Mark Beekman describes himself as entrepreneurial but not an entrepreneur. That mindset may be exactly what you need to transform a century-old corporate firm into an innovative fintech company.
Mark works for Graydon, a company whose roots can be traced back to 1888, when employees traveled by horseback between Amsterdam and Haarlem to do business.
In 2015, Mark was Director of Marketing and Sales, tasked with repositioning the company’s brand. Recognizing his potential and innovative spirit, Mark’s CEO made him an offer that doesn’t come along everyday: “Pick a program– any program in the world– and we’ll pay for you to go.”
After exploring traditional Executive MBA programs, Mark was intrigued when he found THNK featured in a list of Top 10 Schools for Life. With a personal mission to surprise and be surprised, joining an unconventional unschool was the perfect fit for Mark.
During THNK’s Executive Leadership Program, participants develop as leaders and evolve an initiative. While some of his classmates set out to create new ventures, Mark discovered that he was most interested in reframing his 130-year-old company into a leading innovative business.
Shortly after completing the Executive Program, Mark was promoted from Director of Marketing to Managing Director and advanced from repositioning the company’s brand to reinventing the organization itself.
With examples from Mark’s journey as a guide, here’s what it takes to reinvigorate a long-established company with entrepreneurial energy: