Guy Chatillon, a key figure in the luxury industry, attended IMD two years running and now explains why he will soon return. President Europe, CIS & ME of the exclusive high jewellery and watch maker Van Cleef & Arpels, a position he has held since 2012, he found at IMD the new perspectives that he was looking for.

Guy is a brand and market builder who defines and drives strategy in a complex multicultural environment. He began his career with Piaget during a period of significant transformation and industry challenges and moved on 18 years later to become CEO / President of Ralph Lauren Watch and Jewellery Co., where he positioned the brand as a high-end newcomer. He now leads a team of over 200 people at Van Cleef & Arpels to implement the Maison’s long term vision in line with its values, as well as manages marketing & communications, human resources and finance in his sector.

With such a high level of expertise, Guy was missing a more personal dimension and says that he came to IMD to be stimulated by exchanges with others: “By exposing myself to other ideas and people, I wanted to improve myself and better prepare the future.”

Choosing a program at IMD

The IMD program, Mobilizing People (MP), which he completed in 2016, was exactly what he was looking for.

“People are the soul of a company and to be a good leader, you first need to know yourself well. MP helped me dive into myself and learn to better connect with others. I was thrilled!”

The following year, he returned for High Performance Leadership (HPL), which, he says, was the perfect combination because the sessions allowed him to delve even further and move to the next level: “HPL was the perfect addition to what we learned the year before.” He now plans to come back for Advanced HPL.

The IMD experience

Guy sums up his IMD experience as follows:

-          The aim is to “learn, grow, get in touch with other people and ideas”.

-          The idea is to see things from a broader perspective.

-          The key is to keep the human aspect at the centre of any business situation.

He adds that what makes IMD truly special is the family spirit. “There are talented professors everywhere, but what is unique at IMD is how approachable they are.”

Impact

By learning more about himself, Guy says that he now behaves differently with his colleagues and adds that he has received positive feedback from his own team.

He says that empathy, dialogue and understanding are key to working with others. “If you want to change the world, start with yourself.”

To like-minded executives who want to improve their daily practice, as well as be better prepared for VUCA disruptions, he advises: “It’s important to think from more than one perspective and the shortcut is to learn from others. IMD’s executive programs are ideal for busy lives.”

Find out more about Mobilizing People and High Performance Leadership.