As founder and CEO, I lead an engineering company with my business partner Bruno Dejaeghere. Over the last 10 years I made it my ongoing mission to make this sustainable human-centric approach part of our organisation. I envision Absolem as a company that puts people and society first, without having to compromise on technological skills and innovation. Our story over the last 10 years is the best example that a business can grow & flourish by putting people first.
What are the first words that pop into your mind when someone talks about innovation? Chances are that you’re thinking about R&D, labs, concepts, prototypes, etc. Am I right? Why? Is technology the real driver for innovation? Give two companies the same technology and resources, and innovation will thrive more in one than the other. Where’s the difference?
The differentiating factor for sustainable growth?
I strongly believe that a people-centric and purpose-driven company culture is the differentiating factor for sustainable growth. An innovative company culture starts with people and in the workplace. Yet, to realize such a culture, we have to dare question longstanding rules about growth and collaboration. I stand for a paradigm shift: pure economic growth should never be your only driver. But then what should it be?
The quest for purpose, self-expression and making meaningful impact in life and work is reshaping companies. And every company is a group of talented and skilled individuals working together to create value. Let’s start there, with so-called soft skills. As more and more job activities become automated, these are the crucial success factors, which cannot yet be replicated by technology. The irony of soft skills is that they are often the hardest to learn. Communication and emotional intelligence, creativity and adaptability, resilience and integrity may not be technical but they are vital pillars to realize innovation. Not physically tangible like hardware but as essential, as critical. That is why I prefer to call them human skills. And I’m convinced that for real innovation in this complex world, you need a human-centric approach, because the core of all innovation lies in the potential of human beings. How are you activating that human potential in your company? Feel free to connect on LinkedIn to follow my actions and ideas on human-centric innovation.