I work for IBM, but what value do I bring to my previous employer, Capgemini?

I went to the Kred London Influencer Summit last night. What a fantastic time. Met a lot of Twitter connections I had not met before.


I also ran into an old colleague of mine from Capgemini, Inyk, and we got talking about the connections I retain within Capgemini.

Today Inyk sent me this interesting article on the subject: Coming out: can you bring value to an organisation after having left it? And it got me thinking about what value, if any, I still bring to Capgemini, even now where I work for one of their competitors: IBM?

Examples of my relationship with my previous employer

  • I left Capgemini on good terms.
  • Capgemini in general have a view that people who leave are potential future re-hires with new experiences they can bring back to the company (they don’t display the same sense of betrayal the author of the article Inyk shared has encountered).
  • I am part of their official Yammer Alumni group, which I hardly ever visit.
  • I maintain relationships with ex-colleagues on both Twitter and Facebook.
  • After meeting a talented mobile SME, who recently moved to London, the first people I connected him with was ex-colleagues from Capgemini.
  • Capgemini ex-colleagues remain loyal readers and retweeters of my blog posts.
  • Emmanuel Lochon, Capgemini’s global head of marketing, sent me a Linkedin message about the new Capgemini website going live, which I responded with both direct feedback and tweets.

Does this mean it is the people I am retaining relationships with rather than the company? Ofcourse! But it is the employees who are the company. As such they are the point of contact with the company. What they say and do is the corporate message.

It is vital the employees are up-to-date with any corporate messages as they are the voice of the company.  But it is equally important that the employees are not forced to relay these messages or even rewarded for doing so.

For example Emmanuel’s Linkedin message about the new Capgemini website is relevant to me because I was involved in early stages of the project. Had I not been, his message would not have been relevant to me.

Am I still a Capgemini advocate? Yes, I am. So I do think I still provide a value, but it is driven by a mutual relationship and an understanding we are competitors.

Do I champion all my previous employers?

While I’ve left all my previous employers on good terms, and while I retain personal relationships with ex-colleagues at all places, I don’t actively engage with the brands themselves. I think this is because when I have involved myself with their digital content, I have had no response. A one-way relationship is really not a relationship.

 Do you still represent your ex-employer?

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Share your thoughts

  • Philippe

    I would totally agree than in any circumstances, it is with people that you retain relationship more than with a company and obviously, except in some very specific cases, we probably all keep a number of one-to-one connections from our previous employments.

    My point was more around your potential ability to bring value to the organisation as a system, rather than as a sum of individuals, after you have left. You could be a potential re-hire as you say, but you also become an investor, a partner, a client, a supplier, a contractor, etc. And in all those possible situations, you would be regarded as knowledgeable about the company and therefore have an influence on decisions that involve your former employer.

    It raises several potential questions for employers…

    · Is there any value in harnessing the greater community of current and former employees?
    · Could we imagine designing the exit transition as much as we design the integration?
    · Should we invest in senior people who leave, as much as in we do in people who join?

    There is probably no right answer to all those questions, but not even considering them could be costly.

  • Thanks for your comments, Philippe.

    Yes, classic example is somebody leaving a service-provider to join an in-team and in doing so becomes a client/ advocate within the new organisation.

    I think it is a fascinating topic, in the same way I think it is interesting to see what value it brings to the company to support and promote individual employee “brands” and in doing so create goodwill in both them and their networks.

  • Another great post Rob. I was only a year at Cap but I met a bunch of great guys (yourself included) in that short period and I am where I am because of meeting those people. So am I bringing any value to Cap now? Probably not directly but they know my capabilities and I know that they’d reach out if they ever need so maybe then I would do so. Like you say, it has to be a 2-way relationship.

  • Thanks! Yes, your relationship with Cap, and us ex-colleagues, means that you are a dormant asset we know about and can call upon.

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