Purpose, Strategy, People and Business – a fascinating quest by Helen Mets

We were honoured to have Helen Mets, President Resins & Functional Materials at DSM as guest speaker at our fourth meeting of the Transformation Dialogues series. We were looking forward hearing her reflections on her journey in transformation as the leader of a global business in challenging markets.  How do you perform, grow and make an impact with a global company while embedding diversity, sustainability and circularity? In other words, how do you change the tires of the car while driving full speed ahead?

People, Planet, Profit
Helen shared DSMs journey in creating the strategy which was externally launched mid 2018. Starting with the global agenda as defined by the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals, DSM identified where and how they could contribute to reaching these ambitions. Next, DSM matched their unique capabilities with the SDGs to maximize their potential contribution and impact.

As a result, three focus domains were chosen; nutrition & health, climate & energy and resources & circularity. All of these provide unique and relevant opportunities for impact and sustainable growth for each of the DSM businesses. 

Success versus Purpose
Helen defined her personal success as inspiring other companies and leaders to successfully and sustainably address social issues, for Helen specifically climate and malnutrition, and to witness substantial progress 5 years from now. She stressed the need for leaders to make their internal voice heard, to follow the compass of their purpose and to have the courage to take action, share and inspire others.

New Generation Leadership
We would like to summarize the important lessons Helen’s leadership journey into a triangle and circles. A triangle of translating purpose into strategy (connecting it to the head), inspiring teams and employees around this purpose (connecting to the heart). And finally setting it into action, which completes the triangle to our hands.

The circles represent every layer of Helen’s vision connecting all stakeholders in numerous ways. It also aligns with her personal life’s circle and the personal transformation journey she has made.

To conclude
We look back on a very inspiring and insightful dialogue and would like to take this opportunity again to thank Helen for sharing her vision, her quest and her vulnerability with us.

The next Transformation Dialogues will be at February 6, 2020. Bercan Günel will then interview Tanja Dik, Director Consumer Products & Services at Schiphol Group.

NGL Team

Bercan Günel
Gijs de Vries
Annelies van Zutphen
Ron de Mos
Saskia van Walsum
Walter van Kuijen
Jacqueline Smit
Nadine Janssen