Hans-Paul – Optimes mentor: – Be curious of other subjects and experiences than your own
Hans-Paul Carlsen is a trained engineer and has passed the age of 70. In fact, he is retired. Nevertheless, you see Hans-Paul at Optime every single day. He has been an engineer “all his life”. Still, he is as curious in his field as when he once started. That’s what keeps him young, we think.
Diversity is the key to success, it is said. What does that mean, do you think? Theories become obsolete, as development happens faster and faster. New truths arise. Combining experienced staff with new graduates gives most the forward-looking companies. Then you are well on your way to success.
Then add interdisciplinarity. Today, the greatest value creation takes place in the area between the fields. Each of you has knowledge of many fields – together you create the big picture. Good interdisciplinary examples from Optime are the systems SCILS and ROCS.
If you are too similar, you lose the challenging questions – and your business stagnates sooner or later.
The pensioner who works every day
He calls himself an old engineer with experience. He loves working with young dynamic engineers and emphasizes that learning goes both ways.
– It is the young people who are the value at Optime, says Hans-Paul.
Yes, Hans-Paul is the father of CEO Jan-Fredrik and CTO Tor-Øystein. The “guys’ ” curiosity and strong creative urge probably stem from their father. According to those who know Hans-Paul, he has studied three times; first himself and twice as a mentor – both when Jan-Fredrik studied and finally when Tor-Øystein studied 2 years after Jan-Fredrik.
Hans-Paul is described as playful, curious, and “one of the guys”. He is interested in lifelong learning. There is always something new to learn – and teach to others. Furthermore, he is described as someone who gets the job done – far from “an old father who knows best”. He enjoys all tasks and has no problem with getting his hands dirty.
Wants to contribute with his life experience
– As a grown man, I help to push, give young people self-confidence and courage. I like to create an environment where young people dare to trust themselves. For me, it is important that the dialogue is simple and open. I like to contribute in my own way with my life experience.
– The “programming”-subject that I studied, has been discontinued a long time ago. That is why it is important to constantly follow developments. Renewal is key. I am curious and follow developments closely. That’s probably why I enjoy the environment here at Optime – I learn something new every day about technology development. At the same time, I can share my life experience, both in terms of subjects and life in general.
– When you get older, you have a lot of experience on what is both important and less important in life. What I thought was vital in my youth, I see now in retrospect were trifles. At the time, it seemed big and all-consuming. – Eventually, it is the people who are the most interesting.
Balancing risk and doubt
There are commonalities between how humans behave and technology. The biggest choices we make in life are based on emotions. The choices we make often balance between doubt and faith – do we have faith in what we do or not? We also ask the same questions all the time in technology.
The textbooks change over time. Life is not always what we think it will be. You have to accept that life, work and education are different than you imagined. Then it is important to listen to others, who can make your path better or more exciting.
Good engineers are not only optimists, they must also have doubts. A correction factor is important. You must have faith in what you do, but at the same time doubt whether it will work. Do we have control over all parameters, or is there something we have overlooked? When we mix different materials, these will affect each other – in a positive or negative direction.
We balance success by minimizing losses. Pessimism must not prevail. It is then we stifle innovation and development. For companies to succeed, it is healthy with counter-perceptions – to have the right balance between the positives and doubt.
Sharing stories is a part of our success. Read more stories here.