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Our CEO on 'How to lead a company in uncertain times'


VisualContext Digital got together with our CEO Luc Haldimann and asked how 2020 changed the company’s internal processes, how this year changed the way Luc believes entrepreneurs should act, and how he leads Unblu in times of uncertainty.

Alain from VisualContext: Luc, let’s have a look at 2020 and how leading employees might have changed in this uncertainty. How do you see this?

Luc: I think it’s really about the comfort zone that people are typically trying to remain in and obviously the magic that is happening outside of that comfort zone. It’s important that we encourage our employees not to get into a situation where we want to stay and are used to, but that they are looking at: Where do they want to go? Where do we as a company want to move to? With the sudden lockdown for instance, we had to learn how to work together remotely, using technology that is advancing very quickly and will be changing even faster in the future. So there are different means, obviously, in how to achieve this and how to be able to accommodate with change and to make us all aware that the only constant that we have in this world is change.

Alain: In other words, this year’s plot twist didn’t affect you so much because you’re already in a fitting mindset?

Luc: I am actually trying to get people into that mindset. Now, if we’re talking about my mindset about change, how do I make sure that I can work with the changing world? I’m trying to shape the future, whatever I do. Unblu’s product that we have been developing was intended to bring change into this world in, obviously, always a positive manner. Change is unexpected but it keeps us from standing still and really helps us do things in a different way.

Alain: You’re trying to put your co-workers in the mindset of being uncomfortable, trying to not stay in the comfort zone. Specific techniques there to share?

Luc: It’s actually pretty much happening through projects and challenges that we face, we’re not artificially taking and putting them in uncomfortable situations. But it’s really about being open and thinking about where we should be, what we should do that would advance us and also being sure that they are not scared to fail, because only if you are ready to fail, can you also achieve success.
We encourage employees to fail fast and then make sure to stand up again. So that’s what I motivate people to do [..] Our people are not meant to define themselves only by constant success. We know we can fail and achieve higher goals together.

Alain: Let’s talk growth mindset. Ever changed anyone within your organization (to the better)?

Luc: I’ve definitely worked with people who tried to always stay in a fully safe set up, trying to not make any mistakes. I do try to encourage employees to take small steps, taking small risks, being successful with those, so that they learn how rewarding it can be. At Unblu, for example, I think the great rewarding thing is we’re building a product that is now running for over 150 banks and insurance companies. It’s one product and it’s a great thing if you build on that product as an engineer, contribute to the bigger picture, bring it to the market and see how that product is being used by customers. Most of our people take big steps and certain risks to really make the product better and roll with it. And we don’t have to do any tricks to convince people to get there; they see what we can achieve and they want to be part of that.

Alain: Success is built on failure. Is there a way of celebrating that?

Luc: That’s a great question! We aren’t really… but I think we should make that a thing!

June from VisualContext: Lastly, what would you advise us and our audience?

Luc: Again, change is the only constant that we have. The only constant we should learn to embrace.

Tune into the full 15min interview here.