Madelein Smit

Executive Leadership Program - Amsterdam Class 13

Madelein Smit
Executive Board
My experience and deep interests:
I am based in: Amsterdam
Other projects and organizations include: Mentoring and growing women in business at Polaris

I believe that the exponential changes in technology will disrupt our world radically in our lifetime and that many things we "know" about the world today will have to be "unlearnt" in order to prepare for a radically different environment. These technologies unleash great power and the impact can be felt at a scale we have never seen before. I also believe that the things that blindside us are mostly those things we assume to be true.

"What gets us into trouble is not what we don't know. It's what we know for sure that just ain't so." — Mark Twain

I have had a successful corporate career, trained as a Chartered Accountant in England, focused a lot on business transformation and traveled the world. My most recent role was as the CIO of Intertrust Group, the only woman on the global executive board who brought the company to IPO in October 2015. My time there also included several acquisitions to be integrated in the IT and process landscape.

However, for me, there is an increasing disparity and disconnect between the leadership styles that are prevalent in big companies today (what got us here) and that which is needed to ensure that the technological disruption we face bring benefits to most humans, whilst protecting our fragile home (earth). If we get this wrong, we will be leaving a very challenging legacy to our children.

Personally, I derive a lot of energy from environments with agile and fast-moving teams, where client service is a central features, and self-determination of team members is expected. I am a creative person, an innovative thinker, and will challenge the status quo. I also have an entrepreneurial streak and have elected to participate in THNK to nurture this side of me. 2018 for me is about "hacking" myself and my cozy corporate life up to this point. I quit my job as of the end of 2017 and it is time to explore what else is out there.