t always been easy, and part of it can be linked to still being a young professional. Here are some learnings that I am happy to share about managing people, sometimes older than you (even though that mustn’t always be taken into consideration), when you haven’t hit the 30y. mark. Many mistakes, many successes and a very steep learning curve.

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Immigration, Religion, Sex… Some Of My Favorite @Intelligence2 Debates

Image via robertleeming.com (click to read his interesting post about IQ²)

Image via robertleeming.com (click to read his interesting post about IQ²)

I love debate, even when I face stupid or irrational arguments. It’s stimulating your mind, makes you work on your self-discipline, entices you to find smart arguments, and encourages dialog which is healthy for any stable society. Recently I found out about Intelligence Squared, an organization that stages debates held in the traditional Oxford style around the world, and which broadcasts these debates on YouTube. I’ve watched dozens of them, from business to politics, sex or religion. Here are some of my favorite Intellgence² debates, as well as my positions to the motions that are being discussed in them. Continue reading →

Can’t The French Do Better Than That? #Creativity #Consumer #Innovation

Image via La Fabrique à A Innovation's newsletter (click to read)

Image via La Fabrique à A Innovation’s newsletter (click to read)

A couple of weeks ago, I published a post about French competitors of Quirky. I briefly presented 3 of them: Nov’In, MyKompany and La Fabrique à Innovations (The Innovation Factory, in French). Earlier this week I received their newsletter in which they announced that they were moving to bigger offices in Marseille (South-East), leaving Narbonne (South-West). I think this is great news and I’d like to congratulate them very sincerely; it’s a good step for this promising French start-up to develop and push consumer creativity in France. However, what bugged me in the newsletter is the presentation of products currently being developped. Continue reading →

How South Africa’s Freedom Charter (1955) Was Inspired by Citizen Input

Image via sahistory.org.za (click on the image to access article)

Image via sahistory.org.za (click on the image to access article)

I’m currently reading Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom,” published in 1994. I’m only half way through the book, but as today is Mandela’s funeral, I wanted to share an excerpt about the creation Freedom Charter, which was inspired by ideas of thousands of South-Africans, and therefore relates to my current topic of interest, crowdsourcing. In 1955, the South African Congress Alliance indeed invited citizen to submit their ideas for a statement of core principles for the country, and they gathered thousands of ideas. Continue reading →

Is Theodore Levitt’s article “Creativity is not enough” still accurate today?

Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.

 

I just finished reading Creativity is not enough, an HBR article that Theodore Levitt wrote more than 40 years ago. As the title indicates, the father of globalization theory says the creativity is a good thing, but that companies should not pay too much attention to creative types because they might be harmful to the business. My first thought was “Wow, Theodore Levitt was pretty tough on creatives“… but it’s still an interesting read, especially today where everybody is praising creativity as the panacea for innovation and competitiveness. Here are some excepts of this crusade against creative types, and some thoughts about today’s situation. Continue reading →