Jump over Any Obstacle: 5 Tips from Wind Tre’s Head of ICT Operations
Meet Daniele, Head of ICT Operations at WindTre. During our conversation, we get to hear his tips on how to face challenges and win. Along the way, we also get to hear about his career and personal life.
When you ask Daniele about his strategy for WindTre since the merger, he stresses the need for clear goals. Because he believes that’s the only way to overcome difficulties and reach solutions.
“We must have a vision that emphasizes key performance indicators (KPIs),” explains Daniele. “I have the task of ensuring the performance quality of IT applications and systems operations. So we must be monitoring progress constantly. Every step must be clear if we’re to succeed.”
At WindTre, we’re glad to have someone with such focus. He’s helping us a lot as we strive to better serve our 31 million customers (and counting).
Today, we’ve gathered insights from Daniele about dealing with challenges. So, read further. You’ll leave this page with a new method for navigating through tough waters and reaching beautiful new places (perhaps even places as beautiful as Tuscany).
1. Make the daring leap
In Italian, the saying, salto mortale, means “a crucial, important leap”. When describing the merger of Wind and Tre, Daniele incorporates this phrase, but in a unique way.
“Everything’s changing with the merger, and we must blend two cultures together,” describes Daniele. “It sounds tough, which makes me think of the phrase salto mortale. I see it like we have to be willing to make the bold jump — because so much opportunity is on the other side.”
Now that Wind and Tre are one as WindTre, Daniele believes the Italian consumer can benefit greatly with improved products and services. The team just has to manage everything correctly.
So, for Daniele, making the daring leap isn’t something you just do recklessly. Bold dreams can only be realized with the proper planning (after all, you don’t want to fall short of the other side).
Daniele’s own career path involves a leap. It shows that, if you have the right approach and learn what’s required, no jump is too far.
“I actually studied economics, but now I’m in ICT,” exclaims Daniele. “I graduated right when accounting was being automated and tech was merging with economics and finance. I gradually learned the necessary skills and made the leap over to tech.”
2. Things as beautifully complex as the Sistine Chapel were well-planned
One look at the Sistine Chapel and you may be overwhelmed by all the beauty above you. Look deeper — you’ll see how Michelangelo creatively arranged all the paintings. It blends seamlessly into one legendary masterpiece.
While we don’t expect you to paint something like the Sistine Chapel (though you can try), the point is that complex tasks can be managed with the right mix of imagination and strategizing. Daniele says once you have those two things in place, you can begin working on efficiency.
“As we progress at WindTre, we need to automate what we can,” states Daniele. “We must eliminate inefficiencies, which involves me knowing how people work and where our skills are lacking. When we make changes to enhance efficiency, we have to spend money wisely.”
In the end, Michelangelo didn’t waste time on painting the Sistine Chapel. While you’ve heard that he didn’t want to accept the job, once he did, he didn’t let the massive undertaking slow him down. He imagined the end product, created a plan to get there, and executed that strategy.
So, if you want to create something incredible in your own work or life, take inspiration from Michelangelo and listen to Daniele’s advice. This is how you can break down complexity and unveil something beautiful.
3. Every master chef first had a teacher
You probably love Italian food. Who doesn’t? The chefs are incredible, but they didn’t get to where they are now without training and guidance. If you want to be a master cook, you have to study energetically and find the right teacher.
The same applies to other fields, whether you’re a marketer, engineer, or doctor. When you ask Daniele for career advice, he stresses this importance of having guidance (like a mentor). His career path actually proves that.
Daniele previously worked at Accenture, where he learned about understanding customer needs. There he worked with clients in various industries, from retail businesses to consumer goods firms, before doing data mining work for the company.
My time at Accenture and H3G was greatly enhanced by having a boss — or more like a mentor — to help me grow professionally,” attests Daniele.
Now that Daniele is at WindTre in a leadership role, he’s embracing that role of being the mentor. He believes this is the way to create trust and improve collaboration, which is vital. Because if your team can’t do the trust fall exercise correctly, then having success will be much harder.
“My bosses taught me what it means to be a leader. You have to build a good relationship with the team immediately,” says Daniele.
Mentorship comes in many flavors. It doesn't always work unless leaders bear in mind a few common principles. Over the…hbr.org
It’s also worth noting Daniele’s leadership role at WindTre differs from past consulting jobs, but he’s doing the right things to adjust to the new game. For instance, in a tech company like WindTre, leaders have to deal with constant ambiguity, a fast-paced environment, and a culture that believes innovation can come from anywhere. This requires clarity, openness, and agility.
“For me, I try to very transparent with my team so everyone knows what’s expected,” states Daniele. “When new trends come, like the migration to the cloud, we must embrace the changes and be clear on our direction. This allows us to adapt quickly and properly.”
4. Learning is the eye of the mind (Intendere è potere)
The Italian saying, Intendere è potere, has also been translated as “learning is the eye of the mind,” which brings up a cool idea. If you don’t value learning and study new things consistently, your mind will get lost (because you don’t have your eyes). Figuratively — and maybe literally, you may get lost in a maze. The only way to get out is to learn the right path.
When you ask Daniele what advice he would give his childhood self, he echoes this idea. For him, learning is nonstop (i.e. if you finish one maze, start another).
“I would tell my childhood self to follow my interests and learn as much as possible. But I would stress to never be satisfied. Be curious — because there is always more to discover,” states Daniele.
So keep on improving the eyes of your mind, and you’ll conquer all challenges along the road to glory. Just remember that learning is not a solo pursuit.
“Build relationships. You can always learn something from colleagues in your field and other fields,” asserts Daniele. “If you want to go deeper into ideas, it’s often best to have a partner or close-knit team.”
5. You don’t have to run as fast as a Ferrari in the Italian Grand Prix, but run (or find a hobby)
If you’ve never attended the Italian Grand Prix, you should. It’s exhilarating.
Anyway, the point we’re getting at is that, if you really want to jump over any obstacle, you can’t always be thinking about work. Sometimes you have to get away and watch cars race. That time away will make you more productive when you return.
“For me, I go running to relax my mind and maintain health,” says Daniele. “It’s me time.”
On top of running, Daniele also loves reading crime detective stories, especially those by Antonio Manzini. And, when vacation comes along, you may find him seaside, wandering through Rome, or having fun in Milan.
So, take a lesson from Daniele and set aside time for yourself throughout your career. It will make those hurdles easier to leap over when you face them.
There’s no task too great
At WindTre, Daniele is putting these five tips into action to ensure we can achieve great things. If you’re bold, strategic, curious, and have proper guidance, you can achieve great things too. No jump is too far — remember that. Also, remember that the jump metaphor should only be taken figuratively; don’t actually go and try jump across a gorge or something.
Along the way, take time to enjoy life a little. It will help put you in the right mindset for whatever challenges you encounter.