BeanTalk: Peter Samyn, Didier Droyers & Tom De Prater

FOD Social Security, JEKA Groepsreizen, Collect&Go

A look at 2021 in a special new year's edition

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The podcast is called “Beanmachine New Year’s Questions,” a special edition of the BeanTalk podcast. It focuses on looking ahead to the future as the new year begins. They interviewed three key figures from different organizations that have experienced a challenging year in their own ways.

The first interviewee is Didier Droyers from JEKA Group Travel, which operates in one of the sectors heavily affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The second interviewee is Tom De Prater from Collect&Go, where the crisis led to unprecedented growth. The third interviewee is Peter Samyn from FOD Social Security, an organization that played a significant role during and after the COVID-19 crisis.

Each interviewee shares their professional challenges for 2021:

Peter discusses the sustainability of social security, financial viability, and maintaining solidarity amidst the crisis. He also highlights the need to address the backlog of requests and ensure the rights of vulnerable groups, such as persons with disabilities. Additionally, Peter mentions the importance of finding a new normal for their own personnel in terms of remote work and office requirements.

Tom mentions the challenge of sustaining the company’s growth while establishing a stable organizational foundation. They are working on an organizational design project to foster cross-functional collaboration and maintain learning opportunities within a hybrid work environment.

Didier emphasizes the need to adapt and organize in a way that allows for a quicker recovery from the crisis.

The interviewees discuss the concrete steps they are taking to address their challenges. Peter mentions that their entire organization, including the management committee, is planning and approaching these challenges in a project-based and systematic manner.

Tom talks about expanding their products and services, enhancing the B2B offering, and making changes to their IT infrastructure to sustain business evolution.

When asked what they would like to have achieved when they are called again in a year, Peter mentions the resilience of the social protection system and employee well-being within their organization. Tom hopes to see the growth sustained and the new organizational design delivering positive outcomes. Didier hopes for a successful summer season, increased market awareness, and a prominent online presence for their group travel website.

The interview concludes with a question about the books they have on their reading list for 2021. Peter mentions “Utopie voor realisten,” a book about Vlaamse thinkers envisioning the ideal society in various aspects. He also plans to re-read “Anna” by Nicolo Ammaniti, a book about a fictional society grappling with a special virus.

Tom admits he is not an avid reader but prefers to gather information through articles, chapters from books, and discussions with others to shape his own analysis and conclusions.

Didier mentions a book called “Rust voor je brein” by Luc Swinnen, which focuses on finding peace of mind. He highlights the importance of regaining balance and managing the fear of missing out (FOMO) that has been amplified during the crisis.

In terms of what they don’t want to lose in the new normal, Peter emphasizes the importance of solidarity and connecting people within their organization. Tom values the balance between efficiency and human interaction, as well as providing employees with clear goals and purpose. Didier learned the importance of addressing the needs and motivations of younger generations in his team and intends to remain attentive to that in the future.

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