Nathalie Bekx is a well known Belgian speaker and columnist.
Trendwatcher Nathalie Bekx founded Trendhuis in 1996 after a career in the media, including a stint
at the head of the popular women’s magazine Flair. With her team at Bexpertise, she annually questions around 4,000 Belgians from all ages and social backgrounds face to face on topics such as work and consuming. The results are used by the media department of Bekx&x, which specialises in designing magazines, websites and newsletters for specific target groups.
Together with Rob Benjamens she wrote Chicken Tales, a book for beginners (female) entrepreneurs.
Founded by Nathalie, non-profit organisation Time4Society responds to the trend of corporate social responsibility (CSR) by organising socially relevant projects for businesses. A team of employees invest a certain period of time in a socially or ecologically valuable initiative. “It’s a trend that fewer and fewer people now do volunteer work at fixed and regular moments, for example once a week, which causes problems for social and environmental organisations,” explains Benjamin Demarcin, account manager of Time4Society. In five years, the non-profit has provided 62,000 hours of time to its partners. Employees of clients such as GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, KBC, Microsoft, Deloitte and government departments have helped primarily residents of retirement homes, asylum seekers and persons with a disability. The bank KBC, for example, helped people in poverty deal with financial issues. But the activities are not always related to the client’s expertise. Employees of Rabobank organised a week full of circus activities for adults with Down’s syndrome. “The activities are also advantageous to the companies and government departments,” says Demarcin. “The relationships between employees can be strengthened but also individual skills such as leadership capacities can be developed. It also creates a positive public image.” Time4Society is in full expansion. It wants to offer consultancy services in the future, by giving advice and workshops on corporate social responsibility instead of only serving as a matchmaker. It is also helping partners in Hungary and the Netherlands set up a similar organisation and wants to establish projects worldwide for its clients. “For example, projects at schools or hospitals in India or an economic visit to a company with which a multinational enterprise works,” says Demarcin. “This way, managers of multinationals form a personal bond with their employees and with the population of countries where they are active.
“Flanders today” – 19th of June 2013
What does this mean for leadership today and tomorrow? How can you motivate people to make grow your company?
How can you inspire them? Can you use best practices from the sharing economy?
But one thing is for sure: new leadership is about making the journey from matter to meaning, together with your coworkers and clients.