Combining coding with creativity and empathy to best serve our customers

As the Director of First8 and Conclusion BAM (Business Application Modelling), Daniëlle Graat heads two different technology companies that help businesses stay ahead in a changing market. She believes that diversity in gender, age and culture are critical to an organisation’s ability to serve its customers.

What is your role at Conclusion? What makes it a great place to work?

Conclusion isn’t just any corporate organisation or IT company. It’s a collection of 18 independent companies, each with its own team and specialisation. By remaining separate and dynamic instead of merging into one single company, we are able to flex and adapt according to our clients’ needs.

Within this ecosystem, I lead two companies in developing system applications that enable businesses to stay ahead in an ever-changing market. I am the Director of Conclusion BAM, where my teams build tailor-made solutions in Mendix and OutSystems. I am also the Director of First8, where our Java and open source experts assist companies with large custom projects, particularly ones that involve a degree of complexity, integration and security.

I am proud of the people on my teams. They are dedicated to their work, and they build amazing applications for and with our customers. Empathy is a very important competence on our team. We listen to each other and celebrate our projects, our successes and our birthdays. This positive working environment is one reason I enjoy coming into the office every day.

Even in 2017, it is uncommon to see women directing technology companies. How did you come to direct two?

When I started at Conclusion two years ago, none of the companies within our ecosystem were using the rapidly emerging Mendix or OutSystems technologies. From scratch, I built a company of 15 people to lead the charge. Once the team was up and running, I wanted to take on another challenge in parallel to this role and have more responsibility. I approached the Conclusion CEO, shared my ambitions and asked for an opportunity. When the First8 director resigned a few weeks later, I got what I asked for and was named the company’s new director.

Throughout my career, I’ve learned that there are many chances, but you must take them yourself.  That’s why I enjoy working at Conclusion – if you take initiative, you are rewarded with opportunities. In taking on these director roles, I’ve developed a feeling of ownership for both Conclusion BAM and First8. I lead these companies as if they were my own, which means that I have great deal of trust and freedom to make decisions. This also means that I can and must make the right choices. I like this aspect very much.