VP Manufacturing Strategy & Business Development Northern Europe
Culshaw’s roots are varied. He has overseen a portfolio of services across a large number of different accounts in different industry sectors. He has worked extensively in manufacturing but also in telco, media, utilities, financial services.
His route to Atos came via KPMG where he worked predominantly in telco projects at the time at the height of the .com boom. Prior to this, he worked for a small consulting firm where he was a solution architect and at a pharmaceutical company where he worked as a business analyst and project manager.
He now focuses on the manufacturing sector, where he is the VP for Manufacturing Strategy & Business Development for Northern Europe.
A collaborative approach
Culshaw describes his leadership style as a collaborative one. “At Atos our culture is one of collaboration and that’s not just within the company, it’s also when working with our customers as well, working with them so they can achieve the outcomes they are looking for. I like that as a culture and an important part of this is to get on well with the people you work with. You spend such a lot of your life in work and it’s so much more enjoyable if you work with people you like.”
He adds good communication within a team is also paramount and says: “Key decisions need to be communicated clearly with the reasoning behind them explained. Once people understand the reasons why, they are more likely to embrace initiatives positively and these are then more likely to be successful. Having empathy with a team and a process is also important, the feeling of being in it together. I roll my sleeves up and get stuck in when something needs to be done”.
However, he stressed his leadership style depends on the situation. “Flexibility is needed in leadership to get the best outcomes for business and people and it’s important to keep things simple, because over complication and confused messaging doesn’t help anyone,” Culshaw stated.
What have been the changes over the last few years in Atos?
The main change he says has been the acquisition of both well and lesser-known companies. Culshaw gives two examples of Siemens Information Systems being acquired in 2012 and, more recently, Syntel.
“The acquisitions have shaped our culture - we are a company that is greater than the sum of our parts, all working together to help each other.”
He went on to say that sustainability has also been very high on the agenda when it comes to Atos customers, particularly in manufacturing. He adds: “We’ve made substantial commitments to the market in terms of our own carbon footprint and some of the initiatives we work on in smart manufacturing play into how we can help with this more broadly by reducing waste, improving energy consumption and increasing efficiency.”
Culshaw says the use of technology plays a huge part in making manufacturing smarter. It enables greater agility and new business models in a fast-changing world.
And again when it comes to smart manufacturing, Culshaw thinks we have only started to scratch the surface in terms of the technological potential for change.
“There is the potential to change manufacturing in ways we can’t even see yet. The use of technology and the harnessing of data will drive significant change in the industry, with new products, services and business models which will fundamentally change relationships with customers,” he concludes.
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With this greater interconnectivity of machines comes greater exposure to risk, so we have to make sure that we protect these newly formed connections.