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Thomas Buisson

  • Programme: Leading Businesses into the Future
  • Nationality: French
  • Job Post-programme: General Manager, Aesop

“As you develop professionally, you need people around you with drive and energy. Tammy Erickson is one of the most energetic people I’ve ever met.”

It’s all about perspective for Thomas Buisson. His job as General Manager for Europe at Aesop, a skincare product brand, is frenetic and he doesn’t often find the time for reflection. The week he spent at London Business School on the Leading Businesses into the Future (LBF) programme was a chance to step back and see his role from a new vantage point.

“I chose the programme because it looks at development from all kinds of angles,” he says. “I didn’t want to spend a week acquiring a new technical skill. I wanted the perspective of others who were living similar experiences to me.”

Thomas’s boss, Aesop’s CEO Michael O’Keeffe, is an MBA alumnus from LBS. When Thomas told him he was considering taking the LBF programme, Michael’s response was emphatic. “He said that Tammy Erickson, who teaches on the programme, was quite remarkable. After hearing that, I made up my mind to take it.”

His expectations were more than met by Tammy, Adjunct Professor of Organisational Behaviour at LBS and a thrice-named top 50 most influential global thinker. “I was really impressed,” Thomas says. “As you develop professionally, you need people around you with drive and energy. Tammy is one of the most energetic people I’ve ever met.”

The feeling of energy, drive and creativity was a recurring theme throughout the programme for Thomas. He’s now reaping significant rewards from the fresh mindset it has given him. 

“I recently met with one of the speakers on the course; he has a consulting company that encourages people to think as designers do. We talked about how he works with his clients to unlock their creativity, and how it’s not just for designers and marketers but for everyone. I told him how we work at Aesop and now he’s going to send some of his clients to us to see what we do.”

Thomas is now working with a coach he met during the LBF programme on four goals for his organisation. “The first is around people and my team,” he says. “The second is about my leadership capacity – the way I speak in public and the perspective I give to my people and the tone of my communication. Also, I have ideas for out-of-the-box scenarios and stories to use as examples for my team. 

“The third is to instil creativity at all levels – for example using creativity for interactions with my team through workshops. The fourth is about my own space and dedicating more time to this.”

For Thomas, achieving those four goals will have a significant impact on the company – proof that taking a five-day programme can reap long-term business rewards.