MIX Mashup Live Blog: Day 1

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MIX Mashup Live Blog: Day 1

Click here to see the live blog for day 2 of the MIX Mashup.

Welcome to the MIX Mashup live blog. This year's program is packed with exciting speakers, profound insights, and radically practical approaches to making all organizations fundamentally more resilient, innovative, and inspiring. Check this page regularly throughout the day for  key insights, big ideas, memorable quotes and photos of the event as it unfolds. You can also catch the action on twitter by following @hackmanagement and the hashtag #mixmashup and add your voice to the mix here in the comment section.


Homework assignment: how would you build on this list - add, delete, refine?
Let us know in the comment section or on twitter using the hashtag #mixmashup

Vineet Nayar and Gary Hamel

Vineet Nayar: Are you leading or managing? We need leaders not managers.


Vineet Nayar: When you transfer the ownership of change to the employees, magic happens.


Vineet Nayar

Vineet Nayar: It is very important for us to make a distinction between initiatives and experiments.

Vineet Nayar: How do you create an organization that innovates on the edges?


Mário Kaphan

Mário Kaphan: We hack the company every day.


Mário Kaphan's M-Prize winning story: Horizontal Management at Vagas.com


Gary Hamel

Gary Hamel: Most change programs are more about catching up than getting out in front.

Gary Hamel: We can already see the outlines of the post-bureaucratic organization. If there is an emerging model why aren't more companies embracing it? We not only need the motivation and the models, we need a migration path.

Gary Hamel: It's going to take some amazing new models. Leaders have to believe that there are some viable options to the status quo.

Gary Hamel: It's not surprising that people have been predicting and expecting the end of bureaucracy ever since it's inception. Are we somehow stuck?

Gary Hamel: We are up against a DNA level problem here. The challenge may be how to pull bureaucracy up by it's roots.

Polly LaBarre

Polly Labarre: We have a big dream at the MIX. We want to live in a world where organizations are fit for human beings.




Set-up is underway and the venue is buzzing with excitement. Location05 is a great space and we're really excited about the upcoming program. Come back to this page after 3:00 PM for tweets, photos, and live coverage of the first day of the MIX Mashup.

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Tsukasa Makino- You make very good points about the growing decision making delegated to computers (or specifically software).

In the aerospace industry we have seen the decisions over direct flight control taken away from pilots and given to the “computers”. The pilot now controls the computers not the flight surfaces. Now we have autonomous aircraft that can bomb and shoot without intervention from the ground.

One day- will we have no managers?

Is this the new future for ERP with managerial control? ERPm....m for management?

Shareholders could invest in an ERPm system and the workers work without any oversight except for the computers? I'm reminded of Richard Brautigans poem: All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace.

Hmmm- I’m glad I’m old!

I like your examples of systems being used to increase human happiness as a means to increase both performance and work satisfaction.

Although, I do wonder if the link was proven to be causal…. Would you get fired for not being happy enough?
We all know one sad person can bring down a whole group- will the computer put them thru disciplinary?
Or perhaps training to “put on a happy face when you are feeling blue”?

Reminds me of a great presentation via the RSA by a lady called Barbara Ehrenreich called "Smile or Die".
It's on YouTube- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5um8QWWRvo

Like I said- I’m glad I’m old.

But you know, I’m not sure such a causal link is provable.
Human interaction is pretty complex, perhaps there is hope yet.

frederic-jleconte's picture

We heard from Vineet about reversing the pyramid (but control) and the 360° tool.
And speeding the clock as both the ultimate engagement booster and impact measurement.And about transformation.
So, if logic would rule business, we should make a first 360 revolution to change mindset and visualize all opportunities around our biz compass, then add 180 to go opposite and upside down spin. So 540 and speed up.
But we also learned from Mario and Vineet that it is not all about logic.Lucky us. So there is still a lot of fun to choose or let down 360 or/and appraisals, to randomly experiment 47° with customers and 116° or you name it direction with Transformers, and let them set the pace, boost rush or running up that business hill in comfort zone.
And anything in between.Or anywhere else.
That is a genuine mixmash.Cool.

Conformance sounds as a terriible word for me. It should not be mixed up though with "standards" as I believe an organization should define few but clear standards, with the purpose to clarifying expectations, contributing to transparency and monitoring their performance.
Considering the human implications, how can we ignore that our richness comes from our diversity and thrive for building on our differences for the better...

I think these thoughts do exist in other countries, although sometimes the opposite thoughts also exist. I guess it depends upon the context you put them in.

"Focus on your weakness and work hard to fix it. Do not live on your strength."

I like this one, although perhaps you have made it strong enough to be toxic.

Perhaps it could be- reflect on your weaknesses and work to improve them. Do not live on your strengths alone.
English phrase- “don’t be a one-trick pony”.

"Don’t do a job which you only can do, because it will cause trouble after you leave."

Sometimes we strive to become “indispensable” in an effort to feel more secure in our work- not driven from a motivation to excel, but simply born out of the anxiety of insecurity that the commodification of human resource can so easily foster. That’s negative and toxic. I think many people do this.

However, there is also the possibility that only you can do something because you are truly self-expressed (being an artist or designer for example) and exceling in your chosen field.
I think being indispensable through a deep personal expression of your humanity is a positive thing, but sadly few people do this.

Perhaps the toxic one is the one born of insecurity rather than joyous self expression.

"Don’t behave as you are at home. Behave like a manager (if you are a manager) in the office."

This really made me think.
We all wear masks in everyday life, we are different when with our Ma than with our Bank Manager- perhaps we just show different parts of ourselves?

I would certainly support the idea of being “professional” at work.

Yet, it’s a short step over the line into an overly impersonal “it’s just business” attitude.

-Rather like car drivers will tailgate and honk in traffic yet wouldn’t think to behave the same when walking in the supermarket isle.

There is something about the anonymity of the mask of professionalism in our work life that can also disinhibit our more selfish motivations.

I can see such a rule would be toxic if it fosters a culture of disinhibition where survival in the office jungle is pursued without regard to the cost to others.

Equally, I can also see the rule would be positive when it fosters a culture of professionalism and inhibits irresponsibility.

Perhaps the old “treat others as you would hope to be treated yourself” contains fewer landmines!

These toxic rules are tough to work out.

Deb- I also had…. leave out “data decides”.

But then I got to thinking;

Data should never decide, it’s always people that should do the deciding, and they do it subjectively; they balance the data (measures they have) against their prediction of the future and make a subjective decision based on a compromise.

They would be foolhardy to ignore good data (my original thought), yet perhaps also foolhardy to act unquestioningly on data.

I think this point is not about ignoring data when making decisions, instead it’s a warning not to leave out the person when making data based decisions.

In the end uncertainty held my fire and I left it in, perhaps you are just braver than me!

tsukasa-makino's picture

Deb and Julian,
It's a very good point and inspired my thinking.

>it’s always people that should do the deciding,
I'm afraid that might not be the case in near future. Computers will make decisions (or help human make decisions) using Big Data.

>they do it subjectively; they balance the data (measures they have) against their prediction of the future and make a subjective decision based on a compromise.
They would be foolhardy to ignore good data (my original thought), yet perhaps also foolhardy to act unquestioningly on data.

Yes, human make decision subjectively and often overlook good data. That’s the problem. Another problem is that huge data from sensors, smartphones, Internet,etc.,is too big for human to analyze.

I’d like to share with you a very interesting story in Japan.
In this case, sensor and computer analyzed human behavior and found out solutions. The solution that the computer suggested was more rich in humanity than the decision that human manager would have made.
On Dec. 2008, Hitachi announced a high-tech service named “Business Microscope”.
It uses a device which looks like an employee ID badge.
It has a motion sensor, six infrared sensors, sound sensor and wireless connection.
The IR sensors detect the signals from other employees’ badges and position markers, identify where and whom you talked with.
Motion sensor and sound sensor detect how passionate you talked with the person from the motion of your body and the tone, volume of your voice.
The badge records how you walked around in the office, with whom and how often and how passionate you talked (voice is not recorded).
Those data are transmitted to base station when you return your badge into a charger, then analyzed in Hitachi’s data center.

They conducted a pilot project at an outbound call center
The sales volume of the call center fluctuates day to day.
Before the pilot project, it was perceived that the fluctuation was caused by the average skill level of the sales representatives on duty. The average skill level fluctuates because of the rotation of the representatives.
But the artificial brain computer found out from the sensor data that there is a surprisingly high correlation between the sales volume and the vividness of the communication made in the break room. In other words, if the representatives have a pleasant chat in the break room, the sales volume will go up.
To verify that, they created two different groups to take breaks. One was formed by ladies in the same age group. Others were formed by middle aged men and young ladies. The sales of the latter group dropped dramatically.
It turned out that the effect of pleasant chat is stronger than the skill level.
The manager of the call center changed the group and shift to take break, and the sales went up by 13%
In this case, computer was better than human manager to let employees work more comfortably and joyfully, and as the result, make more sales.

Another pilot project was conducted at a large DIY store.
Two teams, A: two marketing experts, and B: a computer and a human operator(both have no knowledge about DIY store) competed how to increase the sales of specific goods.
Team A put ads at the corridor and changed the layout of targeted goods.
In team B, computer found out there’s several “hot spots” that affect the flow of customers. They suggested store staff to stand at the hot spots (which are far from the shelf of targeted goods) as often as possible.
Team A’s plan showed no measurable effect.
Team B’s plan increased the sales of targeted goods by 15%.
Again this time, computer found out that human communication is more powerful than ads or layout of goods.

Fortunately, the guy who developed this system is a good humanist. He has been pursuing for human happiness.
He reviewed a lot of studies about human happiness and found out those studies had been depending on the subjective self-observation using questionnaires such as “score your happiness by the degree from 1 to 7”.
He thought that his system can measure human happiness in objective way.
He visited Dr. Sonja Luibomilski , an expert of Positive Psychology and conducted joint experiment to measure Human happiness. The experiment proved that the “Business Microscope” can actually measure human happiness.

tsukasa-makino's picture

It could be said as 3 toxic belief that suppress human abilities.
In Japanese big traditional companies, young employees were often given advices like below (at least 20 years ago).
 Focus on your weakness and work hard to fix it. Do not live on your strength.
 Don’t do a job which you only can do, because it will cause trouble after you leave.
 Don’t behave as you are at home. Behave like a manager (if you are a manager) in the office.
I’m wondering if this kind of thoughts are existing (or existed) in other countries.

tsukasa-makino's picture

As a Japanese, I liked Mr. Vineet Nayar’s saying “Give up your power, then you’ll get power”. It resonates with the Oriental way of thinking such as Zen, Judo, etc,.
In Zen, “emptiness” is one of the highest virtues. Black Belt Judo player uses the opponent’s power to throw opponent into the air, rather than using his own power. The way of the thinking gives them strength, resilience and calmness.
Problem is, I haven’t heard any high-lank Zen monk or Black Belt Judo player became a great CEO. Maybe there’s something missing.
I’d like to ask Mr. Nayer how he combined Oriental way of thinking and management practice.

I would like to learn more about strategies to change the mindset of leaders. Specifically if there is a gap between espoused values and modeled behavior.

I would add to the list of toxic the idea that everything has to be a marathon…sometimes you have to move quickly.

deb-seidman's picture

Question: what do you do when the CEO doesn't get it?

deb-seidman's picture

Eliminate "data decides". We rarely see leaders actually collecting and using data well. Seems like a lot,of "gut" decision-making and then generating a rationale.

aaronbrook's picture

Indeed, I very appreciate Vineet,s "It is very important for us to make a distinction between initiatives and experiments."

deb-seidman's picture

Rather than more conformance is better - there is one right way, let's stick with that.

deb-seidman's picture

Individuals as instruments -- leaders expressing frustration that they've communicated what needs to happen and employees just need to execute, but then they don't see people acting. Belief is I just need to tell them and they just need to do it.

#8 toxic belief?

Stability provides strength.

Greetings from Tanzania - really wanted to attend but just little too far. Very excited to follow and learn a thing or two for my current project - building a culture of organizational agility here in TZ

Some thousand miles away from you I hope to be able to join and feel the energy by using the Live blog. Looking forward to MIX up the world.

frederic-jleconte's picture

Boarding to cross the Atlantic and join the Mashup.
I'll be surely running late depending on JFK bureaucracy or efficiency, but it feels good.
Hello to everyone;