7 minutes with Montse Ventosa

I love eclectic profiles and Montse Ventosa is one of them. We met ages ago, just when we were cross-working at the same company. From that moment on, Montse and I have been meeting very briefly here and there. Finally, we reconnected weeks ago to launch a couple of projects which will give us the chance to work together at last!
Born in Barcelona, Montse has been living in Madrid and London. Almost two years ago she set base in Monterrey, Mexico, where she is the VP of Talent, Well-being and Purpose at Tecmilenio University, sponsored by the prestigious Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey. Montse’s career is a very interesting journey across corporate, entrepreneurship, innovation, coaching and happyshifting from a practical perspective.

1.It is quite unusual to find an area which blends talent, well-being and purpose within the academic world. How did Tecmilenio come up with this idea?
At Tecmilenio, talent, culture and experience have always been very close. They are part of our digital native code (we were born 18 years ago, which means that we belong to the digital generation). Well-being was crucial in our culture but, since COVID broke out, we definitely wanted this concept to be more important. Therefore, well-being is now the very backbone of our strategy. We will only achieve well-being if we share our well-being culture with our community. Culture is closely linked to the way a person feels and lives, with his or her talents, and it all has an impact on the daily decisions this person makes. That’s why a well-being based culture will nurture actions with well-being. At Tecmilenio we are absolutely positive that preparing the best talent is a task that begins from the inside.

2.How does your personal and professional background contribute to your current role?
I am not a very common profile and I have always been a freedom fighter. When I started my career at HR, soon I realized that this area could also be very inhuman. Therefore, I kept myself out of HR for a while. However, I absolutely love people. So, I decided to reframe my job and ever since, as an entrepreneur or as a corporate, my purpose has been to create a flow relationship between people and their jobs. I am truly convinced that a job can contribute to both personal and professional growth. This perspective is also linked to the way we understand education. Traditionally speaking, either you give or receive education. Little by little, I found out there could be different ways to approach education involving the active participation of all players. So, linking people, education, work and happiness has always been my purpose and, today, this is the core of my job at Tecmilenio.

3.”Well-being” is a concept used nowadays in different scenarios and frameworks. What’s the insight of Tecmilenio regarding this?
At Tecmilenio we used to have our Happiness Sciences Institute which is evolving into the Well-being & Happiness Sciences Institute. To us, well-being has a very broad meaning: it is a framework where people grow and blossom. They feel at ease out of their comfort zone and they have a positive perception of their world. This is just the opposite to Seligman’s learned helplessness law, where people act in a passive way regarding a situation that apparently cannot be solved. It’s a must to develop our individual skills to have awareness, discipline and resilience, regardless of our talents or life situation. We support our community to learn the seven dimensions of well-being: physical, emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual, professional and financial.

4.How do talent and purpose combine to lead to innovation?
Real innovation happens when a person’s vital purpose is lined up with the purpose of the organisation he or she works for. No doubt, talent is key, but tolerance is the key element. A culture which embraces difference, an inclusive, diverse framework is the perfect scenario to allow people to be their real selves and to express their talents at their best, leading to innovation.

5.What’s the meaning of “happyshifting” and how can we use it in real life?
Years ago, someone asked what I thought about downshifting, especially when talking about our professional life. I thought it was a terrible concept… Do we have to put aside work to be happy? We are doing something wrong, then. Of course, “upshifting” is not the answer. Truth be told, the word “work” in some languages like Spanish (trabajo) or French (travail) derive from the Latin word “tripalllium”, a device used to torture people. Considering work as torture is a terrible thing. And here comes the concept happyshifting, which means to take the lead in your life and make the changes you need in order to be happy. It doesn’t mean to put your work life aside but choosing the kind of job that will make you happy. When your job aligns with your vital purpose, work can be a way to personal fulfilment and growth. It’s not an easy thing, of course, but it is possible. In fact, I work hard day by day to bear witness to it.

Many thanks for sharing your insights and experience with us, Montse!

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