To celebrate TPCL’s 20th anniversary, we’re catching up with colleagues around the world. In this blog, we hear from Italy and the Netherlands.
Ten years ago, TPC Leadership went global. New offices in Italy and the Netherlands were the first foray beyond British borders, an exciting step for a company seeking new horizons. It was a big step for all involved — a moment that, a decade later, we look back on fondly.
That’s not to say there wasn’t some uncertainty. TPCL CEO and managing partner TPCL the Netherlands, Annelieke Jense had one big question in those early days: ‘Where to start?’
“I remember the sort of, ‘what am I going to do today’ feeling. I could do millions of things, but what shall I do first?”
Joining Frouke Horstmann, managing partner for the Netherlands, and Andrea Cardillo, managing partner for Italy, for a virtual get-together to mark the 10-year anniversary, Annelieke recalled an urgent need to get a team together, and get to grips with what the company could offer clients.
Learning on the job
“I remember two thoughts really clearly,” says Annelieke. “I need a team – people able to do the work – and I need to know what the hell we’re selling.”
To wrap her head around these issues, Annelieke knew a trip to the UK was vital.
“I needed to walk beside the British team, and go with them to clients, observe progress, to know what it is they’re selling. Because there was no Google Drive, there were no shared folders, there was no partner contract. There was nothing.”
In short, there was an awful lot of learning on the job — “an MBA in real life,” as Annelieke puts it.
For Andrea, being invited by managing partner Charles Brook to set up an office felt like a call to purpose.
“It felt to me like many different things were just coming together. The opportunity gave me the chance not only to explore more deeply what I want to do as a consultant but also to create a team around me and choose the people I wanted to work with.”
As a member of the TPCL family, Andrea realised he could go far beyond where he had reached as an individual consultant — an exciting epiphany that only got better when Charles and Annelieke first visited him in Italy.
Part of the family
It is among his “most beautiful memories,” Andrea says, conducting the country’s first development center, and getting to meet colleagues in-person that he’d only ever interacted with online.
Frouke agrees. When she joined Annelieke for a coffee in Amsterdam in 2014 there was an instant click — and when, a few weeks later, she was invited to join a development center, she knew she’d landed on something special.
“Everyone invited me in, it was such a lovely welcome. I didn’t know anyone but there was really a feeling of ‘we trust you, you must be perfect for TPC Leadership because Annelieke sent you.’”
This warm embrace and culture of encouragement permeates the company’s interaction with clients too, says Frouke.
“I really feel we hold the same values as our clients. It’s nice that we earn some money through it, but it’s really the quality that comes first.”
It’s a mentality that keeps close to TPCL’s guiding principles — a commitment to harness the best in people through the power of leadership, and to contribute to charitable causes and global sustainability goals.
Of course, each of the firm’s global offices has its own flare; the Italians are particularly keen on PowerPoint and website aesthetics, jokes Frouke, while the Dutch ‘bother less’ in their visual tastes.
That being said, one of Andrea’s most rewarding moments was collaborating with Annelieke on the first coaching Open Programme in the Netherlands.
“Then there was an Italian Dutch company and I remember working with the board and having a training program for all the senior management, the CEO, and so on.”
“After the first three days we were together they said, ‘We have never spoken in ten years the way we have spoken in the past three days.’”
And that, in a nutshell, is one of TPCL’s enduring aims — to bring leaders together in vision, getting the best out of them in the process. To learn more about how to cultivate this in your own organisation, get in touch.