By Massimo Scarcello AMP Nov ‘13
Digital & Career
On June 30, 2014, at the elegant Barclay’s flagship store located just two steps away from the Duomo in the heart of Milan, the second “Career Development” conference took place. Discussing the topic “New and digital career opportunities” was one of the top experts in the digital field, Francesco Caio MBA’85D, CEO and General Manager of Poste Italiane Spa (just to cite two of his important professional experiences in the “digital arena”: in 2008 and 2009 he was consultant for the governments of Great Britain and Italy to help define industrial politics for the development of broadband telecommunication networks, and in 2013 he was commissioner for the Italian Digital Agency).
We would like to take this opportunity to once again thank Francesco for having found the time, notwithstanding the demanding commitments resulting from his new challenge, demonstrating his strong sense of belonging to the INSEAD community.
In addition to Francesco, we had the privilege of having Roger Abravanel MBA ’72with us as well, Director Emeritus of McKinsey & Co., and President of the INSEAD Italy National Council who introduced the theme and directed questions to our guest.
IAA Italy President Giulia Belloni moderated the event.
Prior to the meeting we gave Francesco a bottle of the “Riserva INSEAD” champagne as a small sign of gratitude for his contribution which, thanks to his prestigious career, adds to INSEAD’s reputation as “the Business School for the world®”.
The meeting then got underway, starting with a few reflections shared by Francesco with the large number of people present in the room:
a) non-existence of the line of demarcation between digital and non-digital. In our careers, the ability to grasp and meet the challenges of the digital world will always be more and more important, regardless of our individual role in the workplace;
b) in order to better meet the challenges mentioned above, it is necessary to engage in continuous learning, observing all that happens around us with interest and passion in order to develop and nurture our ability to ask questions;
c) the digital world reduces production and planning processes. If we analyse the Fortune 500 list, we can see that every three to five years there is a change. In career terms, this means that we have to know how to ride the wave of change, and be capable of playing different roles (such as company leader in one phase, and entrepreneur in another) in different contexts, and different moments, following an oscillating path rather than the linear one of times past.
Resuming the concept of the lack of a line of demarcation between digital and non-digital, Francesco also placed an emphasis on several qualities that a manager should possess in order to have a successful career:
a) inclusive leader: leadership must be hierarchical in moments that require a decision, but not in moments when a solution needs to be identified;
b) strategic attention to P&L. Digital is in the process, it is the way in which the information is collected, but everything must always be translated into full economic viability of the business;
c) ethics: every action and behaviour must be based on ethics. In this endeavor, digital both helps and facilitates transparency.
With these premises, his vast experience as a leader in several industry sectors, and his current role in one of the most important european companies, Francesco allowed all of us to deepen, through an interesting debate, diverse aspects of the economic and productive world, and how these can benefit from digital.
Thanks to the impeccable hospitality of Barclays, we ended the meeting sipping a fabulous cocktail with the spires of the Duomo in the background, each of us making sure to sign up for the next interesting event.
By Valerie Thompson
INSEAD Alumni Team Wins 9th Alumni Dragon Boat Trophy in Switzerland
Second victory for Swiss Alumni in three years
Overcast skies did not deter INSEAD teamwork, spirit, and determination at this year’s Dragon Boat Trophy on 31 August 2014 in Zürich. The INSEAD Alumni team finished first with Rochester second, Stanford finishing third, followed by HSG Omnium. It is the second win in three years for a Swiss INSEAD team. The annual race is a fun competition amongst top business school alumni.
Organised by SAMBAplus, a professional instructor provided an introduction and training for all teams. Families, partners and friends joined in to support the paddlers.
The INSEAD rowers and event logistics were organised by Zurich Chapter volunteer Rajiv Shetty.