Interview with Paul Denayer, a Belgian CEO in a German company
Paul Denayer, is CEO of Prolupin GmbH, a spin-off of the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging (Germany). Prolupin GmbH focuses on developing, producing and distributing plant-based food and beverages based on protein-rich blue sweet lupins.
Over the past twenty years, Paul has built up an exciting and diversified career in the food industry. As former Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Alpro, he often worked with Interim Managers and higher profiles on temporary or ad hoc projects.
TIP-IM: Do you think that the past 18 months have been a "game changer" in the field of Interim Management?
PD: I think so. I see an increasing demand for project driven resources and I expect the trend to continue. On the supply side, I see higher profiles increasingly looking for specific assignments and sufficient variation to be able to develop themselves. So, I see fewer and fewer people being employed in the future through open-ended contracts.
TIP-IM: Is this trend more evident in specific sectors?
Mainly specific profiles and positions are increasingly eligible for this. IT specialists, digital natives who deal very actively and professionally with social media, but also engineers specialized in process technologies. In general, we are talking about jobs that require specific experience and people that are more likely to work on an independent, temporary basis in a wide range of companies.
TIP-IM: You work in Germany. Do you notice any differences in Belgium, in terms of management culture, and possibly accompanied by game changers in the past 2 years?
PD: We already regularly rely on temporary workers in Germany and I do not immediately see a difference for Belgium in that area. Where I do notice a difference is the difficulty that Belgian and certainly Flemish employers have in allowing their employees to work more remote.
In Flanders, I still feel a lack of trust from the management towards their employees. That is different in Germany. We must learn to deal with teleworking, to see the benefits of it, as long as the employee does not end up on an island but stays in touch and remains connected with the colleagues, the team and the company.
TIP-IM: Speaking of involvement and team spirit, can this be realized with a position as Interim Manager according to you?
PD: In that respect I have already had many positive experiences with Interim Managers. However, like in many other situations, it has to come from both ways. But usually, Interim Managers certainly do not lack commitment, involvement or dedication.
I am very satisfied when specific tasks can be completed by external people due to a lack of internal expertise or manpower. In that way the continuity of day-to-day management is guaranteed and new impulses are given to the company… As long as this benefits the company's objectives.