24-08-07

Facts of life - things I always wanted to tell you

Hello everyone,
one of the following personal stories is incorrect.

1. It is now undeniable and beautifully visible: Femmie and I are going to have our first baby. The baby should say Hello World somewhere begin December. Like for probably many of you, this miracle of life is probably the event of our lifetime, and you cannot believe how much we are looking forward to it. We will make sure though that the baby will have Brussels as city of birth.
 


2. SBS Broadcasting Europe was acquired some time, to be part of the newly creation pan-European group ProSiebenSat1 Media Group (click on the most recent PDF to get a good overview). 

The official announcement related to my new role sounds like:
 
Bart Becks, 35, will head the Innovation and New Media International unit. He will be responsible for the overall coordination of international new media services as well as for the development and international implementation of new services of the Group, in particular online, mobile, idTV, music, licensing and merchandising. Bart Becks previously worked as Senior Vice President New Media at SBS Broadcasting.” 
International here means Scandinavia, Central and Eastern Europe and the Benelux. Group is International plus Germany, Austria and Switzerland. 


3. I will leave wonderful Amsterdam in some months and will have lived in this invigorating city for a small year. Although Femmie isn’t the biggest of fans, my personal opinion is that Amsterdam combines a cosmopolitan atmosphere with an in-depth rest thanks to it watery surroundings.

We will now move to Munich, and although we don’t know the city very well, it was chosen by a magazine as the best city in the world to live in, and first impression is great.So after studying and MBA, I will now be living an MBA (Munich, Brussels, Amsterdam) – but deep down I will probably remain a Brusselse Limburger in love with the world. 


4. The Simpsons movie got released some time ago. There is an accompanying personality test that matches your personality to one of the characters. I turned out to be … Lisa… In my entire life, when pronouncing my name people verify by ‘like Bart Simpson’? I will now have to adjust by answering ‘Phonetically yes’, but…
Truth being told, there are some things we share. 


5. Femke and me are together now for quite a while. In order to celebrate our 4000th day together, I adopted a pup named
“Famke”, which will be trained now to become a guide dog to the blinds, via a Dutch organisation named Adopteer een Pup (not Pub!). Not only was she very happy with my little present, but she really couldn’t believe that I had managed to remember the exact 4000th day! 


As said, one of the above is incorrect – and it is not the first!
 

bart 

23-02-07

Oh what a flight

I guess the (g)odds were trying to warn me when I arrived in Oslo. I left Amsterdam in a temperature of 15 degrees. Taxi, airplane, taxi to hotel – and the fresh air in downtown Oslo felt great. So after checking in, I left my bags in the Hotel and went immediately for a walk, up to the castle up in Oslo. After 20 minutes, the fresh air felt like freezing air. After 30 minutes and walking around the castle, I noticed that they were building Ice-sculptures to celebrate the 70th birthday of the King of Norway. Now my face felt kinda numb. So I wanted to have a warm drink, but of course I had left my Norske Kronen in my room – and no money retriever anywhere near. So it was a really cold walk back … But it felt great!

 

Fantastic meetings, workshops etc – so now from Oslo to Denmark (Copenhagen). Due to heavy and unexpected snowstorms in Copenhagen, the plain had 2 hours delay (with us in it). But we finally left, but the weather conditions in Copenhagen were so bad that we couldn’t land… The main steward on Board was regularly informing us, and everyone in the plain was eating out of his hand, meaning: they had fun at every announcement… Some examples:

§        when, after 3 earlier cancellations to leave off, we got ready again: “For some reason our captain remains positive, so we’re getting ready to take off again” (half of the plain laughing)

§        when we couldn’t land and circled around for about 90 minutes: “Dear passengers, we may not be able to land in Copenhagen,  and well then go to another airport. In any way, we’ll decide soon because we only have for about an hour of fuel left” (hilarity all over the plain)

§        when we finally arrived, in the middle in a snowstorm, really horizontally snowing: “We are waiting for a gate to connect because it’s too dangerous to let you step out of the plain. It’s better for you, for the plain, and yes: also for me.”

Each time the Nors and Danes were hilariously laughing.

 

The person sitting next to me, same thing. When we were landing, and the visibility was absolutely zero, I was still watching outside. Then he asked: “Are you enjoying the view?” J

 

With about 5 hours delay the fun was not over. Half of the flights were cancelled, and thus all passengers at the airport were booking hotel rooms. There was a huge row of people wanting to take a taxi, when I asked information they informed that due to the storm there were few taxis available, and it would take 3 to 4 hours waiting in line.

 

“Sir, the best you can do is use the train and go to central station. Your hotel is just in front.” So with baggage and all I buy a train ticket, and after waiting 15 minutes for the train came the following announcement: ”Ladies and gentlemen, I am sorry to announce that due to the snowstorms we are closing down central station.” OK, it’s midnight now…

 

They only way to get transport was with a bus, and I was lucky to get one after about half an hour in an outside snowstorm at minus 15 degrees. An hour later, Arne’s still incredible modern realizations gave me a well deserved night rest. And to be honest, although it sounds maybe weird: I had fun getting here. Felt bit like high school again.

 

I just hope and wish that everyone is OK. Just today I saw on TV that the weather conditions were still quite tough- so my best to all over there!

 

The following morning early up and again fantastic and inspiring meetings, decisions and ways forward.

 

I’m coming back to Oslo and Copenhagen in some weeks, during week-ends and maybe spent a holiday here. Amazing country where nature is so close, precious and energizing to and for people. Femke should also discover these 2 wonderful countries and its inhabitants.  

 

bart

19-02-07

Hungarian grandeur

Over the last weeks I’ve been in many of the European capitals, but a city that never seizes to surprise me is Budapest.

 

It may be the mix of the classic and hip, the beauty of the city, the Donau that splits the city in 2 joint capitals, the Turkish baths or the overviewing castle, the majestic opera or maybe the wonderful food (especially when cooked by Gabor J, inside joke).

 

But the thing that surprises me most is the entrepreneurial spirit of the Hungarians. Take the internet for example. Hungary has the second mover advantage. The internet growth has come later, but the technology is more advanced. This also means that they don’t have old (web1.0) systems to keep updated, but most is reflected in a customer centric way, with emphasis on broadband.

 

Our own team is developing great services, but in general Hungary may become one of the trendsetters. Broadband internet, 3rd generation mobile services and IPTV: it’s all there and happening.

 

I feel an incredible will, a sparkling creativity and an entrepreneurial attitude that may be one of the advantages in the future.

 

To be watched. Closely.

Szeretem ezt az országot!!

 

bart.

19:10 Gepost door bart in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: budapest, hungary, greatness, opera, love, sbs |  Facebook |

16-01-07

First days in Amsterdam

Damn, what an amazing city. First days in the new office, function, city, industry, … Much to create, willingness is huge. Over the last weeks I stayed in various hotels – am becoming quite an expert ;-)

 

If anyone would care to go to Amsterdam – try to find last minute rates for The Pulitzer (yep, the one from Oceans 12), the Krasnapolsky and Hotel de l’Europe. The Lloyd hotel is pretty cool and arty, but no window isolation in any of the rooms means that I can hear the bikers as of 6am… Didn’t sleep a lot – but still very cool atmosphere at Lloyds.

 

One of the first days, I attended the New Year’s drink of IAB Holland, Ipan and 212amsterdam. Weird, in any Belgian event I entered and knew about half of the room. Here I arrived, knew no-one of the 400 persons that were there – so decided to buy a beer to another lonely arriver. Soon, I met some colleagues from IAB Europe (hey Jeroen), the editor of Marketingfacts, a cool and inspiring digital media site (hey Marco), and a lot of other cool guys. I’m feeling welcome already!

 

But I’m really amazed by the vibe of Amsterdam. Something’s happening; it feels a bit like San Francisco, though different and not yet fully happening. Brussels is more rock’n’roll, but Amsterdam is much more confident, creative and open.

 

Yep – we (Femke and I) both like Amsterdam, though we still see Brussels as ‘our beloved Brussels’.

 

bart

 

First days in Amsterdam

Damn, what an amazing city. First days in the new office, function, city, industry, … Much to create, willingness is huge. Over the last weeks I stayed in various hotels – am becoming quite an expert ;-)

 

If anyone would care to go to Amsterdam – try to find last minute rates for The Pulitzer (yep, the one from Oceans 12), the Krasnapolsky and Hotel de l’Europe. The Lloyd hotel is pretty cool and arty, but no window isolation in any of the rooms means that I can hear the bikers as of 6am… Didn’t sleep a lot – but still very cool atmosphere at Lloyds.

 

One of the first days, I attended the New Year’s drink of IAB Holland, Ipan and 212amsterdam. Weird, in any Belgian event I entered and knew about half of the room. Here I arrived, knew no-one of the 400 persons that were there – so decided to buy a beer to another lonely arriver. Soon, I met some colleagues from IAB Europe (hey Jeroen), the editor of Marketingfacts, a cool and inspiring digital media site (hey Marco), and a lot of other cool guys. I’m feeling welcome already!

 

But I’m really amazed by the vibe of Amsterdam. Something’s happening; it feels a bit like San Francisco, though different and not yet fully happening. Brussels is more rock’n’roll, but Amsterdam is much more confident, creative and open.

 

Yep – we (Femke and I) both like Amsterdam, though we still see Brussels as ‘our beloved Brussels’.

 

bart

 

11-12-06

Dare to belief

Hey allemaal.

 

De laatste dagen hier en daar wat over mij geschreven door een aantal veranderingen. Vrij juist en correct, behalve misschien eentje van vandaag. Titel: “ik doe alleen wat ik graag wil doen” ... Nogal arrogante titel, en eigenlijk niet wat ik wilde meegeven.  ‘Ik wil doen waar ik in geloof”. 1 woord en toch een wereld van verschil. Voor mij althans.

 

Ik denk niet dat iemand enkel en alleen kan doen wat hij graag wil doen. Het leven is zo simpel niet. Maar ik denk wel dat iedereen moet streven naar wat hij wil doen en waar hij in gelooft in zijn leven, enr zullen altijd elementen in zitten die minder leuk zijn. Jammer genoeg zie ik soms mensen die wegkwijnen in hun job, of die weinig perspectief hebben of creeëren. Maar vanuit de schrik van verandering blijft men in zijn eigen hoekje, dat dan dikwijls een hokje wordt ...

 

Maar ja, vandaag schrik ik wel wat. ‘Femke, er staat niet wat ik wilde zeggen’. Uiteraard lees waarschijnlijk alleen ik zo’n artikel, en is het voor een journalist in een kort gesprekje onmogelijk om dat te weten. Ik doe er al 34 jaar over, en heb het al moeilijk om alles juist te begrijpen J

 

En je moet nogal wat geluk hebben in je carrière. Ik heb geluk gehad om bij Fnac de stiel wat te kunnen leren. Bij Skynet om Philippe Lemmens te hebben ontmoet, en om niet als directeur maar als manager langzaamaan in te groeien. Zo kon ik eerste heel wat leren van mijn toenmalige baas en toenmalig salesdirecteur van Skynet (en nog steeds goede vriend) Guy Bouckaert. Ik heb wat zaken geleerd van heel wat mensen binnen Belgacom: Didier Bellens, Jean-Claude Van den Bossche, Scott Alcott, John Goossens – allemaal heel straffe personen. Didier Bellens gaf mij als 30-jarige de mogelijkheid en het vertrouwen om skynet te leiden. En ik ben dan ook zeer dankbaar voor de kans die ik van hem kreeg, de samenwerking die ik door de jaren heen heb kunnen opbouwen en de vele zaken die ik heb geleerd van hem. Ik leer elke dag van mensen. Elke dag opnieuw, daarnet nog. Een les in relativering (danku D), in perspectief, en geloof in het goede. In les in geloog in idealen. Maar meest van al heb ik een leven met fantastische mensen die samen in iets geloven. Thuis, in familie, op bedrijf, in organisaties, bij vrienden. Dat is onbetaalbaar.

 

En dus ja, ik verander professioneel vanaf januari. Toch zal zal ik mijn hele leven lang met plezier terugkijken naar Skynet, naar Belgacom groep in het algemeen. Je zult nog veel horen van het onwaarschijnlijke talent dat binnen skynet zit. Nooit heb ik zo een groep talent bij mekaar gezien. En het begint zich nog maar net te tonen!

 

Maar laten we het ook allemaal relativeren. Vandaag gaat het goed, morgen kan en zal het een keer tegenvallen. Voor mij, voor u, voor iedereen. Het enige dat er blijft is de warmte die er overblijft nadien is de warmte. De warmte tussen mensen die mekaar graag zien, respecteren, proberen wat dingen samen te beleven en te realiseren. De warmte, misschien wel het beste middel tegen de maatschappelijke verzuring, is iets uniek. Dat gaat over jobs heen. Over bedrijven heen. Over generaties heen. Dus laten we allen mekaar geluk wensen in nieuwe relaties of huwelijken, baby’s, jobs, ervaringen of wat hij ook belangrijk vindt. Laten we mekaar zoveel mogelijk gunnen en helpen. Het gemeenschappelijke, maar ook ons individuele geluk zal er alleen maar wel bij varen ... En dat kan volgens mij als we allen blijven doen waar we in geloven!

 

bart

10:22 Gepost door bart in digital media | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: becks, sbs, skynet, geloof, goossens |  Facebook |

04-12-06

 Bart Becks appointed Senior Vice President of SBS Broadcasting group

Hey all,

although I don't usually indicate professional Skynet news on my blog, I've received so many calls, sms's and mails that I'll post some personal news here as well.

 

After 8 fantastic years at Belgacom Skynet in Brussels, I will move to Amsterdam to work for the SBS Broadcasting group.

 

Hereby an extract of the complete press release:

"SBS Broadcasting Sarl announced today the appointment of Bart Becks (34) as Senior Vice President New Media of SBS Broadcasting Group, with a start date of January 1, 2007. The announcement was made by Patrick Tillieux, acting Chief Executive Officer of SBS Broadcasting Group.In the newly created position,

 

Mr. Becks will be responsible for the overall development and coordination of digital media services and revenue streams based on the internet, mobile devices, interactive television services and other emerging digital platforms across all of SBS’s operating units. He will be based in Amsterdam."

 

A successor was appointed, being Eric Brant, a great senior leader from Proximus. You can find more about it via the Belgacom press center.

 

No-one leaves a fantastic company and team easily – so it was not something decided overnight. This said, I'm really excited to go to Amsterdam and build out a new future within the SBS group. I sincerely think and wish for Skynet to keep growing like the past 4 years, and for everyone to find the same passion and pride! The direction team in place will surely lead in that direction.

 

More later.

bart

 

17:58 Gepost door bart in digital media | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: new media, ceo, sbs, skynet, becks |  Facebook |