Palo Alto and collective intelligence by Stéphane Sançois
The theme of this intervention is to put into perspective collective intelligence within organizations and our systemic intervention model: what are the common points, the points of divergence and what do we have to say about our view of Palo Alto?
The challenges of collective intelligence for companies were defined in the 1980s, at the end of the Cold War, in a world that had become uncertain, volatile, complex and ambiguous, around the concepts of agility and adaptability.
Another observation made through a Gallup study has reinforced this need for collective intelligence. It appears that the commitment of employees directly impacts the performance of companies with disparities observed depending on the country; thus, in the United States 33% of employees say they are committed, whereas in France they are only 10%.
What makes the difference are the managerial practices. In the United States, there are fewer hierarchical structures (the notion of executive does not exist). We are less intrusive and more holacratic.
This is a subject that is now very widely understood and taken into account within organizations.
By way of illustration, the methods of "lean management", "scrum", "master ux", "design thinking" and "agile coach" are key words identified today in a very large number of job offers. job.
When we talk about collective intelligence, we refer to three notions: "lean startup", "scrum liberating structure" and "desing thinking".
Lean startup comes from lean manufacturing born at Toyota. In the 90s, Toyota set up in Valenciennes and, it was said then, would not be able to recruit the 2,000 employees they needed. Today Toyota is the world's leading producer and the Valenciennes site at the forefront of their managerial method, which is based on the search for "0 defect" production. General Electric pursues the same objective.
Lean startup means "how to be lean and efficient" and covers methods adapted to completely different models in size, growth rate and technologies.
The loop that prevails in these models is: produce, measure, learn. I produce a prototype aiming for a minimum quality
Viable, I measure and draw lessons from the use made of this product. I learn from this and I relaunch an ideation loop to reproduce and enrich.
Immediately go face to face with the user, in particular the opinion leaders who are the customers most open to their product, this is the lean startup feedback loop.
In agile methods, scrum was proposed by a former US Army pilot who returned from Vietnam with a deep conviction: what matters is the adaptation of a plan to the reality on the ground. Scrum has been adopted by some schools, in the Netherlands for example, and translates into the following organization: students go back over what they learned yesterday and decide together what they want to learn today. The teacher is only in support.
Scrum means scrum; it's a process that means that, for example, on an automobile production line, we don't wait for the product to be finished to study the defect. We stop the chain, we meet and we don't restart until the cause of the problem is identified and resolved.
We are in a sprint to produce prototypes, test them and iterate on these prototypes. We quickly confront the client to hear feedback and readjust. Consequently, the teams need maximum decision-making autonomy, responsiveness and good and rapid adaptation.
This makes one think of brief therapy, of brief coaching in relation to other practices.
Liberating structures : 33 meeting interaction protocols are open source on a site "liberationstructures.fr"; these are small how-tos for making meeting design as needed. We go straight to the experience and then we reflect on the experience.” This can make us think of the corrective emotional experiences that we are familiar with.
Design thinking is taking inspiration from designers' way of thinking to implement it in all areas. An example: how to reinvent the visitor experience of the Louvre? A so-called double diamond approach was used; it was about putting the customer back at the center with a research phase, the context, the need, the uses, a brainstorm analysis, a prototype, a modeling and a test to be reworked in an iterative and permanent way. The typical customers were a Chinese tourist who visits Europe in 2, an Erasmus student interested but in a hurry, a father who comes with his family to discover the museum....
What are the links between these approaches and our intervention model?
Similarities: "I listen to the client, I put myself in his place, I speak his language, there are pragmatic iterations". These methods reintroduced circular logic and loops into very linear processes; there is a minimum viable goal, 100% experiential approaches (customers, employees, partners) to accelerate change.
Differences: we analyze the interactional loops that help us a lot to solve the complexity. We grope less. We know what we are trying to do; it's more targeted. The action and intervention strategy is not included in these models; we know what we are doing, why we are doing it, with a clear framework for action.
Keywords: collective intervention , Palo-Alto , Palo Alto approach , strategic systems approach