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An Interview with Thomas Corot, Senior Consultant at why innovation!

Thomas Corot 2 min
An Interview with Thomas Corot, Senior Consultant at why innovation!
From France to Cambodia to Singapore, Thomas carries his passion to learn new things in tech, cultures, food, languages and more!

When asked to compare the working culture in different countries and companies, Thomas stated "companies are codified by the culture of the people working in it". How about leading changes in different organizations? - "A good change, whatever the model you want to use, will most likely follow 3 steps: Prepare, Manage, Support." 

Read more to find out how Thomas applied "human-centric" approach to not only work, but everywhere in his life!
1. What makes you who you are today? 

My adventurous nature I guess!

​I can be very enthusiastic and passionate when it comes to learning new things (tech, cultures, food, languages, etc.). I’m also open minded and ‘thick-skinned’, I can adapt easily in a new environment which help me a lot to meet new people.

2. What’s the most exciting, as well as non-exciting, part of your job? 

Continuous learning and improvement is definitely the most exciting. First, from my colleagues! I’m surrounded by gurus that can guide me and support me whenever I’m having a doubt or a question. And what I like among all is that they usually don’t come up with a simple answer, they prefer to give me advice, guidance, clues, for me to have an active learning process and find the answer that’s suits the best my need. The non-exciting: I really don’t like writing reports... But sometimes it’s needed!
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3. What are some of the most common misconceptions about your work as a change management enabler? 

That it’s not needed! People tend to see it as a cost more than a value but we can find a lot of examples of unsuccessful or painful transformations, with a lot of resistance and impediments, because companies don’t really take into account the impact of the change on people. A good change, whatever the model you want to use, will most likely follow 3 steps: Prepare, Manage, Support. Everybody who is involved in the change, whatever his/her position, must be ready to (re)learn and adapt to the new ways of working. Decision of a drastic change in a company usually comes from the top management. If they want it to be successful, they will have to show the path and drive the change, supported by change management enabler.

4. You have travelled and worked in many cities. How would you compare the working experience with different culture and people? 

The culture difference is the most exciting part of working abroad. Companies are codified by the culture of the people working in it. In change management, you need first to understand these codes to identify who will be the key people you can team with to spread the change, and how you will do it, trying to not leave anybody behind, which would lead to more resistance. In my opinion, there’s nothing worse than seeing your company changing and, you, being left over.
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5. What are the main drivers behind your career & life pursuit? 

I really like to have an impact on people’s life. That’s my generation’s motto I guess, we want more meaning in our day to day job, not just working hard for a pay check. That’s what motivated me 5 years ago to leave France and go to work in Cambodia. I’m a very people centric person and wanted to experience it with NGOs. Moving to Singapore and persevere as a Change Management enabler was the perfect step for me to stay in the IT domain and keep a deep link with the people behind the tech. I have this movie quote that I really like (I know it’s less classy than a philosopher, but who cares J): “Because in the end, the only way that we can measure the significance of our own lives is by valuing the lives of others.” And that’s something I want to believe in!
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6. What do you like most about why innovation!? 

I really like the opportunity for me to learn new and very diverse skills. I’m working with experts in Design Thinking, Agile Coach, Trainers, all with different backgrounds, culture, ideas and opinions! I usually work close to them, in an Agile transformation, Innovation workshops, and that speed up the learning process! I like also the “freedom” to work with different client and experience a large variety of working environment, from banks to airlines, retails, insurances, etc.
7. If you had a list of ‘best-kept secrets’ [websites, books, coaches] you’d recommend, which would you include and why? 

It can become quite boring (to me :) ) to read big books about concepts and frameworks and I really like the fact that change management can be discovered through fables. Books like “Who moved my cheese”, from Spencer Johnson, “Our iceberg is melting”‎ or “That’s not how we do it here” from John Kotter are great to discover the mandatory steps to successfully lead change.

Leading change is really something you get better with your filed experience and I would strongly recommend to be part of a large community where you can share and get advice from other change practitioners.
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8. List down 3 take-aways for your readers. 

Change is not something you can control and it will happen anyway! So:
-Be ready for it
-Be open to it
-Continuously question what you can improve

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Cheers! Get in touch with Thomas
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