Using Leadership as an accelerator, a conversation with the CEO of Siemens Italy

Floriano Masoero meets EMBA students in an event that delves into the transformation path of the German multi-national company

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Executive MBA students had the opportunity to listen to comments from Floriano Masoero, CEO of Siemens Italia, in conversation with Massimo Magni, Professor of Leadership at SDA Bocconi, and Mario Colucciello, EMBA Candidate at SDA Bocconi. It was a dialogue that put the spotlight on Siemens' transformation process and its short, medium and long term challenges, with particular focus on the skills sought in people to meet these challenges.

Siemens after all is a good example. This year it turns 175 years old, a long-lived company that has been able to adapt to change over almost two centuries. An approach that is clearly evident when Masoero explains how Siemens has renounced a single-minded style of leadership. 'As in all large companies, Siemens had its own model of a leader, who had to have certain characteristics. Over time, however, they realized that this limited the search to very similar profiles, reducing the variety of ideas they could bring to the company. Today at Siemens, the leadership model changes depending on the type of project and the situation in which it has to operate."

Siemens has also chosen to forego periodic performance appraisals. "In the company we no longer have the classic six-monthly or annual appraisal system, we use an innovative model that we call grow talk: it is the team members who define their own objectives according to the situation. A model that is less push and more pull and that gives people empowerment. Empowerment really means giving people the freedom to make decisions."

These are choices that demonstrate a flair for innovation and denote what characteristics Siemens seeks in its personnel. As Masoero emphasises: 'To work at Siemens you need an entrepreneurial spirit first and foremost. I like people who challenge the status quo in an intelligent way. And then we look for people who are able to collaborate with each other. One of the most interesting aspects of doing an MBA is precisely the opportunity to connect with others and learn to work as a team."

In support of Masoero's comments, Marco Morelli, EMBA coordinator, underlines how the contents described are an integral part of the EMBA program: "Siemens' testimony fully embodies the founding values of our program. The choices we have heard about are courageous and focus on the principle of diversity as a critical success factor, both at company level (the importance of the team and different leadership models) and at individual level (multidisciplinarity)”.

At the end of the event, Floriano Masoero offers valuable advice to EMBA students who wish to retrace his career: 'change often. Have as many professional experiences as possible, even within the same company. Identify your strengths and develop them. It is easy to find a person with one strength, but it is more difficult to find a person with several strengths. The more multi-disciplinary, multi-approachable you are, the more attractive you are."


SDA Bocconi School of Management

 

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