Remko Dieker .
Executive Leadership Program - Amsterdam Class 14
Growing up in an entrepreneurial family, I learned at a young age that acting proactively and chasing opportunities makes your dreams come through. And even if those dreams turn out not to be so amazing or impressive as you thought they would be, the experiences that come along while chasing them are unforgettable. As a teenager, I was attracted by the mindset on sports in the US and choose to spent a year at high school there after finishing my secondary school in the Netherlands. I ended up in small-town America, living with a family in the Midwest rural area of Illinois. It gave me great insights into a new culture and I learned that things are seen different if you have a different perspective.
After finishing my master of laws in Amsterdam, I started working as a lawyer. For a rookie, this was a steep "learning on the job curve" with a lot of independence and responsibility towards clients. Negotiating with experienced street-smart lawyers was quite thrilling. I was, however, looking for something more outside my comfort zone and switched to the financial services space which was on the verge of the financial crisis. That's where I first discovered the dynamics of transformation. As a consequence of the crisis, an entire industry needed to be restructured and reinvented. At times, we didn’t know if there would be a tomorrow in financial services or we are completely unprepared for the next unexpected development. I moved to Germany to refocus our German business which was a great adventure for my family as well.
Today, I’m responsible for changing the business model of our bank to drive innovation and growth and become more future proof. It inspires me to think how the future will look like and how people and business will change. I came across THNK in search of a modern and pragmatic executive programme on transformation with the capacity to learn from peers to reflect on my personal leadership development. I’m very much looking forward to the intensive weeks of interaction with the THNK class members.