20/20 learnings: Improv, Business transformation and management, #IamRemarkable & AWS cert

2020 started on a high with some amazing learning opportunities:

Finally tried Improv with a tasting session early Jan 2020 and signed up for a 5-week Improv 101 with The Improv Company. Fantastic group and so many lessons and good practices for everyday: Yes, and… Active listening, Focusing on your scene partner and making her look good, No right or wrong answer. Such a mind opener for innovation practice. Should be a mandatory leadership training 🙂


Over the weekend of 9-12 Jan 2020, I joined our Master students for an intensive Business Transformation module taking inspiration from the 4th industrial revolution and exploring the thesis that:

Every business should re-organise as a software company

We explored strategic models like:

  • Uber’s business model canvas,
  • Digital capability mapping and roadmapping with service design blueprint (and front-stage and back-stage),
  • the 5 roots of transformation (Value creation, Customer Experience, Working culture, Talent Managemen all enabled by Technology & Data),
  • Blue Ocean srategy with the Buyer utility map

Getting briefed by our client (the Chamber of Commerce of French Polynesia), we went back to them with our hypothesis, stategic imperatives and a framework for a roadmap in 24 hours:

How might we empower the Chamber of Commerce to become an authority on Blue Economy that drives sustainable economic transformation, given that the country is strategically positioned with abundant natural resources, a heritage in exploration and a strong sense of community?

We were inspired in the storytelling of transformation with fantastic speakers by looking sideways in World building in Gaming (Chad Mirshak) and City Planning in Asia (Hong Kian Lim).  And we closed the 4 days with Network Theory by Professor Briggs, exploring Airtable and Polinode, to understand the power of networks and leveraging them in the transformation of business.

Mid-Feb 2020, I embarked on the 6-week Driving Transformation online course, led by Ben Ward and Hazel Swayne as our coaches. Fantastic experience, even richer than on campus with a super diverse group from US, Europe and APAC. Highly recommended! Sign up here.

We worked on our Case for Change and Leadership canvases, explored System Thinking (empatising with our peope, identifying barriers, resistance in others and creating engagement to lead the change) and Designed Alliances before Prototyping the Change  (I chose a Kanban on Miro), looking at our “How Might We…” problem statements, iterating and defining our KPIs & roadmap to action the change. It was fun to quickly prototype in Marvel remotely with Paloma in Spain:

I discovered a useful HBR tool to identify my (and my team’s) thinking style. I’m probably an Energizer (my MBTI profile is The Inspirer) & Connector/Coach. Very proud of my certificate!

And end of March 2020, I’m glad I signed up to the Postgraduate Diploma in Business Management… given that Covid-19 happened and that we are now locked down. So, plenty of time to revise Digital strategies and Corporate Finance with Columbia Business School’s Pr David Rogers and Daniel Wolfenzon, and Leading Organisations and Change with MIT’s Pr John Van Maanen. The learning experience is not as rich and vibrant as with Hyper Island (the Zoom calls are only one-way and very dull, no social sharing or learning) and it feels like edX or Coursera but the weekly assignments are quite thorough and require some serious thinking. So proud of achieving this mini-MBA and sharpen my business acumen with this diploma.


And using the downtime during the lockdown, I trained as a trainer for #IamRemarkable (see why here) workshop in May and got my AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner and Design Thinking certifications 🙂