Connecting with senior leaders


G’Day! My name is Kate Francis I am a civil engineer in the Urban Development team in Brisbane, Australia. As I write this blog post, I am two weeks away from embarking on a 27 hour journey from Brisbane to The Netherlands to participate in the Global Shapers 2015 programme.

Preparation for Face to Face
As part of the first group of Australian participants in the GS program, it is extremely exciting (and a bit daunting) to be participating in GS 2015. I have no idea what is waiting for us in Rotterdam!

As some of the earlier blog posts mentioned, this year’s theme is “Engagement”. How can we encourage more Arcadians to engage with the values and passions of the company? What tools can we create to facilitate a meaningful discussion about Arcadis?

We have completed two phases of the Virtual Assignments in our teams, which has provided context as to what it means to be an engaged employee and engagement drivers around the world. It has been interesting to observe how the responses have differed across the regions.

My team, Celtic Sally, is comprised of Arcadians from the US, UAE, Singapore, India and Switzerland. Working with such a diverse and multicultural team has helped me to prepare for working with the other 99 Global Shapers in Rotterdam.

Virtual Challenge Phase Two – Connecting with Senior Leaders
One of the many benefits of the Global Shapers program is the access to senior leaders within the company. The Arcadis General Leadership Forum is run concurrently with the GS program each year. Over 100 senior managers, in addition to the Executive Board, attend this conference, which has scheduled time with the Global Shapers.

Schermafbeelding 2015-09-15 om 09.16.59To prepare us for this meeting, the second phase of the Virtual Challenge focussed on connecting with the senior leaders- both as a group and personally. Celtic Sally connected with two senior leaders to hear their thoughts on employee engagement and the Arcadis values.

We spoke with Renier Vree (the Arcadis CFO), who discussed what sets Arcadis apart from our competitors, and some of the things which excite him about in the company’s future. We also spoke with Simon Light (Global Integration Director), who shared some fascinating insights into the “Evolve to Win” integration process he is currently involved in with the acquisition of Hyder Consulting.

On a personal level, we were also assigned with individual leadership “buddies” to meet with to formulate personal learning goals for the GS conference. My buddy, Stephen Taylor (the Sydney BUC Executive) has provided me with a tremendous amount of information into strategic goal setting and how to work in large group settings.

Global Shapers really is a global program – it allows me to connect with other Arcadians at all levels of the business around the world. I am amazed by the amount of effort and enthusiasm that is put in by the Organizing Team. As someone who is relatively new to Arcadis (through the acquisition of Hyder), working for a company that values and fosters leadership in its young professionals is truly inspiring.

I look forward to meeting the other Global Shapers very soon in The Netherlands!

Kate Francis – Australia Pacific


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