After graduating with a Master in Economics, Renaud Prodel began his career in finance and auditing at Deloitte, where he had the opportunity to work with a wide range of companies such as Accor, Total and Peugeot, as well as many different types of people. After eight successful years, Renaud was ready for a new challenge and joined Robert Half International in Paris. The main attraction of the recruitment sector being the diversity of the missions, contexts and clients as well as multiple and challenging layers of complexity.
In 2004, Renaud decided to set up his own firm in Paris – Hoffmann & Baretti. During his 5 years at Robert Half, he developed a strong portfolio of companies who wanted to continue working with him, and he was therefore able to establish his company quickly. In 2012, he then decided to set up his business in London and created AditumAdvisory. This has been a very positive move. Working in another country has meant having to understand the language, culture, values and habits of the people, which in turn has made him more focused and aware of what he is really achieving.
CONSULTING AND COACHING FOR CHANGE
For Renaud, being a specialist in head hunting and career transition is like being a cross-country skier – “once you’ve found the right track, you stay on it and do everything you can to keep moving forwards.” Although successful in his career, he wanted to take a step back and analyze the true added value that he brings to his clients and candidates. This desire to question his business practices and to reframe his mindset motivated him to follow the Executive Master in Consulting and Coaching for Change in 2015.
Renaud describes the Executive Master as “both a powerful and empowering experience,” and considers the diversity of the faculty at HEC Paris and Said Business School a definite advantage. Their different cultures and values, as well as their different approaches to learning, exchanging and sharing, all add real value to the program.
He particularly appreciated working in learning groups with classmates from highly diverse professional and cultural backgrounds, which enabled him to open up his mindset, listen more actively to other people and adapt his way of thinking. This has transformed how he now approaches problems collectively. As a specialist, he always wanted to be in the driving seat but now involves his team more proactively in the decision-making process and has adopted a much more collaborative approach.
THE KEY BENEFITS FOR INDIVIDUALS AND COMPANIES
For Renaud, one of the key benefits of the program is that it enables you to reframe how you think and tackle problems in a different way. Accepting that no one person has all the answers and developing mental agility is crucial in the complex environments in which we now evolve.
Another key benefit is the realization that there are no fixed solutions – you always need to investigate further. Adopting this approach makes you much more adaptable and agile and means that you can fit into many different types of organization.
For companies, who invest in programs like Consulting and Coaching for Change for their managers and executives, he feels the key benefit is having effective change agents. For Renaud a change agent is not someone who brings about change but who serves as a catalyst. It is someone who knows how to observe and listen, who can sense the temperature of the organization, and who has the mental agility to understand that there are no ready-made solutions.
To survive and thrive in rapidly changing and highly competitive environments, companies need change agents more than ever before. However, if companies want to see significant impact and ROI from this type of program, he believes that they need to send several candidates on a regular basis and carefully select the right people. Change does not happen overnight and to implement it effectively you need to have effective change agents in key areas throughout the organization.
EMBRACING NEW CHALLENGES AND FUTURE AMBITIONS
Renaud’s personal commitment to education and training is underlined by his role as mentor in a Master program at the Ecole des Mines in Paris. The aim of the Master is to set up relationships between researchers (working on subjects such as artificial intelligence, healthcare and Blockchain), and entrepreneurs, investors and mentors. Renaud capitalizes on his experience to help aspiring entrepreneurs keep their feet on the ground and not to focus exclusively on their dreams. His aim is to ask the questions that enable them to analyze their ecosystem, find their own solutions to the challenges they face and turn their dreams into business reality.
Looking to the future, Renaud has a very ambitious new project. He wants to buy and an engineering school and create a new type of higher education establishment – a hybrid of a business school and an engineering school. He is convinced that the engineers not only need hard skills, they also need to develop soft skills and the agility to adapt to rapidly changing environments. Following the Consulting and Coaching for Change program has reinforced his conviction that education and training play a crucial role in developing the managers and leaders of tomorrow.