My strongest desire is to advance the common good and to make the world a better place, every day, everywhere, by :

Advising and influencing CEO's and business leaders in my job as a consultant at KPMG ; Leading people into their most inspiring journey ever ; Teaching and helping younger generations - those who will shape the world of tomorrow ; Counseling and supporting selected political and religious leaders ; Organizing thought-provoking inspirational events like the Essentials ; Connecting people and ideas all the time ; Trying to learn and to write on a regular basis ; Transforming "think tanks" into "action tanks" ; Being a radical optimist ; Most importantly, making my wife Cécile and our 4 children as happy as possible ; Serving God and people ; Investing wisely the 86.400 seconds we get every day to make our world a better place ... And keeping up smiling, no matter what !

Monday, January 8, 2018


My dear friends and readers,

I wish you all the best for 2018, and I hope that this new year will be excellent and full of joy for yourselves and for your families.

Please allow me to make a short but important announcement, and to share a few personal reflections looking back at 2017.

Thomas Bittner
After 6 rather intense years as President of INSEAD Alumni Association in France, I have reached the end of my 2 terms with some pride and emotion, handing over to my successor, Thomas Bittner, with whom I had worked very closely during my mandate, as my right hand comrade, but most importantly as a real friend. 

Without Thomas, we would not have accomplished what some distinguished alumni called the « Renaissance » of our association. It is fantastic that Thomas is now taking the helm of the ship, to lead our community into its next endeavors. 

Now, the end of my presidency is a big change for me personally, and I took some time in the past few weeks to reflect on the precious learnings from 6 years leading, or rather serving the Alumni Association of the #1 Business School in the World.

  • Leadership goes together with Trust. Both were granted to me by the INSEAD alumni community back in 2011, with a large majority vote, and since then it has been for me a responsible, enjoyable, ambitious and relentless mission... to deserve and to cherish this precious grant every day.
  • Inspire, innovate and connect. The association I took over in 2011 was anchored on a great legacy from my 16 predecessors. But it required some substantial transformation to thrive for another 50 years and more. The first key was to inspire the community, so we all embarked on a journey to make the world a better place, seeing business as a force for good, and creating major, memorable, impactful events around that belief, like INSEAD Essentials and INSEAD Forum. The second key was to innovate, quite radically, and to digitalize everything for example: Technology has been a clear enabler of our success… and it’s not over yet. The third key was to connect all of this: people with ideas, inspiration with innovation, strategy with implementation… Since then, « inspire and connect » has become my personal motto and the name of my blog.
  • INSEAD people are amazing. Over the last 5 years, the alumni association has welcomed a massive audience of 20.000+ people, alumni and friends of INSEAD, across 700+ fantastic events. We now have thousands of followers on social media, starting with none 6 years ago. We are now featured in most business media, and we have published many insightful studies on various topics… All this would not have been possible without the hundreds volunteers, alumni, professors and staff from INSEAD, to whom I want to pay a vivid tribute and express my immense gratitude. 
  • Humility precedes everything else. I felt very proud having successfully assembled, engaged, led and inspired one of the most amazing team of people I know, with such powerful combination of diversity (of talent and character), willingness to serve, passion to give back, intellectual wit and speed, appetite for collaboration and innovation, collective knowledge and experience… So in fact, rather than making me proud, this team made me more humble than anything else, and I am hugely thankful to my fabulous Executive Committee members for what they did together. Six years after, it feels to me like we formed the best team on Earth! 
  • Thank you … as I learnt so much. I indeed learnt an awful lot of stuff, having attended, listened to, and facilitated so many events with so many astounding speakers. One cannot forget the inspiring insights from a lesson of geopolitics by Laurent Fabius, a teaching on reinventing oneself by Herminia Ibarra, a joint word of wisdom from Bishop Dominique Rey and Dean Dipak Jain, a vibrant and forceful speech from Jacques Seguela, a description of successful leadership by Bertrand Collomb, a heated debate on M&A between Gregoire Chertok and Hubert Sagnieres, a clear vision of the world by Clara Gaymard, a radical call to make the world a better place by Kevin Roberts and Paul Polman, a confrontation (on the same panel) between Facebook, Google and Microsoft, a thoughtful conversation with Carlos Ghosn, a digital 101 with Lubomira Rochet, a provocative exchange with Arnaud Montebourg, or a chat on the future of leadership with David Jones and Kate Robertson at the One Young World conference in Johannesburg! Those magic encounters have probably taught me as much as 20+ years career or an MBA from INSEAD :-)

But besides this continuous and formidable experience, the thing I really got to learn along my six years leading INSEAD Alumni Association is that the most important things (for me) as a leader are to serve, to inspire and to connect people – in order to (try to) make the world a better place!

I sincerely hope I have been able to do so with the entire community over the past years. I have tried, with the outmost determination, to be efficient, energetic, passionate, federative, inspiring and leading during my mandate. I did ask the alumni to forgive me for times when this had not been the case, and apologized to those which my leadership style might have displeased or disturbed. 

In conclusion of this looking-back-in-time, I can only express my immense gratefulness for having been allowed to run this fantastic association between 2011 and 2017. It has been an enormous privilege that I shall never forget.

So, to all of you, dear readers, HAPPY NEW YEAR ! … and to INSEAD alumni association in particular, FAREWELL !

Saturday, May 27, 2017


My dear friends,

My past two years have been formidable, super active, and impactful. I had the privilege to serve Alpha courses association in France as President, in parallel to Deloitte, INSEAD, ExpoFrance2025 and my great family!

Alpha is an adventure... as the advertising with christian icon and former SAS, Bear Grylls, says... I sat during 5 years on the Board, and the past 2 years as Chairman. Alpha's purpose is to evangelize and to help people find the meaning of life: that's a truly transformational agenda... which requires tremendous and continuous innovation in a volatile, dechristianized society. 

When leading Alpha in France (~15 employees and hundreds volunteers), I admit I did not have enough time left to write blog posts on "inspire and connect", my favorite themes in life. Mind you, I did not have time enough also for spending time with friends and family, organizing the annual "Essentials" event, or doing any other pro-bono work for purposeful organizations. 

Since I decided, after an intense 5-year service at Alpha, to resign a few months ago, I wanted to reconnect with you today, my dear blog readers and followers ! Just to be clear and to reassure some of you, my resignation had nothing to do with health reasons or work-overload as I heard ūüėÉ, but simply with (too) strong disagreement with the (too) longstanding Board vis-√†-vis the innovation and rejuvenation agenda that I had set for Alpha. Sadly, change is always hard to accept in established organizations, notably religious ones. Nevertheless, I wish lot of success and courage to the Alpha team and to my future successor, and all possible blessings. 

Having turned this page, I am now enjoying some available time aside Deloitte to think about how to best "inspire and connect" people ! 

Tons of ideas came up from meeting great people, including many of you, in the past months, from the private, public and religious worlds. There are ideas and projects like: Start to blog again; Write a book; Join the board of a start-up; Organize Essentials 2.0 events; Relax and spend more time with the family; Get involved in the local church; Advise a fast-growing diocese; Coach a rising media/medical star; Join the board of the French catholic TV channel; Organize a global INSEAD Forum in Paris on Digital; Get into politics; Speak about GenY and millenials at the Vatican; Launch a "post-Alpha" course in France... Wow! 

I already initiated a few of these ūüėČ, with great prudence and discernment of course, as I also changed role at Deloitte on June 1 (more news to follow soon)... 

So, as you can see, a lot of possibilities to "inspire and connect" people and ideas. 

But I wanted to seek your advice too for this blog: Why would you read my blog posts ? What content would you like to see here ? What kind of "inspire and connect" events would you love to attend ?... 

Indeed, I want to be more reader-driven and reader-centric from now on, and your guidance and recommendations would be super useful. 

Please do let me know your ideas via this blog, social media, private messages or e-mail me in person to: jean-marc@liduena.com

Your contribution matters - thanks !

Monday, January 4, 2016


I wish you all the best for 2016. May this new year be full of JOY for all of you, and your families and friends. 

I can only hope that we are more and more inspired and connected in 2016 to make the world a better place, together !

Saturday, November 14, 2015


« Ce matin, j’ai un petit peu peur. »

Ce furent les mots d√©chirants de notre petite fille, Philom√®ne, 9 ans, ce matin, lorsque nous nous retrouv√Ęmes pour le traditionnel petit-d√©jeuner en famille du samedi matin.

Ce petit-d√©jeuner avait un go√Ľt √©trange, amer, comme jamais avant avec nos 4 jeunes enfants. Ce petit-d√©jeuner √©tait charg√© … de silence et de bruit ; d’√©motions et de r√©flexions ; d’appels ext√©rieurs et de dialogues int√©rieurs ; de peur et d’esp√©rance (si, si, toujours) ; de col√®re et de joie (pour ceux qui n’√©taient pas touch√©s) ; de questions et de r√©ponses ; de stress et de calme … mais surtout de pri√®re, sans √©quivoque, intense, pour les victimes et pour leurs proches, et pour notre pays en deuil !

Notre petit-d√©jeuner √©tait certainement similaire au v√ītre, et √† celui de millions de familles √† Paris, en France et dans le Monde.

Mais il √©tait aussi tr√®s, tr√®s, tr√®s diff√©rent de celui des familles des victimes, d√©c√©d√©es, port√©es disparues ou bless√©es — dont le nombre reste encore tr√®s incertain, et qui sont confront√©es au pire des visages de l’humanit√©, celui de la haine aveugle, et au plus haut degr√© possible de chagrin et d’incompr√©hension.

Alors, ce matin, tous ensemble, nous voulons dire une pri√®re ardente pour toutes ces familles meurtries, ou au moins avoir une pens√©e pour elles, pleine de compassion, de charit√©, de solidarit√© … et j’oserais aussi ajouter pleine de fraternit√©, valeur fondatrice du peuple de France aujourd’hui.

J’ai re√ßu de tr√®s nombreux messages des amis d'ALPHA, de l’INSEAD, de DELOITTE et de bien d’autres horizons ce matin, qui d√©montrent bien la force et l’unit√© de toutes nos communaut√©s fraternelles et bienveillantes en ce jour, comme une seule famille √©plor√©e. Ces messages sont tr√®s pr√©cieux pour nous tous, et je vous en remercie ! N’h√©sitez pas, continuez √† envoyer toujours plus de messages d’esp√©rance et de courage, qui sont tellement r√©confortants au cŇďur des heures obscures que nous vivons √† Paris.

J’esp√®re que la date du 13 novembre restera √† jamais grav√©e dans nos livres et nos m√©moires, non pas comme une pierre tombale, mais comme un message fort et retentissant, adress√© √† tous les peuples, aux victimes comme aux terroristes, qui proclamera pour toujours :

« En cette sombre date du 13 novembre 2015, le peuple de France a √©t√© bless√© et an√©anti, mais il a aussi r√©alis√© que la compassion et la charit√© peuvent briller dans nos pires obscurit√©s, comme un feu allum√© qui ne s’√©teint jamais. »

Avec toute l’assurance de mon affection et de ma pri√®re fervente, pour vous tous, pour la France et pour tous les hommes et les femmes qui souffrent du terrorisme dans le monde.




« Ce matin j’ai un petit peu peur. »

« This morning, I am a little bit afraid. »

These were the heartbreaking words of our youngest daughter, Philomene, 9 years old, when our family gathered for the traditional Saturday morning breakfast together on 14th November.

Our family breakfast had a strange taste today, like never before with our 4 children, plenty of … silence and noise ; emotions and reflections ; outside calls and inner talks ; fear and hope (yes, still) ; questions and answers ; anger and joy (for those we learnt were unharmed) ; stress and calm… and prayers, unequivocally, intensely, for the victims and their friends and families, and for our bereaved country.

Our breakfast was most likely similar to your own breakfast, and like millions of family breakfasts in Paris, in France, in the World.

But it was also very, very, very different from the mornings of the families of the dead and the wounded — whose number still remains ‘bloody’ uncertain, and who are confronted to the worst possible visage of humanity, blind hatred, and to the highest possible sorrow and incomprehension.

So, this morning, we want to say a vivid prayer for all those wounded families, or at least to have a profound thought for them, full of compassion, of charity, of solidarity… and I would also dare to write : full of “Fraternit√©”, the most important value of the people of France today.

I have received lots of messages from friends and members of ALPHA, INSEAD, DELOITTE communities across the world, and from many others. These messages are priceless, as it shows the unique feeling of being a strong, united, family-like community globally. Please do not hesitate to send more of those words of hope and courage, they are so comforting and precious in the dark hours we live in today!

I hope that the date of November 13th will stay engraved in our books and our memories in France, not like a tomb-stone, but like a loud, resounding message to the people of the world, victims and terrorists alike, which will forever proclaim:

“On that sad date of 13th November 2015, the people of France were hurt and annihilated, but they also knew that love and compassion can, more than ever, shine within our darkest nights, like a fire that never dies away.”

With all my best regards and humble but fervent prayers, for France and for all the people suffering from terrorism in the world.


Saturday, May 9, 2015


Dear readers,

Long time no see ...

Indeed, the past three months have been amazing, and quite busy :-)

I even had to apply to myself the great principle of time management — 86,400 — which I had written about a couple of months ago in this post : http://jmliduena-insead.blogspot.fr/2013/01/86-400.html

Basically, I embarked on a new super VUCA mission : not "volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous"... but Vibrant, Ultimate, Cool and Astounding !

I was recently elected Chairman of ALPHA in France. Over 23 million people have experienced an  Alpha course in the world.

It is a course attracting people who are asking the question "is there more to life than this?", and introducing those people to the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. Alpha is a series of interactive sessions that explore the basics of the Christian faith. In those sessions, no question is too simple, and no answer pre-packaged.

About 66,000 courses are running across 169 countries globally, in 112 languages.

One of the key outcomes of Alpha courses is to train Christian leaders whom, in turn, can help evangelize the nations, revitalize the Church, and transform the society.

We held a fantastic global reunion earlier this week in London: The 2015 Leadership Conference with 6,000 Christian leaders from around the world, including entrepreneur Jo Malone, banker Ken Costa, franciscan Raniero Cantalamessa, and archbishop Justin Welby...

More to follow on Leadership in the coming weeks...

Alpha ... inspire and connect !

2015 Leadership Conference in London, Royal Albert Hall

Sunday, January 11, 2015


Where there is no vision... the people perish (Proverbs)

I wanted, after several days of silence and darkness in France, to wish you all the best for 2015 !

I strongly suggest that we all use 2015 as a milestone to make the world a better place.

To do so, we will need to find a new vision for the world - political, economical, social and spiritual.

So, let's all have another look at the world, starting today... full of joy, hope, faith, and radical optimism.

Bonne année 2015 !

Let's be inspired and connected.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Because She's Worth It !

I had the immense privilege to interview Lubomira Rochet, Chief Digital Officer of L'OREAL, a few weeks ago, as a key speaker for INSEAD Essentials 2014.

Our topic was "How to Make the World a Better Place through Digital, Education and Diversity".

I must admit that Lubomira really managed well to summarize this rather complex theme into a couple of inspiring ideas which I wanted to share with you here.

i. Digital can truly make a difference on the lives of billions of people. For example, Digital can make the world better by helping people to choose, e.g. to make informed choices from an amazing array of offers in mature markets for instance. "Smart personalization" will allow consumers to find the right products/ services meeting their needs at the right price.

ii. Diversity does not necessarily mean gender or generation. Rather, it is often about "being different", e.g. with a non-conventional background in the corporate world. Lubomira used her own example, diving straight from the Service industry (Microsoft, Valtech) into the Cosmetics industry (L'Oreal). The benefit of such diversity is the disruptive agenda it creates into the company.

iii. Succeeding in Diversity often requires to make bold decisions in terms of leadership appointments. Such boldness in promoting "different" people will spread more creativity and self-confidence into the ranks and ultimately will create more value.

iv. Making the world better actually starts at individual level. The times of macro-systems, like capitalism or communism used to be, are probably over now in a super-connected world, in the Digital ecosystem. It is now in the hands of anyone to change things, to act in a responsible manner, and to induce a better world with confidence and courage.

v. To succeed in your personal and professional life, there is a clear and concise recommendation to the younger generation:
     - Learn fast
     - Be yourself (and believe in yourself)
     - Speak out
     - Never compromise with your values and what you believe in

Thank you for this inspiring and connected conversation !

Watch the interview online : https://vimeo.com/106174742

Sunday, September 28, 2014


May the Business Force for Good be with You

I am back on line!

A few weeks ago I opened the third edition of INSEAD Essentials in Paris with the unusual claim that the role of business is to make the world a better place, and to be a force for good.

Many people out there are saying:
- Business is about making profits, and financial markets don't care about long term...
- Business leaders cannot be truly seeking to make the world better as they must make profits...

Well, I dare to say that the quest of "value" is now over, as the world has lost confidence in the financial and corporate world.

It is now the time of the quest of "values".

I mean "values" in their broadest sense: respect ; sustainability ; trust ; long-term focus ; ethics ; corporate responsibility ; integrity ; employees first ... The sort of values that Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, explained at INSEAD Essentials last year, describing how values drive his vision and strategy for Unilever (50 billion euros sales ; 200.000 employees), through the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan.

The big question then is HOW the business leaders must think and act consistently, to address the permanent dilemma between making profits and making the world better.

I have listed 6 attributes of top leaders who are authentically seeking to drive the business as a force for good:

1. Adaptability:  We need to understand the context and the ecosystem which we live in.
2. Creativity:  We need to be creative to invent new ways of doing business.
3. Humility:  We need to be humble to face the huge challenges of the 21st century.
4. Empathy:  We need to show genuine interest in others, and to understand them.
5. Charity:  We need to develop a real and authentic love for mankind and society.
6. Benignity:  We need to start seeing the world with benevolence and positive attitude.

Such leaders are authentic, inspired and connected !

See the full speech online:

Friday, July 18, 2014


How to lead in times of insecurity ???

Many readers asked me about a post I published in March on the blog of my former firm about Leadership in times of insecurity... Here it is.
When I reflected on the theme “Leadership in times of insecurity”, I immediately thought about the popular acronym that’s used to describe the world we live in: VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous). I find this is a pretty clear and concise definition of “insecure times”.
Many different skills and attitudes are required of leaders in such an insecure world. From my experience in working with successful CEO's as well as religious and political leaders, I can list four critical qualities:
Creativity. Information flows at incredible speed in the digital era. Ideas emerge and fade rapidly, and only the great ones survive and thrive. Therefore, rapid and efficient innovation is the key to succeeding in such a world, and creativity is the fuel. Leaders today must become (and remain) generators of cutting-edge ideas.
Adaptability. The world changes from day to day. On September 14, 2008, anyone in corporate finance would have been thrilled with a job at the prestigious Lehman Brothers. But it was a completely different story on September 15, when Lehman collapsed. More than ever, leaders must adapt to (instant) change. They must seek change and they must love change. In fact, leaders must become agents of change and be able to take command of it. Adaptability is the best leadership attitude in a perfect corporate storm.
Capability. It is not enough for leaders to be creative and adaptable in our insecure world. They must be capable, too. Needless to say, corporate life equips people with leadership tricks, management toolkits, and best practices, among others. Every day at work is a learning day: capability becomes deeper and broader as you get older. The only trick is then to figure out how and when to use it properly. And remember, in today’s insecure world, pure strategy is meaningless – only strategy with good execution, based on real capabilities, will succeed!
Humility. In February 2013, I wrote on my blog about what I see as a leader’s greatest strength – humility. I believe that, in insecure times, the best leaders have to admit that they do not know it all. Most certainly, leaders will fail at some stage in a VUCA world. Only the greatest leaders will learn from their failures and their mistakes, and they will recover fast by fixing the problem. The CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, Kevin Roberts, sums it up very well: Fail fast, learn fast, fix fast. You can read more about humility, the trait all successful leaders must have, in this blog post.
The four characteristics above are necessary to succeed in insecure times, but they may not be sufficient. Leaders need to do many other things in order to handle insecurity. For instance:
- Making bold and courageous decisions without having all the facts and figures at hand
- Defining and implementing the right purpose and following it whatever the obstacles
- Being resilient no matter what degree of pressure and insecurity they may face
- Acting together, playing a collective game, rather than trying to optimize locally on your own. There is a great African proverb which says: “If you want to go fast, you go alone. If you want to go far, you go together.” Setting up partnerships is the key to succeeding in an insecure world; NGOs, governments, corporations must act as one, with a common vision and positive attitude
There is a lot more to say, but I will end here and leave you with two ideas to trigger further thoughts on this blog, and hopefully an active online discussion:
First, in times of insecurity, true leaders do not simply seek to thrive and succeed. True leaders inspire and connect people to make the world a better place.
Second, do we have to continue to describe our world as “volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous”? Couldn’t we see this differently and more optimistically? Why not think of it as “vibrant, unique, cool and astounding”!