“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”– Pablo Picasso.
Entrepreneurship is about many things. It is about passion, innovation, finding solutions to problems, and more. While it might seem that entrepreneurship is about making it big in the business world and setting up a profitable business, the underlying factor is that it gives the entrepreneur a chance to bring change.
Entrepreneurs are inevitably change-makers with the power to make a difference in the way the business world operates. Most importantly, they impact the lives of not just immediate people like employees, but people in far-off places who utilize their services and products as customers.
Erika Giorgana’s life has always been a constant search for passion, meaning, and doing what she loves. She loves to question the status quo and fight for those things that she believes can make a big difference in the life of others. It came as no surprise that she chose to walk the entrepreneurial path after spending some time in a corporate environment.
Erika, CEO & Founder of Humand, likes to build her life around the things that light her up and put all her skills and capabilities into action through purpose and service. Her leadership style is that of a purpose-driven entrepreneur. Erika is a fair believer that when you discover your purpose, and you align it with the core mission of your business it can really make a difference in building a life that is impactful and meaningful.
“I decided to become an entrepreneur because I want to make an impact AND want to do it through my business. In my day-to-day work, I strive to be a servant leader and to develop a team atmosphere where anyone and everyone feels welcomed to contribute to the group. I focus on being humble and I do everything in my power to help the members of my team grow as human beings. I try to preach with the example and do what I sell,” shares Erika.
The Challenging Transition
One of the biggest challenges for Erika has been transitioning from doing a job in the corporate world to building a company. When she jumped into the entrepreneurship world, she thought having a clear purpose, an inspiring vision, a breakthrough idea, and particular skills would be enough. But that hasn’t been the case. Creating a solid team with the right skills has been the biggest challenge.
“When your business is growing fast you need to grow your team at the same pace, and that is very hard to accomplish,” says Erika. “There is so much to do and such limited resources that you sometimes feel it is impossible to accomplish what you need to do with the people you have.” What has helped her team at Humand is to adopt a ‘be resourceful’ mindset. “We have learned that from some transactional tasks and activities, we can change our approach to thinking ‘How can we do this’ to ‘Who can do this for us’,” she says.
Founded with Firm Belief
Passionate about the future of work and with a people-first mindset, Erika’s work focuses on the human side of organizational transformation. She orchestrated the people’s agenda across different regions, countries, and functions for multinational companies for more than 15 years. In 2019, inspired by the belief that ‘at the end, it is people that drive the business strategy and bring ideas to life’, she founded Humand.
Humand is a consulting firm that focuses on large-scale business transformation through a people-led strategy. At the heart of everything they do is the importance of bringing humanity to the business. It helps organizations from different industries and sizes, re-configure their current operating models towards agility in its most progressive form, and building agility in the end-to-end and core. With their technology, the first-ever Agile HR Platform, Humand streamlines core HR processes to build an agile and people development culture.
Humand has a strong ‘why’, behind everything it does. What makes them unique: they help companies become future-fit by placing people at the heart of the transformation. They believe the more human, the more impact.
“In an increasingly technological and ever-changing environment, I believe there is a critical need for organizations to be more agile, simpler, faster, more responsive, and most importantly more human. I believe in every CEO’s agenda, Digital and Agile should be at the top of the list, yet these are just the enablers, people are the real driver. I believe in every business, the priority should always be people, ‘People -first’,” asserts Erika.
An Inclusive Work Environment
One thing Erika is very proud of is Humand´s team. She has realized that they can’t transform businesses and provide a world-class experience without talented and passionate people, and therefore diversity and inclusion are ingrained in the business. Thanks to their operating strategy, Humand’s team is, of course, an agile multi-disciplinary team. At Humand, each partner forges their own area of expertise within its non-hierarchical partnership. People are free to challenge standards, to be bold, to chart opportunities, and develop tailor-made solutions for the clients.
Across the world with their global team, based in London, with a presence in Asia, Europe, North America & Latin America, every person at Humand works wherever and whenever they want alongside their clients as one collaborative team. “I believe in unleashing human potential by focusing on strengths rather than weaknesses,” says Erika.
Balancing Technology and People
At Humand, Erika’s team has been experimenting with more technology-heavy offerings and 2023 is a very special year for them. They have been developing and are about to launch their HR Management System that powers up their model. This technology enables companies to build a skill-based people performance development ecosystem where team creation, flexible staffing, agile performance management, multi-path careers, and continuous performance development become live.
“We believe we are leading the way for the workplace of the future, by providing agile technology that encapsulates all the intricacies of HR processes into a revolutionary, approachable tool!” shares Erika.
Erika feels that the market dynamics are already changing as a result of artificial intelligence, and this trend is likely to persist. She believes that businesses that can successfully use AI will be well-positioned to obtain a competitive advantage and thrive in a dynamic and complex business environment.
However, she opines that while new technologies may eliminate the need for humans to perform some duties, they will typically also make it possible to create completely new jobs and even entirely new industries. Technology isn’t the problem; the issue is coming up with innovative ways to use it to create new opportunities, value, and growth.
“The true potential, in my opinion, is found in the fusion of technology and people, though. Unimaginable things can happen when humans and technology collaborate because they can strengthen each other’s flaws and make up for each other’s strengths. Humand stands exactly for this: Human + and= Humand. The power of Human and something more. When human potential collaborates with technology, there is no limit to what we can achieve,” says Erika.
Being an Impact
Erika was recently named CEO of the year 2022 UK by CEO Monthly, a recognized digital magazine that aims to offer the very latest insight, interviews, and profiles of Chief Executive Officers from across the breadth of the global corporate landscape.
Erika’s work has always been defined by her constant self-questioning of what impact can she have on the world. She believes that the point of existence isn’t just to be happy, but also to matter and feel like we’ve had an impact. We’re here to change the world, and one of the best ways to do that is to recognize our strengths and share them with others. “I believe that wrapping your career around your gifts is the surest way to expand your impact – for good. Share the talents you have been given to make a difference in people´s lives,” she says.
She also advises young entrepreneurs through a famous quote by Steve Jobs, which really resonates with an entrepreneur’s way of working: “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”
“Be ready to make mistakes, understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success. Learn, unlearn, and re-learn again. Be humble, and surround yourself with the best possible people: people who share your values and your dream. And above all, have a clear “why”. Why are you doing what you are doing? How will it impact the world? Make it your Purpose, your North Star. Work that is fulfilling is never about the money – when you are passionate about something, you instinctively find ways to nurture it, “advises Erika.
Coming up from Humand
Humand works with companies from all around the world, in a multitude of industries —from pharmaceutical to technology—and beyond. Because they focus on larger-scale business transformation, most of their clients are Fortune 100 companies. “We are now ready to scale up, expand our operations and increase our impact. We will leverage our growth through our technology. With the launch of our HRMS we hope to fundamentally alter how businesses view people,” concludes Erika.
Link to the edition: https://theciotimes.