Interview with Eric Brutsaert - Interim Manager
Interim Management abroad: cultural differences, local players
Eric Brutsaert is a trendsetter. Within 10 to 15 years, many highly educated millennials will probably have a CV which looks like his. The career of this 47-year-old Belgian can certainly be inspiring for young people who are now entering the labor market.
3 steps’ career
Eric’s professional path so far can be resumed in three periods:
In the first one, Eric had a long experience in one company but got the opportunity to work on various missions and face different challenges in various countries. To a certain extent, he was an “Interim Manager avant la lettre”. This is what millennials will be looking for, even more than the previous generations: change, variation, challenges and various projects either within one company or in various organizations.
“Having worked for more than 20 years in a multicultural international business environment, I had the chance to develop a broad experience across several segments and multiple functions including Finance, IT and Supply & Logistics. This broad expertise has also helped me to build a strong finance background in planning, performance and reporting.”
The second period began when Eric decided to start an Executive MBA in January 2016. Continuous learning will definitely be a part of future careers of those people who aspire to get higher, to reach a self-fulfillment in a world where things evolve faster and faster.
“When starting my MBA, I met many other students who were around 30 years old and felt the need to start learning again. After the first business experience, going back to school, often taking courses focusing much more on practice, offers a springboard to a higher level in one’s career and can sometimes be a useful transition period to an independent status.”
The third part of Eric’s professional route is influenced by his strong performance ethic and need for action and problem-solving.
Highly stimulated by change, harmonization and transformation, Eric finds great satisfaction in showing his ability to influence and effect change across an organization.
Temporary advantage: Belgium
This motivation initiated his re-training as Interim Manager, which brought him first… to Barcelona.
“The worldwide projectization of the economy implies that more and more people, to start with Managers and other higher profiles, will be working on assignments. However, some countries like Spain experience a lack of qualified native Interim Managers. This explains why Interim Managers originating from countries where Interim Management is well-established, such as Belgium, have a temporary advantage to be asked to work in countries that don’t have it.
Indeed, when asking Eric if Interim Management is a widely spread trend in Europe, Eric keeps seeing striking differences: “Whereas contracting Interim Managers is something that first became very popular in England, and also rapidly in Belgium and the Netherlands, countries like Germany, France and Spain, for example, seem to evolve slower. The workers councils, which are traditionally very strong in these countries, can behave reluctant towards contractors and Interim Managers. Differences in fiscal systems also play a role. However, the evolution is unstoppable. The amount of Independent contractors hired by companies to work on specific projects and missions is growing fast.”
Local players’ assets
Finally, when asking Eric how he sees the sector of Interim Management evolving, he is convinced that the local approach will remain very important. The need for a local presence, a market knowledge and the capacity to follow up with the Interim Managers and maintain regular contact, like ADM does, is crucial for the success of the project”