I change companies to be less about ads and more about acts.
In November 2015, I almost died of a kidney rupture and a lung infection. It was an experience that changed my outlook on life profoundly.
First of all, I decided to make as many beautiful memories as possible. By spending more quality time with my family, by exploring the world, and by actively chasing adventures. Adventures aren’t behind iPad or mobile screens, but by dancing in the rain, getting lost in a city you know, and building blanket fortresses with your kids.
Secondly, I decided to not accept the horrible status quo of suboptimal relationships between companies and consumers anymore. Not as a consumer myself and certainly not as a professional. This, by trying to craft wow experiences for my clients – to have consumers and brands create beautiful memories together.
Finally, I decided to make my professional environment, an environment I truly love. To actively try and make meetings fun. I started doing fewer meetings and more doings. Fewer PowerPoints, more doing stuff. And even more than before, I am obsessed with changing companies to be less about ads and more about acts.
I made a career out of it in which I try to learn about companies and their customers. And try to bridge the gaps between them. By inspiring the companies to change. By creating plans and strategies to bring this change into practice. By engaging and communicating this within these organizations. Because I think we can and have to be better. We need to change to be less about ads and more about acts.
A career of changing companies to be more about acts
I have always acted at the forefront of digital and technological developments. Over the years, I have been combining that with the strategic development of these brands and organizations.
The last few years have been mainly about building global (digital) strategies and plans, building support and traction within the organizations (including supervisory board preparations and business cases), and engaging the organizations in the change (employee sessions, workshops, facilitation).
As a logical evolution, I have started doing more focused coaching and facilitation projects geared towards improving the ways of working within the organizations I was working for.
Never not learning
The more you learn and the more you experience, the more you realize you know nothing.
I keep a disciplined learning regime where I do at least two additional trainings and certifications per year (most recently my agile coaching certifiction), keep a quarterly (and annual) review structure in which I review my learning goals, I am part of a peer-review structure and teach-the-teacher programs and I am blessed with several mentors. Finally, I try to dedicate 10% of my time to projects and assignments I have not done before to keep my learning level up.
Making as many beautiful memories as possible
I travel a lot. A lot a lot. Mostly for business. Frequently for some amazing hike somewhere around the world or while spending time with my family (I got divorced in 2020, have two amazing kids, Ella and Gust). But the red thread through my travel is omakase – the art of letting go of expectations. I strongly believe that if you travel with an open mind, when you leave your expectations at home, you experience more. That is the thinking behind my travel blog, omakas.es.
On the habit of omakase
The Japanese habit of omakase (お任せ) when you’re ordering at a restaurant pretty much means, “I’ll leave it up to you”, inviting the chef to be innovative and surprising in the selection of dishes. I try to do it in every city I visit and apply the idea behind everything from how I pick my runs, how I pick my food, how I plan activities with my kids, how I explore cities, and how I travel in general.
If you apply this, you experience more. You are more likely to stumble upon an amazing part of the city that wasn’t mentioned in the Lonely Planet. You are more likely to meet new people, to have the staff in your restaurant pick your food, or to have a hipster local point you to the best possible bars and restaurants.
Or to be more specific: You are more likely to end up drinking tea with Bedouins in the desert, to do the haka with Maori in New Zealand, end up bar crawling with people you never met in Tokyo, sharing life stories with drunk Russian millionaires in London and my other amazing travel memories.