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7 Questions with Frederic Berti
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7 Questions with Frederic Berti
Name: Frederic Berti
Current title: Executive Director KEAS Group
Current organisation: TELIO
Experienced Executive Director and Board Member with a demonstrated history of working in the Information and Communications Industry / Public Safety / Military Application
1. What have you found most challenging as a board member?
Dealing with ambiguity. As executive director / board member, you are always acting for the best group interest while it could be impacting organisation structure / internal objectives. It therefore remains critical to make sure of their full adoption of this new / adapted way they may not perceive as the best way to achieve corporate mission / objectives. The second point is always make sure you are in a position to make a decision ... there is nothing worse than remaining in a "wait and see" position. Bringing efficient, qualitative KPI, Forecast, measurement to sustain this decision process is key !
2. How did you become a board member? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Thanks to my professional career and having this strong feeling I can take this challenging position (not obviously as an sole ambition but because I feel it) . Take decision on your career position / educational path (MBA, Postmaster, ...) to grab knowledge and best practise. Listen to the other, be inspired by your N+1 / N+2 ... Be honest with yourself, don't fight against a decision that you do not like but understand it by bringing context, data..so you can start understanding and challenge the decision, roadmap instead of just fighting against it like Don Quichotte...
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Get an agenda well structured with fixed appointments with other (team members or other Senior representative). Trying as much as possible to have a dedicated day for this meeting (e.g. Monday board meeting - Tuesday team meeting with direct report). Adjust your agenda to have "focus time" for yourself to take a step back, to read MoM, to make your own view. Look for efficiency : always think, do I really need to get to this meeting ? and if yes make sure you are prepared and that others are as well. Make sure that for the decision meeting, information has been made available at least 24h in advance.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Recently experienced the famous quote of Sir Winston Churchill : "Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm" in this COVID time with all the teams being remote. Had to stop a on-going development stream that has consequences on organisation structure while also having to make sure that adoption rate of this new track by the teams (no place for beni-oui-oui) is Ok, make sure they don't lose enthusiasm, motivation in this special context. Empathy, transparency was key to being successful.
5. What are some of the keys to doing governance well in a organisation?
Clear code of conduct.
Transparency between peers
Confidentiality can never be compromised
6. How do you differentiate between the role of board member and the roles of CEO or executive team member of a organisation?
Have a clear role definition of the different layers.
One is the "what" : Vision, Mission, Overall / Global Strategy, Objective setup and make sure all people understand this and clearly define this to be objective for your operational committee.
The other is the How : This is the responsibility of your CEO/COO role. They have to turn on this "What" content into an operational strategy, operational roadmap - planning and forecast.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a board member so far?
Find the right equilibrium between technical details and over easy simplification for your shareholder. Not losing them while being able to raise their awareness. Especially when disruptive technological transitions are creating mid long term leverage while your current position looks Ok for profitability in a well known situation / in the traditional way of doing things.