Lef’ is the Dutch word for ‘guts’ or ‘courage’, which is the perfect description of what I do: with LEF I push organizations and their leaders to explore, examine and create business opportunities for the day after tomorrow. Not only by optimizing their strategic thinking and solving underlying problems that limit their development, but also by making them aware of and implementing game-changing trends.
HOW IT STARTED
My path might not be the most conventional one. I’ve been a lawyer, have a background in marketing and worked in general management and change management. These were all great experiences, but I wanted to do more. I wanted to help more organizations than just the one. I wanted to see more businesses flourish, more entrepreneurs reach their true potential and really make an impact on the world. Enter: LEF
HELICOPTER MIND & 360° VIEW: THE LEF STRENGTH
To stay competitive, organizations must innovate. But from my own working experiences I knew that was easier said than done and that it often requires a new set of eyes. Most companies are preoccupied with day-to-day operations and are having trouble seeing what needs to be done in order to be future ready.
Especially in times of crisis it’s important to be able to shift to an adaptive mindset. I think the pandemic made that crystal clear to all of us.
And that’s where my strength comes in: I have a helicopter mind. I see where and how we can translate abstract terms into the practical field and vice versa, like a helicopter that shifts between different altitude levels. To do so, we look at the company from every possible angle, a 360° view: we look into the future, the past, the big picture, the core values, the fortes, and what actions to take…
This not only enables companies to make a durable shift, it also helps to identify organizational challenges, as every activity is being questioned in terms of its purpose, its value, its methods, processes and other requirements.
That link between what already exists, and the bigger picture is very important to me. It’s not a rigid, but a human way of looking at things. I believe innovation doesn’t necessarily mean throwing everything down the drain and starting from scratch, but that it’s staying true to the DNA of your company, while chiseling it into something more durable and futureproof.
TRENDS ARE THE WAY TO GO
Preparing companies for the future also means spotting possibilities to stay ahead of the game. And that entails truly understanding the audience. It would be wrong to believe that your audience is an immovable group of stone figures, it’s a living and breathing system with evolving desires and emotions.
As a trend analyst I help my clients understand in which direction their audience is evolving: how is their behavior changing? Which innovations are coming their way? And how do you distinguish long-term trends from hypes? These trends are extremely fascinating in my opinion. They not only offer you a clear insight into today’s society, but it also puts a human face on innovation, which we too often only link with technology.
City of Antwerp: In 2021 I’ve been the Innovation Project Leader of the Chief Digital Officer-team and helped the city to put their innovation strategy into practice. Through future labs for example. It has been a very interesting challenge which will create a lot of impact, I’m sure.
Higher education: I’m connected to several universities like Karel De Grote Hogeschool and Thomas More, where I give guest lectures on entrepreneurship and have a seat in several committees for example. I strongly believe in life-long learning. And I hope that as a mentor I can pass on this vision to younger generations, while learning from them at the same time.