You are never on an island with your company
Under this remarkable title in the business magazine called "Trends" (the Flemish counterpart of "Tendances") Joris Tiebout, CEO of Abattoir S.A., had quite an interesting story to tell. In fact, he recalled a piece of advice given to him many years ago by his father-in-law Carlos Blancke, also co-founder of his company.
"My father-in-law was very concerned with his immediate entourage, both inside and outside his company, which at that time made of him some sort of forerunner in the field of "Corporate social responsibility", common knowledge and practice our days, but nobody cared less in the early 80'ies."
"It was not the best piece of advice, but certainly the most original," continues Joris Tibout, President of the Voka Brussels Committee and CEO at Abattoir S.A, the well-known Anderlecht slaughterhouses. "I will always remember my father-in-law's words: take care of the people that surround you. You are never on an island with your company. With your 10,000 hectares of company grounds, you find yourself amidst a metropolis, so take your time to invest in contacts with people from your board as well as from your neighbourhood. His advice dates back from almost thirty years now, but I feel it is still more than valuable today."