ENGIE Digital: a new approach to eliminating digital overload
ENGIE’s 150,000 employees face the “terrible trio” of digital overload: too many emails, too much information, too much data to process. In response, the energy company is rolling out an innovative program that aims to co-create improved information-sharing and communication practices. Explanation with Régis Lavisse, head of the Enterprise 4.0 program.
[highlight_box title=”Biography” text=”Régis Lavisse is head of ENGIE Digital’s Enterprise 4.0 program for a little over a year, Régis Lavisse has devoted his career to the world of energy. Régis started out at EDF, where he worked as a sales manager and management consultant, before joining GRDF in 2006, where he has been responsible for a variety of missions ranging from technical agency chief to consumer market manager.” img=”https://business-digest.eu:443/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/BD285Lavisse-1.jpg”]
Three years ago, ENGIE embarked on an indepth transformation project around the digital revolution and energy transition. It is a new paradigm, which involves new ways of working and collaborating within the group. The problem: how to spread the desired new behaviors and practices when employees are already suffering from digital overload? “The growing number of information channels, the explosion in available data, and the widespread use of increasingly efficient collaborative tools are having a paradoxical effect on productivity, which is tending to stagnate when we would be expecting to see it gain ground,” says Régis Lavisse. The roots of this problem are easily recognizable: hyper-connectivity, infobesity and the uncontrolled use of email.
Reflecting together on a subect that concerns everyone
ENGIE began examining how to remedy the situation in 2017. “There was an initial theoretical research phase to give us a better understanding of the mechanisms behind digital overload. Then we organized a workshop based on design-thinking methods with the help of students from the Web School Factory, a digital management college. We brought together about 20 employees from across the spectrum not just to present their personal accounts but also to suggest possible courses of action.” This opening day was a rich learning experience, and served as the starting point for an initiative known as A Call for the End of Email Supremacy, which first took the form of a “manifesto” laying the foundations for smooth collaboration in the digital age. The ENGIE group set out its principles for a healthier form of collaboration: “protected focus over constant joinability; presence over assiduity; comprehension over comprehensiveness; and noticed over notified.”
Agile, distributed and jointly-constructed approach
ENGIE is adopting an action plan that deliberately deviates from conventional “top down” formats. It consists of an agile, distributed approach that relies on social networks and a group of volunteers keen to make an active contribution to the emergence of new collaborative practices. The program is organized around three key axes. The first of which covers the use of emails and the terms and conditions for holding meetings, both of which are major irritants that have been the topic of debate in the past, when charters and guides were also put in place. “But this time, we are defining what our ideal is collectively via design workshops. Our goal is to build a body of best practices and tools to increase efficiency while helping to cut down on infobesity and hyper-connectedness regarding emails, and wasted time regarding meetings.” The expected deliverables include a library of ready-to-use formats for meetings and recommendations for avoiding multi-tasking at meetings.
Excerpt from Business Digest N°285, April 2018
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