Meet Michael, resilient strategist with a global journey.
Michael, can you tell us more about yourself?
I moved 12 years ago from Belgium to Brno for my work and I stayed here because of love. Meanwhile we have 2 children, a house, a cat … so a typical family life.
Already when I was studying at university I focused on international economics, institutions … as I was a ‘man’ with a plan and was determined to get international exposure. From my first banking job, I was in role that involved frequent travelling and when the banking crisis started, my employer created a center here in Brno and that is how I got here. So, every crisis creates opportunities for someone.
What exactly do you do at your job?
I work within the Strategy & Business Development team. I would describe myself as someone who moves the company forward. Either by elaborating on new strategic ideas that ensure DTSE will remain successful in future or by strengthening corporate processes. So, a good mix of ideation and implementation. Examples of current work are transforming DTSE charging from traditional man-day pricing to effort-based pricing, design a concept to support employees work actively around strategy, coordinate the transitions from 5 DT group entities towards DTSE…
You have recently joined our company; how did your onboarding go? Are you settling comfortably?
I was amazed with the pre-onboarding as it was fully digital and already provided lots of info before my first working day. To be honest, I was a little nervous since I worked 15 years for the same company and DTSE is only my 2nd employer and I was not sure what to expect, if I would feel comfortable in company, team, role … I was surprised how easy it was and I feel very comfortable and well integrated. My perception of German business culture was quite opposite from reality and let’s just say that reality is much more fitting me.
Which of our company’s Guiding Principle do you connect with the most? How?
Stay curious and grow. I am allergic to status quo and always look for improvements in all aspects of life. Which means, I enjoy thinking out of box, testing new concepts, implementing changes …
You are part of SBD, which is one of the smallest teams in DTSE CZ. Does it have its benefits?
I do have a strong “WE” feeling, meaning that I do not experience there would be a German and a Czech SBD. When we have our team days, we are just with 4 in Brno so of course that allows you to have more intensive exchanges with each of them. In my previous company, I was leading many different teams and mostly from their creation which meant that we always started in this small bubble where everyone knew everyone and everything. It was at the one hand great to see your team grow from 5 to 100 however that always came with a price of less personal interaction, people only doing part of the work instead of whole process …
What do you appreciate the most in DTSE CZ so far?
We are part of a huge corporate, but we are a small entity here in Brno which creates that cozy feeling and personal connection between the employees.
As a Belgian, how did you integrate into the Czech culture? Is it very different from yours?
I picked up this quote of the “pillow method” a.k.a. I found myself a local partner. I believe much more in different personalities than in different nationalities certainly, now that we live in a world which is much more globalized.
What’s your favorite memory of living in Brno?
I have many but first ones to cross my mind are the first kiss with my wife and the birth of my daughter.