At which time do you wake up in the morning?
I am trying to get out of bed around 7.00. I usually work best during the morning, so it will try to be at the office quite early.
What is the first thing you do?
I want to say that I put on my jogging shoes and go for a morning run. However, that is more an ideal than a fixed ritual. However, it happens from time to time. Most mornings, I start by listening to a podcast with either news or something with international relations while making breakfast.
Which news sites do you read (if any) in the morning?
Working on EU affairs, I would be naturally to go for politico.eu. However, being a Dane, I tend to check up on Danish newspapers first and then go on with EU medias.
At which time do you go into the office (or start working remotely)?
I am usually at the office around 8.30. I have a 20 min walk, which is usually a nice start of the day.. unless its rainy, which can be a frequent think in Bruselles.
How many times a day do you check emails?
All the time. Probably too many times. However, it is my primary working tool if I am not at meetings. so I guess it is inevitably.
When is your first meeting?
If I decides myself, I usually organize meetings in the afternoon. I like to spend the first part of the day with getting stuff done in front of the screen. However, in Brussels there is often conferences etc., so hard to make it a systematic approach.
How do you plan your meetings across the week?
I have a lot of internal meetings and it usually a quite a challenge to find available spots, so everyone can participate. So quite often it is all about finding the first available time no matter what day of the week.
What is the split between internal and external meetings?
My guess will be around 50/50. Working with a rather technical business we spend a lot of time internally on policy development. In a large organization, you can risk spending all the time in internal processes. However, working with EU affairs, I am following the timeline of the legislations with put efficient pressure on delivering an external product in due time.
How do you take notes?
I usually always bring my laptop around. I quite often take notes for working documents and policy papers and it is quicker to get them in right away.
What is your favorite app & why?
In Grundfos we are using Teams as our primary tool. It works whether favorite or not.
How many external lunches do you have a week?
I would say an average of 1-2, but quite often it is more about a quick coffee in the European Parliament etc.
Which time do you go to bed?
I tend to be a night owl, so I guess not before 12am. However always with an ambition to make it a bit earlier.
Where do you keep up to date on Public Affairs?
Living and working in the Brussels bubble, I am surrounded by public affairs people daily, so it comes quite naturally to know what is going on the business.
What is your best tip for managing work/life balance?
I try to have finalized something every day, so when I leave work I can be off. It is quite fulfilling and make you feel you are taking actions even though European legislations and negotiations can take a longtime.
What is the biggest challenge you are working to solve right now?
The biggest priority right now is the negotiations of the EU building directive (EPBD). It will set the criteria for the renovation rate of building across EU and has become high politics both in terms of green ambitions and financing.
What is the biggest challenge in Public Affairs right now?
To keep focus on where you can really make a difference for both society and business. So much legislation is being negotiated on a European level and from a business side many things could be relevant. But you can’t be everywhere so make clear priorities and stick to them.
When you go on vacation, do you still answer emails?
I don’t do it on a regular basis but occasionally I find myself checking the mailbox. However, you can feel the “Brussels bubble” slowing down in August when most people are on holiday, so usually not much urgency.
Which book did you read recently or are you currently reading?
I always have the latest number of Foreign Affairs Magazine with me. The magazine is a book in itself and you always get intellectually stimulated by analysis of the World order. That aside, I highly recommend reading Robert Menasse’ funny book The Capital about Brussels and the EU bubble.
Which skills will PA pros need the most in 5-10 year?
A lot of company hire public affairs professionals themselves in these years. There is even talk about whether companies will have Chief Political Officers (CPO) sometime in the future. This demands a solid business understanding and a focus on how we can shape legislation to increase a future market potential. Working for a global company, I can also see how much geopolitics have an impact on the business. Both in terms of risks and opportunities. I think, we will see a tendency towards a PA where geopolitical advisory will play a much larger role in job in the coming years.
How big is your PA department (PA employees)?
We are a global public affairs setup with around 15 people across markets.
Where is the PA departments placed in your organization?
In Grundfos we are a group function as part of the communication department. I think that is a quite typical spot. To a large extend, it works well as we are working closely with the communication and sustainability people. However, it must never be a bubble in itself. We need to be close to the business divisions and we have taken a systematic approach to that in the PA team. We have aligned our political priorities in close dialogue with all our four divisions to make sure we are aiming for sufficient business impact.
Head of EU Public Affairs, Grundfos, Cand.scient.pol (political science) from Aarhus University.