This week, we talk to Arnaud Bacros, (… pronounce it “bacro“).
Arnaud is General Manager Belgium and Luxembourg at Dell. He takes us through his career, career decisions he took, like reflecting on the past, looking to the future … and a bit more of who he is …
We’ve asked Arnaud for his advices and tips for the young generation and their own careers, but also his views how the current pandemic turned the acceptance of work-from-home into something certainly everlasting.
Bref, … we’ve asked Arnaud!
Arnaud, what we’ d like to hear is your career.
? How did you get to be DELL Belux director ?
I studied marketing when I was a student. After university, I went to work in a bank – formerly known as BBL and later bought by ING. Whereupon I worked in an bank agency, and then I did each and every jobs of the agency for 2,5 years!
I ended up with Dell rather by chance. In this respect, it was really a combination of circumstances! Actually, after ING, I joined ATOS, and, short story, there I was approached by former colleagues… Quickly, they called me down to EMC.
At the time, I didn’t quite understand what I was doing in a company that was selling data storage, … honestly, … but a company with a lot of potential, a lot of ambition and above all, … yes … above all, a real vision! … A real strategy, which is still there! Even after so many years! And, you know what ? After 20 years, I still know why I am in the company, and this has absolutely not changed.
?Can you describe your role at DELL/EMC?
Overall, I lead a team of salespeople. My goal is to ensure we have the right people in the right place, and this, to deliver the message of the added value that Dell Technologies brings to its customers – this in a context of transformation mainly, be it on security aspects, on application aspects, and on workplace aspects.
So, in short, I make sure my teams are of course well driven but also well aware of their responsibilities! Main responsability being to deliver the message of Dell Technologies added values to our customers in order to support them in their transformation.
?Why are you doing this job ?
I would say 2 things -it’s all about People & Technology.
For the 1st one, it is about empathy, towards people whether it’s for customers or our teams. I’m not a lonely guy but someone who really love to surround himself with people, I really like people you know, and then, I make sure everything is well planned and organized around our people.
And regarding the 2nd one, I have to admit, it is completely amazing to work in IT today. It’s completely crazy today to be in Technology! So I think we are incredibly lucky! If you think about it, the speed of innovation, the pace of innovation, is completely crazy!
Not very long ago, with a journalist, I had a conversation comparing the industrial revolutions of the previous centuries. We came to the point how actually all industrial revolutions, globally, have impacted the work, I mean the world of work, comprehensively, on several generations!
Admittedly, my view is that we are going through impacting our own generation’s working environment. I was reading a study on the evolution and the future of work. In this study, a figure is just puzzling: more than 75% of the jobs that will exist in 10 years, are not yet known today!
Naturally enough, this pace of innovation is so motivating, we are always learning!
? How would you describe your leadership style ?
Lead by example !
I’m struggling for being an example for people, this requires a lot of humility. We, managers, definitely need to be an example, because people learn from our actions. With responsibility comes exposure, consequently I believe it’s important to be an example for others in all aspects.
? Do you think 2020 is setting the Decade of Remote Working ?
I was recently in a conversation around a study about tomorrow’s work, the discussion was concerning the labor, which is nothing more than a set of tasks and the way these tasks can be automated or not. Now we are looking at the future, things we can execute from home or not, tasks we can delegate to robots, etc. Honestly, I think the physical location doesn’t matter anymore for most people. And, for Company Managers, that makes it quite interesting to discuss the perspectives of the evolution of work, in a context where you can do a large part of your work remotely.
At Dell, when it was COVID-19 locked-down, we have shifted overnight from offices to home working, without any business impact. Post-COVID-19, and who knows when that will be … at DELL, we will go up to 60% work-from-home. Depending on roles, some will go back to the office, 1 or 2 days per week but if there is no real need, and it’s useless, I do not see the point.
In a nutshell, there are 3 side effects of this work-from-home, which are here to stay, in my opinion:
- the flexibility of our people on personal life – as work-from-home completely changes the way we live with our family
- the professional impact – our people are more productive and more flexible
- the ecological impact – which is massive .
I think these 3 side effects are here to stay. I tend to think of offices tomorrow as meeting spaces. In Belgium, we have just moved to a new office near Brussels but I’m already telling myself that it’s wayyy too big, yes, it’s going to be way too big!
So I don’t think it’s the decade of work-from-home, I think it is the SHIFT for work-from-home. And there is no way we go back as before.
? What is the best advice you’ve been given during your career ?
I’m pinging back what I said earlier, “not pretending to know it all”. This remind me of a training we received when I began my career at EMC. The instructor wrote on the whiteboard, “do not assume“.
Too often, people are assuming instead of knowing. Be inquiring, inquire permanently, do think about technology innovation, but also ask your customers about their challenges, ask yourself why people make their choices and try to understand. It’s too easy to simply answer customers’ questions, but rather than that, go further, and more specifically, be such a trusted advisor.
? A Favourite Quote ?
I really like this quote from Satya Nadella – Microsoft’s CEO – where he says the world belongs to those who learn and not those who know!
That’s so true! You have to question yourself all the time and you have to learn all the time. I ‘ve always found important to push people to be curious, in a sense of be inquisitive. Just be curious!
? Your Last Google Search?
I actually was looking for a boat rental for the holiday. I am on vacation next week ! 🙂
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