An Interview With Fotis Georgiadis

Workers enjoy working for companies that are modern and advanced and make it so that they are able to actually work, instead of tinker around with outdated technology. The better the technology, the better the workplace.

As part of our series about “How To Use Digital Transformation To Take Your Company To The Next Level”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Yasaman Javadi.

Yasaman Javadi is a global chief marketing officer and digital transformation consultant working internationally to advise clients in transformation and strategy to become industry authorities. Javadi earned a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering at Azad University — Tehran.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series. Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

I started my career in interior design because of my passion for aesthetics and cultivating an environment through strategic design of spaces. Through interior design, I experienced professional growth that would become integral to marketing. When I started in interior design I began learning how to supervise and execute on plans, monitoring sites and then grew from my first role to exhibition booth design, office design, and then even worked in villa design and residential lobby design.

I began working in sales leading projects and analyzing data to identify opportunities for improving operations, resolving conflicts and negotiations. I built pipelines and expanded company success. I continued working in sales, eventually becoming active in media management and collaborating with marketing teams, designing campaigns and managing marketing functions.

I decided to get into consulting to help more companies learn how to design successful marketing divisions and campaigns. I continuously garnered opportunities to commission and conduct market research and oversaw market data analysis and evaluation, developing pricing and budgeting strategies, collaborating with cross-functional teams.

From there, I became a chief marketing officer, driving revenue, building advanced plans and metrics and collaborating with executives to make high-level decisions. I have a passion for creating value to businesses and consumers, because when businesses thrive, people thrive. When individuals thrive, they lift up communities, nations and as a result the world. It can sound esoteric or aspirational, but it is in fact truth. I have worked around the world, and opportunity creates more advancement and peace.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?

Names are important to people. I met an owner of a large company and I kept referring to him by a totally wrong name and at the end of the meeting he pointed to his name… My take away from that was that knowing someone’s name is a simple, easy thing to do, to show that you care and are attentive and while it’s not a grave mistake in the scheme of things, it is important to get right.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

I am grateful to leaders I’ve worked with — there are so many — who helped me navigate complex relationships and networks, and for the leaders who ensured professional security. I’ll explain more.

When I’ve been in many roles, I’ve countered many people’s considerations, false ideas and needless barriers or limited thinking. As a result, this can cause disagreement and some do not always handle that well. I am diplomatic and professional, but I also have expertise and proven outcome-driven success that informs my approaches and strategies. Professionals can position themselves for success by working with and for leaders who understand that and help create firewalls to maintain your place in a company.

Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

Humanocracy is a powerful book. It is about creating human-oriented workplaces and stomping out needless bureaucracy.

Gary Hamel, Wall Street Journal’s number one business thinker, and well-noted consultant Michele Zanini, wrote what I believe is a revolutionary manifesto and applicable manual for freeing the human spirit at work. I believe that all people want to create value and have significance in society and their communities, and families. Architecting systems and frameworks that amplify the individual’s potential is crucial and companies, consultants and junior professionals as well as students, all would gain from reading Humanocracy and listening to the valuable courses offered by the authors.

Extensive research suggests that “purpose-driven businesses” are more successful in many areas. When your company started, what was its vision, what was its purpose?

Purpose-driven businesses require purpose-driven leadership. You can’t create value if you don’t have the right people in the right positions able to do their jobs to the fullest extent possible.

My vision was to learn as much as I could about as many sectors and companies, in as many countries possible. To learn about global systems and the intersection of business, finance and diplomacy is eye-opening. And, to be able to market across national lines and cultural lines is fundamental to my work.

Are you working on any new, exciting projects now? How do you think that might help people?

I continue to work with companies to leverage their past successes in marketing, overcome barriers holding them back from their fullest potential and I’m working on expanding my work in America to help address the digital crisis that has unfolded in the country. Billions of dollars is being wasted and lost as a result of failed digital transformations. I think it is exciting to look at an impact on this front, because the ability to help government and industry alike translates to improved outcomes across the board. Whether we are talking about streamlined, improved institutions that are better able to serve citizens, or companies delivering superior products and services to consumers and other businesses.

Thank you for all that. Let’s now turn to the main focus of our discussion about Digital Transformation. For the benefit of our readers, can you help explain what exactly Digital Transformation means? On a practical level what does it look like to engage in a Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation is not to be taken lightly. It is also not to be looked at as daunting or impossible to get right. Unfortunately, especially in the United States, most digital transformations fail, or do not measure up to expectations. That doesn’t have to be the case though. In order to understand what Digital Transformation means, we ought to break this down.

First, Digital means all things digital, everything, from automation to artificial intelligence, to data, to channels, to the strategy you are executing in optimizing and utilizing these capabilities. Second, Transformation is the succesful evolution of an organization. So with these two words, we have the key to unlocking an organization’s new world potential.

On a practical level, it looks like remodeling and redesigning a house. Things have to get broken down. Things take getting granular about processes and getting the details right. You have to be ready to get to work and see it through.

Which companies can most benefit from a Digital Transformation?

There isn’t a company on the planet that cannot benefit from Digital Transformation. There isn’t a single company that should not be figuring out how to undergo a Digital Transformation.

As we continue moving forward, amid grand changes across society, the future of work, geopolitics, you name it — we must Digitally Transform the world. Great gains can be made through Digital Transformation.

Companies that want to be valuable, have longevity and increase revenues and create better, more fulfilling jobs will do so through Digital Transformation.

We’d love to hear about your experiences helping others with Digital Transformation. In your experience, how has Digital Transformation helped improve operations, processes and customer experiences? We’d love to hear some stories if possible.

Many of the company’s first transformative processes focus on digital marketing strategies. These are most frequently digestible when presenting new ideas to leadership and stakeholders. Instead of focusing on technologies they do not thoroughly understand, this focuses on the value provided by changes.

The agility necessary to compete in an increasingly crowded industry or niche echoes throughout the marketing and advertising departments. Using new tech intelligently helps scale-up success, expand the scope of business offerings, and increase the efficiency of all efforts. The result — higher ROI — is something every executive and team members appreciate.

Digital transformation is a pro-growth, highly profitable advancement for businesses to amplify sales and expand their customer base. However, it’s important to remember that success doesn’t happen overnight.

Present organizational inertia and limited understanding of leaders in an organization can get in the way of the type of digital transformation mandated to thrive in today’s economy. Leaders adjust and change their minds, when they learn more about the potential of new technologies, explore case studies and see data from markets and competitors, and get their own better results from new digital marketing strategies. A shift in company culture from tried-and-true success to calculated innovation is a prerequisite to transformation and growth.

Has integrating Digital Transformation been a challenging process for some companies? What are the challenges? How do you help resolve them?

You resolve challenges of Digital Transformation through prevention. Any organizations that have not yet stepped into the digital transformation world have already been left behind in today’s world of online, global commerce. Emergent technologies infiltrate product and service development, online marketing strategies, and day-to-day operations like customer relationship management. It takes knowledge and a clear benefit presentation to implement the changes that will genuinely make a difference in this new business world.

It is about employing technology to structurally change the way you do business. Leaders who accept the need to transform still lack innate understanding. Options like artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of things (IoT), and blockchain are perceived as juicy buzzwords, not actionable plans.

Take the time to identify which ones have the ability to help you accomplish your goals; you can focus your efforts and make the most of your digital transformation. Technology can help you improve customer communication, streamline processes, and boost efficiency.

Ok. Thank you. Here is the primary question of our discussion. Based on your experience and success, what are “Five Ways a Company Can Use Digital Transformation To Take It To The Next Level”?

  1. Boost company morale and worker satisfaction.

Workers enjoy working for companies that are modern and advanced and make it so that they are able to actually work, instead of tinker around with outdated technology. The better the technology, the better the workplace.

2. Better please consumers.

Companies should adopt advancements so that they are better pleasing the people they provide products and services. Not only that, with Digital Transformation, you can better attract the right people so that you are bringing in people that will be more pleased than consumers who are not as ideal of a fit.

3. Bolster performance.

The company’s operations will be expanded and improved through the auditing required to execute a strong and successful Digital Transformation. It will make it so that from the beginning of the process, you are fine tuning your company’s internal and external aspects.

4. Exponentially grow revenues.

Profits follow Digital Transformation. Period. You can bring in more revenue as a result of undergoing a sound and sustainable Digital Transformation.

5. Better monitor company executions to continuously garner data to improve company.

There is no wondering if things are working. With a Digital Transformation, you will know exactly what is happening, in real-time.

In your opinion, how can companies best create a “culture of innovation” in order to create new competitive advantages?

By doing it. So many people talk about “culture.” Culture is not created by talking about it, it’s done by living it and experiencing it, and cultivating it on a continuous basis. Digital Transformation should be underscored as the chief key to unlocking a culture of innovation.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I am not sure who came up with this quote, but a friend shared it with me: “create, create, create, for there is no barrier you cannot out-create.” I think about the power of this statement whether in your personal live or your professional career, that you have the ability to overcome strife, barriers, setbacks, through creating and being innovative. Any marketing issue can be solved through creating. Even “pr nightmares” for companies can be transformative and solve problems. There is a great deal of power in your mindset and it drives the way I operate.

How can our readers further follow your work?

You can follow me on LinkedIn here.

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

Yasaman Javadi On How To Use Digital Transformation To Take Your Company To The Next Level was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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