Where did you learn the basics of running a business?
It started rather early, as I worked in parallel with school and my studies. I learned about international business in the oil and gas industry. However, the most important learning was from meeting people and organisations as a consultant for more than 20 years.
Whom did you work with before becoming a consultant?
I joined the offshore and oil-business in Norway in its first years. Working with the Aker Group on oil production platforms for deep water was a fantastic period. As one of the youngest I had a very steep learning curve and met fascinating people from all over the world, also spending much time abroad. I became a purchasing manager at Norcem's division of international operations (producer of cement, building materials and an offshore division) and also handled trading. After a period in business development I became logistics manager for an oil pollution control company in which Norcem acquired half of the shares and I met an entirely new culture and thinking. The differences between industrial process thinking and an entrepreneur who asked nobody to change the strategy gave me a lot of fun and also frustration as it became impossible for the owners to find a common ground for co-operation.
What will you do in ten years?
Looking at what has happened in three years, how could I tell? However, I am still a management consultant involved in the changing processes of organisations and individuals. Nothing is more rewarding than when individuals, departments or organisations envisage a new reality and start implementing the required changes. Executive coaching will obviously increase in relative terms.My personal vision is to get more alternative thinking into management and leadership consulting. This will help clients to improve their understanding of organisations and human beings, their beliefs and reason for actions and non-actions. Privately I will travel and learn more. I will enjoy our family house above the Arctic Circle and remind myself to discover ways to combine boating life and consulting.
What kind of people do you like to work with?
I enjoy the variety I experience as a consultant. Wise leaders inspire me and I am happy when leaders and their organisations adapt and change to the benefit of themselves and their environment. I give the most when working closely and in mutual trust with demanding clients, particularly when I see they have an ethical standard they stick to even if it costs more initially.
What skills or abilities impress you most?
Those leaders that impress me most are able to quickly understand a situation and what the people involved really need in order to grow, as well as leaders that translate what a vision or goal requires into operational terms, but also trust their team to find the best way towards the goal. I enjoy seeing leaders combining their skills and personality with those of others. They achieve the healthiest and most motivated organisation and no one gets better results.
After working for many years as a consultant, are there any projects that have given you special pride, joy or new knowledge?
I guess most of the "first time" projects are always remembered in particular. However, if just one is to be mentioned it has to be a difficult project where I was working closely with the CEO. We had several setbacks but he never questioned my ability to solve whatever issue arose and gave me responsibilities for sorting out questions with internal end external stakeholders. My workload increased to more than three times what we anticipated. "Send the full bill, Trond, I shall sign this with great pleasure" he said. That company always gets something extra from me.
Why is your company a member of IMCN?
I founded Collusor as a networking company with a strategy to establish networks in Norway and Europe. Through Feaco and participation in the European conferences I learned about IMCN. I met and discussed openly with some of the members and found them very interesting and knowledgeable people with attitudes I share.So when IMCN asked me to consider a membership I guess the decision was already made to go for it. My wife and I shared a bottle of very good wine the night IMCN accepted Collusor as their first Norwegian partner.