The beauty of consulting is that we can explore multiple topics and make a difference for our clients
Lyes Ould Hamouda (34) is a senior manager in the Accenture Supply Chain & Operations team. After meeting his wife in France, they moved to Belgium and have been living in Antwerp for the past five years. “The multicultural aspect of the city is great! As a foreigner, I really feel included. Despite being a French-speaker, I chose Antwerp rather than Brussels so that I could immerse myself in Flemish culture. This takes me out of my comfort zone.”
You’re a real globetrotter. Is that one of the reasons why you chose Accenture?
Accenture is a huge company with a strong international presence. If you want to change countries or work abroad, it’s relatively easy, and that definitely appealed to me. It’s also true that I like to travel, mainly because I’m very curious about new cultures. I’ve recently been to Colombia and Mexico. You won’t find me in Belgium a lot when I’m on holiday! And the bonus is that I have an international role: I lead the European warehousing teams with hubs in Barcelona and Amsterdam. This brings a nice cultural exchange and I get to work with people from different backgrounds.
What else, aside from the international aspect, gives you energy?
The variety of my job. No two days are exactly the same at Accenture. And I need that. If I would be doing the same thing every day or always working for the same client, I would feel less energized. The beauty of consulting is that we can explore lots of different things with people around the world. Just this morning I was working (virtually) with Italian, Spanish, Israeli and German colleagues. That global connection is very motivating and enriching.
What also gives me energy is that unique Accenture ‘can-do’ attitude. We attract people who enjoy a challenge, who want to explore, innovate, and dare to try new things. I also like the fact that our work is very end-to-end. One day I can be doing technology, the next, strategy and the next, sales or innovation work. And of course, I also get energy from my colleagues. I’m quite an extravert and I love being around people, so I’m really delighted our monthly Happy Hours are back after many months apart due to the pandemic.
After five years at Accenture, you are still very enthusiastic. Which project are you really proud of?
Wow, time has passed super-fast! In my role I support the growth of our local Supply Chain practice, helping to build our capabilities so that we can help our clients define their Supply Chain transformation journeys, from strategy to execution. A key aspect of this is making sure our people grow so that together we are one, robust Supply Chain community, able to bring our clients what they need to be more resilient in the future. Currently, we are supporting a local project, helping an organization shape its entire transformation across all key functions and core capabilities, from HR and finance to supply chain… At Accenture, we tackle everything a company needs to operate, innovate and thrive. This brings me enormous satisfaction because we are truly helping our clients to shape their future.
You obviously feel you are making a difference. How do you steer change in your daily job?
Change is everywhere. What counts is your attitude towards change. When the pandemic hit, we had to switch to remote working from one day to the next. Suddenly, there were a lot of new things to manage, especially on a human level. I tried to stay in regular contact with the team, making sure they were engaged and still enjoying their Accenture journey. After all, we are a people business, and each individual makes a difference. We organized regular virtual coffee breaks, more frequent one-on-one chats, and I met up with people outside when we could go out again... I’m happy I was able to steer change in a positive direction and contribute to keeping people motivated, engaged and feeling part of our community.
Are there any high-pressure moments in your job?
I’m not easily stressed at work. However, managing your own workload can be challenging and consume a lot of energy if you allow it to. My advice is set boundaries, learn to say no, and be efficient with your time. It’s important to take time for yourself and find a work-life balance that works for you. That flexibility is certainly possible and encouraged at Accenture.
Does Accenture provide enough opportunities to grow in your career?
There are loads of ways to grow. Sometimes too many, so it’s not always easy to choose which tools, training programs, etc., are the most useful for you. It’s important to guide people so that they understand what is a priority and what is a nice to have. Finding the time to develop yourself on top of on-the-job learning can also be challenging. However, it’s important to invest in yourself and make time.
Inclusion and diversity are high on the agenda at Accenture. How tangible is this for you?
Regardless of our origins or backgrounds, we are all ambassadors of Accenture. Being ourselves and bringing our true selves to work is part of the Accenture DNA and culture. It’s great to work for a company and with colleagues who share these values!
How would you describe your ideal new colleague?
When it comes to graduates, the way they present themselves and interact with colleagues and clients are equally important as educational background. Curiosity and an eagerness to learn are essential qualities too. For experienced hires, expertise and personality are key. Since they come from another company, it’s important to find the right place for them and help them to adapt to our culture so that they can bring value to our teams and clients. But at the end of the day, it’s about people. There is either a click or not.