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Clevermint 7 years

Clevermint is 7 years old… what I’ve learned as founder.

7 years ago, I founded Clevermint, a digital strategy agency.

The agency’s mission was, and still is, to support companies, mainly SMEs, in their digital transformation.
Indeed, it has to be said that the vast majority of Belgian SMEs are still very poorly equipped in terms of digital tools. Helping these companies to become more efficient, more agile and more effective was the dream I had when I launched the company.
Find out below what I’ve learned over the years, what I think about Digital Transformation of companies after having led more than a hundred projects on the subject, and finally what I hope for the years to come.

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What have I learned in my 7 years as an entrepreneur?
Every day is a learning experience, and a lot has happened in 7 years. But I can sum them up by highlighting 3 key elements that come to mind when I look in the rear-view mirror, with one subject predominating over the others: resilience.
Then I describe what we’ve learned from our failures and successes, and finally what I’ve learned about managing the human factor.
The Resilience

Since Clevermint was founded, after 4 years in a rather favorable economic climate, we’re now in our 3rd consecutive year of development in a context of crisis (health crisis linked to COVID-19, economic and energy crisis with their consequences: inflation, recession, public debt, loss of purchasing power, etc., not to mention the global ecological crisis). This brought its share of difficulties and questioning, both professionally (with Clevermint) and personally.
It was during these years that I came to understand the importance of “resilience“, the ability to absorb and overcome shocks.
As an entrepreneur, I’m constantly in “action”, in the will to get things done. But over the years I’ve learned the importance of reflection. In times of change (which are intrinsic to any period of crisis), it’s always been tempting for me to be constantly in action. However, I’ve learned (and I still have a long way to go) that reflection and re-evaluation of situations are just as important. That’s why I now try to keep an eye on the company’s vision and strategy, without being solely preoccupied with day-to-day operations.

In terms of Clevermint’s organization and teams, this resilience is based on 5 axes:

1. Keeping a focus on operations
It’s what keeps us going on a daily basis, and we shouldn’t underestimate it in times of crisis. At the same time, as far as I’m concerned, I’m keeping a strategic view of the company, as mentioned above.
2. Having a positive approach to failure
 “we never fail, we win or learn”
A concept that’s easier to write than to apply, especially if failure has economic implications, but it’s still an essential part of continuing to grow.
3. Maintain a reluctance to simplify
By trying to simplify things too much, I ended up missing the reality on the ground. I learned that over-simplification can compromise the flexibility our organization needs to anticipate, plan for and adapt to change.
4. Organizational resilience
This resilience translates into our ability to anticipate, identify, control and recover from mistakes that may be made by our teams or our customers. It is this resilience that enables us, despite the circumstances, to keep our heads above water and feel more robust for the years (and crises) to come.
5. Deference to the expert
We were determined to do as much as we could and find solutions on our own. However, as the digital sector continued to grow in size and complexity (due to the number of players, solutions and emerging technologies), we had to question and adapt our vision.
Clevermint 7 years
The need for expertise
From now on, we give greater importance and consideration to the knowledge and experience of experts (whether internal or external). By recognizing their ability to make a significant contribution to decision-making and problem-solving within the organization, we significantly increase the added value we bring to our customers’ projects. It is for this reason that we have decided to join forces with Wibicom in 2021, so that we can offer our customers all our expertise in digital marketing and communications.
The human factor
Managing people is one of the most complex and rewarding tasks I’ve discovered – both inside the company with my colleagues, and outside the organization with our customers.
As I mentioned above with regard to resilience, all companies (whatever their size, type or industry) need to be crisis-ready. What I’ve learned over the years is that it’s essential to have good human capital to be able to absorb the effects of crises (and especially for companies that don’t have much of a budget). I’m convinced that having the right people, who are properly trained, and ready to make decisions because they are supported by the company to do so, is already a good step forward.
For everyone to be committed to the company, you obviously need to have a good vision and communicate it, but above all you need to be transparent about what you really want to do. What I try to do is not only communicate with people, but also involve them in the evolution of our company (for our employees), or their projects (for our customers).
My employees are the guarantors on whom I can rely. They ensure the positive development of the company. They have a fundamentally positive attitude, are motivated and develop creative ideas and strategies to move the company and its customers forward.
Exploring opportunities and taking the lead: learning from our successes and failures
Exploring opportunities:
This learning is probably still the least-used aspect of Clevermint. From a strategic point of view, as we’re still very busy with day-to-day operations, we don’t pay enough attention to the market and its opportunities. I have a real desire to further develop Clevermint as an agile organization at the cutting edge of the digital age, helping companies with their Digital Transformation.
We have 3 different types of “transformation model” to work on: 1. Digital Transformation of an existing model (for example, how digital tools could improve customer service for a construction company); 2. Digital Transformation for new services or positioning (e.g., banks that have developed an all-digital service portfolio); 3. Digital Transformation for research and development (R&D) to drive innovation (e.g., launching a start-up to experiment with radically new ideas: completely different services or business models).
It’s by exploring these opportunities that we’ll be able to help our customers grow in their respective Digital Transformations.
Taking the lead:

You have to know how to take risks: no risk, no growth!
We know that to ensure the long-term success of our company, we need to invest in the trust of our customers, in the people who work here, in the innovation that drives us and in our ability to make digital accessible to all.
We know that all (good) innovation is centered on the customer and his real needs.

The next major turning point we are taking is SUSTAINABILITY. We want to use sustainability as a lever for innovation, agility and impact, both for Clevermint and its customers.

We want to play an active part – given our size and resources – in resolving the major challenges we all face, as companies and as individuals. We believe that the economy can only prosper if the planet and its inhabitants are well off.
Taking “sustainability” as an indicator of success is not antithetical to that success.

“Indeed, we believe that the economy can only prosper if the planet and its inhabitants are doing well.
Taking the criterion of ‘sustainability’ as an indicator of success is not antithetical to that success.”
Dimitri Blomme

Digital transformation expert, Clevermint

What have I learned from the “Digital Transformation” of companies in my own experience?
Digital Transformation is first and foremost a business transformation.
The major difficulty in a Digital Transformation is not so much a technical or technological difficulty, but rather a challenge in relation to the people who will be using these technologies. This importance of the human factor, and the relationship that will be created between people and technology, has been a real discovery over the years, and is still greatly underestimated.
Investing in technology alone will not make your digital projects a success. There is obviously a need for technological investment, but above all organizational change (at individual, team and organizational levels) will be the key to success.
Digital Transformation is not just about technology, it’s about business growth. And it’s this business growth that we need to invest in.
Companies whose Digital Transformation has been a success are those that have focused on business growth (and not on technology), and included people in the transformation.
What do I expect from the coming years?

Uncertainty… and many more changes to come.
I hope I can continue to be resilient. Not everything will go according to plan, I’m really going to have to get used to it 🙂


I hope to come to terms with this ongoing change, and turn it into an opportunity for positive change in the world. My personal goal, admittedly a little naive but no less sincere, is to have a positive impact on the world.

Ultimately, I want to keep the passion and curiosity that drive me and make the pursuit of this dream possible. This curiosity and desire are undoubtedly the keys to an enlightened future. I can only continue to lead if I continue to learn and grow.

I’d also like to promote two areas of technology that are revolutionizing the business world:
The power of data
To have organizations that are able to make decisions based on the data they collect. And this, through the digital tools implemented in the company (data-driven organizations).
AI & Automation
The use of artificial intelligence and the automation of time-consuming and redundant tasks will be decisive for greater efficiency and satisfaction in organizations.
I want to never stop learning. Never stop dreaming.
Dimitri Blomme

Digital transformation expert, Clevermint

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