Microsoft slow refocus

After Google this is now Microsoft that tries to wow us with their vision of the future, introducing Surface Hub 2.

Past the obvious elegance and desirability of the product we have to ask if Microsoft will manage to regain its splendor. The strategy is now more and more obvious: if Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple and first and foremost consumers companies (even some use consumers as products), will Microsoft be able to transform in an ubiquitous business platform?

To the credit of Satya NADELLA they already have started to tune down Windows as a core focus. But this is a slow refocus for now. One should ask if merging with IBM and rapidly adding payment solutions wouldn’t be the next logical step.

Or is it just about selling more Azure cloud solutions and Office 365?

[ Update ] June 4, 2018 - Just a few days after this article, Microsoft announced to have acquired GitHub for a cool $7.5 billion. The refocus might just be acccelerating...

Weak signals and innovation

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.

Software ate the world, Google is eating software

In August 2011, Marc ANDRESSEN was famously forewarning us in the Wall Street Journal that software is eating the world. Since then his prediction came to full realization and whether you call it the web, digital, or data, software indeed ate the world. But yesterday, at its annual developper’s conference, Google showed us how they will be eating software:

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Corporate Incubation is Like Fruit Flies Genetics

Most industrial market have endured their own Copernican revolution lately. Whether it was because of mobile, sheer customers discontent or the future threat of artificial intelligence, is of no real importance at this point. What is clear is that the old innovation playbook involving trickling down military technology to B2B and then to B2C doesn’t’ work anymore. Facing startups with seemingly random hit-and-miss business models that nonetheless aggressively push in the market and eventually succeed, what are the options?

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Interview – A Transformation Executive Leveraging Complexity Intelligence At Atos (Part 2)

Last week, I shared the first part of Lucas den Boer’s rich interview. Here is part two where you will continue to read how he is using complexity intelligence skills such as strategic empathy, reconfigurable mindset and purposeful self-confidence to lead large scale business transformations at Atos, but also to drive social movements and not-for-profit projects.

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Interview – A Transformation Executive Leveraging Complexity Intelligence at Atos (Part 1)

For this second transformation leader interview, I met with Lucas den Boer, currently Business Transformation Executive (C-level consultant) at Atos Benelux HQ in Amstelveen just South of Amsterdam. After a short tour through their atrium cafeteria and innovation rooms where they receive their clients for demo, we sat for an hour to discuss his various experiences of large scale transformations.

Throughout the interview, what struck me from this 51 year old man, is that he can clearly express his vision, he has a balanced view on transformation, a good heart, an open mind and a sensitivity for people issues, whilst keeping a strong focus on business. This I call “complexity intelligence”. Through the different experiences he shared, I could confirm this was not all just nice talk, Lucas has a strong sense of purpose and service, especially demonstrated by his involvement in non-profit organisations and projects.

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You Can’t Just Decide To Be Customer Driven

I am very much surprised to see many analysts thinking serioulsy that Facebook facing a colossal data-gate, could turn around and suddenly become customer-driven. This doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Facebook will be Facebook. But to understand that you have to go past obvious solutionism (they should do this or that) and understand that any successful business was born with a powerful DNA.
And you can’t change your DNA.
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Interview – A digital intrapreneur breaking silos at 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”.

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Digital is Over for Europe, Now What?

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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