Blog

Synthetron consultants are constantly working with the wide range of business challenges faced by our clients. Our regular blog postings reflect our experience so you too can benefit from these insights.

  • The Grumpy Ones

    Our team leader in New York, Graham Bobby, is a Brit who maintains a private blog. Here is a link to a recent entry on the subject of employee satisfaction. The blog offers a personal take on the discussion of what employers have a right to expect from their staff in terms of mood and […]

  • Synthetron works with the crowd at CSW Global

    Synthetron CEO Joanne Celens caught audience’ interest as she addressed the tricky topic of how to make sure crowds are wise not foolish. The group that came along to the follow-up workshop were intrigued to hear us say that the 6 C’s model of Employee Engagement wasn’t our own idea. We explained that like all […]

  • Synthetron BTT results: Does Performance Management Need Fixing? (Longread)

    Little has changed in the last decade in performance management practice, yet the environment that it needs to serve has transformed completely. A few progressive organisations have announced that in future they will do away with PM completely. This was the context of a Business Think Tank dialogue hosted by Synthetron in March this year. […]

  • Synthetron BTT report: Resolving Issues in the Energy transition

    Europe has got ambtious CO2 targets. In order to achieve these targets focus will be on energy savings and large scale development of renewable energy sources (RES). Citizens want ‘energy autarky’ : consumers become Producers themselves, or Prosumers, leading to more de-central energy systems. In the context of Crowd Sourcing Week Europe 2015, utilising Synthetron, we asked […]

  • Continuity AND Transformation

    We might be said to be creatures of habit. But that doesn’t mean we always avoid change. In fact, change is part of our daily life. The most important aspect of implementing change in an organisation is to take the temperature first. How do the organisation’s stakeholders, including its staff and customers feel? One can […]

  • How do we do it?

    People often ask us “So what actually happens in a Synthetron discussion?” Using our unique discussion software, we set up and run a 1-hour online, anonymous discussion. During the discussion, the people you have invited will discuss your topics based on a script we have developed together to question key aspects of your issue. Afterwards, […]

  • What does Synthetron do?

    We know that decision makers in organisations don’t want to miss out on the important insights they need for future success. We engage the people that matter in crowdsourcing dialogues to discover their winning ideas.   Traditional methods never seem to capture the range of emotions, frustrations thoughts and opinions of people. And if they […]

  • The value of Positive Behaviour

    On August 11th, a Synthetron session was held together with Sequoia, our partners in Singapore and their partners Anima Convivência Produtiva, High Peaks Group and Real world group. The session was held on the value of positive behaviour, moreover the effects it can have on workplace behaviour. The synthetron study was part of a larger study into the value of […]

  • Why ask the Frogs?

    There is a German proverb that states that when the time comes to empty the pond, one should not first consult the frogs. But is it really naïve to involve the frogs?  In many situations, I am not so sure. What we practice every day at Synthetron follows a different philosophy. Online-discussions in a crowdsourcing-format […]

  • Crowdsourcing is changing possibilities

    Synthetron CEO Joanne Celens presented at the global Crowd Source Weekly conference in Singapore and brings back two important insights on organisational evolution and global speed. The conference which focused on 3 themes: crowdsourcing for corporations, crowdsourcing to leverage the social economy and crowdfunding. “An important new insight for me is picture of evolution of […]

  • Agility – not just a buzzword

    Based on learnings using crowd intelligence in two separate dialogues on January 28th and April 14th 2015, we derived five lessons in connection with eight imperatives to reflect upon how to improve on agility. With few exceptions the need for agility is mostly anchored in external effects (market, technologies) and less in internal factors. Almost […]

  • Engagement Surveys: not quite there yet

    For the past twenty years employee opinion surveys have  been going through a steady evolution. First there were satisfaction surveys, which today have evolved into engagement surveys. It’s a necessary metric in the classical HR dashboard, but usually it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to. Engagement surveys give us a multitude of numbers for different […]

  • Getting Agile

    The Synthetron team recently organised a business think tank session on the subject of Business Agility, defined for the session as the ability to react quickly to change.The session gave me pause to reflect, not least about my own agility. Download the report here .   Most of us started the session thinking that more agility would […]

  • The 5 top reasons why it’s difficult to appease members

    Last year, members of FNV (the Dutch worker’s union) gathered at an FNV Allies conference and, contrary to all expectations, voted against a proposition to merge. This once again showed that it’s difficult to gauge the opinion of members, even if they are involved every step of the way.   Why is that? Why do so […]

  • What next for McDonald’s?

    The Economist this week featured an article about McDonald’s. Despite still achieving double the revenue per store of competitors – surely a key profit driver – last year McDonald’s saw like-for-like declines in sales and a loss of market share. The result is pressure on the share price and challenges about strategy. The article showed […]

  • Mary Barra’s Staff Engagement Challenge

    I enjoyed a recent extended profile in Time magazine of Mary Barra, the new CEO of General Motors, by Rana Faroohar, linked here (a subscription is required to access the full article) http://time.com/3429651/mary-barras-bumpy-ride-at-the-wheel-of-gm/. Why is it that whenever we read profiles of female executives, they are interspersed with lots of copy about family and style […]

  • Feedback in Change

    Sometimes the requests from Linkedin change practitioners trigger an instant reaction with me. The question about “The greatest barrier to successful change is the pace and accuracy of feedback“ did so because my main focus has been on facilitating this feedback loop on a massive and authentic scale within organisations using crowdsourcing. Hence it motivated […]

  • A leadership style focusing on strict KPIs can undermine intra-company cooperation

    Brussels, June 23, 2014 – Managers feel under considerable pressure from imposed KPIs. They deem it possible that a leadership style empowering the employees with a high degree of autonomy could help to lower this pressure. Steering using the 80/20 principle works best to align employee engagement with company success. These are major findings of […]

  • Is “bottom up” the poor cousin of “top down” in your organisation?

    Most European Companies stick to a task oriented way of working. Managing activities step by step (operational issues) are delegated to the troops – and as this is the way the Napoleonic wars have been conducted, ‘troops’ is the exact reference for this cultural paradigm. Fashionably called empowerment, many operational issues never get on board […]