Support Functions: from Blues to Samba

Three months ago I had dinner with my friend Joan. She seemed pretty depressed. Since she had recently taken a CIO position in a global organization, I thought it probably had something to do with her engagement and frequent travels. But I was wrong. “It’s always the same story” she told me. “At the end […]

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Leaders, do you jam ?

One o’clock in the morning. The crowd thinned out from the bar. I was putting my sax back in its box, after a few hours of jamming with the band, and it suddenly struck my mind how similar my musician and my consulting life can be (although with jazz, you get to bed later!). As […]

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Hold on Ulysses! The Art of Resilience

Today we find ourselves limping from one crisis to another. And we cut, and cut, and cut. We cut costs (a necessity); we cut personnel (a tragedy); we cut hopes (a mistake) – and in the end, we cut the fun out of our lives (a disaster!). Who can take five years of this? Professional […]

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Three days without BB

The moment I set foot in Biarritz Airport, I sensed something was wrong. Just an impression, a hint of anxiety… and then it hit me. Hard. I had left my Blackberry in Saint-Jean-de-Luz. “Oh darling,” I said, turning to my wife, “guess what!” “What?” “I forgot my Blackberry!” She looked at me, stunned, ashen. “Oh, […]

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Blackbird Singing in the Dead of Night…

Swans are white. They just are. So when a black swan shows up, it feels strange. The unexpected always feels strange. Since Nassim Nicholas Taleb wrote his book, it seems that we have moved from one Black Swan to the other. A Black Swan, he says, is “an event, positive or negative, that is deemed […]

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Dress Decode or Undress Code

A few months ago, UBS (ex Union de Banques Suisses before it merged with SBS) made it hard in the international press by releasing a complete and precise printed Dress Code with an aim to making sure all of its personnel would match the corporate style and client-centered values in its attire. Everyone laughed at […]

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Lost In the Matrix? A survival kit

“I have one hierarchical boss, two functional ones whom I hardly know, and I’m part of three or four Strategic Global Initiative teams, two of them operating remotely, and I sometimes wonder if in a near future I’ll still be able to find my way back to my own bedroom… Not to think about how […]

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Getting There Through Networks

I know a few organizations where the way to get ahead is to be taken under the wing of a senior leader—someone based at headquarters, hundreds of kilometers away. I’m not saying this is a role model for talent development, but for those who’ve taken the time to cultivate their networks and relationships, it works. […]

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“Building the Tribe”: Create a strong, sound, open-minded culture for worldwide growth.

I WANT TO KNOW TO WHICH “CAMP” I BELONG! What is true in Asia is true everywhere: You inspire commitment and earn the loyalty of your leaders and managers by giving meaning to actions and building a strong corporate culture. This creates the “tribe” that makes the difference. This culture must be strong because when […]

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From Silos to Cooperation, Creating a culture of cooperation for Global Growth

Cooperation – everybody’s talking about it, but who actually does it? “We’ve been talking about adopting a horizontal and cooperative approach for a long time,” a branch manager of a French group based in South America told us. “Cross-selling, cooperation, working horizontally, exchanging best practice, managing change, joint development sometimes even with a competitor—no one […]

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