Wednesday, July 30, 2008


On holiday in the South of France, Simiane La Rotonde.
Posting on management and leadership issues will resume second week of August.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

European Regional Economic Forum (EREF) elects Gert Van Mol as new member of Steering Committee

President EREF, Dr. Boris Cizelj, asked Gert Van Mol to become member of the Steering Committee behind The European Regional Economic Forum (EREF). Gert is the first non regional memer of the committee. He has been asked to join the committee as media expert.

EREF is a platform of European regions on knowledge economy and society, and has also acted as a bridge between EU Member states and countries of South-Eastern Europe supporting them in their efforts of gradual integration with the Union through discussing policies and measures aiming at implementing the Lisbon Strategy and through the presentation of good practices from European regions. EREF organizes a yearly Forum in Nova Gorica, Slovenia.

The fifth Forum in Nova Gorica in 2009 will bring together about 250 representatives of the economic, research, innovation and education spheres, as well as local and regional actors from EU regions and countries, and regions from South-Eastern and Eastern Europe.

On behalf of the EREF Network the Forum is organised by the Municipality of Nova Gorica, the Government Office for Local Self-government and Regional Policy, together with the Slovenian and Business Research Association in Brussels, under the patronage of the Committee of the Regions and sponsored by HIT Nova Gorica. Members of several European networks will actively participate in the Forum, such as: Lisbon Regions Network, NIROC, IGLO, ERRIN, RIBN, and others,

The EREF Network consists of the following 16 regions: Stockholm, Lapland-Oulu, Flanders, Wallonia, Scotland, Baden Württenberg, Styria, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Lombardia, Emilia Romagna, Valencia, Cataluña, West Pannon, Slovenia, Croatia, Turkey.

Monday, July 14, 2008

British Library

Days as today make my job stand out. It humbles me to look back at what I could do working for The Wall Street Journal Europe, and what I probably will be able to do in the future, when at the same time a lot of my colleagues will have to leave that same company because of the restructuring in Brussels. It is difficult; it is re-living the life of the Dazed and Confused generation. My first meeting today in London took place at the British Library (picture), an idea from the person I was going to meet, the press officer of Palgrave Publishing. Palgrave has a list of outstanding publications, some of them I hope to welcome in the Thursday editions of the WSJE Future Leadership Institute Boxes. It all reminded me of the essay on libraries of Umberto Ecco, which came into our lives when my classmates and I fought historical battles with the conservative Antwerp libraries to write our school essays. His essay was like a pamphlet of Che Guevara, demanding coffee, copiers, humor, design and long opening hours from modern libraries. Actually something that looked very similar to the British Library today.

I end the day unexpectedly in a Christian Guest house, all serious hotels in the neighborhood being sold out, in the blue dining room, because that is the only spot with wireless internet access tonight. I am not alone, in the other corner, in the dark, 4 Italian girls, curled up in sofas, eating candy, drinking tea, watching The Phantom of the Opera. How much more Dazed and Confused can it get?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Bibliothèque Nationale de France - François Mitterrand

After a diner in Paris my contact takes the time for a nightly visit of the Bibliothèque nationale de France - François Mitterrand.

From what I understand the library was designed by French architect Dominique Perrault and consists of 4 towers, all 79 metres high. Every tower has been dedicated to a literary aspect; the tower of Law, the Tower of Literature, the Tower of Numbers and the Tower of Time.

Around the Library a whole new area of interest was developed, commonly called Paris Rive Gauche. At this Rive Gauge two universities found a new home: Paris VII and L'INALCO.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

EU Bubble Dinner Party with Wall Street Journal Europe Networking Table

It is the first time I organized a Wall Street Journal Europe Networking Table. I invited interested readers via the daily WSJE Future Leadership Institute Box I have in the newspaper. An innocent hand picked 3 readers out of all emails I received via the daily FLI Box. The quality and level of our readers still amazes me. One can question our organization these days, but one can not question our readership. Our clients, our readers are top level. When I was heading the distribution operations for The Wall Street Journal Europe for 5 years I often wondered how our clients would look like, especially when I coincidentally received the results of a survey into the average income of our readers (240.000$/year). Today I have the opportunity to reach out to them, to speak with them, to learn from them. The power of our brand can not only be attributed to our journalists and editors but has also to be attributed to our readership.
I have decided to take the concept of a Wall Street Journal Europe Networking table into my negotiations with the conference organizers who are interested to sponsor the daily FLI Box. One of the returns I will ask is the introduction of such a networking table into their lunch or dinner schedule.
The EU Bubble Dinner Party turned out to be a classy event, a perfect setting for a Wall Street Journal Europe networking table. Organizer Patrick Stumm (picture) did a marvelous job.

Monday, July 07, 2008

NEW! Blogs by Leaders

Blogging is everywhere. And it is rising to the top of famous brands. I started a small section on "Blogs by Leaders" in the right hand margin of this Impactroom blog. Find out more about a.o. Randy Tinseth, the VP Marketing of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, or William Marriott J. Jr, the CEO of Marriott International, or the Federico Minoli, the President of Ducati as you scroll down.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Leadership Framework: BE KNOW DO Theory


BE a professional. Examples: Be loyal to the organization, perform selfless service, take personal responsibility.
BE a professional who possess good character traits. Examples: honesty, competence, candor, commitment, integrity, courage, straightforwardness, imagination.

KNOW the four factors of leadership - follower, leader, communication, situation.
KNOW yourself. Examples: strengths and weakness of your character, knowledge, and skills.
KNOW human nature. Examples: Human needs, emotions, and how people respond to stress.
KNOW your job. Examples: be proficient and be able to train others in their tasks.
KNOW your organization. Examples: where to go for help, its climate and culture, who the unofficial leaders are.

DO provide direction. Examples: goal setting, problem solving, decision making, planning.
DO implement. Examples: communicating, coordinating, supervising, evaluating.
DO motivate. Examples: develop morale and esprit de corps in the organization, train, coach, counsel.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Wall Street Journal Europe relocates to Financial News Offices

The Wall Street Journal Europe is relocating to the premises of Financial News in London (blue building on picture). The FN office is a statement. It is the office of the challenger. Look and feel is completely different from the former WSJE Long Acre offices. I was very impressed with the salesdepartement, with its open landscape structure, with its directors seated in the middle of their teams (not in closed corner offices), with all the last quarter results individually, clearly and openly posted on a big board. I probably will learn a lot from this departement.