Unprecedented with Florencia Tettamanti

Published 12th November 2021

At Unprecedented, we had the opportunity to speak to Florencia Tettamanti, People Partner at Selected Interventions, who spoke to us about how her business adapted during the pandemic and how she has since recalibrated her priorities and goals.

A background into you and your business?

I work for Selected Interventions. A unique software development firm, with offices in London, Paris and Brisbane, that helps public and private customers with everything related to the cleansing of the streets. With its unique framework of mobile and web applications, Selected Interventions was a pioneer in unifying technology and environmental services.

Define leadership and what being a leader means to you?

I love Simon Sinek’s definition: “leadership is a choice, not a rank”. To me, it’s all about a way of being, the way someone chooses to show up in the world. It’s about making your employees feel safe, it’s putting them first, it’s about understanding that if you care about them, they will care about your business. It’s all about generating trust and cultivating safe relationships across the organization.

Who are your Leadership role models/inspirations?

I think anyone you meet will have something you can learn from, everyone is inspiring in their own ways, as we all different life stories and surely there’s something to be learnt about someone’s else experience. That being said, if I have to think about one public figure that shows all the characteristics I would like to find in a leader I would say Brene Brown is pretty high up there. I love her humanistic and wholeheartedly approach to leadership and her ability to be so vulnerable and relatable to her audiences bringing abstract concepts down to earth with humility and compassion.

What would you like your Leadership Legacy to be?  

If I can leave something behind, I would like that to be the feeling that the people who knocked on my door felt heard, felt cared for, felt like they mattered. Because they do. The biggest mark we can leave in the world is on other people. People never forget how you made them feel.

What are the “non-negotiable” behaviours that you expect you and those around you to live by?

Respect is an absolute non-negotiable. Inclusion, kindness, and compassion. We never know what people are dealing with.

What impact has Covid-19 had on you and your business?

The biggest impact and lesson that Covid has gifted me is that an extra sense of appreciation for our day to day lives, for our routines, our freedom, our loved ones, our health and our possibility to plan things medium to long term.  

In terms of business, It shook up our game completely. Because of the industry we are in, we were very lucky as we, not only didn’t have to let anyone go but grew massively in the last 18 months. Before Covid we didn’t offer the option to work from home and since we were forced to adapt to this new way of working. It was tough at the beginning but we made it work and now we have fully moved to a hybrid mode of working that is making our employees very happy as it has given them the flexibility we didn’t offer before.

We also had a lot of people coming back to the office as soon as they could as they missed working with their colleagues and in an office environment. It was nice to see teams reuniting, collaborating and having fun in the office after such difficult times.  

Where were you and what were you doing when you first realised that Covid-19 was very serious?

I think it finally hit me how serious this was into the third week of the first lockdown. I was working at home like everyone else and realized that this was going to be the way life was for a long time. I was incredibly lucky because I live very close to the office and we own the building so I started working from the office on my own and that gave me some sense of normality and allowed me to leave work at the office at the end of the day, which is a privilege not many had.

What have been the Unprecedented decisions you have made? Those where there was no playbook.

Almost every decision I made since I started my role has been unprecedented since there was no HR department before me. I can name so many but I think one of my biggest post-Covid accomplishments (with the support of the OD) was to introduce hybrid working successfully.

Fast forward to 2050... What would you say to your future self... Something you did well or badly in 2020 to learn from?

I would say to myself “good effort, you did really well”. 2020 was a tough year for everyone but was the year I decided to move my career in this direction, the year I came up with a plan of action for my business, the year I pitched it to the board and earn myself a promotion, the year I started seeing the changes caused by my initiatives. A year of tremendous professional and personal growth.

As a Leadership Team, how have you re-defined your vision and values? What have you done to make your culture remote-work friendly?

Well, before early this year, we didn’t have any defined vision and values. That was one of the wins of this year which has caused a positive ripple effect of engagement across the staff. When we were fully remote, we had virtual events to try to keep the social side of things going. Once we were allowed to be in the office, we held low key social events in our office space, and now that things are up and running again, we are focusing on getting back the lost time. We already held many events since then and we are already working on the 2022 agenda.  

What advice would you give to those entering the workforce today?

In a world that seems like it goes at 100kmph and where we all got used to immediate satisfaction and low levels of frustration, don’t get discouraged by the time it may take you to get to where you want to be. Learn from every step, be patient, it’s not a race, it’s about what you can learn in the process. It should only be a competition with a past version of yourself, work hard for what you want and know how to wait. Things will work out.

The Pandemic has caused many of us to reassess what is important in our lives. In what ways have you recalibrated your own priorities and goals.

I think that’s something positive that this collective experience can leave behind. I think I would definitely look for and keep encouraging hybrid-working as it gives us the necessary flexibility to be our best at work and to have more time for our personal lives as well.

If you enjoyed this blog and would like to learn more about Florencia, you can request to connect with her on Linkedin. Alternatively, you can learn more about Selected Interventions from their Linkedin page or website. Read more blogs like this here.

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