Entrepreneurs Forever 2015 | Version française

Bruce Cooper

Manager of Airbus Group Leadership University Hub for Airbus Helicopters worldwide

He converted the managers of a world group to the punk rock spirit.

Bruce Cooper's incredibly original journey shows that anything is possible, even for an ex-punk to train the future managers of a world leader corporation, in a sector as sensitive as that of aeronautics.
« When I was 20, I was totally anti-business. The punk rock spirit consists of never being comfortable with the status quo, challenging everything already in place, encouraging people to become more alive. When you get curious - and have a family - then you understand that the same attitude also has its place in the world of business! »

He likes to remind people that he grew up in a poor country - the Labour-ruled UK of the 70's -. The Sex Pistols* announced Anarchy in the UK* and, like all the Blank Generation*, Bruce Cooper finished his studies with no real professional project in mind. He went off travelling, crossed India from Goa to Rajasthan, spent a year in Australia, where he lined up casual jobs in building, prawn fishing, and in farming… « There's no straight road to finding what your real interest is. Every experience is important, as long as you respect your own conscience, both when you win, and when you don't. »

If you have people around you who feel free to express themselves about any subject, who are natural and comfortable in their own skin, that creates an amazingly creative environment, favourable to everyone's total commitment.

When he went back to England in 1986, his theme song was not so much the Clash's* London Calling*, as the Ramones’* Leave Home* and he bought a train ticket to Warsaw, aiming to go and work on a kibbutz in Israël, travelling via the East European countries.
But the train stopped in Berlin: and Bruce Cooper decided to spend a week there to earn a little Free Money*. He ended up staying eight years! « It's a city which is alive 24H/24, and which still gives me goose bumps. It was an extraordinary and terribly stimulating period, with immense freedom. »
He got a job as an interpreter and, for three years, studied for the Abitur, the German equivalent of ‘A’ levels. He experienced - live - the fall of the wall. « It was a moment of totally unexpected euphoria. It was really moving to be at the heart of the event the whole world was talking about. »

In 1993, he decided to leave Berlin with his wife and family - but where would they go to? They decided on the south of France, and more precisely the heart of the Alpilles Mountains. Bruce Cooper worked as a trainer, translator, and interpreter in technical English for a local company, and then as a freelance. « I discovered French industry, Eurocopter, Arcelor Mittal, Areva. I had a strong network, I was working on interesting projects, but after 10 years freelancing, I needed some team and international spirit, a manager, and objectives! »

In 2011 he enrolled on the MBA programme at EMLYON. « I had high expectations. I was not disappointed; on the contrary, I was really surprised and delighted. »
Convinced that the human dimension is a crucial element in the world of industry, he applied for the job of Senior Training Consultant for Leadership for AirBusiness Academy, a subsidiary of the Airbus Group in Toulouse. His turn for Career Opportunities*! Specialised in team dynamics, Bruce Cooper designed a powerful workshop for the ‘Executive’ community, and signed a partnership with EML Executive Development for one of its key programmes for Managers.

Today he is at the head of one of the six centres of the Airbus Group Leadership University. He supervises its training programmes for all the teams and managers of Airbus Helicopters in the world. In his new functions, he rolls out the Raw Power of his passion for people. « Anything is possible, as soon as you create the conditions necessary for reliability, trust, gratitude, and the joy of doing things together… »
Damned*! Have punks turned into The Saints\

* Famous punk-rock songs or groups

EM Lyon: MBA 2011
Translation : Carole Bausor, ILTC
Date de parution : 01/06/15