The Back Story – Michal Bak

Our Monthly interview with one of the ADAPTOVATE team. Each month we ask one of our team from around the world to answer a few questions. While not in the same league as The Proust Questionnaire – we think it’s a great way to share our stories with you.

This month we are really excited to interview our Managing Director andPrincipal in our office in Warsaw, Poland –  Michal Bak

First up – how long have you worked with us?

I have been working for 3 months now (joined in June 2019) (editor: at time of interview).

Why did you join us? Were you in the industry previously, or looking for a new career direction?

Before joining Adaptovate, I was working at a major management consulting firm. I got passionate about people, change and large scale transformations. I was involved in advising businesses around the world. Adaptovate offered me an opportunity to do the job that I loved and also to get involved in setting up a new office. Talking to founders convinced me that it might be a fair new challenge and much fun.

How has your previous experience and career helped define where you are now? Would you have done things differently?

I have always been eager to try new things and that for sure defined where I am today. Accepting new challenges and then relentlessly focusing on delivering impact became part of my DNA. In addition, working for different organisations in different countries and cultural contexts helped me become more sensitive and humble. Would I do things differently? I don’t think so… I always try to take decisions based on my best current knowledge, and then take full responsibility for them

[bctt tweet=”Accepting new challenges and then relentlessly focusing on delivering impact became part of my DNA. Michal Bak – The Back Story interview. #agile ” username=”adaptovate”]

How do you balance your work life with your ‘real’ life – Do you have a good balance and how important is it to you?

I believe there is only one “life” – I don’t make a distinction between work life and personal life. I try to see my life as a whole and act upon it. That means that I take advantage of every moment and anything that my life brings to me, and at the same time relentlessly follow my passions

With so many of our team remote working, we always like to ask how do you have your home office/desk set up? Organised or chaos? Any top tips?

I consider my computer to be my office. I can then bring it with me wherever I go. Is my desktop well organise?… Well… I am probably not setting a best practice here… 😉

Do you play music during your Agile workshops with clients? What do you recommend on your latest playlist?

Music is a very important part of my life. It is my source of energy. I like sharing it with teams. Recently, I am into different types of electronic music. I would choose a set depending on the mood and on particular needs. However, good house music is always a powerful way to get people started! (editor:  You can view the Adaptovate Workshop playlist here – it includes one or two electronic music tracks).

How do you think technology has best helped humanity and do you have any concerns about our future?

I am watching closely the development of AI. But I always look at it from the human perspective – what does it mean for us, humans? how will our jobs and professions change? what kind of new skills will be required? I want to be able to help people and organisations adapt to the new reality

Strategic Foresight allows companies to detect changes early and ensure action is taken quickly. Which companies have you seen able to change and adapt quickly. (and hopefully using Agile methods to do so)

I like watching what Mercedes has recently been doing to its cars. I don’t remember anyone talking about this brand a few years ago and now I hear about it everywhere. It is praised for its design, for technological advancement, for performance. I think they found a way to adapt their full package in a way that made them very attractive

Michal Bak

What does success mean to you personally?

Being happy with your life. Being able to say “I’ve had a good life”

Finally – You’ve time travelled back to your 10- year old self – What advice would you give?

Go for it, take decisions even if they are tough, and be ready to accept the consequences

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