Episode #3 with Chris Kramme Head of EMEA Corporate Network at BNP Paribas
Episode three of With a Mentor is with a unique business person who provides us with 43 mins of unique insight that has already lead to innovation in my company. Chris Kramme is the Head of EMEA Corporate Network at BNP Paribas and the Vice President of the AmCham Executive Board.
In this episode, I open with a summary of the Global Pitch Competition hosted in February by NextGen in partnership with SelectUSA and sponsored by United Airlines and DLA Piper. Forbes Magazine covered the event so check out the article for a recap and you can visit the AmCham Facebook page for some beautiful pictures from the event.
In this episode:
- We discuss how Chris found himself working as an American in Paris for BNP Paribas.
- Chris talks about doing business in a global market and the “under the surface” values that drive local business.
- I ask Chris about how he makes sure he is ready to do business across the globe, understanding the local culture and more.
- We look at the challenges in the global banking sector and how BNP Paribas is innovating to keep up with the digital revolution.
- We talk about investments; who better than with a banker but we don’t look at financial investments but personal investments in his growth and career advancement.
- Chris does a very good job of outlining the value of taking business and personal risk to continually grow and expand your abilities.
- Chris talks about why startups interest him and why “in a heart beat”, if the opportunity presented itself he would join a startup project.
- It’s only a 2 minute part of the mentorship session but Chris talks about how a BNPP employee left to create a company and finally came back to the bank and how this business adventure made her more valuable in the company because of her experience.
- We discuss Chris’ management style which I experienced first hand in the development of NextGen.
- Chris breaks down his management style, “the inverted pyramid” making sure his team has what it needs to succeed not the other way around – “we don’t have any non-working managers”.
- I ask Chris about talent acquisition and retention – he explains how this is compounded in his case because of the 50 nationalities on his team.
- We discuss how Chris keeps talent on his team by not focusing on money but on helping and allowing his team to grow in their jobs or as he says “moving away from very formalized org charts and more towards a project mode.”
- I ask Chris about how he stays productive traveling 4 days a week and he outlines the four things he focuses on to stay healthy, happy and focused.
- “How do you develop mentors?” I ask Chris if he’ll be my mentor. Not really because he has already been a mentor of mine the last year and a half. We do discuss how a young person like me can develop relationships with mentors like him.
- Chris has been the biggest booster of NextGen and Chris and I discuss the future of NextGen as it grows and why he wanted to start NextGen.
- Chis outlines the genius of NextGen and how he, Clara Gaymard and the AmCham executive committee outlined their vision for NextGen.
- We discuss NextGen in 3 years, it’s ambitious, exciting and in progress.
- Chris gives us homework:
- “Read often and read different things”
- “Reach out to people and grow your network”