This I have learnt—from Michel Drancourt

In July I will launch a monthly series of videos entitled, “This I have learnt.” It is said that experience is teacher who gives us the lesson after we need it, but with this series, we will short circuit the process.

I will be interviewing individuals who have had extended successful careers in the public and private sector. Some have excelled in both.

Through a short, honest conversation we will hear how each person has dealt with the challenges of work/life balance, strategy, leading others and making difficult decisions. Early recordings have highlighted some commonality in approaches, but also some interesting, particular (peculiar?) distinctions. It makes for fascinating viewing

Sadly though, the recording of the series came too late for me capture the perspective of one of my mentors. Earlier this week, Prof. Michel Drancourt passed away.

Michel Drancourt will not be known to many readers and this is a pity for he was a great man.

Dr Drancourt was a prominent French journalist and economist. Growing up in Vichey France, and with proud roots in Alsace, he saw the need for a united Europe as a pre-requisite for peace and economic growth. This belief never dimmed.

He was patriotically French, passionately European, pragmatically global. He had an energy, a fuse of curiosity that burnt throughout his life, and this informed his daily activities.

Physically he was a bear, intellectually he was a giant. He was vigorous in thought, pugnacious in communication, charming in company, warm in affection.

His metier was understanding and commenting upon the nature of business. It was a inquisitiveness which never dimmed, and led to the publication of millions of words through books, articles and blogs. 

In his ninth decade, Dr Drancourt continued to write everyday. In 2010 he co-wrote “The Case for Business”, with Betrand Collomb, Chairman of Lafarge, which laid out the challenges of combining economic growth and while protecting the environment. He was always looking to the future even though he would not be an active participant is its delivery.

Though he is no longer with us, I think we can still learn from him.

The longer we survive, the more we have learnt and the more resources we have to exploit. But experience is an asset that needs both investment and exploitation in order to grow. Without either of these, it depreciates and dies.

Monsieur Drancourt was growing and giving until the end. 

What a great model.