Alumni Story – Olivier Girard (Class of 2016)

 

Olivier Girard, 2016 alumnus, has an academic background as mechanical engineer specialised in ergonomics. He also followed a paramedical education in posture therapy in Holland before moving to Morocco where he opened his business venture. Unfortunately, it was not successful and he had to find a new job that took him to Switzerland, at the Institute for Work and Health (IST). In parallel and since 2006, he was strongly committed to managing a small clinical practice TRAIN YOUR POSTURE offering B2C services complementary to the B2B ones offered by IST. At this point of his career, Olivier felt the need of undertaking an Executive MBA at HEC Lausanne: “I wanted to gain assertiveness and confidence in my discussions with executives as well as improve my management skills for my intrapreneur job”.

Olivier’s reflects further on his EMBA experience and particularly on his Strategy Consulting Project (SCP), where he acted as an in-house consultant for IST for almost a year. “My SCP was about an M&A project related to the company I worked for at that time. Throughout the months, I developed a 360° understanding of strategy and management as well as a strong sense of coherence.” More specifically, Olivier mentions the Balanced Scorecard as a tool he chose to learn for himself and to apply to all aspects of the project, highlighting the hands-on aspect of the HEC Lausanne Executive MBA: “These newly acquired skills and tools were directly applicable to my professional environment. First, they enabled me to create a novel approach to reposition occupational health as a strategic tool for IST’s client and to contribute to growing my department’s efficiency by 25-30% a year. Secondly, they allowed me to refine the strategy for TRAIN YOUR POSTURE and clearly differentiate its services from IST’s.” He adds: “I believe the Balanced Scorecard can not only be applied professionally but also to all situations of life including in the personal environment.”.

By the end of his experience at HEC Lausanne, Olivier who entered the programme with specific motivations explains that the outcomes were even higher than expected: “More opportunities than I thought arose from the EMBA and I felt I was capable of seizing them and doing more.”.

Just a year after completing the Executive MBA at HEC Lausanne, Olivier, better equipped, gives another try to entrepreneurship and opens his own limited company Erg’OH Conseil Sàrl completing therefore the offer of his still-existing one-man business TRAIN YOUR POSTURE. Both share a common vision: “All businesses must rely on healthy employees if they want to succeed.”, outlines Olivier. “This is where all the EMBA values I developed meet.”, he continues.

The challenge is now to manage the quick growth of both businesses, in particular to pursue his project of developing a franchise system for TRAIN YOUR POSTURE. Olivier is also preparing his presence at the Salon Planète Santé, taking place in October at Palexpo, in Geneva. Thinking of his new entrepreneurial life, Olivier concludes: “Freedom is expensive but has no price!”

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