Prejudices – Three Ways to Alter Them

Last week, I have been struck by how prejudice could bring someone to misleading judgements about another person. In what was supposed to be a learning journey, a top executive of the visiting company totally invalidated the person of the welcoming CEO. In a private conversation with his team after the visit, this leader attributed to the CEO illegitimate reasons for his efforts to free up his organization. “He is only interested in money” was more or less the tone of his critique. And that was it. Having worked for years with that particular CEO, this came really as a shock to me, since I had been able to testify in many occasions the authentic commitment he has towards people. How can someone form so fast such a radical judgement ? Can this be avoided ?

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The Times, They Are A-Changing ?

Last week, I had a look at this video against gas fracking near New York City made by Yoko Ono, her son Sean Lennon and others. I could not help thinking about a recent documentary I saw about the last years of John Lennon, from the moment he settled in NYC. The tone of  Ono and Lennon’s video and that of some memorable protest songs in the 70’s are so close… Are the times really changing, or is it just – 40 years later – the same state of things… ?

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Inspiring books for 2013 : #5 – Your Money or Your Life, by Joe Dominguez & Vicki Robin

This post will be the last of the “Inspiring Books for 2013” series.

YourMoneyNo, Your Money or Your Life is not a thriller. It is not a typical self-help book with the “seven steps” or “ten rules” for managing your money either. Even when the book describes a path for achieving financial independence, it seems to me that it is just a pearl of practical wisdom.

Sure, in order to grab all the benefits of this book, you will need to put into practice the exercises and observations that the authors suggest. Nevertheless, aside from very useful advice, they will have you re-think your relationship with money, with your life objectives, with your paid salary, with the true value of your expenses, etc.

The authors never preach but rather they instill you smart and deep questions and have you revisit some of the main assumptions that drive our societies. So, in a way, I would say that Your Money of your Life is a highly political book, since it proposes a concrete path to free ourselves from a very common and addictive pattern consisting of overspending, overdebt and overwork. I learned a lot in this book and I hope you will find it inspiring too.

PS : Never hesitate to buy a used version 😉

Inspiring books for 2013 : #4 – The Third Industrial Revolution, by Jeremy Rifkin

TRIJeremy Rifkin, renowned futurist, thinker and author, published The Third Industrial Revolution; How Lateral Power is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World in 2011. In this book, he argues that we have started a third industrial revolution, that is born – like the first two revolutions – from the convergence of several technological advances. J. Rifkin calls them them the five pillars :

  1. Renewable energies, that become competitive with their fossil counterparts
  2. Green buildings that are able to generate their own electricity and can sell the excess on the grid
  3. Storage of electricity with hydrogen batteries
  4. Smart grids that enable us envision the Internet of the energy
  5. Green transportation everywhere through better electric car technologies.

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Inspiring Books for 2013 – #3 : Managing Flow, I. Nonaka

ManagingFlowAll right. This is not the kind of books you want to read in the subway or in a café. It is academic, and probably made for academics (its price also is for academics…). But I think its main ideas are useful for any leader who wants to build a XXIst Century organization.

I. Nonaka and his co-authors describe in this book the seven key components of the knowledge-based firm. These elements operate together and allow the creation of knowledge in a dynamic interaction of the firm with its environment. The components of Nonaka’s framework are the following :

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Inspiring Books for 2013 – #2 : Money and Sustainability, The Missing Link, by Bernard Lietaer


The second inspiring book I would like to comment here is Money and Sustainability : The Missing Link, written by Bernard Lietaer, Sally Goerner and Stefan Brunnhuber. This is a report published by the European Chapter of the Club of Rome.

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Inspiring Books for 2013 – #1 : Permaculture, by David Holmgren

In 2012, five books have inspired me a lot. As you will see, they all relate to some key elements of a successful transition towards a new society. Let’s start with the first of them : David Holmgren, Permaculture, Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability


I have to say that it is the most inspiring book I have read in many years. Not only did I learn a lot about nature and its basic processes, but the book has so much wisdom embedded ! Holmgren, one of the fathers of Permaculture concept and practice, develops 12 core principles of the discipline, such as : Integrate rather than Segregate, Use Small and Slow solutions, Produce no waste, etc. Each principle is discussed through examples taken from a lifelong experience of growing food and animals in his Australian Melliodora farm but also through the most advanced therories of social systems.

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Bring On the Revolution of Capitalism !

iStock_000010542988SmallRecently, I came across this speech of Peter Bakker, the President of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). The former CEO of TNT, now leading this organization with more than 200 corporate members, pledges for a revolution of capitalism, in order to adress the most pressing challenges of our world : poverty, hunger, climate change… What would be the conditions for such a revolution to happen ? You can check out WBCSD vision to see what this organization stands for. As far as I can reflect on that topic, I can see at least three necessary conditions : acknoledge people not only as customers or employees, make big changes in governance and metrics, lead the inside revolution.

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