Nobody says no over here.

“Building bridges over prejudice while dancing and laughing.” It’s the personal purpose of Richard, Customer Journey Expert and Chapter Lead at ING. An article about change, trust, autonomy, challenge and energy.


“There has always been change in my life. It all dates back to when I moved from the Netherlands to Belgium as a young boy. Change. How I made the professional switch from IT to the business side of things. Change. From functionally managing a team to giving guidance in an agile environment. Change.

The strong make-it-happen spirit at ING makes it easier to embrace change. And nobody says no to you over here. There’s always someone to bounce ideas off of. Even if you haven’t met before. I make it a habit to say yes to a request and meet up within two days.


“I love change and taking on new challenges. When colleagues tell me that something has me written all over it, I go for it. For example I had the opportunity to become a Chapter Lead earlier this year and the role fits me like a glove. 

I also like our management style a lot. The purpose is to build the right environment for your people to grow and develop in. It’s an environment built on trust. Just like the trust I always got from the people I worked for.”


“Autonomy is what makes my current and previous jobs so very interesting. In an agile environment, you set your own goals and determine how you get there. Functional hierarchy doesn’t matter that much. That is just there to support you.

The purpose of our tribe is to prevent financial economic crimes. For that we are hiring 20 new colleagues with a very specific expertise and knowledge. They don’t just fall out of the sky. You need to move and decide fast, otherwise you lose them. I asked for that freedom and I got it."


“And we can do this. We are looking outside of Belgium too. I hired people from Mexico and Poland for example. Meanwhile we have a strong reputation in the international job market. They even hold off other proposals when they are still in the running for a job at ING.

Normally I would be at 50% Chapter Lead and 50% Customer Journey Expert. But with all this hiring going on, I spend more than 75% of my time recruiting new people and coaching my current team of 18 people. That’s why we added a second Chapter Lead. And a third one might not be a bad idea.”


“I get a lot of energy out of brainstorming with a team and concepting something that is still quite vague. I’m always in for getting something on track. Fleshing it out in detail afterwards? Not so much. Other people are much better at that.”

About Richard

  • Richard was born in Oranjestad, Aruba
  • He started his career at ING as an ORMIT Trainee
  • He studied electro technical engineering at the VUB in Brussels
  • He is regularly found in the ING gym and likes going to concerts and reading (fiction mostly)
  • He can rap “Insane in the Brain” by Cypress Hill as he wanted to be an MC growing up
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