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WGT: Broken HR systems and beyond with Jeroen Fumau [transcript]

Updated: Aug 26, 2021

Please enjoy this transcript of my interview with Jeroen Fumau from Talent Sprint.


Passionate rantings of two people believing we need to put the human back into human resources. We also go beyond that, looking at how young adults are being prepared for the working life ahead of them and what impact COVID will have on their careers and development.

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Lech: [00:02:10] Welcome, welcome, welcome. It's great

to have you with me. And the usual first question for all my guests is when you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Jeroen Fumau: [00:02:21] I had no to when I was little and I have no clue at this moment.

Lech: [00:02:25] That's an interesting answer. I'd never had that before. I'm not surprised because so many people don't know what they want to do in life and the. Evolve kind of, as they, as they go and they learn different things, generalist the same as me kind of learn a lot of different things, a lot of different trades along the way.

And then use that. What's been kind of the trade that you think you've picked up along the way that you've enjoyed the most, then.

Jeroen Fumau: [00:02:48] Well, I like to play with Lego when I was a young. So there was, let's say a kind of an engineer in me at that moment to to build artifacts and to build constructions. So I enjoyed that. So that made me in the end. Also choose to study mechanical engineering at the university in Eindhoven a year in the Netherlands.

But to say that that was a real conscious choice. I see it more as the alternative choice, because at that moment, when I went to university or ethics, I had to choose an, a, an education mechanical engineering was a, quite a safe bet. There was an engineering study. You can go in all directions. So so say my advisors at school said, well, that might be a good option for you.

And actually I liked it. So in that sense, but the interesting part was is that During my my studies and let's say, you know, I ain't Hoven. I started to discover that I was not that engineer, that designed stuff, or in a very humble way is able to create a technical solution for the type of challenges that the world was facing at that moment.

And I was part of the automotive engineering group here in Eindhoven, which is a very problem group. And I always tell people, well, the only thing I can probably do at my car is change the wheel and probably put fuel in it. So, but don't allow me under the hoots because I probably Reuben more than that.

I will repair and that's, that's my life as an engineer at that moment. But I think what I picked up at that moment was my passion for how organizations work, how products were being developed and engineered more from a process point of view and from a collaboration point of view. So towards the end of my studies, I had the opportunity to do my final internships at at Phillips electronics here in the Netherlands.

I'm very specifically in an organization that was all about design thinking and creativity. So Phillips has this in-house design agencies called Phillips design at that currently I think it's called Phillips experience design. And when I started it was called Phillips corporate design, so different names, but let's say the design entity, and that's where I really grew a passion for the notion of design and creativity.

And more as a skill and as a capability to impact organizations. And from the first day onwards, when I entered as a student and my intern project was to actually translate a design philosophy into a business process. But that made me so passionate about this organization, but also that world that I decided to stay.

And I Spent many years in different roles in that Phillips design organization, empowering design professionals to be calmed those really nutcrackers of the design challenges that they had, and really do the most amazing things. And I don't put any credits on myself, but I've been doing a lot behind the scenes in in enabling that organization to be successful from 1990.

Six onwards still 2012 when I left the organization. So what did I pick up as a career at that moment? Designing organizations, designing work process, designing conditions for success. And that's I think maybe the career that I'm in, I love to empower and enable people to unlock their potential and then experience success.

And I do that in the design and innovation space. But I can probably do it in other spaces as well, but that's what I've picked up as a career, but it takes turns every day, every month to every year. That it's hard for me to say, I know what I want to be in the area.

Lech: [00:06:12] I think embracing that is important. And a lot of people, including myself, sometimes struggle with that changeability of things, but that's where the, the excitement of the fund is because you get to try and do different things and have different impacts. And I think, although you said that you didn't know where you wanted to do when you were little.

I think like the Lego blocks that you've played with, or you enjoy playing with it kind of all came together for you because there, there is definitely a pattern of, of building stuff of understanding how things work, potentially taking their path and putting it back together. And it's actually quite interesting that you, you you've had this experience because.

Obviously a lot of the work that you do is around helping young people figure out what they want to do and what they, how they fit into the greater picture of the workplace and going into that workplace and helping them manage that kind of transition. And this is obviously something that we want to talk about today.

And of course I'm returning the favor of being on. Your podcast, what you afforded me, the opportunity, which I absolutely full take, took full advantage of two runs about company culture and the things that I'm passionate about. And it was a lot of fun. And I'd love for you to have at least as much fun as I did on yours, and also feel free to run and be angry about things that you think are broken.


Jeroen Fumau: [00:07:34] No, no, no worries. No worries. The system is broken at certain spots. So let's talk about the broken system in a bit.

Lech: [00:07:41] We, we can, we can talk about that. Well, the re the reasons, Oh, this really nicely fits together because I've had a couple of guests on, in the future. I have other guests lined up where w w inadvertently we, we talk about the educational systems and the preparation of of people, of young adults for the work life.

For organizations. And what, on the other side, what the organizations expect and the gap between the two gets larger and larger and larger. And I, I was speaking to Lennox about this one Montessori approach. I know that you had Eva on your show, I believe on one of your webinars. And it just kind of goes from there.

So. I purposely will let you start to buys by, by asking you, where do you think the system is most broken in that, in that sense?

Jeroen Fumau: [00:08:27] very interesting question. And Maybe I have to take one step back. What started me with a few others to work with these talented young people that the world is bringing forward these days. But also young people that have lots of challenges, concerns, worries, and insecurities about how the future is going to look like as such.

But I want to come back on that in a second or maybe a few minutes from now. Because if I start talking a lecture, then I start talking and sometimes there's no end to it.

Lech: [00:08:59] Go for it. We'll, we'll make it a two part of, we have to.

Jeroen Fumau: [00:09:02] Yeah. So that's, that's good now. We'll, we'll, we'll manage it within the time. That's that's that's okay.

But our first one to make a step towards the reason why I started with Sabrina, Gary from Germany, the talent sprint. And I was participating in a design sprint exercise or virtual design sprint to exercise. And I discovered that if people present themselves in real life, or I should actually say when they are collaborating in real life, that that's the best way.

To profile yourself and to start build building connections with other people, people that maybe professionally you're affiliated to, but you don't know people from other organizations. And by building that type of trust in the collaboration, you start also unlocking different types of conversations with these people.

So that made me think about how can we use it in the recruitment world, because the last eight, nine years, I'm also recruiting design and innovation professionals of all ages of all generations, not specifically the younger ones, because I believe there's space for everybody. And their career can start anywhere at any age.

But what I was. More and more getting frustrated about this, that the world of recruitment. And I don't try to diminish it the world of recruiters South to say, but I think it becomes more technology driven AI driven less or less at the individual that candidate is allowed to take center stage.

Yes. He can of course submit his resume and his portfolio. And he has to write a cover letter. Oh yeah. And you have to also upload again, your LinkedIn profile in different words because this employer is using a different system. So that is a way to profile yourself. But technically you're meeting the needs of the employer where the vacancy resorts, or actually have the technology that I've switched on to actually filter you out a long list of candidates.

So we know we're all living in a world where there's a war for talent going on. You want to have the shortest route towards the right talent. You don't want to make a hiring mistake because it costs you shitloads of money, sorry for my cursing. But in that whole journey, and in that whole reality, we almost forget about that.

There's people behind the candidate. And the candidate is not a line item in an Excel sheet or a let's say, in an entry, in a application system, which now move to the next stage. So I am personally really passionate about bringing people. Center stage and that they can profile themselves to potential employers and maybe not only to potential employees, but to their neighbors, Twix and others in their network.

And that's driven of a belief system that I think in a U we need to be more human driven, human centered, also in the world of HR. It's not for not called human resources management, but all the innovations in human resources management these days is about technology. It's not about innovating the human relationship in human resources management, and if they do it yet to technology again.

So I want to bring back the human to human type of interaction in that whole recruitment process. Maybe it is a mission I'm on and I will never see the end or really surface because it's really battling against traditional conventions and the big players as such, but with the talent sprint, we believe that we can offer.

Any professional that is seeking to unlock his career potential and opportunity to present himself in a different way. And we do that in open events. So we organize events where people in a certain domain space collaborate together on a charity challenge. And by doing that together, they start profiling themselves and they get feedback from each other and that feeds their career journey.

Any way possible. We do it for hiring organizations, really exclusive events, where they do the recruitment of candidates. And then we host the event and she had as a, kind of a talent scouting opportunity where in a different way, you go to an accelerated recruitment process and the onboarding starts before you start.

What's the bridge towards young people. What we noticed is, is that in today's world not only triggered by COVID, but the world is changing. The climate crisis that's happening is that the generation that's preparing themselves for working life. Let's call them in shore generation Z at this moment for simplicity reasons.

They have lots of ambitions. But those ambitions are also translated back into a lot of insecurities because of the job insecurity that's happening now because of the COVID realities, there's a crisis of economy. What does that mean for my working career? We see that. Organizations forced again by the whole pandemic are in a virtual and a remote working reality, which makes it really hard for the, the teenagers and the young adults that now currently are in school to prepare themselves for a working life where they thought it would be in office collaboration with future colleagues to be, and learn from that.

And although they are digitally savvy, They never looked forward or projected a working life in the first five to 10 years, that would be dominated by working from home behind your laptop, building connections and relationships and working life. You want to get out there, you want to meet new people. You want to develop a career.

And that is by working with people together, organizations are built by people. Organizations are people, organizations are not it systems. So. The bridge towards the young people is two fold. One. We believe that the talent sprint, although we now deliver it all in a virtual space is really appealing to this early career starters that are looking for experiments, for meetings, people in different settings.

And it's a way to profile themselves with all the skills they have already, the digital savviness that they have and collaboration that those kids have those youngsters have, and that technically most hiring organizations lack. Also in the recruitment process and how to invite people into that journey off profile yourself in a way that we can make in hiring decisions, because there are no internships at the moment.

There are no graduation projects. There are ways to really have career fairs where you can meet people. So there is an opportunity for this generation to benefit, to tell talent sprint even more than I think other work in generations in that sense. That's what, secondly, And then we go to go to education later.

And at the other initiative that I'm really passionate about, and that's not a talent sprint, but that is for better tomorrow. We C we done some recent research as well. Is that the majority of these early career starters, these early career professionals, they don't feel totally ready for the working life that's in front of them.

And although they have all the digital seven skills and social media skills I read some research that seven out of 10 young, seven out of 10 young professionals don't feel confident to enter a working life in the, let's say the industry 4.0 type of reality. Because they feel they are not confident that they have the right experiences to enter that work in life.

They lack some of the skills of creative thinking, analytical skills negotiation skills as such to enter that. But also on the technical side, they lack the real critical. Technology skills like awareness of artificial intelligence coding blockchain and all these types of things that are more and more asked as a critical skill and knowledge area in the world.

So with, for better tomorrow we try to bridge a gap a little bit in that area and invite. Young people. And we started last summer in August where the large teenagers for change event, where we invite young people during summer holidays to participate in a two week online summer camp, where actually they go to a full design challenge from framing the problem.

Towards pitching it on a live stage at the end of the two weeks, the solution that they have co-created together. But everything in between is about inspiration. It's about discovering new skills, like critical thinking, analytical skills, facilitation skills, communication skills, presentation skills that they lack so much as in.

As a curric curriculum item in the traditional field of education in the traditional schooling elements. So that's where the bridge is between where I see that the world of today, the working and the recruitment world of today is, is having difficulty reaching the new generation upcoming. But the new generation on the other end is also struggling, feeling confident and prepared for working life.

Because of a lot of realities and one of them is they don't have all the fighters skills that hiring organizations can appreciate if they hire those people because. Do they learn them on the job? It will take five to 10 years and then they're old skills already. So we need to accelerate. So for better tomorrow is trying to help them to accelerate their professional development, not when they start working, but already, before they start working life, by giving them all kinds of learning experiences, networking experiences to go for.

Maybe that's where I need to stop. And you should ask me a question or I should say, how do you look at the world today?

Lech: [00:18:15] I'm still struggling to figure out where to start addressing the, the things that you've mentioned, because there's so many things that the, the one thing that you've mentioned a couple of times is the word passionate about this stuff. And I can, I can tell that you are for me.

That is not passion in, in me personally, it's not passionate. It's anger. The two things that make me most angry is the element of that. You're saying, put the human back in human resources. It, the worst thing that I've seen happen is organization rebranding the human resources department into people and culture, but changing and nothing about what they do and how they do things.

And you're so right that they don't, they just, you know, they, they minimize the candidate to a sheet of paper. Even, not even that, because it's all done electronically. So the minimize a person to a line on a Google sheet or an Excel spreadsheet or whatever. It's so frustrating to see. And I think what's coming out of me now is also my experiences in that.

Because as listeners and we'll know, I mentioned many times I'm a generalist. I do a lot with different things and I enjoy doing the faces. I'm not specialized as such. And that's a nightmare if you want to apply for a job, because I saw job ad job after job, after job ad. And so, yeah, I could do that. I can do that one.

I can do that because I'm adaptable. But being able to show that on the CV or cover letter isn't is very, very

Jeroen Fumau: [00:19:40] Yeah, but I think here again, and I don't know whether a technology is going to help us here and probably, and they say that AI is the solution to everything, but let's be honest. We're trying to pigeonhole people in order to create the match. So the systems, whether they are human systems, let's say professionals recruiting or whether this is a technology system, helping to recruit.

They are programs by people and what's happening. Is that in. The system in itself is a concept of pigeonholing. We're looking for qualities. Okay. Do we meet those qualities? Do we see those qualities? Can we identify them in historical evidence that you put on paper? And that's also what it is that let's say the whole recruitment process.

I'm exaggerating a little bit here. If you are angry, I get angry. So the whole recruitment process of today is looking in the, in the rear back mirror. It's looking behind everybody. It's looking backwards. What have you done in the past? Can you show, you have done it, show me your portfolio. Can I call a formal employer for a reference?

So it's all about what's happened in the past. And I fully understand that organizations need to have some they're mitigating risks. They want to know that someone has done something before and therefore is capable of taking on their job. I have full respect for it. I do that as well when I recruit people.

But yeah. I think in my recruitment practice, I try to focus probably 60 to 70% on looking ahead. Forward inviting people to talk about their passions, their ambitions, what they have in working life. How would they like to use all the skills and the capabilities that they've learned in the past and call yourself a generalist or a specialist at that moment, but how would you like to apply them in the next step forward?

And then how is that creating a benefit for a client that I'm trying to serve with a recruitment service or bringing people on both in my own projects? How is that creating an opportunity for them to make the next step forward? And I think. And again, here I'm generalizing. So I apologize for all the ones that feel let's say attacked by this.

But I think a large portion of recruiting is trying to pigeonhole it's to pigeonhole an individual with the skills and capabilities of the past. And therefore we can do the job in the future. And that's why we will hire them. It's pitching holing because. We want to put them in a vacancy that is predefined, which takes it, put them in the box.

So put them in the box from where they come from and then put them in the box with the vacancy is all about. And I think there's a third part of pigeonholing is, is that we have to pigeonhole the HR and the recruitment processes in doing so. And in all of that, we miss out. Paying attention, showing empathy to the individual that is passionate about making a step forward in your organization.

And I say, this is very black and white thinking, but I think the system is broken. And I think if we really want to move towards a future where people can create impact where we can ever world that we all feel valued in, in the way we live in that, or the planet we live on that is sustainable enough, that there is space for all of us and we're not the same, everybody's different and that's fine.

But there's space for all of us to live the life that you want to live. But the failure that means we need to become more human centered in all that we do. And that means also in the way we hire people and how we employ people. It should be more driven how people can add value and contribute to creating impact, then how they fill a vacancy that represents a job that was done for the last 10 years and needs to be done for the next three years as well.

Lech: [00:23:12] Hmm. And contrast what you just said with what happens with, in, in so many. I don't want to say most because I don't know, but in so many interview panels or invitation interview conversations where you've got a panel of two or three people with predefined questions that every candidate that day gets asked, that's.

I, I understand why we do that. We're trying to streamline the process, the factory conveyor, but conveyor belt process that we're trying to create here. And we're just trying to shape everybody to fit that mold. You called it pigeonholing and yes, we were just trying to shape them the same way, but that's, again, comes back from starting the educational system.

Because all the way we're being taught and says it's to get people ready for factory work. That's what, how the, what the current system that we've got educational system would minor, major, minor changes along the way in the last few decades has been created for, to prepare people kind of for the work in factories.

We no longer predominantly work in factories. That's the problem. It needs

Jeroen Fumau: [00:24:17] w we

Lech: [00:24:18] Catch up.

Jeroen Fumau: [00:24:19] W w we work at the knowledge factory in many areas. So of course they're still factories, let's say in many societies where factory workers are highly in demand and needed in order to feed the world to to provide the products that we need all over the world. But we also live in societies and economies where it's more about knowledge workers and that's the new factory, the knowledge economy.

Isn't, it's a factory model. But what is interesting what you said as well? I think there's two parts part, two education and support to recruitment in this case that I want to address. I think in the recruitment world, we have also now with all the technology we focus on focusing on operational excellence in the recruitment process.

As many people get through the process in the most effective way so that you are able to hide the most desirable person that fits the job.

Lech: [00:25:07] Is it effective or is his effectiveness or efficiency that we're looking for? Because I think it's efficiency rather than effectiveness.

Jeroen Fumau: [00:25:14] a, it's about efficiency. Totally. Right? You correct me there. And so. In the world of human resources or in talent acquisition. If you look at all the developments and innovations at this moment, in my view, it is about bringing efficiency into that process, that factory process of recruiting people.

And of course there are some elements in there that benefit her. We have talks about let's say gave me fight type of recruitment processes and interview processes, where you allow people to play games and get a better feeling of what the capabilities are. It's already looking more about. Now ambitions than only looking in the rear mirror there's type of different aptitude styles and techniques that can be applied used by technology so that you invite people almost in the process.

And to do that better than a great interview. Also there in my in my don't split podcast. Now going back to education, you talk, we, we train people to be factory workers. And that's true also in the knowledge working economy. Also there we train me from, but we also train people based on knowledge and conventions of the past.

So all the books, all the curriculum, all the professors, they are teaching and preaching based on historical experience and knowledge. And I fully understand that. There needs to be some basic knowledge in terms of physics and mathematics and eldest type of things. But if you want to be that industry 4.0 professional, if you want to feel confident that you enter a working life where you.

Are in the reality of lifelong learning, you have agility to adjust to different situation. You might be the generalist, but you become a specialist in being a generalist. Instead of being a generalist or a specialist, we need to break the system in the educational scene as well. And it's not only about fact-based learning what the history brought forward, but we need to start teaching and training.

Actually, we shouldn't even start teaching people. We should start having. Young people from the age, if it's up to me from 12 or before, but let's say a young people, they need to experience that skills is not only about knowledge. It's also about having capabilities. And when you and I entered the workforce and then maybe me a little bit longer ago than you, but you started to develop capabilities from the moment you started to work.

So you entered the workforce with skills and knowledge, but not with capabilities. And for me, the capability perspective is also having that awareness of what is working life. What does a company, how do you collaborate? How do you immigrate impact Creativity is not a skill. That's a capability.

That's so much more than just understanding the design thinking process, but it's how to activate it in a certain setting. And I think, and I'm really passionate about also with the whole team of a better tomorrow, not the only one. All of us are there because of that same passion that the education system is broken or at least needs to really be revitalized and redesigned around preparing.

People to enter working life in a much more agile and future safe way and future thinking mode so that I can demonstrate that the agility in any work that they have maybe a specialist in physics or mathematics or in coding or an artificial intelligence, that's fine. You can have a specialist in that your knowledge base, but if tomorrow artificial intelligence going to be replaced by the new innovation and artificial is.

That was just going to be taken over by that new technology, whatever that is. We need to be prepared to make changes and or to create impact. And yeah, that's what we try to do. So the system is broken on different sites. The educational system is broken, but I think also in the, in the world of talent acquisition there's another system that's broken and somewhere they come together and that collides.

And that's why hiring organizations at this moment say we don't understand really what the generation set is all about and how to recruit them. And Oh yeah. Maybe we need to be more social media savvy to reach them channels, to use. Okay. On the other end, that same sentence, young generation doesn't know how to engage with hiring organizations in an impactful way so that they can profile themselves with the passions that they have, the gaps that they have and the insecurities and find the right job where they can start creating impact and be aware.

After two, three years, they want to change jobs. So don't hire them for life. They want to change anyway, because that's their style of learning.

Lech: [00:29:38] Yeah. And that's another, that's another thing it's like we, my parents, your parents, they went, they went into jobs for life. We no longer have that, as you said, they want to change generations and that the generation now wants to change it for two or three years for good or bad reasons. That's probably a whole separate conversation.

The, the, the thing that I've mentioned, that the difference between effective and efficient, that I think is often misunderstood by organizations and recruiters. They are thinking they are being more effective by introducing all of these kind of conveyor builds belts and a streamlined recruitment process.

Whilst in reality, they are missing out and cutting so many important parts. Of what needs to be done. And when terms of recruitment and looking at the person and in terms of the educational system being broken, it's not just the educational system. It's a lot of things along the way. It's, it's a, it's a whole picture that we're looking at.

Yes. It seems like we're bashing the educational system here, probably deservedly a little bit, but let's face it. It does have to have food. It needs to do a little bit of heavy lifting because the one thing I'd like to see happen most that comes out of biggest change in the educational system is teaching people independent thinking.

And the reason for that, it's not just because it's going to impact the work that working life, and that will be better prepared for organizations. The work-life in general. That's true. But think about the other benefits of that, where people are capable of looking at what's going on in the world overall, and being able to make decisions for themselves, getting different opinions from different places, from media, different people and so on, and then being.

Able to independently think for themselves and go, actually, this is my viewpoint, rather than being misinformed or misinformed. However you want to look at it by the media and not having their own opinion because that, I think that's a very big problem for society on the, on the whole. The other thing that really scares me and you've mentioned that is for the past 12 months and for God knows how, how much longer we've been.

Plunged into online virtual education, where majority of schools, universities ha we're not prepared for this. So they have the cadet curriculum, all the teaching ways, which are already a little bit outdated to be polite and broken again, to be very polite, but. Now they're doing it online without changing the way they teach people to delivery.

Same. It's just basically talking at people rather than make an interactive. Let's face it. A virtual workshop is not the same as a face-to-face workshop. You've facilitated completely differently. You, you deliver the information completely with the content is different. You have to usually cut it at the very least by half to make informative.

Otherwise you overload people and we've had that for 12 months. What's going to come out of that. What is going to be the impact of that is actually very, very scary. Especially if most people don't switch on their cameras and they So-called multitask doing a lot of things at the same time when they should be learning.

Granted, that probably would be on the phone in the lecture room anyway. So I guess there's the same thing, but I don't know what you think, but I am, I am a little bit concerned about that. So to say the least.

Jeroen Fumau: [00:32:49] I said there are concerns, but I think they're also amazing opportunities for this generation. That's upcoming. And I agree with you. I see my two teenage children here is home. So behind that screen the whole day, and if it's not related to the online classes that they have, then in parallels on their mobile phone, chatting with, with their friends or checking Instagram and the formula one movies, that's all happening at the same time.

And if they come out of the online class, they go to the other computer and they continue gaming or do the creative things on there as well. So, yes, I think there's maybe the generation issue a little bit with us slightly being older and being worried about that. But it's about the engagement level.

It's what you actually. How you engage with those students in the, in that online space and how you inspire them, maybe to demonstrate critical thinking and, and be autonomous in, in thinking and not just transferring knowledge because it's transferring knowledge, then let's go to the e-learning economy and just give them more of a subscription to one of the three big players in e-learning and post all our curriculum over there.

And they can self-learn because this generation, again, They self-learn, they go to YouTube and learn whatever they want to learn. So in that sense, that's the generational thing, but that's also where I think the opportunity is. So it's a generation that of course is very screen-based. Digital savvy, therefore will always use the tools and the channels that they need to self-develop themselves.

Create new connections, demonstrate their creativity, innovativeness in what they want to do. I think where the real worry is from my side is the social aspect. People are not, I think, made to sit in a cocoon and interact with the world from that cocoon for the rest of their life or as the majority of their working life.

Luckily, you and I have probably experienced in office collaboration and careers and things that, although I love my. Virtual lifestyle these days professionally, because the world is much bigger for me now than it was before I can do much more. I can do new things, different things than if I'm in a corporate career or in an office career.

So to say, because again, pigeonhole, you sit at that desk, that's your role? That's, what's expected from you. So there's less agility in that sense. So I think I see also there's huge opportunity, but. I'm a bit concerned about the social and emotional wellbeing and development of this generation. And not just because of the last 12 months, I think it's, it's, it's already happening longer that technology is very inviting to them.

And in that sense, there is one concern by the way that I do have as well that I would like to top up here. And that's also something that we want to address or try to challenge in for better tomorrow is that we're not all equal in this world. There's a whole young generation that has access to everything that they need to self-develop themselves into impactful professionals of the future and to do whatever they like.

They have access to technology, to education and all these types of things. But at the same time, there are. People in the same age range in other geographies, in other realities that have less access to all of that. And with, for better tomorrow, we also try to, we assess as inclusive as possible to also create formats and event types that maybe we, you can bring to the classroom instead of doing it online or that you can do from your mobile phone, if you're in Africa and you can only use WhatsApp, but that's all that you have.

You don't have another screen-based device and things of that. So we've experimented with some of those elements as well. How do you involve. People in co-create sessions, only using WhatsApp and not being part of the zoom session with morale or my role in the background where you can also create those skillsets.

So I'm also really passionate and not yet feeling impactful enough, but to also make the, for better tomorrow as a platform, almost of active learning and developing those future skills accessible to the lesser fortunate people in this world that could benefit also from. Creative collaboration critical thinking presentation skills, maybe also the new technologies as such.

And the benefit of that is that we can connect both worlds. The people here in Western Europe that have access to all those technologies and they see the world where that excess is not available and that hampers the progress of those youngsters, but they can work together. And they embrace those opportunities and it makes them more global citizens and more caring citizens of a planet that we also need to care for in the long run.

Lech: [00:37:20] That is a very good point. One that I'll have to admit. I didn't. Give that much thought to, but in terms of the gap, because obviously that makes that gap so much bigger, not just because between educational systems and organizations, but between access because of access to that, those technologies that will.

Widened that gap as well. You mentioned that you and I experienced kind of the in-office collaborations and, and work, I would say eluding to connecting to what you said about the emotional side of things, but we also experienced the frustrations, the anger of not being able to work things out with a colleague, but then being in the same room, we had to do something with it.

And we had to confront that issue or them and sort it out now. Yes, playing devil's advocate here is that gives us the opportunity to kind of turn the screen off and, and come down and compose ourselves and then think things through and then tackle that issue. But a lot of people don't do that. They just switch off that screen and leave it there.

They don't solve the issue. So the emotional impact and psychological impacts of being able on the social skills, on our interactions with people, that's going to be a big one as well. I think. From the whole, the beginning of all of this, as in the, kind of the remote fullest, remote working, because there's a difference between working from home and remote working environment, that's kind of been on my mind.

Jeroen Fumau: [00:38:46] it's, it's an interesting insight that you bring forward indeed. And I think. That's probably even more challenging not to say that is already a challenge for the, let's say the more traditional workers of today and industry people like you and Mia that have experienced in office collaboration and things like that, because we so use than to walk into an office with someone or you can't avoid it anymore.

Now with the zoom economy, you're just switch off zoom. You switch off your camera? I can't read your face anymore if you're happy or disappointed in what I say. And in all my facilitation roles that I take, I really strongly always motivate people to have their cameras off because for me, it's.

Critical in team processes, that there is the body language. I want to see you also hop around the microphone today to understand, Hey, are we still on time and things of that, that's the technical parts of it. But if we deviate from a conversation or you ask me a question that I rather not want to answer, you probably see it on my face already.

So I think those elements are important and. You need to learn and to buy experience that now there's a generation of coming. And I told you, in the beginning of this conversation already, they are looking, they have to look forward to a working life where maybe a 60, 70% in the short term, maybe the long-term as well is all zoom based.

Remote collaborations. So they need to be prepared also for a collaboration capability and that needs to flourish. And the further develop themselves in that digital or hybrid or asynchronous working reality is that we go to experience in the coming area because there's one thing. Sure.

It's not going to back to the same as before. And that's not because companies don't want us back in the office is because that the, the social economical perceptions of what is work and how to work has been impacted so much over the last 18 months, because we have proven as societies that it can be different.

And now it's time for organizations to change and for leadership to change and for management to change, to define work differently, to manage people differently. And I we can have another podcast on that. I think it's going to tilt the whole model upside down. I think that future work is being driven by people and not by organizations anymore.

Lech: [00:41:06] Absolutely. Absolutely. Actually that puts a very positive spin on things and. The I in all of this, in all of the kind of anger that I've got inside, I do see the opportunity. This is a huge opportunity to transform the way we do things. The way we build our organizations, the way we structure the work and, and recruit people and skill training people up from, from the, from the ground up.

But this is the opportunity and the, the, the biggest. Worry or the biggest shame of all of this would be if we'd just gone back to how we did things, because things are normalized. I don't think that's going to happen because we already see organizations who are going either fully remote or hybrid or whatever.

Yes. They've got a vested interest in this, not just because it's better for the people or. Arguably for some it's better for some it's worse. It depends on the person you are, how you work and the team and the organization. So there's many caveats to that, but organizations do see the benefit in the form of they don't need large office spaces.

They can cut down their bills, they can distribute offices to spread them out rather than having them in the city center of London. That is a pain for everybody to commute to. They can have two offices on the outskirts, in the outskirts where it's easier for their people to come in if they need to. So there's and the learning curves for all of that.

Absolutely humongous. And I think that's one of the things that we should really hope for and really strive towards. Normally I would ask you for. Tips and advice of what organization, location systems or whatever can do on this occasion. I'm purposely not going to do this because I want people to. Reflect on, on our musings, our rantings and what we said and just decide for themselves where they stand on this and how they feel about this, what could be done, what could be changed. And I'd really urge anyone who has any reflections to come forward. Send me an email contact Jerome, and just kind of share what you think or questions that you might have, and we can pick them up off, off air if you will, and answer, answer those.

What have you got going on the next few months? Anything that you'd really looking forward to summer's coming. Are you taking a bit of a break or is it full steam ahead for you?

Jeroen Fumau: [00:43:19] It is full steam ahead of me because also I'm impacted by the COVID economy. So I need to catch up for what I did not do last year and I need to cover up. So in that sense, it's full steam ahead, but maybe full steam ahead with passion and with purpose in that sense. That's, that's really true. I think the two things, the talent sprints the initiative that I started with Sabrina grows from a stood carts, but also where I collaborate very closely with who's based in reunion Island, part of France, somewhere in the South Pacific.

If I say the West, correct next to Morrissey's. So. We are having some great opportunities now in different ecosystems to bring the talent sprint life. And for us, it's important that we do that, right. And we do that in the interest of the people that participate in it. Of course, also of the organizations that are looking for talent.

So we have some great opportunities over there. So that's, that's something that we really passionate about, but also looking for new opportunities of course, to really help organizations to start recruiting differently. Because that's how slogan, more or less to start recruiting differently. And again, putting people first, and that sounds contradictive, but if you've listened to this whole conversation, you probably understand where it comes from for the ones that are tuning in late.

So if you want to know more about to tell them sprint follows follow us on, on LinkedIn, but definitely also our website. You can see more of the progress that we are making www. Talent slash is a reference. You probably also link it somewhere in the, in the show notes of this episode. And the other thing is for a better tomorrow I've talked about it already, very passionate, but we want to continue to really empower this future generation of change-makers that are entering the working life in the coming years to really be.

Prepared fully prepared. And of course a benefit, all the things that I learned in school, but really give them that extra curriculum opportunity to work with like-minded teenagers and young adults all around the world. And to really. Create impact on that. What they think is important, whether that is plastic pollution, whether that's diversity or equality, those are the carriers of the initiatives that we do and the projects that we facilitate.

But ultimately it's about giving them the great learning experiences in the virtual space, but later, hopefully also again in classroom and anywhere else where they can develop themselves too. Those all rounds, early career professionals with the agility, with the agency that they need to tackle the challenges that come on that part for the first day in the office onwards to the rest of their career.

But of course, also to develop great networks of like-minded people and industry professionals that they can benefit in their career search in their career journey. That's ahead of it. So for a better tomorrow, Unfortunately, we do not have a website because we communicate in the social media, on the Instagram to the, to those kids.

But for the ones that are on LinkedIn, we have also a LinkedIn page, but that's more for the professional side of it to develop the right relationships. So visit the, for better tomorrow, LinkedIn page. If you want to know more about it or keep track of what's happening over there, or just DME or LinkedIn or an Instagram, and we'll find the conversation to carry you forward.

Lech: [00:46:30] Include all the links in the show notes. So people can find you sounds really exciting and it's been an absolute pleasure ranting chatting interviewing you. I'm. I'm really glad that we had an opportunity to do this. And most of all it's great to see organizations, people like yourself Taking those steps forward because it's not going to change overnight.

It's going to take a while to undo a lot of the things that we've done wrong and also just do things differently because that's what, what what's needed from us. And I think because of people like you, it's possible and we'll definitely get the hopefully sooner rather than later. So thank you very much for, for joining me today.

Jeroen Fumau: [00:47:05] The pleasure was totally on my side. So thank you for inviting me. And I look forward to to all the comments, the reactions and the engagement that comes out of this, but who knows, we talked to each other again at a coffee chat in the near future

Lech: [00:47:18] Well, let's hope we can do another followup that this episode sits in an actual table across from one another where the coffee in hand that would be very nice.

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