Inspirational Executives Series – IBM Europe
The Inspirational Executive series consists of interviews that profile executive IBM’ers across Europe to demonstrate how one may successfully build an executive career in this increasingly demanding market.
Juggling work, life, and family commitments is a daunting challenge, but this series reveals how, with careful time management, flexible leadership, and a willingness to embrace challenge, IBM can support successful executives throughout Europe to succeed in every aspect of their careers.
Lot Keijzer – An Inspirational Executive: Partner iX – Global Business Services, Amsterdam, Netherlands
This interview discusses how Lot’s career has grown over the past eighteen years, how she manages her work-life balance, and what advise she would give to others aspiring to an executive career at IBM.
Lot is an IBM Executive Partner in IBM Global Business Services Communications Sector.
From her early career as an Interactive Director at Universal Media, through her roles as Managing Director at Twist and Marketing Director at LinkedIn, to her present role as Executive Partner at IBM, her career path shows what is possible with hard-work, prudent planning, and the right skills and experience.
“My background in the last twenty years has had a digital focus. I started with building expertise in Digital marketing consulting, Digital marketing strategy, and cross-media thinking in setting up digital units for media agencies. In a previous role I built E-Commerce experience and web tactics in optimising Customer decision journeys, demand acquisition, and personalisation and loyalty. Next to these roles I have always enjoyed ‘evangelising’ the digital industry and helping create change and get inspired via multiple initiatives”
Can you describe your role at IBM?
My role is to build and lead ix&M (Interactive Experience and Mobile) in Benelux. Essentially I am building the ix&M business in Benelux by building the team, the capabilities, and the business with our clients.
You joined IBM in October, 2015. What attracted you to work for IBM?
The potential impact is HUGE from a digital transformation point of view. The winning combination we have here is consulting power, plus proprietary technology, delivery and acquisition power at a global scale. This is combined with the transformation that IBM is leading and the bold choices that are being made. At IBM we can combine our technology heart with consulting and delivery, which makes it the best cut-out partner for c-suite to help with digitally transforming their business. We not only understand their business, we can help change it with our cutting edge platform and cognitive solutions. This coupled with the pragmatic culture, global network and innovative drive (Watson!). It’s a dream.
You speak several European languages (Dutch, English, German, and Spanish). Has this flair for languages played an important role in your career development?
Ha ha ha – no, not so much to be honest. Other than that I believe that relationships matter and especially within international organizations it helps if you can connect with a local language, but it is mainly English now.
How do you manage your work life balance?
Doing what you love so it does not feel like something you have to, but like something you want to do is everything. Besides, it helps if you can combine the things you love so networking, social life, and sports. Just love what you do. And be yourself. Fun is part of work as well. And vice versa.
Do you have any recommendations for employees aspiring to an executive career at IBM?
Go for it and build your own career and success! The opportunities within IBM’s transformation are insanely cool and challenging.
From the beginning of my career at the media agency side I have had a focus on digital. This was when internet was still something quite exotic. I had this focus because I love to (help) build business and transform industries and organizations through the use of technology. As Technology has become critical in all aspects of our daily life, and the growth is ever faster, Digital Transformation – using technology to radically improve performance and or reach of organizations – is of vital importance to many, if not all companies today to use digital advances to change customer relationships, internal processes, and even business models. I am curious, entrepreneurial, and commercial. It is my ambition to link all-round digital experience, strategic insights, and love for innovation and start-ups with the need for change and Digital Transformation at organizations to help build business.
Check out previous editions of this series below here.
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