From SNCF to a start-up, the good and bad surprises of a former HRD

Former director of human resources (HRD) and member of the SNCF executive committee, Bénédicte Tilloy immersed herself for two years in the start-up ecosystem. An experience that she shares in a book, “the Team” (Dunod), a lively and colorful logbook. Interview.

Your perspective on start-ups is that of a leader of a large public group, SNCF, that you had just left. Two worlds at odds! You discover your new colleagues, “22 year old kids” that you call them “Rastignac in Adidas”. From the start, did you plan to tell about this experience?

Not at all ! If, at 56, I went to work in a start-up, it was not to do a journalist’s job, nor to look like a sociologist. I only wanted to learn. And I learn much better when I immerse myself in a professional environment. I experienced improbable situations there, I heard words and expressions that made me laugh. I wrote them down on the fly because I didn’t want to forget them. When I left the start-up incubator, I thought it was worth telling. Leaving was a kind of half-failure, I was a little sad, so writing had cathartic virtues. I started by writing a little soap opera. I uploaded it and it was spotted by Dunod [l’éditeur, NDLR], who suggested that I make a book about it.

Bénédicte Tilloy, author of “the Team”. (Dunod)

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