“If I’m proud on it, my mother will be too”
In this interview we meet our Marketing Manager Lisette. What’s it like to anticipate changes in the energy market from a marketing perspective and what makes this so interesting? Read the interview to find out!
When you started last March, what were your first thoughts when you joined the team?
“I found the atmosphere very relaxed and open. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect and my main focus early on was to read up on Senfal. Soon I realized that being flexible and open to change is very important here. If you want to know now what you’ll be working on next year, or maybe even next week, things will be difficult.”
This way you get to know the organization very well
What do you like about your work?
“Every day is different, the variation is what I like most. One day I’m visiting an event or arranging tickets, the other day I’m writing an interview or designing a newsletter. I could also be working on a new visual style for Senfal or writing and sending press releases. The only thing that doesn’t change is that I start each day by checking the (social) media. To see if there are any interesting or unusual developments concerning energy. I also like that I get to work with many different departments within Senfal. If I want to write a blog, I talk to developers or business analysts. On other days, I support sales and then there’s marketing to be done for HR and the office. I really like this setup, because I get to know the organization very well.”
What is something really cool you worked on recently?
“Last week we went to EXE, who launched their platform for trading energy. In December 2016 Senfal started a pilot project with EXE and the Port of Amsterdam, in which Senfal’s software connects the ship docking schedules to predictions of energy use. This generates an accurate load profile for the Port of Amsterdam. Using EXE’s trading platform Entrnce, the Port of Amsterdam is able to buy directly from the wholesale market (APX). Last September AEB Amsterdam joined the project to power the port’s shore-side outlets with their locally generated electricity. This was an awesome project which included many different kinds of activities: making a presentation, lots of meetings and most of all trying to build Senfal’s reputation and increasing our reach. The challenge for Senfal, and therefore for me, is to put the company and brand on the radar. Even if we’re a small player competing with the big boys. In the end we had some great results, a good presentation which lead to some interesting contacts and publicity through multiple online articles.
And what is something you want to work on in the near future?
“I’d like to improve the design, communication style and marketing as a department itself. These are big issues and I expect that this will also affect activities like our online strategy and even minor tasks. Therefore I’m also looking for a marketing intern, who could have a nice job doing research on the online strategy and help implementing the new ideas. So if you know or are somebody who’s interested, contact me!”
There is a high involvement in the team
What do you think of the working atmosphere at Senfal?
“The atmosphere at Senfal is friendly, open and there is a high level of commitment and team spirit. You can see this in the many team events that we organize. I really like that about the organization, it’s something you don’t see at many other places. There’s also a lot of space for personal initiative, but this can also be daunting. To succeed here, you must be able to handle change and be flexible. If you want to do the same thing every day or if you want to know what you will be doing next year, things will get difficult very soon. On the other hand, if you want to improve your skills in Kanban, or you want to present a thesis, you can just plan a meeting. The people here like to listen.”
What’s your favourite snack?
Fruit! There’s a lot of fruit at Senfal, like apples, bananas, kiwi’s, grapes… very tasty and healthy of course.
If I’m proud on it, my mother will be too
Which core value is most valuable for you?
‘Make your mother proud’ for sure. The other two I can’t really relate to, though I understand why they apply to Senfal. The idea of ‘Rappo Klappo’, to work efficiently, is good, but whatever you do has to be useful. Personally I want to give 100% all the time, so I wouldn’t go for just 80%. What I like about ‘Be a beautiful nerd’ is that you can be yourself. ‘Make your mother proud’ resonates with me because I know that if I’m proud of it, my mother will be too. Then I know I’m working on something I feel comfortable enough to show to others. It feels like something personal I can relate to.”
What do you think of Senfal as a startup, growing to a scaleup?
“I can see that we are taking many steps towards a scaleup, but that we also still have a long way to go. To be honest, I don’t know how much you can grow and still stay the same kind of organization: some things just can’t be scaled. For example, the high level of involvement will be difficult to sustain when the organization gets bigger, since it’s more difficult to know every colleague. Larger teams means more management layers, making it more difficult for employees to communicate with the board of directors directly. Also, our weekly stand-up where everyone tells what they’re working on will be more complicated with more people. If 60 or 100 people have to tell what they’re doing, it might not be the best stand-up anymore. Some steps probably need to be taken and it’s good to think about how to structure things when that happens. I’m already noticing some of the improvements, like the recent changes done with office management and HR. To give an example, Senfal is currently exploring new ways to give employee feedback and the whole team has done a scrum training. I think these are good ways of finding out how things work best.”