The second panel of the day on the topic of “Releasing the creative energies in companies.. Should we change our management models?” was animated by Johan Roos, the Dean and CEO and Professor at Jönköping International Business school. He began by outlining that is was a question of willingness and ability to make changes in society. He then gave each of the 5 members of the panel a 5 minutes introduction to their talk.
Michèle Amiel (Givenchy) thanked Richard for his invitation and his creative ideas in putting this debate together. She also thanked Sophie Guillyesse (Canal +). She went on to say that decision making is critical in change. At Givenchy, less than 10% of their revenues are from the French market and the company is currently enjoying double figure growth. There are 20 nationalities and the Board of the company contains more than 70% women. The company has offices across the world and its strategy is to take risks. There is a need for a balance between creativity and risk and profit. They are therefore constantly thinking about how management can help this and how teams from different cultural backgrounds can work together. The most important for innovation is imagination rather than knowledge.
As VP of Givenchy Ms. Amiel got rid of the silos within the company and encouraged pragmatic creativity within the company by making teams work together. The strategy of the company was to get more of a bottom up approach with teams working together. There is a need to choose your battles and get a culture of global leadership.
There are these fundamental elements:
- Behaviour. As leader you should always think of yourself as a challenger.
- Listening. You need to listen to weak signals
- Time. You need to decide on the road map for the short, medium and long term.
- Diversity is critical for innovation be it cultural, education, experience etc.
Speed is critical as well, and making decisions in a decentralized manner. Savoir-etre and soft skills are critical in a company. Managers need room to manage and to make decisions.
Xavier Huillard began by admitting that he was a “baby of Peter Drucker”. He believes in small structures in business to ensure that decisions can be made quickly. Complexity is out in the field and there is a need to make decisions quickly.
The company is divided into 2400 business units to ensure speed of execution. The sacred fire is the project, and the company. As CEO of the Vinci Group, this is his job. It is necessary to get people in teams to go beyond their natural limits and the new role of a CEO is to push these boundaries and to help employees understand the culture and the values of the firm. A company belongs to a variety of stakeholders and they need to be taken into consideration when decisions are made.
David Champion (HBR) mentioned his pride at being a partner with the PDS. Management models should be changed to some extent, he began. Howver, not everything should be modified. Innovation and execution are not the same thing. There is a need for both and they are complementary. Often there is a need for fine tuned management to ensure success through innovation. There is often a process of challenging people.
In the book Moments of Clarity byit was highlighted that there are often moments when we see things clearly. “Is yoga a sport?” he asked. Depending on your answer, the strategy of your company involved in making clothes for them may change. The challenge in society is to get the right balance of innovation and the creation of ideas with the exploitation and profitability of these ideas.
Diversity is not always understood he concluded. When he was doing his MBA at INSEAD he was struck by the similarity of the people and especially by the number of Porsche’s in the car park.
Globalization means that we have a massive amount of choices and customers can compare them. This means that clients have more power and executives are under increasing stress. There are now two types of economies: one the traditional ones doing the same type of business. They are doomed. The innovative companies have a better future. The only question is how long it will take for the old companies to die out.
Sophie Pedder stated from the outset that she wanted to give an optimistic message. The French system worked very well in a context of continuous growth. Today it is too bureaucratic and stops innovation and need to be changed. The contrast in France between the public and private sector is huge. There are many private companies with old and hierarchical systems.
The French education system doesn’t encourage risk and innovation. There is also a form of morosity in French society and this needs to change
Dr. Johan Roos
Dr. Johan Roos is Dean and Managing Director of Jönköping International Business School (JIBS), where he also holds a professorship in strategy. He has two decades of work experience abroad as an internationally recognized scholar, leader and adviser in the field of strategy, innovation, and change. From 2009 to March 2011 he served as President of Copenhagen Business School. Prior to his engagement at CBS, he held the endowed Bo Rydin and SCA Professor chair in strategy at the Stockholm School of Economics 2007-2009.
A graduate in Science and HR management from the Reims Management School and Paris I Sorbonne University, Laurent has led a 4-track career as Senior Executive in several large companies, lecturer in management, a consultant and an entrepreneur.
Sophie Pedder is the Paris bureau chief, writing about French politics and economics. She joined The Economist in 1990 and has covered British home affairs, European politics, the global media industry, and the end of apartheid in South Africa when Johannesburg correspondent in the mid-1990s. Before working for The Economist she was a research assistant for William Julius Wilson at the University of Chicago’s Urban Poverty and Family Life project.
She is the author of “Le déni français: les derniers enfants gâtés de l’Europe”, published in 2012 (JC Lattès), and appears regularly on French television and radio. A graduate of Oxford University and the University of Chicago, she won the David Watt journalism prize in 2006.
Michèle AMIEL is the Executive Vice President of Givenchy, LVMH GROUP.
She holds a Phd in Management and is graduated from ESSEC, and has extensive international experience in Brand Strategy, Creative and Talent management and Business Development.
In 1992, she began her career by creating her own consulting firm specialized in strategy, change management and organizational design. In 1998, she joined the LVMH Group where she held various international Global Senior Executive positions at LVMH Corporate level in Dior and finally in the LVMH Fashion Division where she was part of the Executive Committee. Over the past 20 years, she has demonstrated recognized expertise in luxury, creativity and brand management.
Xavier Huillard is Chairman and Chief Executive officer of VINCI. He is a graduate of the École Polytechnique and the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées. He has spent most of his working life in the construction industry in France and abroad. Mr Huillard joined Sogea in December 1996 as Deputy Chief Executive Officer in charge of international activities and specific projects, and then became its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in 1998. He was appointed Deputy General Manager of VINCI in March 1998 and was Chairman of VINCI Construction from 2000 to 2002. He was appointed Co-Chief Operating Officer of VINCI and was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of VINCI Energies from 2002 to 2004, then Chairman of VINCI Energies from 2004 to 2005. Mr Huillard became Director and Chief Executive Officer of VINCI in 2006 and was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of VINCI on 6 May 2010. He was appointed Chairman of the Institut de l’Entreprise on 18 January 2011.
Steve Denning is the author of the award-winning books, The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management: Re-inventing the Workplace for the 21st Century (Jossey-Bass, 2010), The Secret Language of Leadership (Jossey-Bass, 2007) and The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling (Jossey-Bass, 2005). From 1996 to 2000, Steve was the Program Director, Knowledge Management at the World Bank where he spearheaded the organizational knowledge sharing program. In November 2000, Steve Denning was selected as one of the world’s ten Most Admired Knowledge Leaders (Teleos)
Steve was born and educated in Sydney, Australia. He studied law and psychology at Sydney University and worked as a lawyer in Sydney for several years. He did a postgraduate degree in law at Oxford University in the U.K. Steve then joined the World Bank where he worked for several decades in many capacities and held various management positions, including Director of the Southern Africa Department from 1990 to 1994 and Director of the Africa Region from 1994 to 1996. From 1996 to 2000, Steve was the Program Director, Knowledge Management at the World Bank.
He now works with organizations in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Australia on leadership, innovation, business narrative and most recently, radical management.
David Champion is a Senior Editor at the Harvard Business Review. He serves as European Correspondent and is based in Fontainebleau, France.