Meet Tue Krabbe-Juelsbo
Alm. Brand is a financial services institution and currently ranks as the fourth largest insurance company in Denmark. Prior to taking up his current role within the company, Tue held various roles as head of innovation, head of agile transformation, and interim head of technology and architecture. Tue has previously worked as a management consultant in most of Scandinavia and as a researcher at Aalborg University, focusing on learning, creativity, and leadership development. All the way back he managed restaurants and worked as a trained photographer and creative director as well – but that’s another story.
Which team and when did you graduate?
Team 18 and I graduated in 2014.
What have you been working on since you graduated as a Kaospilot?
Well, I had a funky setup where I actually started researching at Aalborg University and consulting in Plan B, a Swedish consultancy, and in LEAD, a Danish management consultancy, already in my third year, so I had three part-time positions when I graduated. Eventually I figured that working 150% wasn’t really beneficially to my health so I focused on Denmark and continued as a part-researcher-part-management-consultant for the next three years. Of all places I actually started out as a consultant working on a year-long assignment in SKAT, the Danish tax authority! Hugely beneficially and full of learning for a young KP wanting to test all his theory and tools from the education. I was helping SKAT to work on a company-wide leadership and culture initiative and got to visit a lot of locations and coach leaders in SKAT. I’m still full of respect and admiration for the people working there. The following years I focused on building the innovation strategy and training part of the consultancy I was part of as it was also the subject of a lot of my research at the university. I eventually ended up at another consultancy, working as an internal researcher and head of development before I joined my current company, Alm. Brand. Over the years I have worked with consulting clients ranging from top-management groups in Danish municipalities, SKAT, Danish Regions, Yousee, Post Nord, ATP etc. etc. I started and finished an executive Masters at CBS (MMD) immediately after graduating from KP and eventually started a Ph.D-programme at Aalborg University. Still need to dot the i’s on that education though, though…
How and why did you go the corporate consultant-slash-researcher-way? What are some next steps for you in your current role at Alm. Brand?
It’s largely due my personality and due to my different experiences since dropping out of university.
I was always interested in people and creative development and it definitely informed why I ended up quitting medical school halfway through back in my early twenties. I simply couldn’t see how I could marry those interests with working as a doctor, so I swore that I would explore different aspects of myself and my interests going forward. Put it another way – I had no idea what to do after quitting a safe career path! But to cut a long story short, I did up experimenting with a lot of different fields (photography, fashion, service) and took the academic curiosity and discipline with me from med. school. So I knew that whatever I wanted to do, I had to geek the s… out of it. I eventually ended up at the Enterprising Leadership program in Aarhus. As a student, I started K-Lab, an experimental learning laboratory for and with the students, as a place where we could train, geek out, and bring the lecturers visiting the school into a different and more playful setting. I was also a student representative in the Board of the school and it was actually through that work that I got to talk with a professor at Aalborg University, who was a professor of psychology and creativity. She hired me as a research assistant and we eventually ended up publishing a book and several papers together. I learned most of my research skills from her as an apprentice researcher and to this day, I bring that academic curiosity to most of my work. It was also what gave me an edge as a consultant. The fact that I was a KP and already employed as a researcher gave me some street AND academic credit in a highly competitive field where most consultants have at least one master’s degree.
In Alm. Brand I’ve just taken over the responsibility for the entire corporate HR Development agenda. Something I’m super excited about!
As many other big organizations the current pace of change in the market, digitalization, and legislative changes challenge us and fundamentally our business model. We’ve started creating huge commercial partnerships and that again demands a very different set of skills and mindsets of our leaders and employees. My background both within Alm. Brand and in previous jobs makes it possible for me to bridge between the people side, the technology side, and the business side of things. That’s my plan at least. I’m building the department from the ground up as we go along but one thing I will be focusing on in 2021 in modern leadership. Training, assessing and educating the entire staff of leaders within the company. Our leaders need to understand agile and modern, empowering ways of working while being mindful of compliance and other business proces demands.
What is your biggest source for inspiration right now?
I’m quite inspired by my wife who just started her PhD on ‘techno psychology+AI’ within healthcare and my daughter, Gertrud who’s turning two this April. To see them both in learning mode is super inspirational. Practically in my job, I’m inspired by Rob Kaiser who has developed a great tool suite for assessing and training leaders to become more versatile, and academically I’m inspired by Robert Kegan who, along with other great researchers, has written ‘An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization’. That book and the research behind it guides me in my work building up the HR function.
Why not cut out the middleman and go straight to the source
Do you have a piece of advice for future Kaospilot graduates?
I have three:
1. Test, test, test! Set up experiments for yourself throughout your studies and see the entire education as a two-track setup: KP and the school provide you with one track of formal training, education, and network – but you have to create your own track on the side, bring your learning into play and start experimenting your way into interesting relationships, mentorships, and projects. It’s a lot of work being a full-time student, admittedly, but I think it is worth it to spend another 10-20% on top of your student life investing in your future self.
2. Use the unfair advantage: Read books and shitloads of them! Nobody reads anymore so if you’re curious and disciplined you can get a great advantage just through reading interesting books, papers, and trade journals. A still of high-quality stuff still gets published primarily as academic papers and it takes years for types such as Malcolm Gladwell to pick it and write it up as business books. Why not cut out the middleman and go straight to the source?
3. Get to know ‘agile’ – the buzzword of 2021 and in years to come. Read, train as a scrum master or agile coach, and seek out experiences where you get to work agile and with developing agile. It’s a fundamentally different way of organizing development teams and processes and it’s almost a dead sure career path if you chose to go down it.