Why I left Proximus

After 2.5 years, I have left my position as Head of Innovation at Proximus. I published a video on Youtube to explain my motivation. But since I also have a lot of non-Dutch speaking professional contact, I’ll give an explanation in English is this blogpost.

When I started at Proximus, I already told that I would only do this job for a year or two. I had to create the innovation department form scratch: recruit a team, build out the processes and governance model, start the projects, embed the structure within the organisation, etc. But after a year or two, this task is typically done. From the moment that everything runs smoothly the job becomes more of an operational management job. I like to think that I’m a good leader, but I know I’m a lousy manager. I prefer to startup new things as an entrepreneur.

What makes Proximus such a great company to work for is that there are plenty of opportunities. I was offered the challenge of moving to the core of our business and to create a prototype of the ideal customer experience for Millennials. For this project, we designed a ’10 week bootcamp’ innovation model. More information can be found in the case video below of Wijs agency, the partner who helped us deliver this project.

After Proximus Move the question was how we would continue this initiative. My personal preference was to scale the activity in a carve out model, but after a few discussions with our CEO it became clear to me that this was not what Proximus needed at this moment. The Proximus Move project is well received within Proximus and the learning will be applied internally. But I came to the conclusion that what I wanted to achieve personally and what Proximus needed was no longer one and the same. I don’t think that in that context it would be fair if I would hold on to my position of head of innovation, so that is the reason why I left.

I already reactivated my management company from which I deliver independent innovation consultancy, so I will explore new opportunities as a freelance consultant in the next weeks.

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