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7 Questions with Davide Nocentini
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7 Questions with Davide Nocentini
Name: Davide Nocentini
Current title: Vice President
Current organization: Barco NV
Senior executive and business strategist who leads businesses and the development of strategic sales initiatives for multi-billion global healthcare organizations and large enterprises. Inspiring individuals and teams to focus on the customer, work smarter, improve productivity, and achieve personal and organizational goals.
I am a trusted advisor and strategist to boards, executive leadership, organisational partners, customers, and staff. My areas of expertise and interest include developing business strategies and implementing initiatives which drive revenue growth; managing change to positively impact productivity; leading and mentoring global teams; managing a business line and profit center; and establishing and nurturing stakeholder relations.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
The most challenging part has to do with change management in an organization that used to grow organically for many decades with very little people turnover. This situation creates a very narrow viewpoint and perspective which new leaders are required to address and manage.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Throughout my career, I had different experiences and roles in various companies, markets, and countries. By building a broad toolbox, I was able to contribute to the purpose of my company which was to bring a new perspective and new management style to enable the next growth phase. The process was rather long, but after having had breakfast with the CEO things became quite clear and straightforward.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
After getting prepared, I stand by my espresso machine, and with the time the coffee is prepared I quickly scroll to my emails by filter (CEO messages, board, team, etc..) to identify some urges or priorities that may have popped up overnight. After that, no matter what, I have breakfast and get ready for the action.
Typically I manage my calendar on my own to allow "focus" time, especially in the morning till 9am and afternoon after 4pm.
Having a quick look in the afternoon at what the day after will look like, helps to organize the day and prioritizing as needed.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Being in disagreement is the opportunity to approach a topic from other perspectives. Many times people and leaders conform to a perspective by acknowledging senior management even though they deeply disagree.
Don't conform, don't give up on yourself, speak up. Honestly that where your value is.. in one word: be authentic, always, no matter what!
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
Jack Welch's "Winning" did have a huge impact on my career and leadership style. The importance of being honest, transparent, and speaking up did reflect on my highest value and I knew the kind of leader I wanted to be.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
Organizational behaviour and culture play a key role in how effective leadership can take place. A "large" enterprise is also more likely to have bad behaviours hiding in it, justified by "we always did this way" or simply by using weak leadership to manipulate and create a blame culture where "accountability" is only a word.
As leaders, we need to identify those behaviours, address them directly and unequivocally, and take the necessary measures to realize a high-performance organization.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
We were in a situation where the competition took over the leading position in a space we used to lead.
Teams were demotivated and started looking at the competition as to "what to do''. The CxO role was also on that page, without understanding that this was undermining the organization and the team with a subtle message "you are not good enough, look at the competitors and learn".
Is essential of course to know the competitors deeply, but not to emulate, rather differentiate. That was the road I inspired my team to move towards, and being disruptive by changing the rules of the game in which we were competing.
In a competitive dynamic of copycats, eventually, no one is winning because companies look at each other and try to emulate, rather than trying to differentiate. And this also sparks the deadly pricing erosion spyral.
By the disruptive approach taken and enabled and implemented with the most capable and engaged team I have ever had, not only did we regain our leading position, but we also improved our profitability by 23% in the same period with no cost-cutting measure.