The challenge that led to Q7 Leader was the following:

How can you recruit 1800 people over a period of 18 months in a market lacking talented recruits?

In 1995, mobile technology had just been invented. It was going through an extraordinary

boom, and companies were popping up like everywhere. But no one really knew what was

going on! And to win the race, they had to run fast to build their organizations.

Over the course of several months, our only choice was to recruit “beginners.” They then

had to quickly recruit...other beginners in a structure that itself was newly created. All the

conditions for failure were brought together.


We needed to help (beginner) managers structure their human resources needs,

supplying them with simple and common tools to define the profile of positions they had to

recruit for, the competences they needed. Then, they had to distinguish the right

candidates, all of them beginners, based on an analysis of their potential. And what could

they pay them for this potential? These were only some of the many challenges these actors faced during this extraordinary adventure.

Logic. Objectivity. Transparency. Universality. Simplicity.

This is what we mean by the acronym L.O.T.U.S., which is also the symbol for serenity. These are also the characteristics that HR solutions must have if they are to succeed in being adopted and used in extreme conditions such as these ones. And still today, all our solutions and applications developed in the context of Q7 Leader are certified LOTUS.

The foundations: the description and segmentation of positions

As the academic literature frequently explains, the foundations of a good human

resources management system start from what we call (even today) a good “description”

and a good “classification” of functions.

As such, a significant performance improvement immediately occurred in teams within

which employees clearly understood the different roles and objectives of each member.

But this only represented half of the challenge. Problems associated with equity quickly

appeared. Managers and employees had to be given a framework for reading the weight

of the different roles, in order that they could then determine and compare the work

attributes and conditions for each member.

It was impossible to use the hierarchical level or the organizational chart as a reference,

as is done in sales (major accounts, minor accounts, mass market...). In reality, with 50

new employees per week, the size, structure and positions within the organization evolved

every single day.

An in-depth analysis and a synthesis of the main classification systems for world-wide

functions were then undertaken. This is the work that inspired the segmentation of

positions and competences model integrated into Q7 Leader. It is this universal

dimension that also allows Q7 Leader to be used today with data suppliers for

pay structures, such as Hay, Towers Watson or Mercer.

The Ecosystem

Then, due to the interest shown by management and employees for the tool, the HRM at

the time tried to create a tool capable of piloting recruitment, the cascading objectives,

the development of talent and the evolution of payroll at the same time.

This all-in-one solution, designed in the spirit of Learning Organisations, contains the

seven building blocks required for successful human resource management.

It was tested and improved over the years at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). An

academic version has existed since 2006, which is called the “HR Leadership Canvas.”

It proved to be ideal for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), which don’t have

the means and sophisticated solutions available to the big players.