Who is curious?

Angela Matthes

I started my career at Baloise Group when I was 15 ½ years old, where, after several leadership roles within the Group, for the last 8 years I was CEO of Baloise Life (Liechtenstein) AG. I have an MBA from the University of Rochester (NY) and an Executive Master in Consulting and Coaching for Change from INSEAD. 2014 is a milestone in my biography: I leave my male identity behind and change to the gender, I have always felt to be my own. Looking back I can say, this step took a lot of courage, but also a lot of appreciation and empathy for the professional and personal environment around me. Six years later, living my life as a woman is a matter of course and an affirming experience. Now I can rest? Not at all. With curiousity for the new and a boundless appetite to leave the comfort zone, I have left Baloise at the end of January 2021 to launch myself into independence, in search of the future of insurance and all I can learn along the way.

Continuous Learning has become part of my DNA early on and "The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know". The following three programs have give me the strongest boosts of learning and wanting to develop this further.

2006

The Rochester-Bern Executive MBA gave me an academic / theoretical background (the why) on a lot things I had learned to do as a practitioner (the how) throughout my previous career. Understanding the theory gave the possibility to take a different perspective and ask better questions.

The programs strategy professor instilled in me a love for strategy and purpose and I made made it my mission in all the roles the I took afterwards, to give purpose and the skills to achieve that purpose to the people I was responsible for.

2015

The Executive Master in Change (EMC) at INSEAD was another game changer. Not only did it give me the final clarity I needed to do my transition, it also gave me the tools to execute it in a way that engaged and included my environment.

For my work, the EMC provided me with new skills to interact with my employees, to engage and enable them. I developed a better understanding for the mechanics of organizations and why many of them seem to have an immunity to change.


2017 / 2018

In these years, I made two trips to Silicon Valley. First to get a feel for the StartUp / Incubator / Accelerator / Venture Capital environment and its "if you fall, get up and try again attitude." I came back longing to recreate that feeling in my organization.

During my first trip, I also got to know the Institute for the Future (IFTF) in Palo Alto and became fascinated by there methods to create forecasts of the future that allow organizations and governments to make better decisions. I went back in 2018 to participate in their Foresight Practitioner Training.

«I have never tried that before, so I think I should definitely be able to do that.»

PIPPI LONGSTOCKING

Photo Credit: Tomek Gola for Ladies Drive