If I Could Do It All Again... (7: Davide Laghi)

If I could do it all again… I have lived this "lessons learned" exercise many times in the last 10 years of my shared services professional life, through the experience gained from five shared services projects at different leadership levels – the last project as an independent advisor.

In my second-to-last shared services directorship, two-thirds of my leadership team had already been chosen ahead of my involvement with the organisation and it took me a full year to rebuild the appropriate SSC leadership structure.  Additionally, the pan-European SSC Team was developed on top of the existing Country Finance Team (brownfield) before migration; and the mindset reflected the strong direction and control style of the Country Finance Director, which was in anti-thesis to the corporate culture and to the desired new SSC behavioral pattern.

In my last shared services leadership, I made sure to apply the lessons learned above from day one, and doing so yielded highly positive results.  These experiences gave me the basis to develop a high quality new leadership team and launch my first cultural transformation programme, which were both successfully implemented within the first year.

On the contrary however, I struggled to secure high quality full-time HR change-management support, which placed additional workload pressure on my shoulders.  Nevertheless, with a clear and positive reframing thought in mind, this challenge allowed me the opportunity to develop and deliver a major cultural transformation programme – mostly on my own and with the evident soft-skills development opportunity that comes with it.

In going forward, I will always make sure to secure a high quality full-time change management support from the very beginning of the project. This is what I have learned through several experiences and experimental waves.  Each and every time, I have made new mistakes, learned new things and found room for new improvements.

Good luck to you all and enjoy the journey…

(If there's something you'd do differently if you could do it all again, why not let us know?  Email the editor with your thoughts - anonymity will be respected upon request!)