Episode #4 with Corinne Colloc’h, Head of Airbus Group Corporate Development

In this episode of With a Mentor, I interview Corinne Colloc’h, the head of Airbus Group Corporate Development. Airbus, a leading aircraft manufacturer, employs over 55,000 people of close to 100 different nationalities.  Corinne leads a “special forces” team of 35 employees who are tasked with looking to the future of the company in creative ways.  She explains why diversity in many forms is the key to finding success and staying relevant in the aerospace industry.  Corinne has been with Airbus since 1991 and has challenged herself to grow and adapt within the company.  She shares some unique insights into management styles, getting the most from your employees, and how to find longevity in your chosen field.

In this episode:

  • We discuss how Corinne has crafted a long career at Airbus and why her job is still exciting.
  • Corinne explains why diversity in the workplace is the key to success.
  • We talk about why the younger generation is so important to the growth of companies.
  • Corinne suggests that there are different models of work ethic in the U.S and France, and compares their strengths.
  • Corinne shares how she has learned the important principle of “no more of the same” (6:14) meaning to find another approach when things are not working the way you want.  We also discuss when to know it’s time to utilize this principle.
  • We discuss what a good manager is, and how Corinne uses her management style to get the best work from her employees.  “I try to make people accountable when they have a project” (8:14).
  • She explains why being a good coach is difficult and how it is a continual learning process.
  • Learn how to get your employees to “amaze you” – or how to amaze your employer!
  • Corinne explains how she has worked at Airbus since 1991 in many different capacities and how that has been the key to her continued success.
  • She shares the secret she wishes she had known 10 years ago, “Don’t stay too long in the same job” (13:30).
  • We discuss why she is drawn to collaborating with NexGen, and how it benefits her.
  • Corinne shares what her start-up would be and why.
  • We discuss Airbus and its innovation centre in the Silicon Valley, i-cubed, and how its mandate is different than the more traditional airbus domain.
  • Corinne advises the best ways to get involved with Airbus, and how to propose projects.
  • We learn about the Airbus BizLab, a global network of accelerator facilities used to turn ideas into business propositions.
  • Corinne gives us homework – to learn from works that have inspired her:
You can learn more about Corinne at on the AmCham website and you can contact me – Jason McDonald – at @JMcDonaldIntl or via my company’s website at StringCan.fr. Make sure to subscribe to the podcast to make sure you don’t miss a mentorship session.

Special thanks to Benoît Baillet my NextGen co-chair who helped set up this mentorship session, he let us use his office to record and has been an amazing partner though out the launch of NextGen! As I say in the podcast, Ben is the “intrapreneur” I am the entrepreneur and we really have an amazing working relationship we hope to replicate within NextGen over and over again.

Also, thank you to Giulia Buttini at AmCham for her organization of the interviews and support of NextGen.