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Conversation with Luc Hoebeke, Part 1

Dome of the Belgian royal greenhouses in Laeken (external). (c) E. Forrest Christian

In April 2007 while vacationing in Tervuren, I took an afternoon to drive out to see Luc Hoebeke at his home outside Leuven, Belgium. Luc and I sat on his patio in some historically warm spring weather (above 80F) amongst a small brook, the birds and his neighbor’s lawn mower. I never intended to release the interview, which was primarily done as part of my interest in an article which he wrote. I have to tip my hat to him for his wonderful hospitality and willingness to spend an entire afternoon in the heat speaking in English.

I really enjoyed talking with him and hearing this thoughts on management. He’s one of the most interesting thinkers in management consulting today, and has some radical ideas about intellectual property in the new economy, the real purpose of CEOs, and the emergent nature of work. Like a few other people in the field, Luc combines work from Elliott Jaques, Stafford Beer and others to create a very different way of looking at the problems of organizing work. Here’s a small taste from the article that drew me to talk with him:

One does not need to pamper level 4 innovators by protecting them from the ongoing business. The quality of their innovative endeavours is enhanced by the frustrations they experience in their confrontations with level 3 people.

Luc’s a controversial thinker among the RO folks, and this is sure to start some conversations. I hope that these podcasts will help others understand what he is saying, so that the disagreements can be part of a fruitful conversation.

Here’s part one of our conversation with Luc Hoebeke, in Apple AAC format.

Image credit: Dome of the Belgian royal greenhouses in Laeken (external). © E. Forrest Christian


E. Forrest Christian is a consultant and writer with The Manasclerk Company who helps executive-level managers and experts translate their complex knowledge into products and materials that non-experts like clients and buyers understand. He has worked in functions as varied as web security, ghost writing, requisite organization, executive coaching, software design, environmental compliance, documentation, enterprise architecture, ISO 9001 and training. He even developed one of the earliest catalog websites in 1994 and has held certifications in IT security (CISSP), training and hazmat response. Forrest lives and works in the outer edge of the Chicago metro area in Valparaiso, Indiana.  [contact]

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