29/01/2020

How to discuss a problem effectively and only when needed

I’ve always made it clear that I’m a big believer in open communication channels and have no intention now on reneging on this value, which is part of Marakoudja’s DNA.

At the same time, honesty is not always the best policy. How can we decide what can be communicated and what cannot, including the when and how of saying it?

What’s the rush? Do we need to say it here and now? Is it better to air a problem even before its ramifications can be known, in order to prevent matters getting ou...

26/01/2020

A few avenues to explore​

Marakoudja has four core values that permeate everything we do: pragmatism, passion, transparency and perseverance. In this article I’ll be looking at pragmatism, which is an extremely useful attitude to adopt whenever you find yourself having to manage change.

Each episode of change will bring opposing forces into play. And without pragmatism, nothing can be achieved.

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about pragmatism (translated from the French-language article):

“Pragmatism is an American school of philosophy. Accord...

26/01/2020

The link between perseverance and motivation

Marakoudja has four core values that permeate everything we do: pragmatism, passion, transparency and perseverance. In this article I will be looking at the motivation that is essential if we want to ‘keep on keeping on’.

Here’s one dictionary definition of the word ‘motivation’: “A broad category of internal determinants that influence behaviour, thinking and mood”.[1]

You’ll agree that this is a relatively broad definition. To bring things down to earth, here is a real-life case that involved me.

...

“Finding good players is easy. Getting them to play as a team is another story.” - Casey Stengel

Teamwork is essential to project management. But the team setting is the place where personal and collective interests most often clash. Various initiatives have been used to strengthen team spirit, homing in on various key issues. The most helpful comparison is with the world of sports.

Is it possible to function well in a team without a background in team-based sports? There is no causal link. Flourishing in a team setting requires the kind of a...

Or how agile thinking can help divide things down into bite-sized chunks and limit risks

If you look up the term ‘digitalisation’ on Google, you will get 5 million hits. A great many of this number will be offers to attend conferences or will claim to provide the perfect solution for your company. Digitalisation is all the rage.

But this is no passing fashion. Digitalisation has been a factor in the corporate world since the dawn of the IT age. What’s different today is how it has spread to every stratum in an organisation. 

Technological adva...

16/10/2019

As we embark on our personal or work projects, how about we first test our resilience?

Resilience (figurative): moral strength; the quality of someone who is not discouraged, does not let himself or herself be defeated. (Lélia Maurois).

Successfully bringing a project to fruition depends to a large extent on the energy devoted to it by the project manager. A project, by its very nature, implies change. This could be a personal project, such as a carefully planned holiday, or a business-related project, such as organising a party to celebrate...

How to avoid being slowed down by resistance to change.

"She believed she could, so she did.” - R. S. Grey

Successfully bringing a project to fruition often means overcoming resistance and helping your team to see things in a different light. It means not giving up when facing doubt. Uncertainty is normal in a project and will help you pinpoint the challenges which you must rise above.

I sincerely believe that one success factor in project management is not being stopped in one’s tracks by remarks such as “Sounds nice in theory, but it won’t w...

Is your organisation sagging under a mountain of requests? Then the Kanban method may be just the thing for you!

How do you react when you need to take a ‘wait-your-turn’ ticket at the post office, the bank or the pharmacy? Personally, I’m a fan of these queuing systems. At the very least, I’m sure I will not be waiting in the wrong line. The approach, which here helps regulate waiting time for customers, is also used in the Kanban method to process service requests in organisations, ranging from invoice approvals, permit applications and in...

Instead of scrutinising the past, we should regularly identify avenues for improvement and apply them quickly.

Those who study project management become quickly aware of the importance of lessons learned. Considerable emphasis is placed on the possibility for a company to learn from its mistakes so that it manages projects better in the future. Unfortunately, this exercise is often carried out at the end of a project, when it is likely that the team will have already been reassigned to new projects. Moreover, a project being by definition a...

I often refer to Stephen Covey in my classes as well as with friends. I even gave my children a copy of his first successful book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” (1) for Christmas this year. I like the simplicity of this book and the way it is divided into seven habits. Stephen Covey brings together the majority of personal development theories in one guide that is easy to follow and understand.

The first habit he recommends is ‘Be proactive’. Being proactive means being aware of two things.

The first one is that between stimulu...

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Michèle Richard | +41 79 770 65 86 | michele.richard@marakoudja.com