Leading with Heart and Hustle: The Inspiring Story of Dea Lykke

“I thrive in a highly complex company and maybe also better in a bit of chaos,” says Dea Lykke, the powerhouse CHRO leading the charge at EnergiData A/S. Unafraid to challenge the norm, she embraces the descriptors ‘BRAVE and PASSIONATE’ as her personal compass. She finds her calling in fast-paced, multicultural settings and is consistently recognized as one of “The Most Inspiring Corporate HR Professionals in 2024.”

For Dea, success isn’t a solo act. It’s about fostering an environment of ‘mutual trust and respect’ where her expertise empowers others. She builds bridges by understanding diverse perspectives, ensuring everyone feels heard and valued.

Her door is always open, offering a listening ear and structured guidance to those seeking support. But Dea isn’t just a cheerleader; she’s a competitive spirit, celebrating every win alongside her team, from landing new clients to attracting top talent.

Going above and beyond defines her success. She ensures HR strategies align seamlessly with the company’s vision, securing a seat at the table and championing the HR perspective in boardrooms.

The global stage is where Dea truly shines. Thriving in multicultural environments and ever-evolving landscapes, she actively contributes to a positive work experience for the entire team. She believes in the power of “what you bring to the table,” cultivating a workplace where everyone feels valued and appreciated.

Meaningful work fuels her passion. Contributing to a company that strives for a ‘better and greener world’ adds another layer of purpose to her role. After all, happiness at work matters, and Dea is dedicated to nurturing an environment where employees can thrive.

For this adept professional, true fulfillment transcends the boardroom. She feels ‘being valued and appreciated is important.’ She cherishes her husband’s and close friends’ love and support, recognizing the importance of a fulfilling personal life to complement her professional achievements. This cover story introduces Dea Lykke to the readers in her most original self and makes them glance through her uplifting saga.

The Spark That Ignited Dea’s Journey

Dea traces her career’s genesis to honing personal and professional empathy. This, she believes, laid the groundwork for the empowerment, integrity, and influence that define her journey. She attributes this ability to her acting background, emphasizing that understanding diverse perspectives is not about putting on a mask but truly embracing another’s story. This foundation, she asserts, has been instrumental in her success and sparked her passion for her chosen profession.

From Stage to HR: Dea’s Passion Play

Her journey to HR wasn’t a straight shot. Acting sparked her interest in people dynamics, leading her backstage as an instructor. Management followed, and HR felt like the natural next act. Driven by a passion for psychology and uncovering potential, Dea thrives on helping others shine. “I have a need to be needed,” she concedes, but her ultimate goal is professional excellence and respect. This “super gig” (as she calls it) devours legal updates and industry news, happily swapping movie nights for the latest employment rulings. Because for her, it fuels her desire to be the best in her field.

The Powerful Ascent: From Doubt to Director

Challenges forge resilience. Dea’s journey as a strong, opinionated woman in a traditionally male-dominated field has honed her strength and provided invaluable insights into corporate dynamics. She’s learned to embrace mistakes as stepping stones, continuously evolving into a better version of herself. “People who do not make any mistakes are not doing anything important,” she asserts, her voice echoing with wisdom.

This journey has instilled in her the confidence that her opinions, even the more unpopular ones, matter. Dea lives by the principle that her success doesn’t diminish others’. In fact, it creates space for all and empowers her to claim her rightful place as a Director.

This sagacious CHRO recognizes that those who initially perceived her as too opinionated only reflected their own insecurities. Her staunch belief is to extend kindness even to those who don’t deserve it, for they need it the most.

Brief Overview of EnergiData A/S

EnergiData A/S stands as a prominent figure in energy management, offering a top-tier platform accessible through two channels: direct access and a white-label solution. The company equips its customers with a user-friendly interface, enabling them to monitor their energy consumption comprehensively. This establishes a robust data foundation for making significant decisions regarding CO2 emissions and environmental footprint and facilitating the creation of ESG reports. EnergiData A/S extends its services beyond national boundaries. The CHRO underscores that the company now operates globally. She has set an ambitious plan for EnergiData A/S to be the global energy Management Platform.

Dea’s Day: CHRO, Energizer, and Everything In-Between

Dea, the rockstar CHRO of EnergiData, juggles HR like a boss. She’s got it all covered, from recruiting top talent to sparring with managers. No two days are the same, but here’s a glimpse.

Her day starts with emails and a latte, fueled by the Danish tradition of “hygge” (coziness). She hits the office with a smile, making sure everyone feels like family, not just colleagues. Meetings, calls, and inbox battles are her morning routine, followed by lunch with a different teammate each day. Why? Because this seasoned professional believes in building connections, not just crunching numbers.

The afternoons are a whirlwind of international calls, project deadlines, and admin duties like contracts and employee benefits. But Dea’s not all work and no play. She hits the gym every other day to recharge, returning with a clear head and a spring in her step. Evenings are for family, dog walks, and unwinding with industry news. But before bed, she catches up on legal rulings – because staying sharp is her superpower.

Dea’s secret weapon? Prioritizing well-being! She takes care of herself and her team and grabs quality sleep – all while keeping EnergiData’s HR engine running like a well-oiled machine.

Unleashing Potential and Redefining the HR Industry

Forget the stuffy stereotypes of HR – Dea is here to break down the walls and redefine the game! This “Yes Person” isn’t one for long speeches and limitations; she sees challenges as opportunities to unleash the true power of people within an organization. By bringing a “can-do” attitude and strategic mindset to the table, she transforms HR from a passive observer to a driving force for business success. This discerning corporate leader believes in nurturing a space where collaboration thrives, and expertise is shared freely, empowering not just individuals but the entire company to reach new heights.

So, is Dea single-handedly redefining or finetuning HR? Or is it something more profound? While she expresses a touch of uncertainty about the exact label, one thing remains certain: with her infectious enthusiasm, strategic focus, and unyielding dedication, she is demonstrably shaping the future of HR. Dea believes that focusing on the company’s strategy in every aspect of HR redefines the department daily, making it impactful, significant, and valuable for the bottom line.

She is a powerhouse of knowledge, constantly staying abreast of the latest trends and legal requirements to ensure the organization and its employees are always supported. But Dea’s impact goes further than mere expertise. She has a natural gift for sharing her knowledge, readily offering guidance through training sessions, mentoring programs, or simply open-door conversations. This, coupled with her genuine care for employees, allows her to truly understand their concerns and provide the support and empathy they need. Her dedication to excellence shines through her consistently high-quality work and positive outcomes. Dea notes: “Overall, I believe my combination of knowledge, sharing nature, caring attitude, and expertise make me a valuable contributor in any company.”

Views On How Has Modern Technology Impacted This Industry

This insightful CHRO views technology as a game-changer for HR, not a replacement. It streamlines processes, freeing them to focus on strategic initiatives and maximizing their impact. Technology also empowers her to connect globally, enabling a truly international HR presence. In her words, “Without tech, we wouldn’t be HR, we’d be the ‘people department.” It’s clear: Dea embraces technology as a force for positive and significant change in the HR landscape.

Building a Fortress of Integrity: Dea’s Approach at EnergiData A/S

At EnergiData A/S, cultivating a culture of integrity is not just a goal but a cornerstone of their success. Here, righteous behavior is uplifted and deeply ingrained in its very DNA. Dea, a veteran CHRO who walks the talk, spearheads this crucial endeavor with a multifaceted approach.

First and foremost, Dea emphasizes leading by example. Her commitment to ethical conduct sets the tone for the entire organization. This is further bolstered by equipping leaders with the necessary skills to navigate complex situations with integrity.

clear and comprehensive code of conduct serves as the guiding light, outlining the organization’s values, expectations, and ethical standards. This code is readily accessible to all employees, regularly communicated, and consistently reinforced.

To foster a culture of ethical decision-making, Dea recommends providing regular ethics training sessions. These interactive practices will combine education on the company’s code of conduct and relevant regulations with open discussions and case studies, empowering employees to navigate ethical challenges confidently.

Encouraging reporting and whistleblowing is vital. A safe and anonymous reporting system can be created through dedicated hotlines or online platforms. Employees can confidently report any observed unethical behavior, knowing their concerns will be taken seriously and investigated promptly.

Recognizing and rewarding ethical behavior sends a powerful message. By acknowledging and appreciating individuals who consistently uphold ethical values, the organization reinforces the importance of integrity throughout its ranks.

Open communication channels are actively fostered, supporting employees to voice concerns, seek guidance, and engage in open dialogue about ethical issues. This fosters a non-punitive atmosphere that prioritizes learning and improvement over retribution.

Consistent enforcement of the code of conduct ensures accountability and underscores the non-negotiable nature of integrity. When ethical violations occur, appropriate actions are taken.

Last but not least is to assess and improve regularly – periodic assessments to evaluate the effectiveness of existing initiatives. Solicit valuable employee feedback, conduct internal audits, allow for ongoing refinement, and ensure the culture of integrity remains impregnable.

Dea emphasizes that building this culture is a marathon, not a sprint. It requires ‘ongoing commitment from leadership and continuous reinforcement of ethical values throughout the organization.’

The Best Recognition Received as a Leader

From the perspective of a leader like Dea, the most fulfilling recognition isn’t receiving an award but witnessing an untapped talent flourish and unfold their full potential. This, she underlines, goes beyond simply observing their success; it’s about playing a behind-the-scenes role in enabling their growth and witnessing the ripple effect it has on the world.

This astute female executive believes that nurturing connections is the lifeblood of any relationship. She advocates for recognizing people for their positive contributions, emphasizing the importance of “catching them doing things right.” In her view, investing in human capital yields significant returns. People can deliver exceptional results when they understand what success entails and their manager’s expectations. It is also backed by science, as clear expectations simplify the process of meeting them.

Furthermore, Dea encourages employees to take ownership of their development and success and try to lead up. Rather than passively waiting for their manager to set goals, directions, and boundaries, she urges them to seek guidance and proactively contribute to their growth.

Personal Goal as an HR Leader

‘Mutual trust’ is the bedrock of everything Dea builds. “Without it,” she declares, “I wouldn’t be able to make any change or impact the organization.” Her passion is evident: helping the company and its people soar. She envisions a symphony of culture, talent, innovation, and leadership, crafting an unforgettable employee experience within an inclusive, beloved workplace.

This discerning HR leader thrives on untangling complexity, forging a common tongue. She’s a champion for challenging the status quo. In her own words, “Let’s not make the ceiling our top level; we can surpass it.” Forget “40% better,” she urges, let’s aim for “at least 40% better!” This enthusiasm for progress fuels her desire to establish a shared language around development, environment, health, sales, and leadership. This unifying force propels the company forward, united, and at high velocity. Dea likes a high pace; this shared language becomes the wind beneath her wings.

Equilibrium Between Work and Life 

Striking a harmonious equipoise between professional and personal life is a universal aspiration. Dea exemplifies this mastery through a meticulous approach to time management and a deep appreciation for life’s simple pleasures. She prioritizes her days, weeks, and months, ensuring dedicated time for both professional achievements and cherished moments with loved ones. However, the true brilliance lies in her concept of “small gifts of life” – like concerts, musical shows, time spent with her sons, a getaway with her husband, or a night out dancing or singing. These serve as guiding stars, reminding her of the joy that awaits when faced with challenges. Moreover, she finds solace and rejuvenation in traveling, believing that exploring ‘a new city after work’ provides a refreshing perspective and cushions the challenges she faces in her HR role.

Employee Motivation Mantra

The heart of Dea’s leadership style is cultivating a thriving team environment. She cultivates a sense of safety, warmth, and inclusion, leading by example and serving as a wellspring of knowledge and guidance. Dea’s adept at keeping her employees motivated by rising to the forefront during challenging times, demonstrating genuine interest in their struggles, and offering rock-solid support. She champions work-life balance, boosts curiosity, and actively listens to her team members’ concerns. By understanding their individual motivations and development stages, Dea balances the art of instructing vs. delegating.

Advice for Aspiring HR Professionals and Leaders

To aspiring HR professionals and leaders, Dea has the key to navigating the fascinating world of HR. She emphasizes the importance of obtaining relevant education as a foundation. At the same time, this insightful exec stresses that sincere curiosity about people is the true fuel for success. Be authentically present and engaging because building genuine connections is the heart of HR. Conflicts are inevitable, but Dea urges these aspirants to find the balance between assertiveness and empathy. Developing a keen allergy to drama is a must because HR thrives on solutions, not theatrics. EnergiData A/S’s CHRO suggests they gain practical experience and become a knowledge sponge, constantly learning and refining their understanding of HR practices. Don’t shy away from challenges – embrace them, take ownership, and lead by example. She articulates, “Be brave, take on challenges and responsibility, and seek cross-function collaboration. Be reachable.”  Solving problems early prevents them from snowballing, paving the way for success.

So, aspiring HR professionals and leaders take Dea’s advice to heart: show initiative, take ownership, and lead by example to become the leader you were meant to be. The world of HR awaits your impact!