Serge Biscard is the Managing Director at Valtech, a global business transformation agency spanning 5 continents with offices in 16 countries.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I have worked in the digital industry for 25 years. The internet was a shock to me and gave me the motivation to launch my career back in the mid 90’s. I had a Masters in Economics back then and couldn’t see me working for a bank or so.
So I learned coding (Macromedia director’s lingo and html) and progressively entered this very limited but growing market. Then I started working for consulting and creative digital companies from the major networks in France (Havas Fullsix, Publicis Sapient, Ogilvy).
Since March this year I have joined Valtech, a French company specialized in digital and business transformation, smaller but much more agile than the one I used to know.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
I usually wake up at 7am, take care of my three sons then I walk the two youngest ones to school, which is 10 minutes from home. Back at 8:30am I take my bicycle and go to the office around 9am. I try to schedule most of my meetings from 10am so that I have time to read the late night communications and the latest news.
Lunch is mostly dedicated to clients, partners and colleagues. More meetings in the afternoon, keeping some time for individual work and availability to the teams.
I usually come back home between 7-8pm for a family dinner followed by bedtime stories and relaxation time until 11pm.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Yes it does. I can apply the same schedule working from home through Visio meetings. Lunches are a bit harder to do remotely.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
It has been difficult through the years to find the right balance. with the experience I know better what I need to be happy:
- keep one evening per week to play tennis
- have at least one evening per week to go out for dinner, theater or cinema
- avoid working at night
- protect the weekend for family and friends
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I started using a bicycle 6 months ago and that changed a lot the way I feel. Every single day I start with some physical exercise outside and that wakes me up in a much better way, with the feeling I have done something good for me and that i’m in control. gives me a lot of energy and confidence to start the day.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
I’m a big fan of daily newsletters to keep up with the news and trends.
Most of them are directly related to my work but some are more diverse, like TTSO Time to Sign Off sent every day between 6 and 7 pm that gives you the essence of what happened in the world in the past day and opens perspectives for the day after. It has an independent style and tone of voice; very refreshing.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
I have had a Withings (ex-Nokia) watch for 6 or 7 years. It’s a simple and elegant connected watch that doesn’t look like one, but has a powerful app associated that tells you everything about your sleep quality, your physical activities and connects to other devices to centralize your health data.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Try to know yourself better and don’t follow blindly other people’s advice.
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