Quality, connecting, humor, creativity and passion are the pillars of my work.
Diversity is a passion for me; rather a natural thing than a theoretical concept.
I always try to explore new directions and varied contexts.
The common thread throughout my private life and career is that I connect people with themselves, their environment and their work. Through this process people find more fulfillment and they become more productive and creative and so everyone will always benefit.
When I graduated as a teacher (1989), I started working as a social worker for drug addicts. At the same time, as a young father, I could intensively take care of my daughter, and to be so closely involved with her development has always been a great joy to me.
More than 10 years I coached people in their quest for themselves. I worked with all kinds of minorities. People with disabilities, migrants, prisoners, GayLesbianBisexualTransgender (GLBT), they all belonged to my clients. I developed skill in individual guidance as well as in teamwork. Personal coaching but also starting up and guiding processes were a part of my work.
Long before diversity was a buzzword, I lived and explored it as much in my private as professional life. Creatively with friends in the world of fashion, design, music and socio-economical interests. Most of them from various backgrounds and education.
In 2001 I was director of a nonprofit organization ‘ De Eenmaking’: a group of employees mainly consisted of people with different backgrounds.
I noticed that it was hard for minority groups to get a job in companies so in 2002 I followed a training: ’Diversity management and change management in companies’.
This training (including the training people management at the MBA Vlerick Management School) and my years of experience helped me to launch processes to ensure that companies could gain the surplus value of diversity policy.
Both in terms of people management as in terms of products and marketing.
I have spoken at international forums on the value of diversity. (International conference in Cyprus: ‘Diversity for SME’ organized by European Parliament, ‘Coaching in a diverse context’ organized by Cranstoun in Budapest, ‘The cost of thinking twice’ (GLBT managers) in Zurich organized by IBM).
Since 2006 I work full time as a consultant, trainer for non-profit, SME and multinationals (Government of Flanders, Fedasil, Daoust interim, L’Oréal, Sodexo… ). In the meantime I continue to give training to newcomers (new migrants) on values and norms. This ensures me that I am nurtured in my need for further knowledge as a ‘hands-on’ expert. This close connection and sharing of ideas, values and feelings with people from various cultural backgrounds are a continual most enriching experience.
My job as a people manager is to detect and solve the obstacles and tension between people in companies. This can usually be resolved by structural adjustment, training and/or coaching. I daily enjoy the opportunity to experience that a creative, innovative and good working team is a well structured divers team ( just look at the winning teams in the world).