About 25 years ago, when I was head of department, d’Herbemont’s socio-dynamic stakeholder matrix was presented to us at a team building and leadership seminar at ESIEE’s sister business school ESCP . It allows you to map out the degrees to which stakeholders support or oppose a project. I won’t go into the details here, it may even be that I’ve already explained it here somewhere. The message was something like « be careful not to spend 80% of your time on the 20% who oppose your project. » « Why? », we asked. « Well, it only leaves 20% to spread around for all the others, and they need your attention too. » My recollection is that from then on I managed people differently.
Last night I decided to add something to an interesting discussion that a group of online students were having on leadership and discovered that d’Herbemont’s book had at last been translated into English. I would really recommend it.
It’s very much a toolbox type of book. But based on thousands of hours of consultancy on truly difficult projects and makes good sense.
The night before, in another group forum discussion on leadership, another French book came to mind. This was part of an interesting but obscure Ecole des Mines management collection. In it, Thierry Weill, presents the ideas of James March on leadership. The book is somewhere in a container 750 km away in Paris, so I’m quoting this from memory, but I think Thierry took notes on James March’s (very early morning but always crammed with all sorts of interesting and successful Silicon Valley leaders) morning lectures on leadership at Stanford University. Then, with March’s collaboration, he turned them into chapters in book form. March’s lectures were based on leadership episodes in novels and plays. Tolstoy, Shakespeare, Cervantes, etc. They must have been really amazing. Anyway, I discovered that this fascinating book too has been translated from French into English. Here it is. And now I’ve just discovered March’s film Don Quixote’s lessons on leadership
But it’s already mid-morning and I’d better be getting back to the 11 discussion groups on the forum in Turku and to the four Mipco project teams in Paris…