Riccardo Paterni

Archive for Talent Development

International business development. Is there a common enlightening and empowering trait?

On April 1st, our University of Pisa International MBA is going to feature an event titled “Entrepreneurship and managerial experiences in an international context”. Top representatives from five very different companies (from the start-up to the corporation) belonging to several international economic fields, will debate with the participants to the VI edition of the MBA.

The poster to the event

The poster to the event

This edition, the 24 participants are come from 20 different countries that are well representing the opportunities and problems present nowadays on a global scale. The MBA participants themselves have academic and affirmed professional backgrounds belonging to several organisational areas and economic fields.

I look forward to moderate the debate and in particular I will try to focus the attention on finding and outlining a common powerful denominator in order to project an enlightened perspective regarding the opportunities present and ahead within the current fast changing global economic and social complexities.

What can this common power force be? What can be the driving force forward for any project that unavoidably will run into barriers, shifting unpredictable contexts and at times outright chaos?

On the topic I found quite enlightening and intriguing a recent interview to Apple’s CEO Tim Cook published by Fast Company. The key focus of the interview was, a matter of fact, centred on the challenges that no doubt are having an impact on the present and foreseeable future of the giant corporation. The title chosen for the interview is revealing of the CEO perspective “Tim Cook on Apple’s future: everything can change except values.” (http://www.fastcompany.com/3042435/steves-legacy-tim-looks-ahead) and it will be interesting to stimulate this kind of topic within April 1st debate.

Participate to the debate to have your saying on these perspectives.

The debate will be held at:

University of Pisa   Department of Economics and Management

Aula Magna – April 1st 2015 – from 2.30pm to 5.30 pm

See you there!

Posted in: Innovation, Talent Development

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Achieving success through focus, awareness and action. In F1 a potentially winning ‘black notebooking’ technique is in the making

During the recent Formula 1 tests in Jerez Sebastian Vettel, the new Ferrari driver, has been noticed walking around with a large black notebook, a sort of an oversized classic Moleskine. This has been pointed out as quite unusual for a Formula 1, and overall Motorsport, context. He is utilising the notebook intensively, apparently making notes about everything that he is going through during the time on track and off track, in pits and paddock, spent with engineers and mechanics. Reportedly at the end of the day he transcribes all of the data, information, observations on his personal computer.

Vettel and his notebook

Vettel and his notebook

It is a systematic approach potentially overshadowing the work of track engineers and causing friction within the teamwork roles; more likely showing everyone the kind of determined meticulous approach he is choosing to bring back not only Ferrari to success but also himself after a surprising (after four consecutive world championship titles) somewhat dismal season he has had with Red Bull Renault last season.

A notebook and a pencil are also the trademark of Adrian Newey, the top technical mastermind Vettel has spent many years with at Red Bull. Pencil and paper are powerful tools in terms of their perception impact; they are no doubt noticed when they are utilised instead of all the mobile technology most of us feel nowadays bound to use even just to fit-in within a work method and keep up to pace with times.

Beyond the actual content of the notebook (we will be able to tell as the racing season progresses if those notes are contributing to the improvement and success of the team) what really counts from the get  go is the visual impact it has in stimulating the driver and the entire team to focus and ponder upon every single detail. It has also been pointed out that Vettel has spent a lot of time with engineers and mechanics while the new car has been totally disassembled and reassembled, side by side focusing and contributing to develop rapidly a mutual welcoming feeling within the team.

Vettel and some Scuderia Ferrari team members

Vettel and some Scuderia Ferrari team members

In the past we have had a few other quite evident and successful examples of meticulous approaches to the role of a Formula 1 driver. The late Ayrton Senna developed through the years his legendary career also because of his intense approach to racing. It has been reported by many engineers that worked with him that after testing he was able to communicate corner by corner, almost computer like, all of the reactions and settings of the car, back in his time telemetry was almost not present. He used to spend many hours side by side with the mechanics while they were working in making changes himself had been meticulously marked down on a one page sheet (to note that it all had to be on one page). Intense, focused and side by side work with the team.

The same kind of approach that Michael Schumacher always had in methodically reading, interpreting and making sense of every single detail coming from telemetry data. Schumacher himself used to spend a lot of time side by side with mechanics while they were working to fully understand what was happening and strengthen the comrade spirit. It is a matter of fact Schumacher throughout his career always managed to form around him a strong focused team that markedly contributed to overcome tough and complex times towards achieving top and consistent success.

It is often said that any process of change and improvement begins with actual awareness of reality and a sheer determination to improve it through focused appropriate actions. Vettel appears to take this by heart and no doubt, given also the size of the notebook, he is also making other people to pay attention to it. Time will tell whether this will contribute not only to consistent success but also to a winning overall team spirit.

Posted in: Innovation, Talent Development

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Diversity empowering global development. Pisa University 2015 MBA!

The University of Pisa International Master in Business Administration has just reached the VI edition (http://mba.master.unipi.it/programme) and its developing more and more one of its key characteristics: the high level of diversity that becomes dynamically integrated within the program itself.

2015 University of Pisa International MBA

2015 University of Pisa International MBA

Diversity from several points of view: culture (all continents have been represented throughout the six editions – about twenty different nationalities this edition) as well as academic and professional backgrounds (all of the key areas of organisational development are represented with the majority of the participants having years of work experience, at this link some key statics http://mba.master.unipi.it/alumni_and_careers ) belonging to global entrepreneurial, SME and corporate contexts.

The program has the characteristics of an Executive International MBA yet it is intensive full time and completed in one year time in order to enable participants to progress rapidly within their global careers.

We are in the process of powering up the Corporate Network linked to the MBA that is already quite extensive http://mba.master.unipi.it/corporate-network/career_network and continuing to formally and purposefully develop an Alumni Association. This to empower even more an extensive network of contacts that the MBA has generated among not only participants (by now around 150 alumni – on purpose classes are kept below the 30 participants threshold per edition) but also reaching out to the extensive international network of professors, individual professionals, entrepreneurs, managers that have been enriching the actual and consistent connections of this hands-on MBA with the managerial, economic and social dynamics of the ‘real world’.

It is has been a pleasure for me to have had the opportunity to participate dynamically to the development of the program since the very first edition. Today I focus on Talent Identification and Development of the participants related to the progression of their careers and I coordinate the Business Game that is representing a concrete fresh entrepreneurial challenge integrating concretely the overall know-how and experiences developed throughout the MBA itself.

2015 MBA participants, we will enjoy the development path together.

All of you interested to connect and enrich this unique context of learning and global know-how development feel free to contact me riccardo@synergypathways.net , I will be happy to dialogue with you regarding the ways we can contribute together to the development of this unique project.

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India, time for a definitive new course to real progress?

During the first two weeks of the year I have been travelling extensively across India with my friends and colleagues Samit Naik and Walter Sciacca (co-authors with me of the upcoming book ‘Fast Track Innovation’ www.fasttrackinnovation.it ; lots of the traveling was relevant to interviews and meetings that will be featured in the book itself ). We have spent time in several cities and we have had the opportunity to observe many things that are currently happening in India perceiving clearly a momentum for change in progress. Prime Minister Modi has coined a slogan “Make in India” focusing on the fact that manufacturing needs to get back to actually boosting a concrete economic growth. For example, companies as Mahindra (automotive) point out that this is actually happening by advertising on main national newspapers the production record that they achieved amounting to 5.000.000 units.

January 2015. Mahindra celebrating its 5 million vehicles manufactured

January 2015. Mahindra celebrating its 5 million vehicles manufactured

In addition, the educational context directly related to economic development is growing at full speed with companies clearly seeking higher level skills and talents. The focus in not only on technical subjects but also on managerial and economic ones signalling the concrete drive for an overall industrial and organizational growth.

January 2015. Organizations in India recruit at full speed on campuses

January 2015. Organizations in India recruit at full speed on campuses

There is no doubt that something is happening; change is in the air and its progress is gradually perceivable. We have had several meetings with business people in various sectors and organizational contexts and all of them pointed in this direction. Yesterday even The Times of India has published an article highlighting the same trend  “India’s growth to reach 6.3 per cent in 2016: UN report” .

Prime Minister Modi is perceived has the energetic and focused leadership driving and stimulating these changes. I am currently enjoying reading his recently published biography by Andy Marino “Narendra Modi. A political biography”, pointing out that “innovation – doing things better and smarter – engages and animates him”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

I invite everybody to get more acquainted with the way he developed his path to political prominence and is currently implementing organizational and managerial policies. The focus is set to giving the opportunity to public servants to discover and give their best rather than getting stuck within the same dynamics of stale bureaucratic routine. A kind of routine that is too often double knotted in corruption practices representing a heavy cultural and practical burden to economic development.

For good or bad, this is represents a new way to frame and manifest the organizational role of government to the concrete development of a country. No matter what kind of progress actually happens in India, or the speed of it, many of the actual managerial practices Modi utilizes over the inner working of government should be closely analysed by many other countries. Let’s stay tuned to closely observe trends, facts and outlooks.

Posted in: Innovation, Talent Development

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Developing innovative ideas, integrating cultures & professions, together…

On  Wednesday December 17th I had the opportunity to be part of the Fp4batiw project http://www.fp4batiw.eu/  (Fostering partnerships for the implementation of best available technologies for water treatment & management in the Mediterranean) with about twenty people coming from many of the Mediterranean countries (professors, researchers, leader of development business institutions alike). The project is organised by the innovation center Innovabic – Messina Italy.

The topic of the seminar

The topic of the seminar

I lead a one-day seminar with them on the topic of “Creative Innovation and Change Management” choosing to focus on concepts and practices of unstructured innovation (in particular Jugaad innovation) linked to the structured one.

Pictures from the seminar

Pictures from the seminar

Once again, as it has happened and it is happening in different countries throughout my career as international public speaker, it has been revealing to realise that it is possible to instil energy and ‘off the wall’ focus even within experienced academia enviromnets traditionally considered as set in their ways and somewhat conservatives in the way they approach such events. When together we are able to open each other minds, it has been fantastic to generate new perspectives and ideas while enjoying each other company and getting to know each other.

Pictures from the seminar

Pictures from the seminar

The Mediterranean basin no doubt offers many opportunities to contribute to economic and even social development and progress (and the definition of progress I mean is the one enabling the majority of the people to express and reach the very best of their potentials). In the near future I feel that is an additional direction I would like to focus on.

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A fresh, racing like, roaring way to look at innovation!… stay tuned!

The book “Innovazione a tutto gas!” (innovazioneatuttogas.it)  (title translation: Innovation Full Throttle!) has introduced a new fresh way to look at innovation inspired by the past, present and future of Motorsport.

Now the time is right to develop all of this on an international stage with the same fresh managerial approach mixed to new anecdotes and real life stories told by their direct protagonists. All of this linked in many ways to the global pulsing hearth of Motorsport and Automotive. Stay tuned to follow the fast development of a new book leading all of us to innovate… the faster and faster way! … 😉

Riccardo with Walter Sciacca and Samit Naik, co-authors of the upcoming new book ...

Riccardo with Walter Sciacca and Samit Naik, co-authors of the upcoming new book …

 

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Concrete link between top higher business education and International Motorsport

The University of Pisa International MBA continues its path to connect even stronger to the actual global dynamics of business involving entrepreneurs and managers with a concrete global vision.

A new entry to the MBA as a speaker is the International Motorsport entrepreneur and manager Walter Sciacca.
More information about him and these development plans in this press release http://www.mba.master.unipi.it/press_release_sciacca.pdf

Walter Sciacca testing the cockpit of the Evantra (Mazzanti Automobili supercar) together with Luca Mazzanti

Walter Sciacca testing the cockpit of the Evantra (Mazzanti Automobili supercar) together with Luca Mazzanti

( in the picture Walter Sciacca testing the cockpit of a Mazzanti Automobili supercar manufactured nearby Pisa, in Pontedera, where a new racetrack is going to be located and managed by Sciacca https://www.facebook.com/autodromopontedera )

My statement regarding this happening:

“My motto – comments Paterni – is ‘knowledge for action and action for knowledge’: knowledge and
action reinforce and develop one another and I believe that the cooperation between the International
MBA and Walter Sciacca perfectly exemplifies the concept. These days there is much talk about the
need to innovate, to create new horizons and opportunities for development and this requires the spirit
of pragmatism and visionary capacities that characterise the undisputed professionalism of Sciacca and
the driving force of our teamwork in MBA. This synergy has the potential to create something unique at
an international level regarding the identity and planning of both the Master and the innovative
development project of the Racetrack in Pontedera.”

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Walter Sciacca relatore all’International MBA dell’Università di Pisa 2015.

Da motorinomits.com (8 ottobre 2014)

Un mio commento riguardo a questa nuova collaborazione al master in cui collaboro da cinque anni:

“Il mio motto è ‘sapere per fare e fare per sapere’: sapere e azione si rafforzano e sviluppano l’uno con l’altro e credo che la collaborazione fra l’MBA Internazionale e Walter Sciacca esemplifichi perfettamente il concetto. Di questi tempi si parla molto della necessità di innovare, di creare nuovi orizzonti e opportunità di sviluppo e il tutto richiede lo spirito di concretezza e le capacità visionarie che caratterizzano la professionalità indiscussa di Sciacca e la forza propulsiva del nostro team di lavoro all’MBA. Questa sinergia ha le potenzialità per generare qualcosa di unico a livello internazionale per quanto riguarda l’identità e la progettualità sia del Master che del progetto di sviluppo innovativo dell’Autodromo di Pontedera.”

___

Giunto alla VI edizione, il prestigioso International MBA potrà contare nella prossima edizione anche sul contributo di uno dei top manager di punta del motorsport mondiale

Cinque anni di successi, cinque continenti, cinque specificità professionali prevalenti: è con questi presupposti che si prepara a partire la nuova (la sesta) edizione del Master in Business Administration (MBA) dell’Università di Pisa.

Riccardo, Walter Sciacca, Giulio Greco

Riccardo, Walter Sciacca, Giulio Greco

Tra le punte di diamante dell’Ateneo pisano, l’MBA si sviluppa nell’arco di un anno, è totalmente in lingua inglese e, tra i propri palmarès, annovera la più alta incidenza di studenti stranieri (oltre il 90 per cento), provenienti da tutti i continenti e in possesso di background professionali che spaziano tra vari settori: ingegneria, economia e finanza, scienza, organizzazione, comunicazione.

New entry di pregio nel corpo docenti

Tra le grandi novità dell’Anno Accademico 2015 spicca la presenza di Walter Sciacca,  imprenditore e manager di primo piano nel mondo dell’automotive e del motosport internazionale. Farà parte del corpo docenti in veste di Relatore…  (continua su motorinomits.com)

 

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Dan Peterson. Coaching made straightforward, cherokee style!

On September 30th I have been invited by the Industrial Association of Lucca to contribute to a seminar lead by the famous basketball coach (active from1962 to 2011 and legendary in Italy for impressive international wins achieved with Bologna and a Milan teams) Dan Peterson. Nowadays he is journalist and a popular inspiring public figure regarding the overall fields of teamwork and leadership. It has been a pleasure to have the opportunity to interact with him together with the journalist Alessandro Petrini, himself an expert in basketball and coach. Peterson (he likes to be called simply ‘Coach’) is famous for his direct dynamic way to communicate, his sense of energy is very contagious and this is already setting me very comfortable and at ease with him.

Riccardo Paterni, Alessandro Petrini e Dan Peterson

Riccardo Paterni, Alessandro Petrini e Dan Peterson

I have been contributing to define the title of the event: “Bring a sense of concreteness to vision: the role of teamwork”. I meet Coach outside the beautiful Bernardini Palace in downtown Lucca. Both of us are early and he is walking impatiently back and forth. That’s him! No doubt! I introduce myself and he gives me one of his penetrating glances, I sense right away we understand each other and we are on ‘set for the show’. I need to go in other offices and I meet again him and his entourage right before the beginning of the event. The rooms of the palace still have the unique pompous decorations dating back to many decades ago. All is set and ready. The audience is mainly made by Lucca Young Entrepreneurs and the Director Andrea Vanni makes a brief welcoming speech.

Petrini introduces the event and we start to exchange thoughts related to vision and teamwork linked to sports. He has many interesting things to say about basketball. He makes a reference to my latest book and I focus on an example of current dynamics that are not effective in Motorsport for the still unclear vision and the continuously shifting roles: Ferrari recent much brisk and much discussed succession at the helm of both the company manufacturing cars and the Formula 1 team.

The stage is now ‘warm’ and set for the entrance of the Coach as according to plan. He walks in fast greeting the audience with his unique american accent made popular by unforgettable TV commercials dating a few years back. He glances at Petrini and myself, we are eagerly sitting at the table behind the podium (no way he can sit! regretfully I have to respect a minimum of protocol that the place deserves and I have to sit there): ‘come on boys start asking questions I can answer anything, almost anything”. 

Here we start the show!

His style is brisk, filled with anecdotes that he also exemplifies by moving around and even making basketball steps and moves to reinforce and exemplify teamwork ideas he points out. 

Open mind to gain awareness   He points out that for him it all began with the almost fortuitous opportunity to work as a coach for the Chile basketball team for a few months until the demise of Allende. Born and raised within the insular to the globe (as he points out) certainties of midwest America, he stresses hat he has learned from Chile much much more that he has taught there: such a different culture has opened his mind towards the world and new ideas. A first essential step towards self awareness, an aspect that he stresses as crucial to anything we are set to do.

He is clear, concise and simple (not simplistic) in the way he states things.

What coaching is all about   1) Pretending from the players  2) Give them a sense of confidence. In other words, continue to set higher and higher standards and make sure that they feel that can achieve them.

Communication as key: the powerful one  Peterson considers communication as a key to any real teamwork achievement. It is essential to look at people in the eyes for clear heart to heart conversation making sure to be sensitive in detecting and promptly addressing in a caring and straightforward way issues that trouble the minds and emotions individual team players. The ‘human touch’ is a foundation for it all and it is evident that Peterson has gained this through his intense multicultural experiences on and off the playing field. In communicating keep everything simple, focus on three concepts at most but make sure that they are understood, fully understood, and become part of the way of thinking and acting of the player. As a coach do not overcommunicate  because this simply sends messages of fear to the team, the team has to be protected from fear, it needs to be driven by high standards and an increased sense of confidence.

All is flowing and dynamic today, yet some key principles stick…   Coach looks straight in my eyes and asks for one more question, we all sense it is going to be the last definitive one. I state that many things he is stating related to working in a team set on defined models and actions; at the same time nowadays organisations confront themselves with continuos changes in a very dynamic way and this certainly impacts teamwork. Earlier I had pointed out that to me there are two levels of teamwork: the daily one related to tasks performance (for example changing tyres in F1 in 2 seconds) and the strategic operational ones concerning vision and its implementation (the one were Ferrari F1 is failing now). Nevertheless I underline that some key principles he points out represent essential foundations even for nowadays workplaces. He acknowledges my thinking matching it with some examples while briskly walking towards the audience.

The cherokee way   He ends the meeting with a special positive uplifting greeting made with a sign language that he translates into words. He says that 1/64 of his blood is cherokee. Cherokee communicate in sign language in a way that is straightforward, direct, self-assured, personable, simple and inspiring at the same time. That is exactly Coach! That 1/64 of cherokee blood is possibly the one taking over and that gives him his unique sense of identity and contagious energy.

Thank you for the lasting lessons Coach!

 

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