Career decisions, mistakes made, experiences abroad and the successes that have led him to successfully manage the family business today.
Luca decided to talk about himself and did it in Davide Cervellin's podcast.
For those who don't know him yet, Davide Cervellin is an Analytic Leader, nominated for two consecutive years as one of the most influential people in Data-Driven Business.
Davide is also the author of a book and a podcast program called Office of Cards: a practical guide to get happiness and success in companies (but also in life), as the subtitle says.
In this episode, which for the wealth of information has been divided into two episodes, Luca Pagni recounts his very interesting career path which, combined with the strong experience of his father Adriano Pagni, has made Cy.Pag. a reference point for many industrial automation players.
(but you can also find it on iTunes, Spotify and the main audio content programs)
Here are some of the most interesting moments of the interview.
L. In 1987, during high school, I was in America to spend a year with a local family. This was undoubtedly the experience that, first of all, made me understand many things in my life.
As you can imagine, in 1987 there was no possibility of using the internet and this meant being catapulted to another part of the world and having practically no contact with the family if not through short expensive telephone calls and letters that you never knew if they would arrive at their destination.
I wanted to live this experience because the place where I lived, Como, was close to me. I felt the need to see something more. It was not an easy choice for my family, I had a fight with my parents who didn't really want to let me leave (I'm an only child), but I didn't want to give up, I realized that it would be a unique experience and so it was.
Of this experience, the biggest difficulty was to adapt, once back, to the life I had left.
Later I went to study at Bocconi and, like so many of my colleagues, shortly before graduation, the military choice arose. I decide that I want to explore other possibilities and in 1996 I leave for Germany.
In Germany, I was offered a place in the company of my father's partner who is near Frankfurt for a period of one year. I didn't know what I was going to do and I didn't speak German.
The experience turned out to be interesting, my first job was to issue orders to suppliers, a job I learned in 3 days and I immediately realized that it would be very boring, so I started studying the language and made up myself other activities to do within the company.
In 1996 there were quite old computer systems, with trivial calculations I managed to optimize the warehouse and this way I invented a role within the company.
<< Finding problems and proposing solutions: this proactive approach has allowed us to find new stimuli within the company. >>
From this experience, I take home the German work culture.
When working with other cultures, it is essential to have a very humble approach to understand the person in front of you, but you must not sacrifice your authenticity and try to be someone else depending on the person in front of you.
This is a rule if you want to create relationships of trust.
Then I returned to Italy and started looking for work.
I did so many interviews, some would call them surreal, then I ended up in Johnson Vax, a multinational company where I was lucky enough to get into sales, and I immediately took the chance to get my hands dirty with an operational job.
Starting from the bottom is useful, you need to know the ABC. The time to do great things would come.
In Johnson Vax, after a year and a half, I was lucky enough to burn the stages and go directly to the sales manager, even though after a short time I resigned because I had seen first hand the politics of a large multinational.
This was a decisive moment for me, I understood that we need to be political but above all, I realized that this was not an environment for me.
One day I came home and I told my wife that I didn't want to do that kind of life and we decided to go and live in Norway. I felt the need to find a balance between my private life and my workdays.
I knew that Norway was a country with a greater balance between private and working life and so I decided we would move there.
<< Many people do not have the lucidity to question the things that are not going well, we tend to think about what can be achieved today, without thinking where what I am doing today will bring me tomorrow >>
<< No part of our life, not even those that work, must never be questioned because there is always room for improvement. >>
I didn't know what I would do in Norway.
I went to work in an IT company where I had some great experiences but in 2001 there was a crisis and they fired half a company, including me.
My dismissal took place a week after toasting for receiving a promotion. A great blow, but if I look back, it has helped me a lot.
<< Make mistakes, have the courage to do them, but always learn from them >>
In the world of work, there are also bad people and one must know how to behave. Making mistakes is normal and unfortunately, you pay more in the world of work than you should.
<< The difference between an intelligent and a less intelligent person is his reaction to mistakes. >>
Like a boxer a little dazed, I get up and go to a start-up of friends. Their company worked with China and offered IT consulting in Europe.
It was a very useful experience but we didn't have a strong business case, things were not going well and the stress level was very high. This experience lasted for 5 years.
<< stress is good and we have it to help us react in important moments, but if it is 24h a day, for weeks/months or years, it kills you >>
I quit my job and in the notice period, I saw myself forced to fire people, a very hard experience but we remained friends, so I must have done it in a decent way.
At this point, there was a twist!
The time had come to decide: I was turning a forty-year-old and I had to choose whether to be a son who goes his way or take over the family business while living in Norway.
It took me months to give me an answer, I knew it would be the last career decision, hardly you will come back afterwards.
Before making a decision, I carefully analyzed the family business, I got my dad's budgets handed over to me, I studied the products, and after ascertaining the good health of the company, I proposed to my dad if I could collaborate because, at that point, I was qualified to join the company.
I came from incredible situations, like software projects that go on fighters ... and the first thing that happened, as soon as I entered the company my dad cut my salary by 30%. I didn't complain because I wanted to prove that it wasn't a question of money.
I was in an interesting situation, my goal was to bring my contribution to a company with great potential but also many threats.
Before going to work in Dad's company I wanted to understand what we were talking about and what the financial status was. To make a decision, I also asked for advice from friends and acquaintances.
<< Faced with such an important choice, where the emotional component is enormous, it is essential to ask for feedback from friends and relatives >>
I'm the son of the boss but I want to learn how it works.
I already had very long-term plans in mind, which were those of having a corporate organizational structure that could work despite I'm not physically in the company.
I first entered as a product manager, then as a financial manager and last October as a top manager.
Just because I'm not physically in the company doesn't mean I can't manage it.
One of my main challenges is to change the corporate culture, knowing that
the recipe that led us to success today is the same one that will take us to hell if we don't watch what happens outside.
L. the good thing is that we Italians are good at basic, we are creative people, entrepreneurial figures, interested and interesting.
At the political level, people shoot at each other, there is pessimism, but I believe that there are still excellent resources, but resources that unfortunately emigrate.
Italian companies have very strong export capacities, much stronger than other countries and there is a great desire to work, for example, my company has excellent workers with a strong work ethic. This is not always the case abroad.
But there are also serious threats and weaknesses.
FIRST: The Italian SME often does not know finance, and with what happens today you risk even if you make profits, you go bankrupt in no time.
I know of cases of super companies that soon went bankrupt because they didn't take into account the financial aspects.
<< Don't rely only on your accountant but consider taking a person as an external consultant and make them look at the numbers >>
SECOND: We need to pay attention to marketing because our Italian companies, on average, do not even know what marketing is. A lot of companies think it serves no purpose. Meanwhile, however, many companies in other countries are positioning themselves better regardless of product quality.
Marketing is a broad topic, where the Italian SME has to work hard.
<< Warning: marketing is not fair or shooting the newsletter!>>
The THIRD thing on which Italian companies are lacking is Human Resources.
But HR say more thing
I recently made a speech in the company and I put a staff evaluation system, based on values. Giving values to the company is a way to make everyone understand who we are.
You will always make mistakes but if you behave according to our values, you will always be rewarded in Cy.Pag.
<< People must not be motivated, the motivation must come from within >>
<< No one can convince another person to change, everyone protects his doors of change and those doors can only be opened from the inside. >>
From the 7 rules to succeed of S. R. Covey
FOURTH: if I have to add another aspect where SMEs are weak, it is definitely in data analysis. In our wardrobe, in this aspect, I found several skeletons.
After 3 years of being in the company, it was time to set up a more rigorous process: I proposed/ordered to buy SAP and it was a winning move. Almost everyone has told me that I was a rare bird because nobody had done it so far.
It was an important commitment, but we have a very good IT manager and now it is a base without which today we would have no chance to do what we do.
Today, without the automation of processes, we will not know where we would be, it would be endless chaos.
The complete interview is full of anecdotes and suggestions that would make this article too long to report them all.
I advise you to listen to it because it ends with a series of practical tips to be more productive; in fact, you will hear about STRAVA, the application that stimulated Cy.Pag employees. to do more sports, but you will also hear about BLINKIST ally to always be on the piece on any subject.
The future of Cy.Pag. it's still everything to build if you liked this story don't miss the ending.
Write to us to subscribe to our newsletter and be up to date and receive useful tips on the world of pneumatics.www.cypag.com