Laura Ciliberto and Stijn Van der Putten have been with Goodman since 2019 and 2017 respectively. Both have witnessed a lot of changes over the years. Yet, Stijn says, “one thing has remained the same: we are extremely agile. The world doesn’t stand still, so we can’t afford to get stuck in old habits. The people at Goodman always look ahead.” Read more about Stijn and Laura’s fulfilling jobs, how they succeed in creating value and why everyone can be a leader at Goodman.
“Goodman likes to set the bar high,” Laura admits. “But we are all given the space we need to perform, learning from each other and helping each other grow.” When someone wants to take up another role, they get the chance to start on a new trajectory. Stijn, for instance, felt it was time for a new challenge after having been with Goodman for two years: “I started as a Valuation and Deal Analyst, but as a trained Civil Engineer, I longed for a more technical role and wanted to be closer involved in the end product.” In tight collaboration with his old and new team, and always with an eye to the needs of the company and the market, Stijn gradually made the transition.
And Stijn is not the only one who is given the opportunity to grow. “People at Goodman are typically hard to pin down”, he feels. “They want to learn and be challenged. An attitude like that of course fits in perfectly with a company that has flexibility in its DNA. Mind you, I’m not talking about ‘climbing up the corporate ladder’. Goodman has deliberately chosen to do away with management structures and other hierarchies.” change.
“We continually question the status quo at Goodman, thinking outside of the box to get the most out of every situation. That requires people with an entrepreneurial spirit and an agile mind, above anything else.”
Stijn: “The world around us is changing fast, so as team, we have to be agile as well.” Laura adds that such agility requires “scanning the market, rather than sticking to certain processes, and carrying out different tasks depending on the priorities at the time. There is never a manager who says ‘you need to do this’. We listen to fresh ideas from everyone, because we are committed to creating value by making sure that Goodman provides future-proof assets and buildings that respond to the needs of the market.”
Goodman is one of the few companies that ‘walk the talk’, Laura stresses: “We really want to be sustainable, we go into the details of it, and we want it for the right reasons. It is a genuine objective. We don’t wait for others; we believe it’s the right way of doing business. We don’t care if it’s expensive or difficult – take using recycled concrete, for instance – we have our ambitions and we want to make them happen.”
Stijn emphasizes how Goodman’s mindset is exceptional especially in property development, which tends to be quite convervative as an industry: “While a lot of players still rely on old habits and fixed routines, we look to the future to try and determine which practices will still be relevant in ten years’ time. We continually question the status quo at Goodman, thinking outside of the box to get the most out of every situation. And that requires people with an entrepreneurial spirit and an agile mind, above anything else.”
Laura feels that an agile mindset is indeed necessary, “because everyone can be a leader at Goodman. You get all the support you need, but it’s up to you to get the ball rolling.” She adds that, while she leads her own projects, she does like to consult with the rest of the team. “I am initiating, but I need to gather others who have the right expertise around me in order to create something big. So we are continuously working together to reach ambitious objectives, and everyone is a leader at some point.” Stijn, too, is impressed with the level of automony and responsibility that all Goodman employees get, including those who are still quite junior. “Whereas in other companies, it takes a lot of report-writing and waiting to get things done, at Goodman, you can launch initiatives as an individual and get approval straight away, even if there are huge budgets involved.”
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