How have you adapted to the Covid crisis in Italy? What creative solutions, habits and new processes have you had to change?
We had to learn to adapt to a new situation quickly that has created a fertile environment to increase delegation and a sense of responsibility amongst the team. That said, the Covid outbreak also presented a very challenging working situation, especially in managing daily operations like replacing immediate oral feedback with lengthily Phone calls, Skype, Visio, and Whatsapp messages.
The same goes for the relationship with our customers. Fortunately, over the years we have built an efficient communication system based on digital interaction that supports the hard activity our sales team meeting in person with our clients. Our roadshows have been replaced by weekly update webcasts where, since the first week of lockdown, we have managed close to 3000 attendees for every single appointment.
Are you witnessing any impact on your team in terms of benefits and challenges?
Paradoxically, in this stressful period, we found a renewed sense of team spirit. We are all much more open to debate and making time to help each other because in the loneliness of our quarantines we have realized that the team is another ‘shape’ of family.
Close to Easter break, we realized that some of us were quarantined alone at home, far from friends and family, so we arranged a visio of the whole marketing team in the morning of the Easter day for greetings and to kid each other for the funniest Easter egg. It was spontaneous and genuine, without any obligation, we all wanted to be there.
What did you learn about yourself?
On a personal level, quarantine has been very special for me. The same day of the first Covid case in Italy, I became a father to a wonderful lady. I could not even complete my paternity leave because we were in emergency mode, but I’ve had the chance to be close to my family 24 hours a day. This has been wonderful and extremely hard at the same time. It was an extraordinary, incredible time for me, made of sleepless nights and working days, baby cries during videoconferences where I learned how difficult it is to combine your personal and professional life in the same environment.
But what has astounded me the most is it’s normality for others. I mean moms. They do all this every day all over the world. They do the most difficult job and too often we give this for granted. Now I have realized how much we have to thank them for what they do. We need to take extraordinary care of this role granting moms all the needed facilities to combine their professional aspirations with family and childcare.
Any anecdote you could share with us?
In these 80 days of lockdown we have received several appreciation messages from our clients for the efforts spent in being closer to them both professionally and personally. We started to talk about coronavirus the 29th of January and the first webcast made was accessible on February 27th with over 3,500 clients attending - that is 10 days before our Italian Prime Minister imposed the national quarantine. Our webcasts have been the most appreciated activity we had done in last 80 days.
But the most touching moment of this outbreak was without any doubt when, at the peak of the crisis, the Italian staff of Pictet Wealth Management and Pictet Asset Management decided on a personal basis to give something back to our society to help facing the virus.
What do you look most forward to in the “new normal”?
Frankly speaking, I’m a mix of different feelings right now, between fear and curiosity. Our strategic planning has switched from a horizon of 6 months to a day-by-day approach. At the very beginning we thought we would come back to our old normality at a certain point. Going on, we are getting more and more conscious this won’t be the case anymore.
I’m curious about how the digitalization of the interactions will reshape the business of managing wealth. What long term consequences will COVID have in terms of de-globalization, social inequality, health monitoring and personal privacy.
Last but not least, I’m looking forward to have barber shops open again in Italy!
What impact do you see for Pictet? For the working world?
Agility will become the new mantra to succeed in the working world post Covid. Easy, fast and short reporting lines with more delegation. In marketing we will see less perfectionism to be timely to market your products, your service, your messages, because in order to be relevant to your target you don’t need to be perfect but instead innovative and faster than your competitors.