360Crossmedia (Jérôme Bloch): solving the transformation conundrum in Luxembourg
Jerome Bloch says that digital transformation is a greater challenge for Luxembourg than it is for countries like France or Germany. Interview.
Why is the Luxembourg digital transformation different compared to that of France or Germany?
The context is completely different. Our neighbours
also face the huge challenge of developing and adopting new disruptive technologies without destabilising their economies but Luxembourg is still dealing with two major transformations in addition to that: firstly, the end of banking secrecy and secondly, the transfer of low added value
back-office tasks to cheaper jurisdictions or to automated systems. For an employee working in T.A., Fintech means handing over his/her job to a computer. But the reality is exactly the opposite: for a country like Luxembourg, change is a major opp
ortunity! It will allow the country to focus on high added-value tasks and innovations.
What are the consequences?
The country is showing that it can take the initiative by investing heavily in Fintech, for example, but ultimately success will start at the bottom. If you compare it to an army, although generals will play a role in the war, the war will be won by soldiers. We run a number of management consulting sessions in Luxembourg and I’m always surprised by employees’ mindsets which are very inflexible. When you dig a bit deeper, there seem to be two main issues: firstly, they’re not at all well informed about Luxembourg’s context and secondly, they’re very anxious. It’s comparable to pressure in sport - it makes some people stronger, while others melt down. The simple truth is that refusing to embrace change, to develop new skills, new ideas and new business models is not a su stainable approach in the Grand Duchy. As Garry Kasparov told me during our interview last December: "ignoring a problem for fear of making things worse is the best way to make things much worse". For employees working in Luxembourg, there are plenty of new opportunities to seize, often in a different department of the company for which they’re already working!
« You can only fix problems which you have clearly identified.»
How can you fix this?
When I was a professional golfer (a long time ago), I learnt that you can only fix problems which you have clearly identified. Communication must be improved at all levels in Luxembourg, from politicians to managers. I’m not talking about mantras and repeating "everything will be fine". I’m talking about clear, specific plans: "this is the situation. We have a plan. Here it is. Let's get it done together and then everything will be fine". If there is no clear plan, it’s high time to start working on one! A critical aspect is letting employees express their feelings and ideas: ultimately, they’ll be the ones who turn words into action. That’s what we help companies to do in our sessions. We’ve developed a patented system which helps companies to fix problems, one at a time, and to share all outputs in one unique document.