WiLL™ working the life - lab

Cesare Grisi

The short Profile of the Founder of WiLL© is expressed symbolically because every human action serves something that goes beyond the action itself.


The short Bio, on the other hand, is expressed in a reasoned way. It starts with the main roles and then the reasons for assuming or changing them. The bio makes an individual tangible but, no matter how relevant and detailed it is, it still represents only a small fraction of the totality of a (prudent) individual who always works on something that lies in the future. It is not a matter of arriving at point A or point B: rather, we must accept that we’ll never arrive. What’s important is staying and working on the right path, on the main road.



Cesare Grisi is a man, as a man he is human, and works his life in this world populated by men, women and many other marvelous creatures.

He is a sailor, so he is at the mercy of the sea, and he always tries to bring his boat to port. Often, it is not possible to return to port, and you have to stay out on the seething sea, or go elsewhere. There are many other ports in many other elsewheres.

The goal of every sailor is neither arriving not sailing, but a combination of the two: to know, discover and create new routes.

We arrive in port to disembark passengers and crew, to talk about what we have seen, heard, felt or understood during the trip, and in other ports.

But then, we have to leave again, taking on board new passengers and crew, because discovering, learning and tracing new routes are at the heart of a sailor’s soul, always straining to be let out: they are desires and, as desires, they can never be fulfilled.

In sailing, you work hard, you command, you obey, you evaluate, you interpret, you read a lot, you solve problems with what you have available. You really live. And then you write the logbook. And when you write, you make a mark on the paper, since soon, the sea will take back the furrow left by the keel on the seabed.

WiLL© is sailing towards a destination that is barely visible, and Cesare Grisi is the captain who has decided to embark on this trip.

  … as his name is Caesar, he is entitled to speak in the third person


(to be read starting from the bottom)

7. Founder & Director at WiLL©

By now, his experiences in teaching, critical and scientific analysis, practical training, managerial activities and strategic consultancy gained in many different contexts… helped him to form a clearer picture of the whole and of the fundamental issues, and to decide the only logical next steps: to take stock, to draw up guidelines, to change gear and to set out on a new path.

We have arrived at WiLL©.

6. Adjunct Professor (School of Economics, Management, Statistics, University of Bologna)

Alongside his consultancy work, he continued his studies which, indeed, focused on the scientific disciplines most closely aimed at the explanation of the human context and behavior (neuroscience, evolutionism, sociology, astrophysics, psychology…). He also continued his academic writing, focusing on the theoretical analysis of the root causes as well as the effects.

This research formed the basis for his 7 years of teaching in the School of Economics and Management of the University of Bologna. His teaching took an interdisciplinary, comparative and, above all, interactive approach focused on linking technical and scholastic training with the world of work, with the objective of helping students to develop a critical understanding of the current and future dual reality. This work was very important to diversify his practical work experience by adding a theoretical and scientific perspective, and to fulfill the fundamental need for an integrated vision.

This role rounded off his professional profile, so to speak: if his primary subject was humankind, which is called human resources in an organizational context, this experience greatly helped in his effort to achieve a 360° view.

5. HR & Management Consultant (in a multinational and SME context)

He started in HR & Management Consultancy from an invitation, and it was also the start of a parallel freelance activity in strategic management consultancy. This was his transition from an insider role to an outsider role (though, for Cesare, he was never in an outside position: he has always acted like an insider).

His years in consultancy were fundamental: working with people in the most varied contexts, market sectors and roles, as well as in organizational environments with the most diverse policies, practices, styles and leadership, he managed to complete, detail and enlarge the map, to join the scattered dots and to achieve a general view, a big picture, of the corporate world, operational practices, management, the use of leadership and many other building blocks of the operational arm of life…

4. HR Development
Head of Career Service (University of Bologna, all faculties)
Work Area Director
HR Director
Certified trainer  (public and private)

After his time with the school, he continued on the varied and multifaceted path of management. This was an important phase that ended by choice (like all the other employment relationships) because, as his skills in the role gradually developed, he caught a glimpse of another, much more relevant, role that was inclusive of the function itself, summarized in a series of concentric questions: what is the real purpose of managing Human Resources? What are people really used for in an organizational context? What is the organizational context itself really for?

At that point, it seemed evident that it had been a great miscalculation to blindly pursue a career that led to the position he now assumed and to settle into the comfort zone of some company, as usually happens. His objective had instead been to study through practical work what was happening in the largest possible number of organizational contexts, to broaden his focus and therefore to continue to deepen his knowledge.

What role could serve this purpose and contribute to a development of the role already acquired, without sacrificing professionalism?

3. High school teacher
Teacher, Italian Language School for foreigners
PhD Competition (with Scholarship)
SSIS Competition

Parallel to his first teaching activities, he won a public competition to enter teacher training college for secondary school teaching (SSIS), and shortly thereafter, he also won a public competition for a PhD with scholarship. He had to choose between the two, and chose the latter. It was an interdisciplinary doctorate achieved with a thesis spanning subjects ranging from psychology to sociology, anthropology, history and literature.

Although he felt drawn to teaching and research, he immediately understood that academic logic was irreconcilable with the essential requirement of independent judgment – the choice of object of research and, more generally, freedom and emancipation from any authoritarian overlords. He therefore turned to the place he believed (at the time) to be the most suitable of all in that sector to unite his humanistic and scientific approach: Human Resources in an organizational context (which he already knew well).

2. Degree in Literature and Philosophy

After finishing school while still working, he left his job to devote himself entirely to his studies. On the basis of his achievements at work, his goal was to investigate his raw but obvious natural talent: he is good at working with, alongside and for people. For this reason, to better understand what instinctively came to him and to tackle the subject of Humanity in a structured way, he studied Literature, the discipline he believed (at the time) would better inform his knowledge of the Human Factor. He graduated with honors at Pisa.

1. Apprenticeship
Up to: Deputy Head of Department

Cesare Grisi started working at 14 years old. At 18, he was a Deputy Department Manager within luxury hotels in the tourism sector. There, he was offered the opportunity to go to Switzerland to pursue a career that would lead him to international hotel management. But it was already time to change his life, the first of many times.

Cesare Grisi

Cesare Grisi

Founder & Director