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Managing partner and senior consultant

Managing partner Joost: “I don’t want things to get dull” – and he is being waited on hand and foot 😉

Being one of Globally Cool’s founding fathers, the story of Joost obviously can’t be skipped. In 1999 he started the company together with Onno. Of course, a lot has changed since then. “I evolved from mainly being active in the field to part-time consultant, lead in sales & new business and manager operations. This entails everything related to the office in terms of planning, project management, human resources, tools, and systems. Contrary to the other two partners, I’m the one that’s most often present and, moreover, the managing part is also one of the roles I like to play.”

Achieving real added value

“Looking at the consultancy work I still do, this year I lead projects in Ghana and Kyrgyzstan. The project in Ghana is for the Business Support Organisation (BSO) GEPA and in 2016 they were looking for a partner to build a market hub for products like shea butter and mangoes. Since then, our collaboration has expanded, and I have visited GEPA yearly four to five times. On the other hand, there’s a project in Kyrgyzstan, where we’re backing a BSO as well. With a team of four Kirgizians, we work on export development for honey, black beans, and meat. Together, we conduct market research, optimize trade analysis skills, promote Kyrgyz exportable offer to the world, and make sure that exporters receive the right information. What’s satisfactory is when the people you work with are eager to use the tips and tricks that we hand over, even though they’re already occupied with other tasks. Achieving real added value, that keeps me going.”

Traveling is part of the job

Joost is clear about it: he doesn’t want to miss out on the travel part that comes with the job. In the past, he spent a whole lot more time abroad, up to fifteen weeks a year. Traveling was often done on the weekends, so you don’t have to be a calculation miracle to estimate all the time it took, let alone the time you need to recover from jetlags. “For my family, it wasn’t always easy”, Joost explains. “When I got married, I told my wife that my job is important. Of course, that doesn’t mean it is always easy to leave, especially when the kids say goodbye with misty eyes. I regularly tell them: “I’ll be gone for now, but I always return home”. And when I come home, I’m welcomed with open arms”, he adds smiling.

No nine-to-five job

The ad-hoc part is the thing Joost also likes about his job. He doesn’t think a structured nine-to-five job fits his needs. “I don’t want things to get dull and I like to keep learning new things.” The learning part is something that illustrates working at Globally Cool. “Within the company framework, almost everything is possible if you’re willing to develop yourself. When talking to new employees, we try to gauge what makes them tick at working level and/or home/work-balance. The goal is that employees can organize their job the way they want to. Sometimes we have to toil together, but we try to be flexible at other times. We also would like people to get things off their chest.” Happy people make happy bosses: “If I finish my day knowing that everything runs smoothly and the co-workers go home elated, I had a great day. And when employees feel togetherness and say ‘us’ instead of ‘you’, that means we’re truly successful in creating a great place to work.”

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