Thomas Fischer is CEO in the management consulting firm Valcon, where he has been for almost 18 years. Now, Fischer is turning 50, and he still sees himself as a part of Valcon when he turns 60. “There is a fantastic spirit and sense of community in Valcon that I don’t think you will find in many places. I just feel at home in Valcon, and I have done so from day 1.” However, he does not see himself still being the CEO at that time. “Valcon is on an incredible development curve, which I am proud to have been part of creating. But in 10 years, there is without a doubt a need for new forces at the helm for the next part of the journey.”
And when Thomas says so, you can count on it to be so. Anyone who has ever worked with Thomas Fischer knows that he is not the most talkative or loud person in the room. On the contrary. But when he speaks, everyone listens because they know that there is weight behind the words. “I never felt any need to be in the spotlight, but perhaps some people would characterise me as dominant. I think this is just because I hold on when I believe that something is right,” Thomas explains.
And something that Thomas believes in is the vision of making Valcon the happiest company in the world. “It is a long journey, but we have always had room for the whole human being in Valcon, not just the shiny façade, so we have a strong starting point. And just imagine how much stronger we would all be, also as a company, if we in Valcon could help make a difference to the general feeling of happiness among our employees. This ensures both quality, innovation, leadership and productivity in a company,” Thomas elaborates.
From timber merchant to management consultant
But how did the son of a timber merchant and one of Denmark’s first female chefs end up as CEO of one of Denmark’s most successful consulting firms and with a vision of creating the world’s happiest company? Thomas only truly realised that he wanted to continue his studies, when he saw the new DIY centre that his father had built, and where the executive floor also contained offices for him and his brother.
He chose an MSc in Business Economics and Data Science, and during his studies, Thomas and a fellow student started a small IT consulting business that became so successful that they ended up having to refund the student grants to the state. So his love for the work as a consultant began early on. After graduating with one of the highest grade averages of his year at CBS, Thomas started working for PA Consulting as part of their very first graduate year. He was very happy working there for several years, but as he puts it himself: “I became increasingly aware that all the major consulting firms had a kind of empty, generic bar after the analytics part. The empty bar just had the heading Implementation. Apparently, no one really reflected on what should take place during that part of the process.”
But when Thomas met one of the founders of Valcon during a client project, he immediately recognised that here was someone who know what the empty implementation bar contained. And he has never looked back since. Because Thomas holds on when he knows something is right.
And speaking of holding on, Thomas has been married to his Louise since his years at CBS. They are parents to the children Holger, Flora and Viola. “Louise and I are very different. She becomes nervous if I don’t lock the front door to keep the burglars out. But I have always had a fundamental trust in my fellow human beings, and I have rarely been let down. At the end of the day, the world is filled with more good people than with assholes,” as Thomas poetically puts it.
Bonus info: Thomas’ hobbies
Thomas freely admits that he is not in charge of his own time during the weekends. “I am so much away from home during the week that I choose to prioritise my family on the weekends. So no cycling or golf for me, and I am perfectly happy with that,” Thomas explains. However, he loves to cook for family and friends, and he also likes to go fishing if there is still time after a run.