Get to know Jennifer Lipes, one of our INSEAD Sweden Alumni members
Jennifer is a business development and brand consultant in the food industry, passionate about cross-cultural leadership and inclusion strategies.
* What has taken you to your current position? Any defining moments?
Earlier in my career, I applied to a global young development program at my engineering consulting firm and was the only colleague selected in a non-commercial facing role (in my case HR) which not only exposed me to a working with colleagues from all over the world, but also taught me how my diverse perspective was unique yet necessary. Additionally, it gave me a network that later led me to live 3,5 years in Antwerp, Belgium, which was my first exposure to working in Europe.
* What do you do in your professional life?
I work for Sweden’s leading tofu producer in a global business development role focusing on internationalizing our brand but also expanding our products beyond Sweden. From attending trade fairs to engaging in conversations with potential partners, I work in an agile team with our vegan products in what is now an exciting time for the vegan and organic market.
* What do you think we need to develop for the future of work and in our leadership?
Flexible and empathetic leadership – with the increase and popularity of remote working, leaders need to re-think how they engage and motivate individuals to contribute to their strategic goals, focusing more on how to align and partner with what’s important to people (as opposed to focusing on medium/short term profitability and relying on compensation purely as motivation). Leaders also need to cultivate compassionate leadership in a remote working setting; this includes changing communication styles to be an attentive and empathetic leader towards employees or audiences.
Aligning personal values to company values – I think people are recognizing the need to become more involved and accountable for the companies and industries we’re working for: e.g., understanding our company’s environmental impact; driving gender and racial equality in how employees are treated, compensated, etc.; making sure companies are working on projects that align with core values (see: facial recognition tech); utilizing the power of a company’s voice (e.g., standing up to political changes)
* Any particular pointers for books, podcasts or articles you think would be valuable for others to explore?
I love the podcast “How I built this” with Guy Raz as I find it fascinating to learn about the perseverance and journey that founders go through to start companies. It is encouraging hear how it’s not that founders are overly smart, it’s more so that they are passionate and quick learners, skills that I believe anyone could use to start something great.
I also love the podcast “We can do hard things” with Glennon Doyle as it recognizes the challenges in daily life and the importance of communicating openly, finding support systems, and taking care of your mental and physical health.
* When you get some spare time, what do you like to do?
You’ll typically find me cooking for a crowd, trying the latest craft beer at the local brewery, or doing something outdoors like running or skiing in my spare time. I also volunteer as a career mentor for two veteran organizations, consult for women in business advocacy groups, and serve as a learning coach for INSEAD’s Advanced Design Thinking programme.
* What are you particularly good at, that others in the network can contact you about?
My expertise is fundamentally within people strategies. I’m particularly good at developing diversity & inclusion strategies for companies or utilizing active listening to make individuals feel included. I am passionate about cross-cultural leadership, including how to use cultural awareness to communicate messages in the intended ways. Overall, I have a diverse network and serve as a great connector to those looking to find contacts outside of their personal circles or communities.
Connect with Jennifer Lipes here
This post is part if INSEAD Sweden Alumni Membership stories. We welcome you to share yours!
Read some previous stories shared, here is one about Alfonso Paradinas