This was the first meeting in the “Return Points” series of the Explore the Dots Foundation. I had a two-hour conversation with Mark Loughran, CEO of Microsoft in Poland. 120 guests in Słodowna Stary Browar listened to a conversation conducted in English.
We discussed the role of the leader in times of digital transformation, modern team management, organizational knowledge and culture.
What is the competence map of the future? How can business leaders support growth of companies and employees? From whom did Mr. Loughran last learn something new? How to prepare and manage employees with unique abilities? How to manage those who are not there – because they are remotely on the other side of the world? How to build team spirit, instead of just focusing on individual achievements? These were things that we went into as much as we could within the time frame.
How did I take care of the atmosphere of the conversation and to make Mark Loughran feel safe enough to open up? First, I asked the Microsoft Poland team employees to arrive 2 hours earlier. This allowed me to invite Mark to an hour long lunch. At that time we could get to know each other.
I initially mentioned the topics we will talk about, but also asked about typical life matters. It turned out that Mark had changed jobs many times, and at the same time the country where he had to do it. That’s why his family is used to constant change. On this occasion, I told him about my travels around the world and that I myself lived for a year in Belgium and the USA. That lunch meeting itself became like a cordial meeting of old acquiantances instead of a rigid interview carried out on the question-answer format.