Happy businesses are more profitable

The reasoning is simple and powerful at the same time: the most important and profitable asset of any company is its workers. So what could be better than keeping the most important asset of the organization in its natural state, which is where its full potential shows?

 

This reasoning, however, does not apply exclusively to the workplace. Its connotations are paramount, as all people are workers, at least in potential, whether in the active workplace, post-work field, academic field, or in any other situation. It is clear, then, that happiness transcends all this, and ends up with a common denominator: the human being.

 

The scientific pursuit of happiness

Talking about happiness is nothing new: Aristotle was already giving deep dissertations on it in the 4th century BC. But in recent years, the concept of positive psychology has gained strength. Positive psychology is a current in psychology that studies the foundations of psychological well-being and happiness, as well as human strengths and virtues. The difference with respect to other close currents of psychology and with its historical precedents is that it is based on the scientific method. The psychologist Martin Seligman laid its foundations in the late 1990s, and other authors, such as Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, have made it grow with their contributions. 

At first glance, the purpose of positive psychology may sound too arrogant. Now science seeks to tell us what happiness is? But there are many dissident voices that consider that happiness is much more than just processing a simple set of measurable values in the field of psychology.

Debates aside, we all know, without having to learn it, when we feel good, and most of all, when we feel bad. It is something innate. Our body goes like clockwork with well-being, whereas it begins to give warning signals when we experiment discomfort

 

What do the experts say?

Since companies are mostly sets of people, it may seem basic to ensure the well-being and satisfaction of workers. However, in the business logic linked to the Industrial Revolution (still very much present everywhere), the general paradigm has been quite the opposite: to make them work to the maximum to obtain greater profits. A vision where their personal well-being is far from the concern of the company.

Studies on this topic conclude that the experience of workers who feel comfortable in their organization is much more valuable than even the material goods they can receive as gratification. And this is because this experience has no expiration; it can always be evoked and enjoyed again.

Workers’ happiness as a barometer of business health

So now it is no longer a matter of focusing only on the famous customer experience (CX): the employee experience also plays a key role in the success of the organization, both from the company’s point of view (because a happy, creative, or empathetic employee is synonymous with a more productive worker) and from the point of view of the worker (because we spend almost a third of our lives at work).

A good example of the consolidation of this trend is the emergence of various indices, such as the Global Job Happiness Index, which measure happiness in the workplace. Likewise, the figure known as Chief Happiness Officer consolidates in those organizations that are committed to the value of people and the profitability of a happy employee.

 

Dissemination achieves awareness and involvement

People and companies are a strange mix. People are tangible beings who act moved by gratification; we put our efforts into what rewards us, in whatever form. However, companies are in themselves intangible, although at the same time they are made up of people, and have as their purpose either their own benefit, social benefit (non-profit), or a combination of the two, which provides a sustainable benefit for society.  

A strange mix and, at the same time, what a fruitful synergy when the focus of the organization is on people!

At 11Onze, we have believed in this fundamental value from the very beginning, which is shared by all the people who make up our community. And it’s working! 

 

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Tired of working from home? Become a digital nomad and take the office wherever you go. A new teleworking format that allows you to get out of the routine and live experiences that you would never live from your dining room at home.

 

The premise: get out of the routine. Because out of the comfort zone is where things happen, and when we are in a relaxed situation is when the best ideas come up. Routine, the stress of the city, or working in the same office for years and years is no longer the only option. More and more companies are offering the option of working remotely, with high results in terms of productivity and efficiency. It is also a trend that more and more workers are joining.

The boom has been particularly significant among young people, but the age range is widening, in a trend that has more benefits than drawbacks. Currently, studies show that 85% of companies increase productivity thanks to telework. The average age of digital nomads is 32 years old and, in the United States alone, the number of digital nomads has grown from 4.8 million (2018) to 10.9 million (2020). Of these, only 34% plan to return to the office after one year.

 

Spain, the destination for digital nomads

ETIAS, the European Travel Information, and Authorisation System, already see teleworking, i.e. digital nomads, as one of the main attractions for many countries. From 2022, European citizens will be able to move around the so-called Schengen Area for 90 consecutive days thanks to ETIAS authorisation.

In Spain, the same year saw the approval of the Start-up Law, which creates a new type of visa to seduce teleworkers from all over the world and get them to choose the country as a work destination. For digital nomads, living and getting to know the environment is even more important than the work routine.

Croatia, Estonia, and the Bahamas are also at the top of the list of the best countries to be a digital nomad. And although each country’s regulations are different, they try to adapt them to facilitate residence procedures and even provide tax benefits.

 

What should you bear in mind before you start?

  • Don’t forget that you are going to work. Look for places that ensure you have a good internet connection and access to power points.
  • Be productive. This adventure should bring out your creative side – don’t let the distractions of your new habitat get in the way.
  • Create your routine. Whether you have company-defined work schedules or not, creating a work routine will be your best ally in being efficient, so you can enjoy your free time.
  • Dare to socialise and get to know each place you visit in-depth, especially if you are travelling unaccompanied.
  • Choose a country that is economically beneficial for you. The ratio between your salary and the cost of living in your destination country should allow you to live more comfortably.
  • Learn to live on less. The only things you will need are a computer and a mobile phone.
  • Develop new skills. Learn a language, do new activities, train online… you will have access to a wider range of training and, most importantly, to a larger labour market. 

Advantages and disadvantages are intertwined in this new form of telework, marked by the freedom to choose the course of your life, day by day. And you, would you be able to leave the office and become a digital nomad?

 

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The term telework was coined in 1973 by physicist Jack Nilles, and the pandemic has made it fashionable again, being one of the most searched words on Google during the lockdown months.

 

If you think that teleworking is a concept produced by the pandemic, you are wrong: the concept was first christened by the American physicist Jack Nilles in 1973, in the midst of the oil crisis of the 1970s. Nilles’ purpose was to find a reduction of fuel consumption caused by commuting from home to work. 

He managed to improve the life quality of workers and the job quality of companies. Since then, various plans have been made to reconcile work and personal life. From 2006 to 2015, telework fairs have been held where this issue has been addressed as the main objective. The use of the internet has reopened this possibility to be able to have more flexibility and freedom

 

More efficient, but not for everyone

If we talk about numbers, there are probably companies that, relying on telework, can save real-estate costs, among others, as long as their sector is that of services. However, if the company sells products, this will be more complicated as it will need a physical space and people to handle these products. 

Let’s take the example of a company that offers services and therefore could consider not having a physical space and having all its employees work from home, with meetings once a week or even twice a week. Costs could decrease favourably even if there is a premium for the worker, such as subsidizing the costs of internet, electricity, and even providing a share for the purchase of office furniture. 

Workspaces are reinvented

If this happens, there may be an excess of disabled offices and, at the same time, a growing demand for coworking space. This concept, which has been around for years, means sharing the workspace with other people or even companies to reduce costs. Demand has risen significantly in recent months, and may become much more affordable both for the short term and for long seasons. 

 

What do workers choose?

As for the workers, we can distinguish those who prefer teleworking, those who prefer working in-person, and those who prefer hybrid work. Let’s look at the differences: 

Telework: during the pandemic months, they have learned to be at home, deal with family, work, concentrate, and have virtual meetings. 

The advantages: it takes 2 minutes to sit and turn on the computer, you can do household chores during breaks, you can eat at home, and share more time with family. 

But there are also disadvantages: loss of contact with colleagues, difficulty concentrating in the case of not living alone, and getting out of the routine. 

In-person: probably, if we do a survey, people with children will be in this group, because they are the ones who have suffered the most during the pandemic. Teleworking has its advantages, as we have seen above, but on the contrary, you end up working harder than if you go to the office. For this reason, there are people who prefer to go to work outside the home. That way, they know that, from the time they leave until they return, they are 100% focused on work. 

Hybrid: for many this is the perfect formula, with two or three days in the office and the rest teleworking; the benefits are multiplied. Today, this is the format chosen by many companies, and it looks like it will stay for a long time. 

Let’s take advantage of all we have learned from these months of uncertainty, so each company can assess which format is most efficient for their business and for each person. Flexibility and using the latest digital tools available in the market are key to improving productivity. 

 

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Surely you’ve heard the word start-up more than once. But what does it mean? What skills do you need to work at one?

 

A start-up is an emerging, newly-created company, with high growth potential, linked to new technologies or innovative business models, and with a high rate of return.

To work at one, you need to have a passion for your project, motivation to bring it to fruition, flexibility to dedicate hours to it and do the tasks that must be carried out, and commitment to the company. But if you do what you love, can it be considered work? 

 

5 key skills to work at a start-up

  • Proactivity: these types of companies do not just look for people in search of work, but want professionals that offer them services and believe in the idea. 
  • Positive attitude and professionalism. Not only do they look at resumes, but they also value the energy that candidates exude. Attitude will be key.
  • Adaptation: people who adapt to everything and are willing to pursue their passion, who are disruptive, too, and don’t settle for everything. 
  • Differentiation: they look for passion rather than talent, people who believe in the project, who share the values of the start-up. You have to be different and creative.
  • Flexibility: versatile people with autonomy.

Focused on work by goals 

You can already say goodbye to schedules: the traditional office workday has no place in a start-up, and priority is given to the project and delivery times. You have to be careful, because this becomes a double-edged sword: it favours the flexibility of workers’ schedules, but at the same time you can work too many hours if you do not manage this properly. 

In most cases, it will be indifferent whether you prefer to work in the morning, in the afternoon, or on Sunday night: what matters is that the task is delivered when it has to. Everyone needs to be organized in the way that is most productive for them. Generally, specialized people are sought, but, taking into account the work methodology, it is equally important that they are flexible, open-minded, good team workers, good learners, and quickly adaptable to change.

Dismantling myths about start-ups

The flexibility and constant change of start-ups implies, even if it seems the opposite, more organization than in conventional companies. If you have not been selected as a candidate, the best thing you can do is keep in touch, as there may be a place for you in the future. It is also not true that it is limited to young people: they need experienced people and, contrary to popular belief, if the company has good future prospects, salaries are usually competitive.

The selection process is also not usually traditional, as personal and professional characteristics that go beyond the curriculum are valued. The preparation for the interview will be key: find out what they do and how they work, and look for aspects of the project in which you can contribute. And, above all, be different. Any HR person is used to seeing hundreds of resumes a day. Do not miss the opportunity, and take out your best weapons to attract attention. Get away from the conventional. It is a good idea to achieve other skills apart from the current one, to train in other skills such as Excel, HTML, or WordPress. Note that most start-ups revolve around technology, and sooner or later you will have to use them. 

 

Proactivity and emotional intelligence: the combination of success

Working at a start-up will be an adventure where nothing is permanent. Even your position may change, and you may end up in a different department. Remember the skills above, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Proactivity will be your best ally.

Lastly, you need to have knowledge of emotional intelligence, to manage behaviour, relationships, and decisions. For everything that happens to bring you to fruition, you must reduce negative emotions, know how to manage stress, be more assertive, stay proactive, and bounce back to adversity. Paying close attention to the emotions of oneself and others, especially in difficult times or of a certain intensity, will help us a lot.

What matters in a start-up is the will to improve, to do whatever it takes, and to have the passion to do it.

 

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According to the Idescat, this June 2021 there were 445,862 unemployed people. Of these, more than half (54%), specifically 240,564 people, belong to the age group of more than forty-five years. 

 

These shocking data reflect that it is people close to the age of fifty who find it most difficult to get a job. What is happening?

We need to ask ourselves if we can move forward as a society without counting on people who can best add value to jobs. How can the people who can bring experience, seriousness, rigour, and talent to a company be the people who find it most difficult to get a job? 

 

Being over fifty: difficulty or opportunity?

Everything basically points to a problem of business culture, given that experience is undervalued. Apart from wanting to save and not value enough the opportunity involved in having a young worker and a senior worker together, an unstoppable tandem, the resumes of senior professionals are automatically ruled out. So, until there is a change of mindset, it will be difficult to find a solution to this nefarious problem. One of the worries of people around the age of fifty looking for work is that they are closer to retirement age. But this should not be a hindrance, as they are people with more professional background and more experience than young people, and this is an added value.

 

Now, what can we do if we are in this situation? Here are 11 tips we give you so that finding a job beyond your fifties is an opportunity:

  • Be always eager to learn, especially digital skills.
  • Keep training. This attitude is one of the most valued.
  • Be optimistic and ask for help to find a job. Be positive and consistent!
  • Have patience and hope, know how to manage negative feedback, and work on resilience.
  • Make a curriculum designed for each job offer.
  • Even if you have a very long work experience, explain only that of the last 15 or 20 years.
  • Be clear on which sector you want to work.
  • Do not include in your CV your marital status, children, or too personal data.
  • Take advantage of public resources offered by your city council, County Council… You will surely find some resources to help you find a job.
  • Look for opportunities in the sectors that have been strengthened by the health crisis: technology, pharmacy, education, health, and so on.
  • Get active on social media. Make a good LinkedIn profile, a good network of contacts, and make yourself known!

Being positive is one of the first things we need to be clear about when it comes to finding a job. Remember that no matter what happens, and no matter what it costs to find it, the opportunity is always there, because the sun rises every day.

 

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Have you ever had the feeling that you are wasting time while attending a meeting with your teammates and/or your boss? You are in the meeting, but are you thinking about other things? Can these sensations be avoided by making meetings more efficient? We try to explain how.

 

According to team building and leadership specialists, one of the essential issues is to be clear about why you are calling a meeting. Sometimes, we have the feeling that we are in that room, simply because you have been told to or because it’s on the calendar, without a defined objective.

Nowadays, and after everything that has happened in the last year, there are also those who distinguish between the organisation of face-to-face meetings and virtual meetings, given that the latter are not always easy to control, either because everyone is talking at the same time or because the attendees’ connections start to fail.

But in any case, the essential guidelines are the same:

  1. Before convening a meeting, whether it is face-to-face or virtual, we must be clear about the objective: What do we want to achieve? Is it really necessary?
  2. If possible, it should be planned with enough time to inform the interested parties, so that they can prepare for the meeting as well as the convenor, and so that the time is used to the maximum. Similarly, if necessary, it is advisable to provide attendees with the necessary documentation.
  3. The invitation should only reach the essential people. There is no point in having 20 people attending if only 5 are really interested and/or affected. For the company, time is money, and it is not productive to have a lot of people as forced spectators.
  4. Calculating the duration of the meeting is also important to avoid it taking longer than necessary, and obviously you have to be punctual in order to keep to the timetable. When calculating the duration of the meeting, we must think about setting aside time for requests and questions that can be asked at the end of the meeting.
  5. The space where the meeting is held, in the case of face-to-face meetings, must be adequate for the number of people convened, and must have all the technological and analogue tools necessary to clearly set out all the issues to be discussed.
  6. Once in the meeting, we have to assign the “role” that each of the attendees has to assume, if the interventions have to be marked. What is clear is that there must be a moderator, who will usually be the convenor, to avoid diluting the objective for which we are meeting.
  7. For a correct development, before starting, the moderator must read the agenda in order to be clear about the issues to be discussed or resolved, and make clear the reason for the meeting. From this point onwards, he or she must ensure that the time allocated to each of the topics and speakers is respected, so that the established timetable is adhered to and everyone can make their points.
  8. Once all the scheduled interventions have been completed, it is time for Q&A, in order to polish the topics dealt with, resolve any doubts that may have arisen, and decide whether any new contributions should be made before ending the session.
  9. In the closing session, it is important to define the conclusions drawn, as well as the solutions to the problems that have arisen during the meeting, and the deadlines for carrying out the actions to be undertaken.
  10. Finally, it is important to draw up a summary or a record of the minutes that includes everything that has been presented, interventions, conclusions, and even details the decisions that have been taken and the actions that must be carried out from now on.

The achievement of all these premises should guarantee effective and efficient internal meetings, meetings with suppliers and meetings with clients, so that we do not end up with a feeling of wasted time. It is especially important to make the most of time in order to achieve productivity and efficiency objectives that generate the economic benefits necessary for the survival of an organisation, thus guaranteeing the professional and personal stability of all those involved.

 

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COVID-19 has brought about changes in our lives, and no one knows if we will return to the previous normal; maybe this will be the new normal. Whatever it is, we have reinvented ourselves and got used to teleworking, the hybrid format, and avoiding social contact. 

We spoke to four Catalan companies to find out how they have adapted to the pandemic.

  1. Before the pandemic, had you teleworked?
  2. How was the communication and relationship among the staff during the pandemic?
  3. Did you have to look for alternative methods, such as online teamwork platforms?
  4. How are you living it now? Have you returned to the offices or are you doing a hybrid format?

Luis Rodríguez, Marketing and Sales Director | Bella Aurora

 

  1. No. We mostly work in the office with some flexibility to be able to work from home at specific times, such as family situations or personal arrangements, but very sporadically.
  2. Very well, there was a lot of constant communication and a lot of team feeling. People turned to help with the situation, and this allowed us to continue the activity with very little impact. Although the relationship at first cost a little more due to the lack of direct contact, we sought complementary reasons and ways to compensate for this lack of face-to-face contact.
  3. The first thing that was done was to provide all the people who did not have it with portable computer equipment and remote connections to work from home. We had already started using some computer tools for remote collaborative work, and with the pandemic we will speed up their use. We mostly use Microsoft applications and in particular we use Teams and Planner very intensely.
  4. We have not returned yet, because the situation is not yet fully resolved. We plan to return in early September, when we hope we can all be vaccinated.

Gina Solé, Marketing Manager | Storytel Spain

 

  1. Before the pandemic, I teleworked at very specific times. If one day you are not feeling well, or you have an appointment with the doctor, for example. But there has never been total flexibility.
  2. In my case, I joined Storytel in November 2020 and until two weeks ago, I didn’t meet the team in person! It was a weird mix, we knew each other, but at the same time it was weird to see our full bodies. Pandemic communication is reduced to many (perhaps too many) video calls.
  3. Yes, we looked for a way to be able to organize all the projects we have on the table and weekly 1-to-1 meetings.

     

  4. So far we have not returned. There is free choice to go to the office whenever you want, but Storytel is very aware of the current situation in all the countries where it is present, and we are all teleworking. In addition, they have already implemented a super-flexible post-pandemic telework strategy. Which I find great.

Almudena Cara, People Manager | Buff

 

  1. Yes, we had Home Office policy for a year and a half, one day a week for all people who had to travel more than 30 km or had to work on projects. Precisely in February, we had conducted an assessment survey of both people working from home and their managers to expand groups and days improving aspects.
  2. Internal communication became an indispensable element to be able to manage the situation. In the first weeks of the pandemic, communication was almost daily via email and Intranet. At all times, people knew in what situation we were and how we should act. We also intensify the use of the Intranet to give voice to all people in the company by sharing both operational messages (focused on the safety and health of workers), strategic messages (sales evolution and company situation), and messages with more human content. We launched a series of personal interviews called “A day confined with…” where a person from the team told us about how they lived their day to day, recommended activities to do in confinement, books… We even celebrated from the news of a pregnancy to a birth, as well as celebrating St. George’s Day with a Jordi and a Jordina. There was a lot of emotional support to help adjust the work at home for those people who had not experienced it so far: it was not the same to telework by personal choice as by forced obligation, as was the case.
  3. Yes, we started using Teams. All meetings, both internal and external, were held online. In this sense, we had no barriers to be able to continue developing our daily activity. Everyone at home had the same equipment we had in the offices (dual screens, elevators, keyboards, helmets, and laptops), making it easy to stay connected at all times.
  4. We currently continue to telework, with the possibility of coming one day a week for those who want it, without exceeding a maximum occupancy that we have established while we are in COVID-19 situation. During this period, we took the opportunity to review the telework policy that we had by extending its application to all office people and establishing a hybrid model of 3 days home and 2 in the offices. This model is fully flexible, with a common schedule of 6 hours (from 10 to 16) and the rest flexible, individually manageable. The holding of hybrid meetings has been extended, for which we have equipped different company rooms with systems that provide us with the possibility of holding a face-to-face meeting of more than one person with people in other locations. We are also working on a project to reformulate the offices to promote collaborative work and hot desking, making the offices disappear and prioritizing open spaces of different uses for the moment when we can return with the usual frequency.

Neus Rodríguez, Hospital Medical Visitor | Laboratoris Rovi

 

  1. No, we had never done telework.  
  2. Well, adapting to the medium full-tilt. We adapted the communication within the company very quickly. What was and is more complicated are the meetings in hospitals with doctors. We had to look for and think about options that had never been implemented before. 
  3. Yes, we use Teams and Zoom to be able to hold team meetings. 
  4. In my case, I’m doing hybrid format, that is, half face-to-face and half telework. In the case of Catalonia, medical visits are only allowed in private hospitals.

 

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The pandemic has forced many businesses to rethink their work model. Several companies are now thinking more about the holistic wellbeing of their employees, where their happiness and physical wellbeing is as important as their income. This has created a new position within businesses: the Wellness Manager.

 

Looking back at this past 2020, we can take stock of the burnout suffered by workers in the healthcare sector. This event has made large organisations realise the need to create a figure within businesses beyond the human resources director, an expert profile in the well-being of their staff, as Colleen Reilly explains in Forbes magazine. As Dr. Jonathan Ripp, director of wellness at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, explains to Forbes, this profile has grown on a large scale in many companies this past 2020, and believes that it may be a very common professional profile in the next ten years from now, especially in large companies.

Beyond the human resources department: the welfare manager

 

And what is the task of a welfare manager? Well, according to Reilly herself, it has to be a person who supports the human resources director of the company, to work together and strategically with the same common goal: to generate well-being for their workers. A few days ago, Amazon went further and posted a news item with its new wellness tool for workers: a relaxation cabin called Amazen. The news caused so much criticism on the net that, hours later, Amazon deleted the news, and now it is only available in other news media, such as Euronews. Perhaps Amazon wanted to go further but too fast in terms of advances for the wellbeing of its workers, we will focus on explaining what are the skills of a wellbeing manager.

Businesses promote wellness culture

 

Colleen Reilly analyses this figure as a profile responsible for having a culture and an ethic of well-being within the entire organisation, with the skills to know how to integrate both professional well-being, physical well-being and not forgetting to highlight the financial well-being of each of the workers. It also has to be a person with a high strategic and business vision, a visionary, influential, empathetic person, with knowledge of workers’ experiences and, above all, collaborative. This figure is beginning to bear fruit, and specifically  David Tomás has been the first person to be recognised as the first director of happiness in our country, with the promotion of people’s well-being.

Do you feel like looking for new professional challenges? What do you think about trying your hand at managing people’s wellbeing? Times are changing and businesses are adapting their working environments to their employees. And we ask ourselves: How soon will you see this new profile called wellness manager in our work organisation?

 

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Women hold only 34% of managerial positions in Spain. An insufficient number that has brought to light a new leadership, in female key, which breaks and weakens more and more social barriers.

 

Spain establishes, by law, that people of the same sex should not exceed 60% in private management positions. It seeks what, in the words of the philosopher and economist John Stuart Mill, would be a “perfect equality that does not admit power and privilege for some or incapacity for others”. In practice, however, the figure is blurred and this purpose remains a challenge. Since women entered universities in 1910, they have encountered the paradox that, despite having the same education, they cannot access the same positions.

A working life marked for generations by male bosses and which, little by little, as the figures show, opens the door to the other half of society. And while the difficulty of accessing certain positions remains, family life reconciliation remains a challenge and the pay gap a reality, more and more women are taking the reins of their professional lives and, therefore, of their life. Female leadership brings to light this revolutionary spirit which, far from the patterns hitherto marked, claims that power can also be conscious, transformative, and sustainable.

Entrepreneurship and sorority: leadership takes new forms

Talking about female leadership is often talking about entrepreneurship. The observatory conducted by the company Extraordinaria in 2020 found that 58% of entrepreneur women did it out of necessity. This figure can make us think of circumstances such as the difficulty of promoting within companies, the impact of family life reconciliation or motherhood on working life, or the exclusion from the market that many women of a certain age suffer. The causes are many, and the answer is clear: if they cannot follow the path marked by society, they will make their own path.

This is the case of Gemma Fillol, who has shown from her experience that entrepreneurship becomes leadership. She is currently the CEO of Extraordinaria, the entrepreneurship and feminine leadership network that connects more than 50,000 women in Spain. Based on the figures in the study, she points out that “women work for different reasons than men. In fact, one of the main fears of entrepreneur women is not billing but not being able to handle everything. In the end, it is the here and the now that moves us. At Extraordinaria we observe what these behaviours are and how we can help them. How to create sorority”.

Society remains deeply unequal and Fillol claims access to the same opportunities and rights “from the most absolute difference, because the difference is enriching”. According to her, one tries to lead from a feminine point of view, but the system is masculine, and this causes the clash of these two worlds, two ways of acting and seeing the world. This is why many women who access high positions do so from these male patterns that have traditionally been associated with power.

What are the keys to female leadership?

More cooperation and less competition. More teamwork and less hierarchy. More empathy, collaboration, and intuition, and less passivity, control, and impulsiveness. Many authors have described the characteristics of this leadership, and precisely this need to transform concepts that until now we associated with power: it is the first step to understand that female leadership is not only about a woman assuming a position, but a woman who wants to provide a new vision of working, communicating, and even understanding the company and its goals. 

As Fillol points out, “we seek not only to create sustainable businesses economically, but also in the human sphere. Making a social impact, changing the status quo. The purpose is very clear, companies are being built from somewhere else and this is very revolutionary. The capital is not the most important thing, and the Covid-19 crisis has shown that the companies that have survived are the ones that have made an effort in activating empathy and active listening”.

Precisely this feminine vision in terms of decisive sensitivity and empathy was referred to by ECB President Christine Lagarde in 2008, when she said that “if it had been Lehman Sisters instead of Lehman Brothers, the world would look different”.

From exclusive leadership to participatory leadership

“Resilience, the ability to emerge stronger from an impact, is a characteristic of leadership”, and this is precisely the key for the leaders of the future. Move away from the image of power and possession, and link themselves to contribution and cooperation. A leadership that goes from being within the reach of a few to becoming popular: “For me, a leader is a responsible person committed to their success and the impact they want to leave in this world”.

True female leadership is what generates a positive impact, not just from senior positions, but across the board. From the bottom to the top. As Gemma Fillol concludes, “we all make an impact. Activism can be practised from as close aspects as the children’s school, the stores where you shop, or who you vote for. We should all be conscious people, question everything, and be committed to our deepest longings and the imprint we want to leave on the world. We should all be leaders”.

 

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Whether it is because of the COVID-19 pandemic or the fact that they are reinventing themselves in terms of customer relationship services, banks are revolutionising this year, turning banking as we know it upside down. Apart from the 10 trends that can change in the banking industry this year according to expert Alan McIntyre, let’s go back to the beginnings of banking in Catalonia, because to understand the revolution, it is interesting to understand the beginnings of banking in our country.

Due to our current frenetic lifestyle, we often forget the moment when the most important changes happen: we take it as a fact that life has always been as we know it or as we make it work. In the case of banks, the first Catalan bank in the Middle Ages, called Taula de canvi de Barcelona, consisted of a few wood boards on the street where money was counted, banking operations were carried out, and payments were also made. From this table of change, created in 1401 thanks to the Consell de Cent in Barcelona and considered the first public bank in Europe, the banking world has spun many times. But why do we talk about history at 11Onze? Well, simply because, to understand the world today, we have to understand the beginning of things, and if Catalonia made a change in the banking relationship after the plague of 1348, why not make a banking revolution in the relationship with new customers, which has also been transformed following the 2020 pandemic?

But what does revolution mean? The dictionary defines revolution as “a total, radical change.” To make this change real, the revolutionary gaze focuses on people’s needs. We need to adapt to the new way of living in society, in which we are using less and less cash, therefore the customer no longer looks for an ATM at every corner, nor do they want to go to their branch. The client wants good care that is fast and is carried out through a good web operating system. In short, a bank that adapts to their lifestyle. Therefore, as a bank, we want to focus the revolution on adapting to the needs of each citizen, giving all the information they need to make the best financial decisions. In fact, we want the customer to choose us because we really do provide solutions to their needs.

Expert Alan McIntyre of the technology services consulting company Accenture has drawn, in Accenture’s webpage, his annual list of the 10 trends most likely to affect the banking industry in 2021.

The first trend on the McIntyre banking revolution list tells us that we must go for it with all possible resources, otherwise we should not even attempt to start a project; this trend can relate much to the context of change that society needs right now, following the 2020 pandemic, when many sectors have been forced to regenerate or die. The second McIntyre trend is this new normality, which was so widely talked about in the media last year. We link it with the banking world as a new standardization of traditional banking to future banking. McIntyre’s third trend is defined as the new era of banking applications, where banks will stop interacting with customers as they have done so far, and will be more than banking services within their apps, offering new opportunities to customers. Fourthly in this famous banking list we have the tendency towards radical transparency in a bank, where all the information that the customer needs is shared. Here we find an added value: the customer has the power to think for themselves with the information they receive from their bank, which gives them the opportunity to decide by themselves what to do with their money and how. McIntyre’s fifth tendency reminds us that you must be acknowledged not as being the best in something, but as the only one to make change in the banking world possible, be the innovator. Sixthly, McIntyre points out that cash will no longer be the main point of operations, attaching greater importance to a world that we already have internalised, that of digital payments. As a seventh trend, he says that banking is embarking on sustainability for a world that acknowledges the macroeconomic consequences of climate change. McIntyre’s eighth trend is defined as uncertainty in American regulations after the 2021 election period, which may have a direct impact on international economic efforts. Ninthly, we find the importance of the digital regulator and, as McIntyre’s last trend, we find that digital banking environments will become much more open and secure, leaving behind the archaic and closed environments typical of the worn-out banking world.

We must wait and see how these McIntyre trends come true. In the meantime, we must see the path every bank takes in this banking revolution, and to what extent this change in the relationship with new customers is made.