Tim Lemmens

Tim Lemmens (our brand new CDO) provides an additional digital boost

26 October 2020

Vitamine R

Tim Lemmens is our new Chief Digital Officer. This is a new and essential role within our company, not least given that we are now firmly in the digital age. Tim will be a driving force behind our Digital Flow philosophy and will help to further shape our internal digital reflexes. In his own words, he likes to tackle all challenges with open arms. Before he arrives, we'd like to get to know the person behind the expert a little better.

Tim will be joining our #RFAMILY at the end of October. He will become part of our management team and provide an extra dose of inspiring digital leadership for the organization. Previously, he was at the helm as IT Director of the Cegeka Group. He also worked at Oracle for several years.

We'd like to start with a simple question – one that is very important to us. Tell us: how are you doing?

“Given the circumstances that we are currently living in, I'm doing very well. I am really looking forward to starting my new role. I am full of energy and can't wait to think about the challenges of today and tomorrow. I'm convinced that this humanitarian health crisis will eventually lead to an economic tsunami. Technology will have to be used, more than ever, to tame this potentially devastating wave.”

Why did you choose Realdolmen? What part of the company appeals to you?

“Realdolmen is known as being people-driven. People are the central focus here, both customers and employees. I'm sure I'll be entering a friendly environment. During discussions with Johnny Smets (General Manager) and people from Inetum (editor's note: the new name of the former Gfi group which Realdolmen is part of), we clicked immediately. This piqued my interest and stirred up my ambition to make things happen. In addition to the strong local roots, I also consider the company's overall character to be a major advantage.

The fact that this new role was created was a sign for me that Realdolmen sees the need to invest in its own foundations. This isn't something you see everywhere. After all, even a plumber often has leaking taps at home. Realdolmen strives to be a trusted technology partner for its customers and seeks to achieve the same level of quality internally.”

You are our new Chief Digital Officer (CDO). As you mentioned earlier, this role didn't exist at Realdolmen before. What do you think are the most important areas you will focus on in this role?

“My main role will be to continue to digitalize our IT services, both internally and externally. Digital convenience needs to become the norm. Customers and employees are used to this in their personal lives. At McDonalds, for instance, you can complete the ordering process yourself using touchscreen kiosks. We can also leave transactional matters like this to the customer, freeing up more time for us to create added value. This digital convenience also has to be available to employees in order to support them as much as possible in their jobs. The focus should be on hyper-personalization, zero effort and proactivity as part of digital convenience. I will do my utmost to implement this within the organisation. I want to make them known and get people excited about them, and ultimately develop an action strategy around them.

I will also contribute to further alignment with the group, for example in the area of tooling. I have already experienced a lot of integration within a group structure throughout my career. I will keep a watchful eye on the local focus, but we also need to keep our eyes open to the big picture.”

You will also be a driving force behind our Digital Flow vision. Where do you see the real strength in this vision?

“Post-corona, agility will help to make the difference. Organizations that had already invested in digitalization before the crisis will find it easier to stay afloat than IT zombies that still need to find everything out. However, nobody can afford to simply sit back and relax. If a company doesn't already have a digital strategy in place, it has a problem. You can no longer think in terms of projects; you have to reach for infinity. A digital strategy has to be a reflex ingrained in the organization. Focus on and/and, invest in the essentials of tomorrow, integrate them into your organization and make room for new innovations again and again in order to stay in a positive digital flow. For me, Digital Flow is everything a company needs to focus on today. Pre-corona it was more difficult to get everyone involved. This pandemic is the largest single instance of digital education ever; everything we do is now digital. People have become even more accustomed to digital processes. In actual fact, the Digital Flow philosophy was inadvertently developed to deal with the current situation.”

How can we deliver on our own internal Digital Flow?

“The creation of my new role was a key step toward doing this. As I said before, digital convenience is important. I will also be scattering as many digital seeds as possible around the company. These days, everyone is so busy that they don't have the availability to make digitalization possible for their business line. I will facilitate this, act as a catalyst, stimulate ideas and hold up a mirror. Where do you want to be with your division in 3 years' time? How are you going to do this? How does this fit in with your customer's needs? They will have to tackle challenges and I will come up with digital, innovative and even wild ideas. Naturally, I will also do everything I can to help them realize their goals and relieve them of any worries about their implementation.”

What motivates you in your daily life?

“My intrinsic motivation comes from the feeling that I can make a difference or have an impact on something. Ever since I was young, I have always tried to find this feeling in everything I do. For example, I was a long-term member of the youth organization Chiro. When something had to be organized, I always tried to come up with innovative, creative ideas. If there was a lot of people and they were having fun, then I was happy, too. I also want to be able to enjoy everything I do. This calls for variety, dialog and an inspiring environment.”

One last question, just out of curiosity. Is there anything most people don't know about you?

“I like to call myself an extreme BBQ enthusiast. I can spend hours barbecuing and even get up in the middle of the night to start cooking. I find it meditative to look after the fire and cook the food. I don't compete, but I like to show off my cooking skills for large groups.”

Our mouths are already watering! We wish you lots of success in your new challenge.


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