7 January 2021
With 2020 firmly behind us, it’s time to look ahead. And that’s just what Datashift’s CEO Nico Huybrechts likes to do. What will 2021 bring for Datashift? How will the company evolve in the coming months? What are his wishes for the new year? “If we can continue on our path of growth, I’ll be a happy man at the end of 2021”, Nico says.
When people talk about their New Year’s resolution, they often mention something they want to change, something they want to do differently in 2021. Not Nico. Datashift’s founder has a list of all the things he doesn’t want to change this year. On top of that list? “The focus on our customers and our employees. They are the most important aspect of our organization, and that’ll never change”, he says. “I want Datashift to grow, of course, but not if that growth would negatively affect either of those two groups in one way or another. I don’t want to create some big company where we lose sight of our customers or employees.”
We’re already great at what we do, of course! But there’s always room for improvement. It’s important to keep learning
Growing even further
With that in mind, Nico’s business plans for the new year are all about his customers and his employees. To be an even better data partner for companies, Datashift will focus on expanding its expertise in 2021. “We’re already great at what we do, of course!”, he chuckles. “But there’s always room for improvement. It’s important to keep learning, to keep evolving, and to keep growing personally.”
Specifically, there are three areas where he’d like to grow even further. Setting up a smart and tailor-made data strategy for clients is already Datashift’s strong suit, but Nico believes he and his team can take it to the next level. “It’s definitely on our list to advance in this area”, he says. “But there are also two technological aspects: our cloud practices in MS Azure AWS will be a key focus area together with further deepening our Collibra data governance and catalog solutions.”
More key players
To help with Datashift’s growing range of expertise, Nico wouldn’t mind adding more people to his team. “Yes, we do need more resources. But you know, it’s not so much about having “more” people work for us, it’s about having the “right” people. We don’t just hire someone for the sake of it. We’re strict during the hiring process because, to be the best of the best, we need the best of the best.”
According to Datashift’s founder, the company could also benefit from a few extra “key players”, as he calls them. “People who will help me facilitate overall sustainable growth”, Nico explains. “I truly believe that a company needs different types of leaders to thrive in the best way. So if we want to accomplish that, I think hiring one or two key players in 2021 would be a good decision.”
But Nico won’t be actively looking for someone to fill in this specific role. “You can’t find these profiles with an ad or with a headhunter if you ask me. Finding the right key player is not something you can plan out. You run into them, meet them by chance at the right place at the right time. Of course, experience and competence are important here, but mostly it’s about the feeling of ‘oh, you’re the person I’ve been waiting for!’”.
People should be able to work where they feel most productive or what works best with their personal life - as long as it doesn’t do harm to the company and the clients, why not?
Hybrid way of working
Whoever will join the team in this new year, Nico is already certain that the newbies and the veterans at Datashift will continue 2020’s trend of hybrid work. “A few days from home, a few days in the office and some days perhaps at a client’s place of work”, he explains. “People should be able to work where they feel most productive or what works best with their personal life - as long as it doesn’t do harm to the company and the clients, why not? It’s is a very healthy and nice way of working for employees. We certainly see the positive impact of this approach on our results. And I’m sure other companies see it too, so Datashift won’t be the only one continuing hybrid working, even long after the corona crisis.”
This hybrid way of working can undoubtedly help employees balance their work and private life better. And for Nico, it’s very important that every member of his team finds an enjoyable balance. “As an employer, you have to pay attention to that. You have to create a healthy work environment, so people still have enough time and energy to pay attention to their private life.”
For 2021, I wish everyone a professional environment where employees are encouraged to speak up
For 2021 Nico has just one other thing on his wishlist: “I wish everyone a professional environment where employees are encouraged to speak up. Too many people are stuck in an unhappy work situation. I hope more of them find the strength to stand up and speak up to change that situation. After all, we spend about 50% to 75% of our waking hours at work. If things aren’t going well, we’re not feeling well. A ‘speak up’ climate in every organization will make people better and make the world a better place. We’re all responsible for our own happiness, so let’s take it into our own hands this year, shall we?”