Sofie testifies about her participation in the Master Class Business Strategy: A unique combination of science, individual coaching, in-depth insights and practice
Sofie Brys has been working at KBC Bank & Insurance for many years now, and she has had plenty of opportunities for internal training. But sometimes, you just need an external view, especially when it comes to strategy and leadership. As it happens, AMS combines both topics in the Master Class Business Strategy & Leadership. The warm welcome, the NeuroTrainingLab™, the in-depth insights, the immediate feedback, the individual coaching sessions, the fellow students from very different backgrounds: they all make for a unique and high-impact experience.
Sofie Brys is Head of Claims Settlement at KBC Bank & Insurance. She has ultimate responsibility for 120 employees and directly manages about 12 people. This substantial broadening of her scope triggered her to go looking for an in-depth training on strategy and leadership. Her search soon led her to AMS, not just for practical reasons (she lives near campus), but mainly because of the specific AMS approach: "What really won me over, was the combination of theory, neurotraining and individual coaching.”
That first session immediately made the Master Class stand out from other courses.
"The first meeting was a session at the NeuroTrainingLab™. I had read about it, of course, but still, you do not really know what to expect. So, we entered a totally unfamiliar environment, but we received a very nice and warm welcome from Steven Poelmans. This first session also clearly demonstrated the difference with other courses. You get feedback from others. You get first-hand experience in dealing with certain situations, which is very instructive. And above all, and most strikingly: you literally get a picture of what is going on in your brain with every step you take."
"The Master Class consists of three modules: one on strategy, one on digital transformation and one on leadership. I learned a lot from all three modules, although I have noticed that the visionary aspect, building a strategy from scratch, is not really my thing. I get more energy from the implementation of strategies, from taking people along on a journey of change. That insight in itself was quite an eye-opener. Plus, the strategy module maps out all the elements you need to take into account. When I now look at our strategy at KBC, all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place."
The AMS approach has given me a better understanding and I am more open to collaboration.
"One of the best takeaways from the lecture given by Steven Dehaes, is that your IT resources and your business need to go hand in hand. In real life, there is usually some degree of distrust between these departments: the business department feels that the IT guys refuse to go along with their ideas, and vice versa, the IT department feels that the business guys simply want the impossible. But if the two work well together, you can take much bigger steps in digital transformation. We are in the middle of a transformation at KBC ourselves. And because of this approach of AMS, I now have a better understanding of IT and I collaborate more with them.”
"The digital transformation module comes in extra handy in times of corona, of course. Both our employees and our customers still had some hurdles to clear to make the digital turnaround. Because of corona, they now have no other choice but to go 100 percent along with digitization. Leadership also takes on a different dimension in times of social distancing. Everyone is stuck at home. Active listening, asking questions, or making room for silence: that is just not easy to do from a distance. Certainly not if you have to keep your performance goals on track as well. In that respect I benefited a lot from Steven Poelmans' brain balance story: if you do not have enough focus, you will lose a lot of your energy. So you have to take the time to define your focus. He taught us the technique of the personal scorecard, among other things. This is very useful for yourself, but it also helps to have a very targeted conversation with your employees. Especially in times of endless skyping or zooming, such a technique comes in very handy."
These are all things that I can put to practice in my job, every single day.
"So yes, I would definitely recommend this Master Class. I deliberately chose to pay for it myself, by the way, but I haven't regretted it for a second. It is most definitely worth the investment. The feedback I got, the expertise you gain, the scientific aspect of neurotraining, working with people from completely different backgrounds: these are all things that I can put to practice in my job, every single day."