Tony Chocolonely: a Taste of Meaningfulness

I love chocolate! Caramel, sea salt chocolate is my favorite. However if you ever ate chocolate in your life, most likely you committed an offense by eating chocolate harvested by forced underage workers (i.e child slavery) as it is common practice all over the globe. So let me introduce you to a very special Dutch company called Tony Chocolonely. A company that has over the past 10 years captured 16.7% of the total revenue of all chocolate bars in Dutch supermarkets in a very special way. Intrigued by what Tony Chocolonely has to offer. Let’s taste meaningfulness!


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Board of Innovation: the power of 137!

Sometimes you are lucky enough to discover an organization that gives you a full sense of possibilities. Meet Board of Innovation, an international office specialized in intrapreneurship & business model innovation. A fast 8-year-old growing company of 24 individuals that is paving the way towards building meaningful organizations. I had the privilege to meet  Philippe De Ridder, one of the co-founders of Board of Innovation in the beautiful city of Antwerpen a few weeks back. A true inspiration for me.

1.3.7 as a beacon

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Football Excellence

I love sports. For being a fanatic basketball player to supporting my sons in their respective activities like football. But what has football to do with Meaningful Organizations? With Engagement? The answer lies in another question. Why is the youth academy of Ajax Amsterdam always among the best and continuously producing great players? Certainly this institution must do something different to engage their players. This is what I am intrigued in. This blog post is also a plea for help. I am at the beginning of my investigation. So I  certainly need your support to find trainers to interview, inspiring videos, or related articles. If you are as curious as I am about professional sport, do read further! 

For the love of the game

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Being a realistic optimist!

There are two kinds of people that feel nothing: The dead and the psychopaths. If you are neither one of these, this blog post is for you 😃 Building meaningful organizations requires a shift in mindsets and behaviours. Lately, the field of positive psychology, the scientific study of what makes life worth living, has really inspired me. It certainly provides a fertile ground to create a meaningful momentum. It offers simple and practical techniques to reach higher level of happiness and engagement. So are you ready to become a realistic optimist?

In Search of Flow


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Do we need a revolution?

As a French national, the notion of revolution is something you get familiar with at a
very early stage in your life. A running joke is that in order to solve a problem, French people first argue or fight or strike (all at once sometimes) then talk and reach a compromise. The rest of the world do pretty much the other way around. When looking at ways to increase employee engagement, it seems that a revolution is needed. Thinkers, professors, consultants talked about “liberated companies”, “Rebels at work” or “Big Bang transformation”. It should please my French side 😃 However. it does not completely, and let me tell you why.

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Holacracy: A Big Bang Approach to Self-Organization

Holacracy! A turnkey system for self-organization. Looking at multinational corporations like ENGIE to SMEs like Springest,  I have had the privilege to be an observer of the implementation of Holacracy.  I have been also a first-hand user at the BoP innovation Center. Despite a fair bit of criticism (mine included) received over the years, I do think that Holacracy has a role to play in the ecosystem of actors dreaming to improve engagement of employees. Let explore this together!

What is Holacracy?

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Small is Beautiful!

“Small is beautiful”, these words from Joseph Schumpeter, one of the most influential management thinkers of the 20th century, have always resonated with me. That’s why I love to work with entrepreneurs on developing their ventures further. And often I hear that these organizations should stay small (which in a way I agree with). They should not become one of these mammoth multinational corporations plagued with bureaucracy or office politics. For entrepreneurs, the game is simple, as they are already agile without too many processes. So let’s keep it that way.

One feedback a day keeps the manager away!

If you have ever been in the following situation, please read further:
  • You invited one member of your executive committee for a speech in your internal event. He stayed 10min and left without listening to the rest of the programme.
  • You are always invited to meetings by your colleagues where your input is minimal but your presence is required.
  • Your colleague has done a great action towards a client
If the answer is yes, then I have question for you. Did you ever tell your EXCOM member, your colleague or your manager that it bothered you or that you have learnt a lot from this positive action?

The annoyance factor

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Meaningful Organization CANVAS

I love canvas. I do. They allow a visual and simple representation of key concepts. They are easy to use, easy to share, easy to change. So I got to the design board to develop a canvas that illustrates the main building blocks to build a future proof organization. The Meaningful Organization canvas is organizated around 3 categories 1-the ends: what your organization accomplishes 2- the people: the beating heart of your organization 3- the means: what your organization is using to get things done. 


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Big Bang and Evolution: the “how” question!

How do we start when implementing future proof practices in an existing organization? This is perhaps the top question I get especially when working with large firms on this subject. Nature, as often, gives us all the answers: it is a mix of big bangs and evolution. Big bangs to create the necessary impulses for change. Evolution to create deep transformation over time via small increments. Evolution to touch profoundly the DNA of an organization.  By mixing these two, sustainable changes happen in the workplace.

Top Down Impulses aka Big Bangs

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