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Back in 2018, global consultancy Protiviti released the report “Executive Perspectives on Top Risks for 2018”. The result shown by the research is that the super accelerated pace of technological development and disruptive innovations, combined with organizational resistance to change, would be the BIGGEST CONCERNS of 2018 - at least for a group of 728 entrepreneurs [...]

Back in 2018, global consultancy Protiviti released the report“Executive Perspectives on Top Risks for 2018”.The result shown by the research is that the super accelerated pace of technological development and disruptive innovations, combined with organizational resistance to change, would be the BIGGEST CONCERNS of 2018 - at least for a group of 728 entrepreneurs, formed by leaders from different regions of the globe . .

2021 has arrived and the theme “digital transformation” will still be a big challenge for the next two or three years. I join the concern of these leaders in the sense that I have a real sense of how important and challenging digital transformation is. Not only in the organizational aspect, but in the HUMAN ASPECT as well.

After all, digital transformation means that technology is COMPLEMENTING OR REPLACING tasks.So, we professionals need to optimize and maximize JUST the characteristics that make us truly humans. Because, for example, if today's technology, with its lines of code and algorithms, provides what companies were looking for before in Q.I. (intelligence coefficient), now, what we can add as human beings is EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE – such as, for example, empathy and the spirit of self-criticism.  .

Daniel Goleman, author of the reference book“Emotional Intelligenceuniquely defines emotional intelligence as the “ability to identify our own feelings and those of others, to motivate ourselves and to manage emotions well within ourselves and our relationships.”

In my professional journey, I had the opportunity to experience technology and digital transformation in an intense way in the last five years and, consequently, to work a lot with the importance of emotional intelligence. You can read more about my experience as Tinder's Head LatAm here; and the lessons learned from my transition to Chief Digital Officer at L’Oréal here. ...

Through these experiences, I identified some types of behaviors that are signs of people that are able to deal better with the digital transformation. 

Would you like to know what some of these behaviors are and  how to develop them in your team or in yourself? Here's a list of the main characteristics that evolve this type of people:

  • They admit mistakes and are not afraid to show their own weaknesses become public;
  • They usually thank you for the opportunity to participate in projects and/or to be interviewed and/or hired;
  • They ask for feedback spontaneously, without this being a rule or necessary in the work environment; .
  • They offer help to a colleague without being asked for help – and they don't feel the need talk about it to anyone, so as not to brag about it;
  • When there is a problem, they do not complain, but come up  with ideas and solutions;
  • They are really interested in knowing more about the work in other areas, booking coffees, lunches, happy hour meetings, etc;
  • If they don't know something, they go after this knowledge and try to study it;
  • After a failure, they try again.

All of these behaviors stem from THREE fundamental behavioral traits that are essential in the age of digital transformation. They are:

  1. PROACTIVITY IN OFFERING HELP:that comes from  RECOGNITION OF THE EMOTIONS OF OTHERS;
  2. SELF-CRITICAL SKILLSthat comes from RECOGNITION OF THE OWN EMOTIONS;
  3. THE ABILITY TO ADAPT:that comes from the ability to CONTROL YOUR OWN EMOTIONS.

And how do we develop them?

First, we need to dive into SELF-KNOWLEDGE. And for that, it is necessary to create a precondition for the possibility of diagnosis, a space to delve into ourselves. I like to call this predisposition the “3 S's juncture”:

  • “Serenity” or empty mind;
  • “Loneliness” or company of yourself;
  • “Silence” or moments for you to better hear what's inside you.

I usually get this at specific times, and particularly when I'm in contact with nature. An example was when I had a lecture in Brasília and I went traveling alone to spend a few days at Chapada dos Veadeiros. I dove deep into myself. It was so inspiring that to this day I carry the thoughts insights I had during the trails and moments of contemplation.

You can create these opportunities for self-connection with various initiatives, such as retreat, contact with nature; or even, with less obvious things, like hobbies and passions that everyone can have. In my case, some examples are martial arts, writing and photography.

Then, when doing the self-diagnosis and, consequently, identifying the gaps you have regarding these behaviors, what I suggest is that you “force” yourself to practice some of them. Like, for example, even if you don't feel like helping a colleague, do it anyway, because you will be surprised by the reciprocity of how it comes back. It may not be at the same time, but it comes back. Sometimes when you least expect it. Same thing with proactivity: first take action and do it, push yourself, and then see the results. With the positive impact, you start wanting to do even more, creating a virtuous circle.

At the same time, the company has to create the same assumptions in the corporate context; it is essential to “leave time” for people to seek this self-knowledge. We are living in a scenario of so much information (meetings, emails, conversations that do not add value), that companies need to structure these moments in a top-down manner.Considering this in an organizational, vision, team and employee context! Each employee needs to find this space to better contribute to the organization.

And this is not just a matter of 'departments', nor of 'processes'. It is a matter of people and, above all, of LEADERSHIP.Top leadership needs to set an example and cascade this. They have  to be the first in line to embrace well-being practices, such as meditation, remote work, home office, in short... A compilade of actions to reduce unnecessary information pollution and to be able to see people with potential development in this context of digital transformation.

By doing so with a LEARNER'S EYE, it will be much easier to navigate the often agitated waters of digital transformation!

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With more than 200 keynotes delivered (online and offline) in 2021 to clients across Brazil, Latin America, the United States and Europe, Andrea is today one of the most requested speakers on Digital Transformation, Leadership, Innovation and Soft Skills in Brazil and globally. He has been the head of Tinder in Latin America for 5 years, and Chief Digital Officer at L’Oréal. Today he is also a best-selling author, and a professor at the Executive MBA at Fundação Dom Cabral.

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