After 3 years as an apprentice monk and 5 years of seminars, Maxime Morand started a second life in 1986 by working during more than 25 years as Head of Human Resources at Credit Suisse, UBP and Lombard Odier, where he managed the merger with Darier Hentsch. In 2012, he created Provoc-Actions, a consultancy which accompanies leaders in their career management.
What is the best moment you can remember in your career?
The most interesting time for me was when Lombard Odier and Darier Hentsch merged. I had to manage the merger globally and to set up all the HR structure: compensation and benefits, life cycle, training…What was particularly challenging was to start from a white page and build everything. There was a lot of energy in the team and we had to analyse the needs thoroughly in order to draft 2,130 new contracts in 6 months. We also coached and advised the people who were to leave the company. It was a pivotal year for me because it was also my 50th birthday. And that’s when you go from performance to transmission.
If you had to give just one piece of advice to a junior starting his career, what would it be?
The time of individual success is over. Nowadays, success is built on community and solidarity. A person starting out on a career needs to have global vision and find the essential purpose of his/her life. Being a killer will no longer take you to the top; things need to be done with passion and elegance these days.
Being a killer will no longer take you to the top
Do you have a Motto/Lucky charm?
“Live and don’t live in your house” (René Char). This means that you can be highly invested in your main mission, but it is also good from time to time to take a step back and to look at the situation cold-bloodedly. It is a way of maintaining the liberty of your mind.
What are your main criteria when recruiting people?
To listen to your personal radar. Technical skill and abilities are important, but you need to feel that a candidate will bring you much more than this. You need to feel a good connection and that this person will add something positive to the company. Listen to the voice within.
How do you think the HR function will evolve in the near future?
I would rather call the person in charge of Human Resources a Human Risk Unit manager that an HR manager. The function has become an exercise in human risk management. It’s also an entrepreneurial fact to hire someone: the company welcomes lives.
To me there are several types of risk:
The employer brand: your last trainee or person who has retired is your ambassador.
The newly on board: they will confirm whether the recruitment choices made were the right ones.
The 25-33 year-olds: their expectations are high and they represent a very volatile population.
The 33-39 year-olds: the pressure of getting ahead in their career and reaching success before the age of 40 is omnipresent.
47 years-old and over: how to join the “senior” category and to get the most out of your background.
In your opinion, what is the main skill a good manager should have?
It is all about offering proximity and availability to your team whilst keeping some distance. I wrote an article about “How to go from motivation to consideration”. Meet the other in his/her sphere. A good manager can create a positive atmosphere for motivation, but cannot trigger it. The leader is someone who can communicate efficiently, which is key in a human relationship.
What do you think of Ampersand World?
It is interesting to have a player in recruitment dedicated to a specific niche such as commodity trading. It offers a real opportunity to make a difference and to provide expertise.
I’m happy to interact and share my experience and skills with you.