I have held onto this mail for some time, but I think its time to publish it. I think it is very revealing about the way Creo viewed Scitex during the takeover.

Notice the email address for “Ex-Creo only” Star Trek fans may see a similarity with “The Borg”….


From: Boudewijn Neijens Sent: ‘Thursday, July 13, 200012:00 PM .

To: **Names Removed** .

Cc: Europe Office {ex-Creo only); Alon lumbroso; Paul Kelly; Michel Couchard .

Subject: RE: Work organization of ex”Creo” team


Hi guys, I read all your comments and I can understand most of them. Now put yourself in the shoes of your manager: she/he has been “forced” for years to work in a very restrictive environment where everything was controlled and driven by budgetary constraints (and a fair serving of autocratic decision making at the “top” for some areas). After a while you learn how to operate under these constraints and you start conditioning your troops to do the same. That’s where the Blue team comes in with its very different operating principles, and of course the Red managers are puzzled if not scared by the new principles. let’s not forget that it’s actually much more difficult to be a team leader (or manager) in the Creo system than in the Scitex system: it’s much tougher to achieve results by gaining consensus and ensuring everybody is fully informed than by simply “barking orders” (OK, this is an exageration but you get my point).

So it’s clearly the top management’s role to “condition” the middle management and prompt these guys/gals to adopt new working methods. So far we have had very little success here as the top management was disfunctional. This is now changing and we’re making rapid progress. We’re indeed preparing a meeting of all middle management end of August (not possible earlier with most on hols). The purpose will be to present -and get buy-in ~ to the operating principle of the company. Up the the first tier of middle management to then relay this “further down”. We will make very sure this happens.

One of the first changes we wanted to make is already implemented and is showing good results: every new candidate to a position {internal or external) is now interviewed by a group of people (as opposed to HR and the direct manager alone) and hiring decisions are made by this group. Needless to say this first change was also a crucial one: it ensures that we build a “new” organisation based on the right people. You might think of this as a small step but it is not: again, put yourself in the manager’s shoes. All of the sudden you are stripped of the power to hire and fire alone in your department. For many managers this is a huge change in authority, and a clear appetiser of things to come. So it forces every manager to start thinking very carefully on the merits and implications of such a more participatory system.

Am I happy with the way things are going? Yes and no. Yes because there is a genuine understanding in the new MD&VP team that this needs to happen asap and thoroughly. No because many of the Boston Principle can be interpreted narrowly or widely, and the current tendency is to take the narrow view, also based on the assumption that most ex-Red people cannot “absorb” the full extent of the Boston Principles. This to me is BS but only time will tell, and hey -we need to start somewhere.