A different breed

Do you want to know why we are who we are and what drives us every day? Find out about our backstory, our values and our goals.

By telling our story, we want to give you a glimpse of the past, present and future of The Master Labs. We want you to know what defines us so that you can assess if our values match yours.

How it all started

Our story starts in the mid-2000s. We were working hard on our academic careers. We researched topics in the area where business meets IT, such as the improvement of business processes and the use of management information systems, at various universities in Belgium. We taught classes on these same topics. Many of our students would find jobs at prestigious business and IT consulting firms. Life was good.

But... while the combination of teaching and doing research is lovely, worthwhile even, something was missing – the ability to contribute  - make a difference in the business world. We wanted to do as we teach and teach as we do.

However, we would never start such an endeavor if we could not contribute something unique – if we could not do something others weren’t. We did not have to look far. During our talks, two observations kept popping up, and these observations would inform two guiding principles that we hold dear to our hearts to this day and that we will live by until long into the future.

Respect our clients - Deliver value, get value in return 

Respect our clients

The first observation centers around respect for our clients.

During our interactions with small and large industry players, we noticed many IT and business consultants did not have a clear plan to tackle challenging projects. They were cowboys, faking it till making it. They seemed to be ignoring the knowledge already out there and were not putting in the hours to get acquainted with that knowledge.

The cause was pretty clear. Many consultants we spoke to had no formal training in process improvement, product management, business analysis, and all the other topics on the edge of business and IT. The companies they worked for were not investing in such training either. Or maybe, they did not even know about the vast body of knowledge already out there.

These consultants were intelligent and certainly got by on their smarts, but they would be able to deliver so much more with proper investment in skills. For us, this was a question of respect toward the client. It shows respect to have put in the effort to become the best consultant you can be.

But respect for the customer goes deeper than that. In addition to being accomplished consultants, we emphasize the importance of really caring about the problem the client is facing.

The job is not about the consultant but about helping the client grow and realizing that the client actually consists of real people working every day to give their best. Caring about the client’s problem thus implies caring about the people this problem affects and understanding the reality of these people’s lives.

We will always take this as our guiding principle. Even if the road is tough, we will do what’s best for the client and the people behind the client, not what’s easiest for us.

So, this is our first guiding principle: Respect our clients - Deliver value, get value in return.

Respect our team - Value your team, win championships together 

Respect for our team

The second observation centers around respect for our own team.

After graduating, many of our students went on to work at prestigious business and IT consulting firms. However, when we spoke to them after a few years in the business, it was striking that many were less than enthusiastic about their experiences. They felt rung out. Squeezed like a lemon. How could these extraordinary, inquisitive young minds become so disillusioned so fast?

We felt the standard consulting model, where individual performance is prioritized above teamwork and personal well-being, was no fit for most young people and did not lead to a long-lasting, meaningful relationship. We wanted to do better.

We respect our people and our team. They are our number one priority. The reasoning is simple. This approach is not only better for the individual, but also for the company as a whole, and definitely for our clients.

You can achieve so much more as a team. Not only will you grow faster and reach farther as a team, but you will be able to share the burden when things get tough and share the happiness when you achieve success.

At the same time, no job is so important that it should take precedence over personal well-being. That is just common sense. Feeling well at work is necessary to perform well at work. There is no shortcut here.

Make no mistake, respect for our people and their well-being does not imply we won’t put in the effort to grow and excel. On the contrary, it is precisely the opposite – we expect each and every one of our team members to become the best they can be, and we are convinced that respecting their well-being is a necessary condition to achieve this rather than an obstacle. Furthermore, respecting well-being also implies supporting personal growth, as we believe this is one of the main drivers of personal happiness.

So, our second guiding principle is this: Respect our team - Value your team, win championships together.

Summing up

So that about sums it up. Respect. Respect for our clients and respect for our people. These values have driven us since the beginning and have permeated every endeavor we start, be it The Master Labs Consulting, The Master Labs Academy or The Master Channel.

Our values match yours?

Contact us at info@themasterlabs.com or use the below.