You’re not competing on products

Nintendo Switch

A powerful statement from Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie FILS-AIME about what business they are in, and who they are competing against:

He counted the exact number of minutes per day and said that outside of the time a consumer spends eating, sleeping, working, and going to school, “all of the rest of that time is entertainment time. That’s what I compete for, minute by minute. That time you spend surfing the Web, watching a movie, watching a telecast of a conference: that’s all entertainment time we’re competing for. My competitive set is much bigger than my direct competitors in Sony and Microsoft. I compete for time. When I do that, I have to be creative and innovative in order to win that battle.”

Ars Technica interview, Oct. 3, 2018

Granted this is not just PR material, it’s a very educated positioning and explanation on the fact they don’t sell products, games or electronics. The end value of Nintendo is entertainment. Which means they compete as directly with Netflix, as they do with Microsoft or Sony. And as such matching feature for feature with other gaming consoles is not the end game, but rather a short-sighted trap.

Ask yourself: in what business are you in? How can you bring added value? And only then consider what product you would need to achieve your goal.

Interview – A Community Builder Playing the Long Game at BNP Paribas

Sophie Delmas

In this fourth interview of transformation leader, I was delighted to meet Sophie Delmas, head of partnerships at l’Atelier BNP Paribas. L’Atelier is dedicated to prospective and market intelligence, working mainly as internal consultant for the bank. They sell their advice internally, and Sophie’s role is to define the needs and help promote the Atelier’s know-hows. Sophie also co-founded with Orange the “Observatoire des réseaux sociaux d’entreprises”, dedicated to sharing about Digital Transformation and Innovation between CAC 40 companies. It appeared very clearly from my exchanges with her that she strongly believed in the power of networks and collaboration.

Why business partnership, because we are in increasingly open and porous environments and we cannot work alone, so it is key to value a whole network of internal and external connections in order to transform ideas into businesses by accompanying projects.

Sophie has had a very atypical career: starting as an engineer in construction then moved  to code, sales and progressively evolved towards marketing in consulting industry. She entered BNP Paribas in 2001, and got various positions in the company since: from internet subjects, online banking, and implementing the first collaborative platform for the group. She also worked with HR on corporate social network, digital acculturation, and change programme in the digital transformation of the group.

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Interview – A Pragmatic Pioneer with a Portfolio Approach at Thales AVS

Francois Fournier - Thales AVS - innovation copilots

So here is the third interview in the Transformation Leaders series. After a digital intrapreneur at AIRBUS and a business transformation executive at ATOS, I have interviewed François Fournier, Digital Business Leader at Thales.

François is an avid learner who wanted to become an aircraft pilot. As he couldn’t, he found his way closest possible to the cockpit via engineering studies specializing in avionics and developed his career in SEXTANT Avionique and then THALES AVS. 

I love to learn and when I think I’ve sufficiently explored a subject either there is a new opportunity or I go look for new opportunity and in a large corporation it is easy to find.

For François, transformation, is of course about digital but more about being in-transformation, it is about growth (business and people) and it is about innovation as a culture, about learning and sharing knowledge. What struck me during our discussions was: his clear vision of what transformation is, how it is helping his organisation become more intelligent and his portfolio approach to innovation.

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Weak signals and innovation

black - innovation copilots

Your innovation culture is as good as you are at holding two opinions at the same time on weak signals, until they are sorted out by the market. This implies that you monitor weak signals. This also implies you know how to form opinions about them and are not afraid of dissensus. It’s always a tall order.

Interview – A digital intrapreneur breaking silos at Airbus

Laurent Fradin - Airbus

For this first in the series of interviews of Transformation Leaders, I interviewed, at Airbus’ Leadership University, Laurent Fradin, Digital Transformation Leader, from the newly created Digital Transformation Office at Airbus.

[We got the] digital wave in our face… [let’s] surf the wave…

He calls himself a “communication guy” and has been a digital pioneer bringing new audio visual technologies, intranet, website, client portals to Airbus Communication Department since the 80’s. For Laurent Fradin, digital is key to succeed in the next transformations of the business to support new ways of working, but it is in no way the “alfa and the omega”. According to him, and I couldn’t agree more, it is more about culture and mindset change than about the tools and technologies. And he says it quite clearly: “[it is] more an Airbus transformation powered by digital than digital transformation for the sake of digital”.

What struck me throughout our discussion is that although we were talking about digital transformation (since it is his job title) but we could have been talking about any kind of transformation in the organisation. Laurent showed a great understanding of the complexities of working in a large industrial corporation whilst being able to think and act like an entrepreneur. He strongly believes in Airbus’ capacity to adapt and this is why he’s so involved in supporting the next waves of transformation. The next 4 key points are my take on his experience sharing illustrated by his comments and opinions.

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Digital is Over for Europe, Now What?

digital is over for europe

I was presenting a keynote called “Digital Is Over” last week in France. The key discussion was that France (let’s say Europe at this point) had largely missed the digital revolution, but that this is not the end of the world. With just a big “IF”. It’s not the end of the world, if Europe faces the reality of digital markets dominated by US companies, if Europe stops pretending to have the most and the best startups on the planet, and a few other things…

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Transformation Leaders Interviews

In transforming an organisation, so it can evolve with its time, there is never a one-size-fits-all method or tool. Each transformation leader has to grasp many variables, from strategic intent to environmental context, from the company’s cultural aspects to original organisation’s DNA. Any impactful transformation starts with driven leaders within who understand and live the challenges of change, whilst being concerned by the necessity of strategic effectiveness. Each experience being a source of learning, I endeavour to share such transformative stories whether considered as successes or not, in order to inspire, teach, and develop leaders’ complexity intelligence.

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

women in tech

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

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

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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My next keynote on the second coming of Cloud

the second coming of cloud - keynote - innovation technologies

Stéphanie and I are regularly delivering strategic keynotes for executive boards in various markets. They all address key issues at stake for specific industrial customers. They are also all wrapped under some form of NDA or another. While it’s always frustrating not to be able to share things, we try from time to time to afford some level of teasing…

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