To go or not to go to Women in Tech conferences?

If you are a woman and work in Tech, do not attend Women in Tech conferences to get Tech insights, go for inspiration from role models only.

I attended last week the European Women in Tech conference in Amsterdam. It was the second year in a row, and in the end I am reminded of one of Philippe’s article about why we do not attend conferences anymore, or so very rarely. The conference was at best « uneven » as a friend said who attended with me. Over the two days I enjoyed some talks and thought only a couple were interesting – really bringing some useful and practical insights for women in tech.

Here are the good the bad and the ugly about this conference:

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5 takeaways for innovators from NEXT17

Digital sucks was NEXT17 conf theme this year. Here’s my take on all keynotes and workshops I attended from where to innovate, looking to China and culture.

So I spent 2 days in Hamburg with a big bunch of nerds (self-declared) who are involved with digital and the business of the future at the Next17 Conference entitled “Digital Sucks!”. You may not have been able to join this year, or you are French and didn’t know about it (apparently I was the only French person in the room) so I would like to share with you my 5 take-aways:
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How the iPad Pro became our main work computer

After trying these last years to work with a first generation iPad and a year ago with a Surface Pro, I was not impressed — to say the least. But since a few months the iPad Pro has become my main computer. What has changed?

Three months ago I started to switch from my Mac desktop and laptop to an iPad. I was working in Shanghai giving classes and conferences thinking on how to have the most minimalist setup for this kind of interactions. When you focus on mobility and travel it’s difficult to beat a 9.7-inch iPad. And since the new ‘Pro’ version was readily available, there was the promise of removing past problems I encountered trying an iPad for work.

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So what’s next in business agility?

Innovation fads are coming and going every two or three years. They express how most companies are troubled about technology acceleration and markets transformation. Fair enough. But shouldn’t you pause and actually leverage what you explored before jumping to the next trend?

So yes, we are going to the NEXT conference in Hamburg this year, whose theme is: Digital sucks! After years of excitement with everything digital, the time of disenchantment is upon us and the Next conference will ask / answer the question of what’s next? This triggered my thinking about what is next in business agility, now that all the corporate excitement about working with startups and being intrapreneurs is deflating like a souflé.

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Building corporate incubation with Monty Hall

Running a corporate incubation program is not like operation a product pipeline. It’s an uncertain, probabilistic endeavor. Can you wrap your mind around it or do would just prefer to go through the motions blindly?

A few days ago, I was discussing how wrapping your head around the Monty Hall problem could help you better understand the importance of failure in innovation. If you take it a step further today, we could argue that most corporate incubation programs should be build around this probabilistic calculation.

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Emotions powered innovation

Leveraging emotions to get more powered innovation is like being able to harness an underestimated and sustainable source of energy. What is stopping you?

When we talk about innovation we say it is motion. Until there is movement or change in the market, you cannot call your invention or idea an innovation. Emotions at work can either support or hinder innovation. They can be strong drivers for action, change and movement, and keep people alert and aware of signals in their environment or become uncontrollable, completely unproductive or even freeze creativity. Finding the “right” level of emotions or as I call it “emotional sweet spot” is key to powered innovation.

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Why culture change fails

Companies are making many different attempts to change their cultures as they realise that it has become critical if they want to survive in their rapidly evolving markets.

When dealing with corporate culture change, companies usually choose among three main strategies. Every one of them has obvious benefits but often is badly implemented because the overall logic of culture change is not understood. One of the usual trap is that culture change is often too directive, and directing hundreds or thousands of people to behave differently, to think differently, to make different decisions, to have risk mindset… becomes an impossible task. Here we’ll explore the three usual ways to change organisational culture follow, see their benefits, and why they fail. This will lead us in a follow up article to open a different approach more rooted in how the organisation’s DNA and its culture intertwine.

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Emotions augmented leaders

For many years Emotional Intelligence has been in the many leadership development agendas of HR and training program managers. In this series about emotions, I’ll endeavor to offer leaders a new way to understand emotions so they can develop their emotional and self-awareness as well as their capacity for empathy.

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Being market ready is not all about strategy

Market readiness is key when launching new businesses. Too soon and you burn money without onboarding customers, too late and you become an overnight commodity.

When I deal with leaders considering new strategic options for the future of their organization, they very often stay cautious and declare “the market is not ready”.

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How much sharing is there left in the sharing economy?

We all lag behind understanding how technology and new businesses change society. Maybe it’s time we start to collectively wake up on a few hot topics.

From time to time there is an article that I was about to write and I find it the very next day already put online by someone else; except it is way sharper than what I would have ever produced. Having said that, you probably should stop reading me and jump to Reversing the Lies of the Sharing Economy from Brett SCOTT.

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12 Things we learned in 10 years of consulting

After launching our consulting business in 2007, we finally moved to Amsterdam and made a soft reboot of our activity to better adjust to our lifestyle. After 10 years of consulting, these are 12 things we learned and we still focus on.

My good friend Stéphane (and sometimes partner in crime) has made a remarkable two-part blog about his “post-mortem” of four years of consulting. This is only in French though, but hurry up and Google-translate it. I don’t think we would change a word to it. Of course, if ‘post-mortem’ is probably not the right term when you have had such success at launching a new consultancy as he had, the idea was challenging enough that we decided to follow-up.

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What type of entrepreneur are you?

In my just over fifteen years of working with entrepreneurs, I have met many profiles and for each individual comes different needs for support. A couple of years ago, I put together this typology, based on behaviours rather than personality for an acceleration program…

It is key to understand what type of entrepreneur an incubator is supporting in order to cater to their specific needs. Do they need to develop their awareness of opportunities or their capacity to engage with the right ecosystem? The profiles are based on 3 key families of behaviours which have been proved to be critical for entrepreneurs to succeed: Continue reading “What type of entrepreneur are you?”