This month we are pleased to welcome EMMANUELLE DE PETIGNY, Creator of Alterm our very first expert guest to help us inaugurate this new section « Spotlight » and to share with you highlights of her experience as she embraces her expertise in her field and in her life.
Emmanuelle de Pétigny, Alterm France
Entrepreneur : Emmanuelle de Pétigny
Company : Alterm, Weaver of Links
Website : http://www.alterm.fr
Alterm, created by Emmanuelle de Pétigny , is a consulting company sponsorship and partnership. It supports companies and associations to help them build relationships, to work together on innovative and creative projects with common meaningful values, in the heart of a territory. »
What is the origin and what is the concept behind your company « Alterm? Why this beautiful metaphor « Weaver of Links »
An economist by training, I always wanted to turn to the world of culture (my specialization in 5th year). The bulk of my experience was foremost in the field of communication, agency, and in business. It allowed me to understand what business communication entailed, understand expectations in this area particularly in terms of internal communication. This is an area that fascinates me because it places people at « the heart » of the business.
When I decided to stand on my own and to use my expertise in communication I returned to my first love: culture. However, my last experience in business, particularly in the industrial sector also had a hold hold on me and I also wanted to keep one foot in it as well. An article from a cultural weekly magazine was the turning point! It dealt at length with fundraising and philanthropy in the development of major and smaller cultural institutions as well as its importance to culture in the region. This was the bridge, the link between these two worlds: patronage! I knew then what I really wanted to do: help create these links using my business experience and my knowledge of associations.
Entrepreneuses Mag reads, « Emmanuelle Pétigny rhymes profession and passion to give more meaning to plans and those of its customers’ passion and profession? » Innovation, creativity, meaning, values … Could you tell us more?
When I take on a mission I support it with an approach of philanthropy because I believe in the project and it makes more sense to me in today’s society. To address the mission, I need to fill myself with the passion of the participants in the project, even if they are best equipped to transmit this passion in business. My role is to translate it into words professionally and appropriately in order to convey the message and help to create a link. When I work for a company, I also need to understand the passion that drives the business (passion for the business, customer, men in general) to find the project that will match best that passion.
Yes, I like to talk about values and meaning because I believe a relationship can only be built between a company and an association if they share the same values such as those around a trade or the importance of developing sustainable example. If common values exist then the partnership makes perfect sense!
Innovation and creativity are in my opinion, two important concepts for a real approach to philanthropy. Indeed, a company must develop innovative and creative links in finding new products, new markets … And an association, often with few resources, demonstrates real creativity to implement its projects. In fact, they are interdependent, culturally and environmentally. The meeting between the two is often an opportunity to compare practices especially through partnership of skills which I support a lot. In this case, an employee is provided by the company to assist the association on a specific mission (IT, accounting, communications, technical …). Everybody wins: the employee feels useful gaining new skills, the company inherits employees with new methods or ideas, and the association can develop its projects more easily!
The Arts, do they play an important role in your life?
Yes, with a dad who was a professor of math and drawing, and a mother who had studied fine arts, we had a lot of art books at home, any period or any style. I remember leafing through them often regularly. I also love photography with a preference for the humanistic picture with people like Willy Ronis and Henri Cartier-Bresson. Pompon sculptures of Brancusi move me with their simplicity. I need to be moved by a work, whether it be fashion, painting, music … and even landscape!
I remember a story I read when I was little, a thriller that revolved around a stolen painting by Fra Angelico. I really liked this story. And then years later, I actually went to Florence to visit the museum Fra Angelico, a marvel of paintings in the cells of monks. And I remember in my heart, my emotion when at the end of the visit I came across that table! In the end wall, so tiny! Since then, the postcard of the picture hangs above my desk. For me, art is happiness in its purest form because it makes people happy, it teaches us, it makes us question… It helps us build!
And if you had to do it all over again … If you knew then what you know now … would you have done anything different these last two years?
I think I would have gone beyond my fears faster and believe it is possible even if at first you’re scared. I also think that I would not hesitate as long to go ask for a helping hand, advice to move forward on my project. When advice is asked with humility and openness people are often happy to talk about their experiences, give advice, and offer a helping hand. I believe that we can all be useful and make a contribution to the building, and we should not hesitate to take the plunge.
What was one of the most important lessons you lived to embrace your expertise?
I say to myself that I am quite capable of carrying out my plans, just as capable as anyone. I have skills and I know the efforts it takes to help my clients achieve their goals.
Any advice for our readers who also dream to « stand on their own feet » in business?
Go beyond your fears, do not look think of them as huge mountains (which I often did … before working with Christine).
Surround yourself with people who love you and who believe in you. It’s a real boost! Feel free to discuss your project, your questions. Sometimes, the boost and the drive comes when we least expect it!
Your greatest achievement?
The ability I have today to balance all areas of my life the best way possible as a wife, mother, and entrepreneur. I’m not saying I succeed every time, far from it , but I feel more relaxed about the choices I make.
Do you have a motto (or saying) personal or professional that you believe in ?
Several…in fact are close to my heart. One of which is more personal sent to me by a former colleague the day before my departure to create Alterm. It is a Buddhist quote: « If we are going in the right direction, all we have to do is keep going. ». It is simple, but yet it refers to the fact of assuming our choice, and it really touched me at the time.
And I also like two other more professional quotes: Winston Churchill says « We make a living by What We Get, We make a life by What We Give » and Claude Levi-Strauss: « There is much in the exchange of things exchanged. » These are both values that I adhere to. For me, they are the foundation of tomorrow’s society.
One of my other favorites was passed on by a very dear friend who once told me: « Paste a sticky above your desk, and write « I am confident and I let go. » Since that time, there is not a day when I have not taken a look daily at these words. Warm greetings in passing to Stephanie …
Thank you Emmanuelle!
Emmanuelle de Pétigny, ALterm
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