Milan, May 29, 2018 – Agile Transformation, corporate culture and managing human resources at big multinationals were the themes reviewed at “HR Challenges in Internationalisation Processes”, a panel discussion at the Triennale di Milano museum held on May 28 by Salini Impregilo, a global leader in the infrastructure industry. In addition to Group HR & Organization Director Gian Luca Grondona at Salini Impregilo, other participants with experience integrating employees at the international level included Fabrizio Rutschmann, Senior Vice President Human Resources and Organization at Prysmian Group; Claudio Colombi, Executive Vice President Human Resources at Coesia; Stefano Napoletano, Senior Partner, Milan at McKinsey & Company; Fabio Cantatore, Senior Partner & Managing Director, Milan at The Boston Consulting Group; and Andrea Pecchio, Partner, Spencer Stuart.
According to the Italian statistics office ISTAT, foreign companies operating in Italy number at about 14,000, while Italian companies with activities abroad reach 23,000. These Italian multinationals are present in 173 countries. About half of the medium- and large-sized Italian companies have done at least one acquisition, and 81% of them having conducted it abroad. In this context of internationalisation, an element of success is the management of human resources.
Salini Impregilo, with 35,000 employees from more than 100 nationalities and 90% of its revenue generated abroad, has matured with its experience in internationalisation. “With the management of human resources, the so-called ‘hard’ aspect is very important,” says Grondona. “But the ‘soft’ one is indispensable because the lack of a culture of integration can lead to failure. The infrastructure sector is agile by definition with a very flexible corporate body and independent peripheries, as well as an industrialisation and centralisation of the organisational structure that bring improved efficiencies.”
Fabio Cantatore of The Boston Consulting Group explained how the “Agile” organisational system is essential to manage companies without making them unnecessarily complicated, valuing people in order to produce superior results and greater engagement among them. In addition to organisational systems, there are obviously the employees, said Andrea Pecchio of Spencer Stuart, who underlined that people have an essential role in the process of internationalisation and successful companies must take into account not only key performance indicators (KPIs) at the financial level but also KPIs tied to social objectives.
Managing people means also to manage in a correct way the staffing process, according to Stefano Napoletano. For McKinsey & Company, he said the process is the true key element, based on two guiding principles: giving value to human capital at the professional level and paying strong attention to the system that enhances it.
Rutschmann spoke of Prysmian’s experience in acquiring two companies to become the leading global supplier of cables for the energy and telecommunications industries. In 2010, it agreed to buy Draka of the Netherlands. In recent months, it announced plans to buy General Cable of the United States. “For us the key elements are transparency and fairness. You win by having the best people and by giving the people in acquired companies the same opportunities as those who work in the acquiring company.”
Coesia, a group of industrial and packaging solutions companies, went through a significant growth also thanks to a number of acquisitions that strengthened its global presence. According to Claudio Colombi, the group moved from a “federation of companies” to a “one-group” approach, creating synergies to generate revenues and not to contain costs only.
The panel discussion was held alongside “Cyclopica”, a multimedia and multisensorial exhibit celebrating the worker at the heart of the major public works that Salini Impregilo has built throughout the past century. It followed another event held on May 15 by the Group at the Triennale about of the future of the construction industry. It underlined how people always remain the determining factor in a project’s success.