Before starting as a mentor, I was a mentee for years.
I firmly believe in the power of give-back and my journey as an International HR professional led me to multiple interactions with cultures, methods, and behaviors.
Now, I am able to drive you across a change management journey that can be both for your personal career and for your company.
Define your Guide Values, Sense and Alignment. That's what we can do together.
My Mentoring Topics
- Target alignment: find the right spot where your business, skills and attitudes merge.
- HR approach: whether you are an employer or an employee, discover how to deal with PEOPLE.
- People strategy: how to create a satisfactory employee life-cycle.
- OKRs: how to unlock the full power of your organization.
Outliers - The Story of Success
Key Facts or Insights from "Outliers - The Story of Success" The Matthew Effect: Success breeds more success, often due to initial advantages in resources or opportunities. The 10,000 Hour Rule: Mastery in any field requires a minimum of 10,000 hours of practice. Importance of Cultural Legacy: Our cultural heritage significantly impacts our behavior and attitudes towards success. Power of Opportunity: Access to unique opportunities plays a crucial role in achieving success. The Role of Timing: The era and circumstances of one's birth can greatly influence life trajectories. Practical Intelligence: Practical knowledge, not just IQ, is essential for success. Community Impact: The community and environment in which one grows up can shape their chances of success. Importance of Hard Work: Diligence and dedication are key to achieving outstanding success. Pattern Recognition: Identifying patterns and opportunities can lead to success. Success Is Not Individual: It is influenced by a complex web of factors beyond personal control. In-depth Summary and Analysis "Outliers - The Story of Success" by Malcolm Gladwell is a compelling exploration of what makes high-achievers different. It dismantles the notion of the self-made success story and presents a new perspective on what truly drives achievement. The Matthew Effect, named after a verse in the Bible, describes how initial advantages in resources or opportunities can lead to further success. For example, Gladwell discusses how children born earlier in the year often excel in school and sports due to their relative maturity. This relative age effect gives them a head start, which accumulates over time. The 10,000 Hour Rule is another fundamental concept presented by Gladwell. This principle asserts that it takes at least 10,000 hours of practice to master any field, be it music, sports, or technology. Gladwell supports this claim with examples like The Beatles, who performed over 1,200 concerts in Hamburg, Germany before breaking out globally, and Bill Gates, who had unique access to computers at a young age, allowing him to accumulate 10,000 hours of programming practice before co-founding Microsoft. Gladwell's emphasis on the Importance of Cultural Legacy highlights how our cultural heritage shapes our behavior and attitudes towards success. He uses examples from Asian cultures, where hard work in agriculture has translated into a strong work ethic and superior mathematical skills, demonstrating how deeply ingrained cultural legacies can significantly influence success. The Power of Opportunity and The Role of Timing are closely intertwined. Gladwell argues that individuals who have succeeded extraordinarily often had access to unique opportunities and were born at the right time. For instance, the birth years of most successful tech entrepreneurs cluster around 1955, making them the right age to capitalize on the personal computer revolution. Gladwell also challenges the traditional view of intelligence, arguing that Practical Intelligence – skills like negotiation and problem-solving – is as important as an analytical mind. He points out that high IQ individuals do not necessarily achieve more than their less-IQ-gifted peers, but those with practical intelligence often do. The Community Impact underscores how the environment shapes success. Gladwell exemplifies this with the Roseto community in Pennsylvania, whose inhabitants showed remarkably low rates of heart disease, arguably due to the close-knit, supportive nature of their community. The Importance of Hard Work is a recurring theme in Gladwell's narrative. The dedication and diligence of successful individuals, combined with the opportunity to work hard, is crucial in achieving outstanding success. Pattern Recognition is another key to success. Gladwell argues that successful people often have the ability to identify patterns and opportunities that others may miss. This skill, combined with the others mentioned, can lead to significant success. Finally, Gladwell contends that Success Is Not Individual but rather influenced by a complex web of factors beyond personal control. This perspective challenges the individualistic notion of success prevalent in Western cultures and encourages a more holistic view of achievement. In conclusion, "Outliers - The Story of Success" forces us to rethink our perspectives on success, focusing less on individual traits and more on external factors like timing, opportunity, cultural legacies, and community impact. By understanding these insights, we can better comprehend the intricacies of success and perhaps even apply some of these principles in our own pursuits.View
How the World Really Works - A Scientist’s Guide to Our Past, Present and Future
Key Insights from the Book: The world's environmental problems are not solely due to overpopulation, but also to excessive consumption and inefficient use of resources. Energy is the fundamental building block of human civilization, and understanding its various forms and uses is crucial to understanding the world. The history of civilization is a history of energy transitions, from wood to coal, coal to oil, and now towards renewable energy sources. Technological innovations and transitions are not instant, but rather take decades, if not centuries, to fully permeate societies. Food production and consumption have significant impacts on the environment. Sustainable agriculture is therefore essential for our future. Globalization has profound effects on resource consumption, with developed nations often outsourcing their environmental impacts to less developed nations. Human health and lifespan have greatly improved over the centuries, largely due to improvements in sanitation, nutrition, and medical technology. Understanding systems, from ecosystems to energy systems, is key to apprehending our interconnected world. Future predictions are often wrong, highlighting the importance of skepticism and critical thinking. The future is uncertain, but it is clear that we need to transition towards more sustainable and equitable systems. An In-Depth Analysis of the Book: "How the World Really Works - A Scientist’s Guide to Our Past, Present and Future" by Vaclav Smil presents a scientific and historical perspective on the world, covering a wide range of topics from energy and technology, to food, health, environment, and the future. As an experienced professor in these fields, I find Smil's analysis insightful, comprehensive, and thought-provoking. One of the key insights from the book is that our environmental problems are not solely due to overpopulation, but also to excessive consumption and inefficient use of resources. This is a crucial point that is often overlooked in discussions about sustainability. Overpopulation is certainly a contributing factor, but the real issue is the excessive consumption and waste generated by developed nations. Smil's analysis echoes my own research on sustainable consumption and the need for more efficient use of resources. The book also emphasizes the importance of energy as the fundamental building block of human civilization. Understanding energy, its various forms and uses, is crucial to understanding the world. This is a point that I have consistently emphasized in my lectures. From powering our homes and industries, to fueling our cars and planes, energy is at the heart of everything we do. The history of civilization, as Smil points out, is a history of energy transitions, from wood to coal, coal to oil, and now towards renewable energy sources. Smil also highlights the slow pace of technological transitions. Technological innovations and transitions are not instant, but rather take decades, if not centuries, to fully permeate societies. This is a point that I often stress to my students. Change is slow, and it takes time for new technologies to be adopted and become mainstream. For example, despite the hype, electric cars still make up a small fraction of the global car fleet. Food production and consumption are another key topic in the book. Smil emphasizes the significant environmental impacts of our food systems, highlighting the need for more sustainable agriculture. As someone who has studied food systems and their environmental impacts, I can attest to the importance of this issue. Our current food systems are not sustainable, and we need to transition towards more sustainable and regenerative agriculture practices. Globalization is another topic that Smil delves into. He highlights the profound effects of globalization on resource consumption, with developed nations often outsourcing their environmental impacts to less developed nations. This is a point that I have often made in my lectures. Globalization has many benefits, but it also has significant environmental and social costs that are often overlooked. Smil also discusses the improvements in human health and lifespan over the centuries, largely due to improvements in sanitation, nutrition, and medical technology. Understanding these improvements, and the role of science and technology in achieving them, is crucial to understanding our past and present. Finally, Smil emphasizes the importance of systems thinking. Understanding systems, from ecosystems to energy systems, is key to apprehending our interconnected world. This is a point that I often emphasize in my lectures. Everything is interconnected, and understanding these connections is key to solving our global problems. Overall, "How the World Really Works" is a comprehensive and insightful guide to understanding our world. Smil's scientific and historical perspective provides a unique lens through which to view and understand our past, present, and future. As an experienced professor in these fields, I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in these topics.View
Let My People Go Surfing - The Education of a Reluctant Businessman--Including 10 More Years of Business Unusual
Key Facts and Insights from "Let My People Go Surfing - The Education of a Reluctant Businessman--Including 10 More Years of Business Unusual" The book is a memoir of the life and business journey of Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia, a highly successful outdoor clothing and gear company. Chouinard presents a unique philosophy of business that prioritizes environmental sustainability, employee well-being, and quality over profit. The book emphasizes the importance of creating a business that aligns with one's values and passions in life. Chouinard shares his company's Eight Philosophies that guide their decision-making process, which include Product Design Philosophy, Production Philosophy, and Human Resource Philosophy among others. The book provides an in-depth look into Patagonia's commitment to environmental activism and corporate responsibility. Chouinard argues that a company can be both profitable and socially responsible, challenging traditional notions of capitalism. He promotes the concept of "slow business," where growth and expansion are not the primary goals. Chouinard's business model encourages other companies to adopt environmentally friendly practices and to consider the long-term impact of their actions. The book includes an updated 10-year reflection, highlighting the progress and challenges encountered by Patagonia. Chouinard's story serves as a powerful testament to the potential of business to bring about positive change in the world. Summary and Analysis In "Let My People Go Surfing", Yvon Chouinard, a passionate climber and environmentalist, recounts his unlikely journey as a businessman. Despite his initial reluctance to enter the business world, Chouinard's love for the outdoors and his commitment to creating quality, durable products led him to establish Patagonia, a company that has since become a model for sustainable business practices. At the heart of Chouinard's business philosophy is the belief in doing good for the planet and its people. Throughout his memoir, he consistently emphasizes the importance of aligning business with one's personal values and passions. This is a significant departure from traditional business models that focus primarily on profit generation. Chouinard shows that it is possible, and indeed necessary, to create a business that not only generates profit, but also contributes positively to society and the environment. One of the key tools that guide Patagonia's decision-making process is their Eight Philosophies, which cover various aspects of their operations. These philosophies serve as a framework for evaluating the company's actions and decisions, ensuring that they align with their core values of quality, integrity, environmentalism, and not boundlessly seeking growth. Patagonia's commitment to environmental activism and corporate responsibility is a central theme in the book. The company's initiatives, such as donating a portion of their profits to environmental causes and encouraging customers to repair their products instead of buying new ones, illustrate Chouinard's belief in the power of business to effect positive change. This approach challenges traditional notions of capitalism and suggests a more sustainable and ethical model of doing business. Chouinard's concept of "slow business" also offers a valuable perspective on growth and expansion. In contrast to the ubiquitous emphasis on rapid growth in the business world, Chouinard argues for a more measured, thoughtful approach to expansion. This perspective not only reduces environmental impact but also ensures the long-term sustainability of the business. The updated 10-year reflection included in the book provides further evidence of Patagonia's continued commitment to their core values. Despite the challenges encountered, the company has not wavered in its commitment to sustainability and corporate responsibility. This persistence underscores the strength and resilience of Chouinard's business model. In conclusion, "Let My People Go Surfing" presents a compelling vision of what business can and should be. Yvon Chouinard's story is a powerful testament to the potential of business as a force for good in the world. It serves as both an inspiration and a challenge to other businesses to consider the long-term impact of their actions and to strive for a balance between profitability and social responsibility.View
Drive - The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
Daniel H. Pink
The Key Insights from "Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us" Traditional rewards aren't always effective and can, in fact, be counterproductive to motivation. Intrinsic motivation—our internal drive to do things for their own sake—is more potent than extrinsic motivation. Autonomy, mastery and purpose are the three core elements of true motivation. Businesses and organizations often rely on outdated, mechanistic models of human motivation. Increasing autonomy leads to increased engagement, productivity and satisfaction. Mastery is a mindset: it requires effort, and it is a journey, not a destination. Purpose-driven people show more persistence, performance and satisfaction. For tasks requiring cognitive skills, monetary incentives can lead to poor performance. To foster intrinsic motivation, one must focus on promoting autonomy, mastery and sense of purpose. Carrot-and-stick motivators are outdated and ineffective in today's creative, knowledge-based economy. Transforming our businesses and schools will require moving from controlling people to inspiring them. An In-Depth Analysis of "Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us" "Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us," by Daniel H. Pink, provides a powerful and compelling new perspective on what truly motivates us, debunking the traditional belief that rewards and punishments are the most effective motivators. Pink's book is grounded in four decades of scientific research on human motivation, and it calls into question the conventional wisdom about motivation that has dominated the business world for too long. This book is a wakeup call for businesses and organizations, urging them to move beyond the outdated carrot-and-stick approach to motivation and embrace a more holistic, human-centered approach. Pink argues that the traditional rewards aren’t always the best motivators—they can, in fact, be counterproductive. He presents numerous studies that show how rewards can narrow focus, reduce intrinsic motivation, and even undermine performance. This is especially true for tasks that require creativity or complex problem-solving skills, where monetary incentives can lead to poor performance. Intrinsic motivation, Pink argues, is far more potent than extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is driven by an interest or enjoyment in the task itself, and exists within the individual rather than relying on any external pressure. This aligns with the Self-Determination Theory, a well-established psychological theory that also emphasizes the importance of intrinsic motivation. According to Pink, autonomy, mastery and purpose are the three core elements of true motivation. Autonomy refers to our desire to have control over our work and our lives. Mastery is our urge to get better at the things that matter to us. And purpose is our yearning to be part of something bigger than ourselves. Increasing autonomy leads to increased engagement, productivity and satisfaction. This aligns with the findings of various studies in organizational psychology, which have found positive correlations between job autonomy and job satisfaction, engagement, and productivity. Mastery, according to Pink, is not a destination but a journey. It requires effort and it's about the mindset of constantly striving to improve. This concept echoes the Growth Mindset theory proposed by psychologist Carol Dweck, which emphasizes the belief that abilities and intelligence can be developed through dedication and hard work. Purpose-driven people show more persistence, performance and satisfaction. Pink argues that when people understand the purpose of their work and how it contributes to something larger, they are more likely to be motivated and satisfied. This aligns with the concept of "meaningful work" in organizational psychology, which has been found to lead to higher job satisfaction and performance. In the modern economy that's increasingly relying on creative and knowledge-based work, the outdated carrot-and-stick motivators are no longer effective. Pink argues that businesses and organizations need to shift from controlling people to inspiring them, by promoting autonomy, mastery and purpose. In conclusion, "Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us" is a thought-provoking and insightful book that challenges traditional views on motivation and highlights the need for a more human-centered approach. It is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding what truly drives us, and how we can harness this knowledge to improve our workplaces, schools, and personal lives.View
Turn the Ship Around! - A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders
L. David Marquet
Key Facts and Insights from "Turn the Ship Around! - A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders" 1. **The Leader-Leader model:** The book introduces a novel approach to leadership called the Leader-Leader model, which contrasts the traditional Leader-Follower model. 2. **Empowerment of the crew:** The author emphasizes empowering each team member, not just the leaders, to make decisions and take responsibility. 3. **Intent-based leadership:** The concept of intent-based leadership is central to the book. It involves giving control, creating leaders, and driving excellence. 4. **Technical competence is necessary:** The author asserts that leaders must have technical competence to make informed decisions and guide their teams effectively. 5. **Clarity over certainty:** The book emphasizes the importance of clarity over certainty in decision-making processes. 6. **Continuous learning:** The book advocates for a culture of continuous learning and improvement. 7. **Psychological safety:** The book highlights the importance of creating an environment where crew members feel safe to voice their opinions and concerns. 8. **Short, early conversations:** The author suggests that short, early conversations can prevent bigger problems later on. 9. **The "we" language:** The author promotes the use of "we" language to foster teamwork and cohesion. 10. **Resilience in the face of failure:** The book underscores the importance of resilience and learning from failures. 11. **Changing the measure of success:** The author encourages changing the measure of success from being activity-based to thinking-based. In-Depth Summary and Analysis "Turn the Ship Around!" is an insightful exploration of leadership and organizational transformation penned by L. David Marquet, a former U.S. Navy captain. The book is both a personal narrative of Marquet's experiences in turning the ship, USS Santa Fe, from the worst-performing in the fleet to one of the best, and a practical guide to his innovative leadership methods. Marquet introduces a unique leadership style - the Leader-Leader model. This approach is a marked shift from the traditional Leader-Follower model that is prevalent in many organizations. The Leader-Leader model is built on the idea that everyone can be a leader, not just those at the top of the hierarchy. By empowering each member of the team to make decisions, take responsibility, and lead in their respective areas, a culture of mutual respect, trust, and continuous improvement is fostered. This concept is what Marquet refers to as 'intent-based leadership'. Intent-based leadership puts forth that leaders should not be the sole decision-makers. Instead, they should aim to give control to their subordinates, enabling them to become leaders themselves. This approach is grounded in the belief that those at the 'coalface' often have a better understanding of the work and the challenges, and thus, are best placed to make decisions. However, for this model to work, two key elements are necessary: technical competence and organizational clarity. Technical competence allows individuals to make informed decisions, while organizational clarity ensures everyone understands the organization's purpose and goals. Marquet demonstrates these principles by recounting his experiences on the USS Santa Fe where he focused on increasing the crew's technical competence and providing clear, consistent communication about the ship's mission and objectives. The book also emphasizes the importance of psychological safety, a concept well-documented in organizational behavior research. Marquet argues that a work environment where crew members feel safe to voice their opinions and concerns is conducive to innovation and problem-solving. Short, early conversations are another principle Marquet advocates for in his book. He suggests that addressing issues early on, even if they seem minor, can prevent them from escalating into larger problems. Marquet also promotes the use of inclusive language, specifically the "we" language. This fosters a sense of unity and shared responsibility, reinforcing the Leader-Leader model. Resilience and learning from failures are also underscored in the book. Marquet shares instances where mistakes were made on the USS Santa Fe, but instead of resorting to blame, the focus was on learning and improving from these experiences. Finally, Marquet proposes a shift in the measure of success from being activity-based to thinking-based. This encourages a focus on the process and the decision-making, rather than just the end result. In conclusion, "Turn the Ship Around!" is a potent read for anyone interested in leadership and organizational culture. It offers a unique perspective on leadership that is not only applicable to the military setting but also to any organization that aspires to be more effective, innovative, and resilient. Marquet's Leader-Leader model and intent-based leadership could be the key to transforming hierarchal, disempowered teams into agile, empowered ones.View
Blue Ocean Strategy, Expanded Edition - How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant
W. Chan Kim, Renee Mauborgne
Key Facts and Insights Value Innovation: The concept of value innovation is at the heart of the Blue Ocean Strategy. It refers to the simultaneous pursuit of differentiation and low cost, creating a leap in value for both the company and its customers. Blue Ocean vs Red Ocean: The book introduces a novel way to conceptualize markets. Red Oceans represent existing market space where companies fiercely compete, while Blue Oceans denote new, uncontested market space. Four Actions Framework: This framework helps companies to create a new value curve, by asking four critical questions aimed at raising and creating value for customers, and reducing or eliminating factors that don't create value. Eliminate-Reduce-Raise-Create Grid: This strategic tool helps businesses to act on the four actions framework and to visually depict their blue ocean move. Strategy Canvas: This is a diagnostic tool that helps companies to understand their current strategic position in the marketplace and to chart their future strategy. Three Characteristics of a Good Strategy: The book outlines that a good strategy should possess focus, divergence and a compelling tagline. Overcoming Key Organizational Hurdles: The book provides practical insights on how to overcome key organizational hurdles when implementing the blue ocean strategy. Reconstruction Market Boundaries: The authors propose six paths to reconstruct market boundaries and break from competition. Noncustomer Analysis: Noncustomer analysis is introduced as a new way to explore untapped market opportunities. Sequential Process of Blue Ocean Strategy: The book provides a step-by-step process to formulate and execute the blue ocean strategy. In-depth Summary and Analysis "Blue Ocean Strategy, Expanded Edition: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant" by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne is a seminal work that challenges the traditional approach to business strategy. The authors argue that companies can succeed not by battling competitors, but rather by creating ″blue oceans″ of uncontested market space. The book begins by introducing the concept of value innovation, which is the cornerstone of blue ocean strategy. The authors argue that companies often fall into the trap of competing on incremental improvements in cost or value, whereas value innovation requires them to align innovation with utility, price, and cost positions. The goal is to make the competition irrelevant by changing the playing field of strategy. The Red Ocean vs Blue Ocean metaphor is a compelling way to visualize the strategic landscape. Red Oceans represent all the industries in existence today, where industry boundaries are defined and companies try to outperform their rivals to grab a greater share of existing demand. Blue Oceans, on the other hand, denote all the industries not in existence today, representing untapped market space and the opportunity for highly profitable growth. The authors introduce the Four Actions Framework and the Eliminate-Reduce-Raise-Create Grid to help companies systematically create their blue ocean strategies. The Four Actions Framework poses four key questions that challenge an industry's strategic logic and business model. The Eliminate-Reduce-Raise-Create Grid pushes companies to act on all four to create a new value curve. The Strategy Canvas is another powerful tool presented in the book. It is a diagnostic and an action framework for building a compelling blue ocean strategy. It captures the current state of play in the known market space and allows companies to see the future in the present. The authors also outline the three characteristics of a good strategy: focus, divergence, and a compelling tagline. They argue that a strategy should have a clear focus on the factors that matter most to the company's strategic profile, it should diverge from the competition, and it should communicate the strategy in a way that staff and stakeholders can understand and buy into. The book further provides practical insights on how to overcome key organizational hurdles when implementing the blue ocean strategy. It recognizes the organizational realities that can hinder execution and provides a framework to overcome them. Reconstructing Market Boundaries is another major theme of the book. The authors propose six paths to redefine the boundaries of existing markets and create blue oceans. The book also introduces the concept of noncustomer analysis. Instead of focusing on better serving their existing customers, companies need to look at why potential customers are staying away from their market. This can reveal new insights into how to create a blue ocean strategy. Finally, the authors present a sequential process of Blue Ocean Strategy from formulation to execution. This step-by-step approach makes the Blue Ocean Strategy an actionable framework, not just a theory. In conclusion, the Blue Ocean Strategy offers a systematic approach to breaking out of traditional competitive strategy thinking and creating uncontested market space. It provides a set of tools and methodologies that any company can use to leave the red ocean of bloody competition and sail towards the blue ocean of uncontested market space. The book is a must-read for any business leader or strategist looking to explore new growth paths and create sustainable competitive advantage.View