- Programme: Making Innovation Happen
- Nationality: Belgian
- Job Post-programme: Managing Director of Ogilvy Internal Communications and ToThePointAtWork.com, Belgium
Education and career
In his role as Managing Director of Ogilvy Internal Communications, Edouard provides communication advice and consulting support to many companies and senior executives. He is also setting up a company, ToThePointAtWork.com, which aims to change the way individuals and corporations present. He attended Making Innovation Happen at London Business School in 2013. His book, Presentation Thinking & Design: Create Better Presentations, Quicker, will be published in 2014.
Maintaining competitive advantage
Attending Making Innovation Happen was a crossroads in my career and the catalyst for me to write a book and develop a new model for my business. I run Ogilvy Internal communications, a consultancy offering advice and training. I’m also developing a private company that will provide presentation training and support to businesses and executives. The training part of the business used to make up the majority of our sales, however this part of the business has since been in a decline. To ensure the long-term value of our business, I was of the opinion that we needed to innovate. This was my main reason for attending the programme at London Business School.
The interaction with the other participants and Programme Director, Julian Birkinshaw, was invaluable. That became clear early in the week when they convinced me that I should articulate my ideas in a book. Most of the thinking behind what I needed to do had started before the programme, but the discussions that we had in the classroom gave me the push that I needed. They helped me to understand what change was needed and gave me the motivation and reassurance that this was the right way to move my business forward. I hadn’t realised how advanced my ideas were, but the programme offered the environment, the teaching and the discussions for me to crystallise my thinking.
Creating an impact
My book will be an important change agent for my business. It will appear in the UK and be distributed worldwide. My hopes are that my company will move forward internationally. Rather than work in a small country on a wide range of projects, we will work globally on one specific component - designing and perfecting presentations. My intention is that the book will provide a new marketing tool for the business. The book has been instrumental in focussing and deepening our knowledge and competence. I dare to say that we are now on the forefront with the latest knowledge, insights and experience in the area of presentation design. The next step is to translate that into renewed services, sales and market leadership. We plan to do that by redefining our business model; offering different services to international clients and interacting in different ways with our supplier.
What makes the programme unique is the discussions that are generated when you gather people from different areas of the world, from different businesses, all with the same objective to learn and innovate something in their business. The models and ideas about innovation provide the academic framework, which encourages structured and fruitful discussions.
The global networks I developed on the programme have directly impacted my business. I’ve been able to tailor a training course for one of my fellow participants and I’m in regular contact with another participant who is a continuous sounding board to share my ideas. I have the interaction with my course mates and Julian to thank for this exciting new direction that I am heading in.