Isaac Getz Exclusive Interview

Interview with Isaac Getz: author, speaker and professor at ESCP Europe Business School

Isaac Getz Keynote SpeakerIsaac Getz is a Professor at ESCP Europe Business School, a prestigious European management school.
Isaac’s research focuses on employee potential, corporate transformation, liberation, leadership and innovation.
At the end of 2019, he released his latest publication, “The altruistic corporation” (Albin Michel).

As an internationally renowned speaker for his work on transformation, he delivers the key to understanding the complex mechanisms and challenges within a company. For example, the initiative and involvement of employees or how to transform companies to face tomorrow’s challenges.
Isaac Getz has led conferences and seminars for hundreds of companies and organisations in France and worldwide, as well as some of the most prestigious forums such as the Peter Drucker Global Forum. He was recently nominated for the Thinkers50 Breakthrough Idea Award (2019) for his work on the freedom-form company.

For your latest publication, “The Altruistic Corporation”, you travelled the world with co-author Laurent Marbacher to meet altruistic companies.
What concepts and postures should we adopt when taking inspiration from these new types of organisations?

They are not so new.
For example, the major Swedish bank Handelsbanken has been practicing this philosophy since 1970. All these companies have put themselves at the unconditional service of their customers, their suppliers, the communities where they operate, realising this through their core business activities.
It sounds surprising but we found out it was their secret too that is the best way to get good financial results.
Please note: since we are talking about an unconditional service, that is to say, not subject to financial interests, and since they do it through their core business activities, a company must therefore enter a process of transformation in the aim to become altruistic.

What are the keys to effectively supporting an organisational transformation within a company?

The transformation processes that I have studied are those that allow the company to put itself in the unconditional service of its employees (the freedom-form company) or its external counterparts (the altruistic company).
In both cases, these transformations begin with the transformation of the executives themselves. I’ve never seen a successful transformation without the company’s manager “transforming” himself as a first step.

In your research, you study the concept of “liberating leadership”.
Could you tell us more? What direct results can we expect from this type of leadership?

Liberating leadership is a type of leadership which is required to drive transformation towards the objective of getting a freedom-form business.
Its main characteristic is to give up your ego.
The results are immediate: as employees feel that their intelligence is trusted, they realise their potential and take initiatives to contribute to the shared company’s vision.
As a direct result, the company outperforms compared to the traditional competitors; the employees come to work not by obligation, but by choice. They want to give the best of themselves to achieve the vision of the company. keynote speaker isaac getz

In your opinion, what are the main future trends in the field of management?

Over the last 5 years, the model of the freedom-form company has attracted hundreds of companies and organisations in France. I want to believe that the same thing will happen with the model of the altruistic company.

You have studied a lot of American companies.
Are there still major differences in terms of management between France and the US?
If so, why?

The main differences are not from where these companies are based, but on the philosophy leading the companies.
Michelin for instance, which has adopted a freedom-form structure across all its sites around the world, has been awarded the “Best Large Employer” in the US by Forbes.
In comparison, the well-known company Google was ranked only in third.
The Michelin plant, which is the most advanced in the process, is located in China.

Which leaders inspire you and why?

Jean-François Zobrist in France and Bob Davids in the United States, because they fully illustrate what liberating leadership is.
For the altruistic company, Haruo Naito, who transformed a Top 30 worldwide Japanese pharmaceutical laboratory and Odd Reitan, who built the altruistic company in the massive Norwegian retailer (38,000 employees). They are a source of inspiration for all as they show that one can put themselves to the unconditional service of the other on a very large scale and prosper.

What is your favourite “quote”?

I really like the comment that my 8-year-old daughter made about the proverb “Only free cheese is in the mousetrap. ”
My daughter’s explanation: “It’s because the mouse is the cashier. ”
To meditate.

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