FutuStories: Henry Burnett’s story
Henry joined Futurice in December 2019 as a software developer. He owes a lot to his curiosity, which has played a big role in his career. Henry has learned to enjoy the autonomy that comes with working at Futurice, and he is now on the Strategy & Culture team in Germany and supports our global health initiative.
What does your role at Futurice involve?
Currently I’m a project lead and proxy product owner working with a client in the mobility sector. I also support Futurice’s Health theme, co-leading our monthly Global Health Exchange where we seek to share knowledge across the different Futurice sites and create opportunities to support the health industry’s digital transformation.
What did you do before Futurice and has that experience contributed to your current role?
Before moving to Berlin, I studied comparative literature in the USA and Paris, which taught me how to break things down and analyse the individual pieces and to weave ideas together to produce a coherent overarching story. What really drives me is trying to understand the big picture and then see where my contribution can make an impact. I’ve always been something of a generalist and my curious nature definitely contributes to that. The common thread in my studies and career – throughout the evolution from literature to tech and then to product – has been wanting to engage with complexity and learn how to navigate through it.
What’s your secret superpower at work?
Connecting with a lot of different people in the company and learning a little bit about what they do. Just by having short conversations here and there, I’ve developed a better sense of what’s going on overall at Futurice and where we’re headed, compared to the limited perspective I had when I joined.
What makes Futurice different from other companies?
Although the company has a general sense of direction, it’s up to the employees to figure out how we get there. Everyone here is trusted to “know what good looks like”, so we’re given a lot of freedom. That was challenging for me at first, because I was used to a more structured work environment, but now I feel at home. The people here are really supportive and want each other to succeed and that became clearer as I became part of the fabric of the company.
In your opinion, what’s the best way to be future-resilient?
For me, it’s to stay curious – that means paying attention to changes and trying to understand why they’re happening – which keeps me aware and dynamic. My curiosity also means that I experiment and try new things.
What inspired you to move into a new role and what did the transition involve?
After a couple of years in the software developer role, I realised that my style of thinking is more suited to problem discovery (the second phase of the famed “double diamond”). Thus, I started looking for opportunities in product management where I could leverage my software background but contribute in a different way. Around the same time, I joined our health initiative and started learning more about how the business of Futurice actually works. Product management and our Health theme have been my focus ever since!
Could you tell us a little about that health initiative?
We wanted to have more clients in the health sector, so we decided to approach digital innovation departments in healthcare companies with a ready-made product that we’d created. That product was the Connected Health Kit, which is available as an open-source canvas on Miro (https://miro.com/miroverse/connected-health-kit/). Its goal is to bring together different stakeholders in a workshop setting to analyse and improve a process by leveraging digital solutions. We’ve had some success developing relationships with new clients using the kit, and we now have some growing accounts where we’re building on that trust.
How do you relax when times get tough?
We have a lot of parks in Berlin and in the summer I love to go and lay on the grass in the sun – it makes me feel like I’m making the most of the warmer months. In the winter, I make a point of taking a break, going outside for a bit and taking a walk before the sun sets, even if that means finishing my day’s work later in the evening. I also find it helps to spread my holiday out through the year and take time for myself.
Interested in reading more stories about us and our people? At Futurice, we celebrate diversity and cherish everyone's unique journey. Check out our Welcome Home page and get inspired by more journeys shaping our culture. If you would like to read more stories and get to know our people, our sites and the community better, check out the global version of our FutuStories Booklet.
- Christina KleinMarketing & Communications Manager