May 23, 2022

How to focus on skills over job titles | Georgia Kondi - Head of EU international Networks - Orange | E5


Georgia is the Head of Europe international networks at Orange a global leader in the telecommunications sector.

Georgia has an extensive experience in multiple departments and roles within Orange has well experience in other big corporations like Procter & Gamble and Accenture

Georgia is extremely knowledgeable about processes and methodologies and has a people-first approach that pushes her to always find the best alternatives for the team and how to empathize with the human side of the business

Topics:


1. Network role in digital transformation?
2. How to master the shift from Waterfall to Agile?
3. Can Agile and Waterfall co-exist?
4. Differences between departments and among cultures?
5. Forget roles, focus on skills?!



Georgia:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/georgia-kondi-a5a84752/


Watch the episodes on Youtube: 
https://youtu.be/boMggtzejjw


Follow me on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marcolanzi/
or subscribe on https://www.marcolanzi.com/

Transcript

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01:00:31,375 --> 01:00:37,000
Welcome everyone to another episode of LeMLVP, So we're here
 today with Georgia

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01:00:37,166 --> 01:00:42,500
Georgia Kondi. The head of Europe of international networks 
for Orange has been working

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01:00:42,750 --> 01:00:46,833
like for many years with Orig in a lot of different 
position. And we goingnna

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explain a couple of topics. We on like all this world that 
is actually

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01:00:51,958 --> 01:00:56,125
supporting the digital data flowing around the world. So 
welcome Georgia.

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01:00:57,416 --> 01:00:59,583
thank you, Marco. I'm happy to be here,

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01:01:01,000 --> 01:01:06,125
So first topic we wanted to touch base on today with Georgia
 is actually one of

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the things that not many often we speak about That is that 
visible or invisible

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network of things that support our data and actually allow 
us to broadcast this

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broadcast, share information, and actually use that thing on
 the internet. So

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Georgia tells a little bit, what is the role that the 
network play in the

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Digital Award? How do you see the network in the digital 
transformation of the

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world?

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important role because without the medium to transport data,
 we wouldn't have any

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digital communication. So it is a key role that the network 
is playing, whether it

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is mobile networks or fix networks. Um. It is a medium to 
move the information

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around and we see that it is very important for businesses. 
because Uh, actually,

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one of the things that businesses really demand is to have 
diversity in the network

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so that they can always be on. Even if there is a problem 
with one connection. They

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always demand diversity so that they always can have 
connectivity. So, yeah, it's

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It's kind of key in in communications.

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01:02:20,125 --> 01:02:24,833
So resiliency I assume is like, as you were mentioning, is 
one of the big part.

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part and a vicinity changes on like the last two years with 
the move people, uh,

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speaking like normally, to speaking everyone through, like 
video calls or

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everything with the mass experiment

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of remote working That happen Like Did you see a lot of 
changing? A lot of

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challenges,

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I assume.

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Yes, Well, like you said, remote working has had a big 
impact on Um on network

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connectivity because Um. we are using more and more video to
 to to do conferences,

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video conferences between colleagues and this has really 
well, The data has always

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exploded since since many years. But Um, right now we see a 
big explosion of Uh. of

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data demand of uh capacity, Um demand because we need more 
bandwidth. Uh, in order

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to have video communications,

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And that, like you see like a fixed versus mobile, do you 
see like

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changes with the covet door is actually the same evolution 
that was already

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happening before.

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I, I can't see that I've I have witnessed something like 
that because I'm right

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now. I'm working on fixed networks. Um. I know that both 
fixed and mobile networks

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are experiencing a a reallyant explosion of um of uh 
capacity demand. but I don't.

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I wouldn't say that we've moved from mobile to fix, or the 
other way around.

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Okay, so just lot of bandwidth needs everywhere you are 
everywhere you go.

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01:04:01,125 --> 01:04:02,125
Okay. cool.

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01:04:02,166 --> 01:04:05,166
So with all this booming and changing

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of request of needs and keep of conting evolution, I guess 
you guys also face

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challenges like how do we manage the new new project New 
initiative, Things

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that roll out like when we were talking, You mention like it
 you like. You guys

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are moving also to

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agile. So how to be more interactive and be more present and
 be more fluid on

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how you

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Yes,

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follow things? So how did you deal or however, dealing with 
this shift from

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project 

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management more waterfall to agile. What are the challenges 
crossing cons with

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your bad? 

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Well it there. There are a few things that I can say about 
this question. Um. I

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would say, First of all, we are a lot more. we have 
progressed a lot more in agile

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methods within I T. projects. because agile method has been 
conceived for I T.

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projects and projects around network are not as as Um 
progressed in in this kind of

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um of uh methho methodology, So we're much more Uh, working 
with Um. waterfall

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methodologies than with Agile Um. But because I have done 
both, I can see that we

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would really benefit from putting some agility in our 
waterfall projects and we

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don't really need to adopt Um. agile methods like Scraum or 
safe, or you know, uh,

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any kind of real Um framework, But we can just add some 
agility and one thing that

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I have uh witnessed in our in my um, in my joining the the 
network teams again is

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that Um. I can. I can see that there are still a lot of 
silos between teams, and

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each one is doing his part and then

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and then pushing uh, the the, the work to to the next team. 
And we're not working

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as one team from beginning to to the end of the project.

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And this is a very small Steke step that I would like my my 
teams to take in in the

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year to come. Will we become more of a one team and we work 
as a collective. Uh,

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rather than you know, each eachs, small team does its part 
and then and then the

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passed it over to the next

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Yes, so this is a very small, small example of how we can 
become more agile. Um,

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Another, another thing I I believe is always very 
interesting. With Ange is putting

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the client first. So in in network, Sometimes you know 
because it's very technical

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and people come up from very technical background. Uh, we 
are very focused on

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technical details and getting every technical little detail 
perfect,

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and and having a perfect

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technical result And we don't really think client first. So 
what would the client

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want and

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would would this uh feature be really interesting for the 
client or not? You know.

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sometimes we don't really think client first, and this is 
something Agility teaches

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us, And it's something else that I think Um, will network 
teams could could do

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more.

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Okay. Know if this is very true, especially if you say I 
have the perfect

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technical solution with all the specification down to the 
old details. Is that

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something that my user really need

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Yeah,

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use

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is. ▁ultately. What makes a lot of difference? And when you 
talk about user, in

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this case, is it like the final person like me now 
connecting to the Internet,

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or it like the company, or is like bigger companies moving 
data. Who are you

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talking when you?

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well, in, in, in my case, in my, um,

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in my uh position right now, uh, M. my clients are 
businesses or other operators,

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and Um, so this would be the client for me. Um,

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but yeah, but ▁ultimately, we could even think about the end
 user so that the the

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employees of the business that is going to use my network.

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What would they want? Would they need connectivity? Twenty 
four seven? Would they

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need it just for office hours? What would they needed in the
 weekend? You know it.

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Um,

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uh, would they need big bandwidth or small latency? What? 
what do they need?

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Okay. Okay,

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Okay?

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01:08:29,958 --> 01:08:34,333
not so clear. so it is a be bigger, bigger view, like end to
 end of who our Ca

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bigger, bigger view, like end to end over who are work as 
consumers are, and

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consumer are and actually how you can serve them better with
 the

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actually how you can serve them better with the

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top notch level of sophistication and technology. But that 
actually serve a po.

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to notch level of sophistication and technology. But if 
needed of you know, maybe

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01:08:46,208 --> 01:08:46,500
that serves a purpose.

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01:08:46,500 --> 01:08:49,250
maybe top notch technology is not needed every time

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01:08:49,541 --> 01:08:53,083
Yeah, okay, yeah, that's true. that's true. Like maybe you' 
just say this is

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going to do the job. That's enough and

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that's that's how it works. So that Su super interesting. 
and when you, one

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thing that is really interesting when you were talking about
 is

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you see a lot of silo of many organizations or the big 
corporation. C. These

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and there are some departments, some more and some less 
actually were Some

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things like agile transformation makes sense. Other things 
like fix and

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network. If you are instllling, like uh, a tower or 
something you can, you can

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be agile Ti a certain point. The dependency that needs to be
 that needs to be

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followed. What are your challenges? even Like Fa facts when 
you see two

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different department talking to different languages being 
waterful agile that

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you see like in terms of struggle. Or what do you see? How 
do you manage that

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01:09:42,416 --> 01:09:45,791
like some department will never be on the same wavelength.

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01:09:45,791 --> 01:09:50,375
same Uh wavelength. Well, like you said A, as Itil, make 
sense sometimes and

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01:09:50,458 --> 01:09:55,916
sometimes it doesn't make sense or there is really no need 
to go to production like

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01:09:56,625 --> 01:09:58,791
three times a week. you know, because

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01:10:00,000 --> 01:10:05,500
sometimes we're talking about back end applications that are
 not really seen by the

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user. So really having

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01:10:08,458 --> 01:10:10,458
putting product in every every

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week or every month, it doesn't make sense. So, yeah, I have
 worked with them,

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Um, with teams that have been Um,

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that had sprins of two weeks or three weeks,

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and they had to work with teams, Uh, that were working in 
wonderful projects.

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And and it was really funny because Well, for example, when 
we were uh, using the

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Safe method

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methodology we would do P. I plannings,

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01:10:41,125 --> 01:10:41,833
Mhm,

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uh to to plan if to plan or sprints. Uh, and so we would 
plan three months ahead

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and we would plan like each week and everything, and we 
would need to coordinate

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with people that did not have this kind standning. And 
sometimes it was okay, so we

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need this for our first print. So it's like in two in two 
weeks, and it would be

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okay So my road back. My road map is like full, so I think I
 can deliver this in

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01:11:08,708 --> 01:11:14,000
like six months, So you know the the. The tiring was 
completely,

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uh,

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incoherent between between the two of them.

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01:11:19,916 --> 01:11:20,916
Um, but yeah,

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How do you solve that when you get to those situations like 
Hey, I going to

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01:11:24,583 --> 01:11:26,583
give it to you in six months. What would you do?

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01:11:28,000 --> 01:11:32,541
well, it's it's This is something else that Um. Agility has 
taught us. it's

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01:11:32,708 --> 01:11:38,958
priorities. So you try to to emphasize the priority. You 
find why what you want to

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deliver is important and we try to move it up on the 
priority list of the other of

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01:11:44,791 --> 01:11:49,833
the other team and whatever the other team is doing. Uh, P. 
priorities always work.

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You can always move up the ladder if you have something that
 is really, Um, a big

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priority. And if it's not again, you can understand that it 
is not because there

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01:12:00,208 --> 01:12:05,250
are other Um, business items that are more important than 
what you're doing. And

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01:12:05,500 --> 01:12:10,208
well you're going to have to wait. But this is agility 
again. Agility doesn't mean

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01:12:10,291 --> 01:12:15,041
that we do everything right now. It means we prioritize. And
 if your top priority

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you pass firstg

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just said, they are like a giat dozen is not a magic stake, 
but like so

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everything is going to happen Now it just matter like 
prioritize your business

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best knowing what who your consumer is, how you get to them.

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and and like that you may, of course you going to have 
challenges and

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01:12:36,666 --> 01:12:40,916
differences with department working other fashion because 
they need to.

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01:12:40,916 --> 01:12:41,416
other fesion, because they need to.

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I think it is something that every everyone is

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01:12:45,208 --> 01:12:49,875
facing, and even talking even more of differences. I think 
what will

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01:12:50,041 --> 01:12:54,166
be really interesting is also specially looking at your new 
roleer, Is

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you have differences

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01:12:56,500 --> 01:13:01,541
between departments When you go international, Then this 
differences becomes

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01:13:02,166 --> 01:13:07,166
even become even bigger. So what are the challenges you see 
or you expect

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01:13:07,375 --> 01:13:09,791
actually to find way when you work with different

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01:13:11,375 --> 01:13:15,791
different network in different in different countries in 
Europe, or or across

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01:13:15,916 --> 01:13:16,916
all across the world?

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01:13:19,833 --> 01:13:24,083
for now, I haven't really been surprised by anything I've 
seen. Um,

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01:13:26,166 --> 01:13:30,458
uh, people are very open and very kind, so I think this is 
the culture of our

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01:13:30,708 --> 01:13:35,750
company that makes people to be open and kind and I haven't 
really had any big

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01:13:36,166 --> 01:13:42,208
problems. Um. I think that because now everyone is using 
English to communicate,

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01:13:42,375 --> 01:13:44,375
Because we have this international, um,

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01:13:45,666 --> 01:13:52,791
uh, netw, this international uh team. So we all use English 
and it's rarely ever

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01:13:53,416 --> 01:13:55,583
the the the mother tongue of someone.

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01:13:56,625 --> 01:14:01,333
Um, So so I think that you know there're always, It's a bit 
more difficult to

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01:14:01,500 --> 01:14:06,458
express yourself when it's not your mother tongue. And and 
the other person might

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01:14:07,416 --> 01:14:11,041
not get everything you're saying because you're using some 
you know phrases that

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01:14:11,208 --> 01:14:12,208
make sense in your own

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01:14:13,333 --> 01:14:17,916
language, but not in English. So yeah, sometimes it it may 
be a bit, um,

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01:14:18,166 --> 01:14:24,791
challenging to understand, Um, or to to really get the 
message. Um, but I think

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01:14:24,875 --> 01:14:30,083
we're doing I. I think we're doing fine and it's not a big a
 big issue.

191
01:14:31,291 --> 01:14:34,750
Okay, okay, no, that's nice. I'm I'm curious to see like 
maybe six months down

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01:14:34,750 --> 01:14:35,500
the line.

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01:14:35,500 --> 01:14:37,500
Yeah, maybe I will have some funny stories, but

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01:14:37,500 --> 01:14:38,083
Yeah,

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01:14:38,083 --> 01:14:42,166
for now it's it hasn't been that, Uh, that big of a 
challenge. I'm very very happy

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01:14:42,375 --> 01:14:45,125
to work with different cultures and see how

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01:14:46,208 --> 01:14:49,416
different countries see different things. It's it's very 
enriching.

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01:14:50,166 --> 01:14:54,833
okay, no, supern. I can imagine also like, but you work 
across just Europe or

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01:14:54,833 --> 01:14:56,291
Okay, not supern. I can imagine. Also like work across just 
roope, or across the

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01:14:56,291 --> 01:15:01,583
the global. So my department works in Europe and there are, 
I have um similar

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01:15:02,000 --> 01:15:03,208
departments. Um,

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01:15:04,458 --> 01:15:09,583
Also I have colleagues that are heads of D. similar regions,
 Uh throughout the

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01:15:09,583 --> 01:15:10,208
world.

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01:15:10,208 --> 01:15:11,875
Okay, Okay, so you're divided in regions.

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01:15:11,875 --> 01:15:13,208
Okay, so I focus in on Europe, but

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01:15:13,208 --> 01:15:13,833
Okay,

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01:15:13,833 --> 01:15:17,833
I, I talk a. I talk a lot with my colleagues, also who focus
 on different regions.

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01:15:18,125 --> 01:15:21,875
nice, Okay, and so there are multiple regions and then 
within the region you

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manage all the country that fall within that uh, perimeter 
or territory. Cool,

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Co, uh, sort we. What

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time. time is like so,

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01:15:32,041 --> 01:15:33,750
is like? Okay, that was fast. Okay,

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uh, uh, last question than before we. we wrap up a lot of 
changes. lot of

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things moving. Uh. One of the big thing changing in the 
change management is

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actually people how people need to adopt and how to change. 
So when youre

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looking into this move like from waterfall to a gile, 
working with other

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01:15:54,166 --> 01:15:57,958
countries, working with other department, and there fore 
change and adapt to

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people. How do you rescale? How do you manage the resource 
and the people

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changement, Part of the of the story, Can you tell us a 
little bit more about

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it?

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Yes, so yeah, th, this was a big challenge. Um, especially 
when when I, when I did

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the transformation from waterfall to scale agile.

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Yep,

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Um, I was I, I had a team of project managers and and I had 
like ten people or

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twelve people that had to move from waterfall from managing 
projects to an agile

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environment where project management doesn't exist.

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01:16:35,916 --> 01:16:41,583
So I think W. Well, what I did and what I think we should 
all be careful in this

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kind of transformation is Um. I, I try to understand what 
the skills were and not

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just a role. Like. What's what's your title? I. I try to 
understand the skills and

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what people liked and what they were good at, and how those 
skills could be used in

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agile roles?

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Um. because maybe yes, project management doesn't exist, but
 there are roles that

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will need skills.

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Um that people develop while they were managing projects. 
and Um, I think it's very

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important that we. we define people by their skills and not 
by their role or their.

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You know their title, Um, Because it it was something that 
was, um.

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That, uh, that I saw that people would say. Well, you know 
project managers. we

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don't need them anymore. We have agile now and we don't need
 project management, so

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we should just get rid of the project management part and I 
think that it's it's

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It's a very dangerous.

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Um,

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it? Yes, which to make it it it. We, We don't get rid of 
people who know the

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business and have worked and have developed skills. We can 
always use the skills in

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a different way, And so this is. This is what I thoughtough 
for to to try to use

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people's skills in a different way in different agile roles,
 and Uh, and of course

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trained them and and learn new skills. Um. in order to 
adjust in the new

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environment,

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So if I hear what you're saying you said at the end the 
title Yes is important,

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01:18:17,458 --> 01:18:21,791
but still a certain point. because ▁ultimately talent and 
skills and the

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01:18:21,875 --> 01:18:25,541
knowledge that people have built. Is that what's really 
important? which label

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01:18:25,708 --> 01:18:28,166
you put on it? Then is just a matter

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of the methodology

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you're looking into. If people are willing to train ad and 
learn, maybe new

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01:18:34,333 --> 01:18:35,625
things to leverage, Maybe

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01:18:35,791 --> 01:18:39,625
the skill that they had in a different in a different 
fashion. That what? That

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01:18:39,708 --> 01:18:43,708
would really makes the difference in making a successful 
transformation

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01:18:43,958 --> 01:18:47,291
program. a success being, Is that like

258
01:18:48,083 --> 01:18:49,083
What what you're looking into

259
01:18:49,083 --> 01:18:54,083
Yes, Yes, exactly, And and you know I, I think it's it's Um.
 It's even better for

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01:18:54,375 --> 01:18:58,625
people to define them by their skills and not by a role a 
title

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01:18:58,625 --> 01:18:59,541
agree?

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01:18:59,541 --> 01:19:03,666
because it's it's easier for them also to be more flexible 
within transformations,

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01:19:03,833 --> 01:19:07,583
because transformations always happen because we're We're 
living in a in a very

264
01:19:07,833 --> 01:19:12,166
versatile uh environment and everything changes so fast, so 
businesses need to

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01:19:12,166 --> 01:19:17,750
adapt very fast, So if we want our people to be able to to 
to adapt very fast, too,

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01:19:18,291 --> 01:19:19,291
we need to

267
01:19:20,208 --> 01:19:25,333
um separate them from the wrongle and define them by their 
skills because skills

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01:19:25,500 --> 01:19:30,458
they can put be put anywhere but roles. Maybe they can 
disappear from one day to

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01:19:30,625 --> 01:19:33,125
another, but that's okay because we still have the skills.

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01:19:33,375 --> 01:19:37,625
Its ▁ultimately is the value that the person bring to the 
table. It doesn't

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01:19:37,875 --> 01:19:42,333
matter which label it comes from, and also ind different 
things. We see a lot

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01:19:42,500 --> 01:19:47,541
in different teams to take product owners, Grandmasters. 
Tely. They might have

273
01:19:47,708 --> 01:19:51,625
like different, slightly different impacts on different 
themes because they are

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01:19:51,791 --> 01:19:53,708
different people at the end of the day and

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01:19:53,708 --> 01:19:55,500
Mhm. Yeah, yeah, of course

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01:19:55,666 --> 01:19:56,666
cool.

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01:19:56,666 --> 01:20:00,958
cool. so I think was really lovely speaking with you, 
Georgia, especially after

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01:20:01,083 --> 01:20:06,750
a such a long time. Youops with super interesting. Thanks a 
lot for sharing all

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01:20:07,083 --> 01:20:11,541
your experiences if they are super valuable and actually I 
look, and all the

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01:20:11,541 --> 01:20:15,458
guests will look forward to understand six months from now. 
Like some of the

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01:20:15,541 --> 01:20:19,791
funny story you you will come with working across Europe and
 see the

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01:20:19,875 --> 01:20:23,875
differences between all the nationality and culture of of 
the different people.

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01:20:24,000 --> 01:20:25,416
can have me back an hour'. Say

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01:20:26,416 --> 01:20:29,458
Okay, sounds good. That sounds like a plan. So

285
01:20:30,291 --> 01:20:31,291
E,

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01:20:31,291 --> 01:20:32,208
an invitation, Michel,

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01:20:32,500 --> 01:20:36,041
thanks. thanks, everyone. I'll see you on the next episode, 
Then the Sta tune.