Hi there! Welcome. I'm Louis. I'm passionate about the complexity of organizations. Currently, I work on those operations and organization development topics with Sketchfab's founders and team to keep it smooth at it grows. My north pole is a strong belief in healthy team structures based on psychological safety, vulnerability and courage as basis for personal development and organizations performance. I do have trust in people.
I started to document parts of my journey here. I don't aim at sharing solutions or advice, but resources I discovered and thoughts I had based on my experience, as perhaps prompts in your own inner and organizational journey.
I don't write that often, so feel free to subscribe at the bottom of the page to receive new posts. Also, I don't know what brought you here – tell me, always happy to chat and bounce ideas!
To manage a project, you need 4 equally important and simple things.
A plan. Here is a framework I use to calibrate a project before getting started:
Description — What is this project?
Problem or opportunity — What problem is this project solving? (or What opportunity is this project seizing?)
Why — How do we know this is a real problem worth solving? (or How do we know this is a real opportunity worth seizing?)
Success — How do we know if we have solved this problem? (or How do we know if we have seize this opportunity?)
Audience — Who are we building for?
Stakeholders — Who shall be involved?
Action plan — How are we going to move forward?
A tool. Create a master document that logs what should be done, by whom, and by when. Notion is great.
An owner. Find a volunteer to keep this document live, follow up regularly with the various stakeholders, and communicate about the project's advancement. This person's role is to ensure that we deliver the initiative on time, with minimal tensions. She owns the rhythmics and interfaces, not necessarily the actual production.
And discipline. Trust the process and commandment chain, and don't let the ball fall between two players.
At Sketchfab, we are lucky enough to still be able to successfully operate remotely. I recently discussed with all my teammates to personally and confidentially connect on how they are feeling about their current projects and this involuntary remote period.
I wanted to share the conversation starters. I hope it may help you open a safe and caring discussion to the service of your colleagues.
One recommendation: do not rush this discussion, let it last 90 minutes if it appears to be helpful to the person.
After four years in the service of Sketchfab's team and operations, I often still have a hard time explaining my former job to my friends and family. I hope this 9-minute long post will help – I may need to translate it to French though...
I just finished Yvon Chouinard's Let My People Go Surfing, about the history and philosophy of Patagonia. A thoughtful and inspiring read I highly recommend if you hope for a more sustainable way to do business.
Among several other things, Chouinard explains how donations deductible from taxes are less of a trick to reduce your taxes, and more of a way to choose how your tax money will be used.
We may sometimes feel that our life would be meaningless. Our contribution at work does not seem to change the world ; the private and for-profit company to whom we rent our capacity to work is only interested in selling and maximizing its profit ; our relationships with some of our loved ones are disappointing and seem empty ; the world and ourselves run in autopilot as we all play the life we would like to have, while preventing us to open too widely our eyes to our difficulties and others’: sometimes we forget about them, something we laugh at them, sometimes they make us cry.
Nous pouvons parfois ressentir que notre vie serait vide de sens. Notre contribution au travail ne semble pas changer le monde ; l'entreprise privée lucrative à laquelle nous louons notre force de travail n'est intéressée que par vendre et maximiser son profit ; nos relations avec certains de nos proches nous déçoivent et paraissent creuses ; le monde et nous-même tournons en pilote automatique et courons à jouer à la vie que nous souhaiterions avoir en nous protégeant d'ouvrir trop grand les yeux sur nos difficultés et celles des autres : parfois on les oublie, parfois on en rit, parfois on en pleur.
During my first months working closely with Sketchfab's co-founders, I sometimes felt unsure about whether or not I needed their approval to do something. Given we are often operating in messy and uncertain contexts, I needed to find something to be able to seize opportunities for impact without direction or oversight.