Denis Delespaul’s book in support to the community

The book by BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions Italian President, of which, the entire proceeds of sales will be devolved to San Patrignano.

On the 26th of September, in the presence of a large crowd, managers, journalists, editorials in the publishing world, Denis Delespaul, President of BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions Italy and President of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Italy, presented his Book “The elegance of Okapi“, during a meeting conducted by the Radio 24 journalist Gianfranco Fabi, with the author, Gianfilippo Pandolfini, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and BNL Chief Operating Officer.

Delespaul has traced the story of the gesture of this volume devoted to managerial change, starting from its personal story that crosses, compensates and enriches the professional one. Loneliness, attitude, commitment, which translated into French became: solitude, posture, engagement. These are, in his view, the distinguishing features of the leader.

The topic in the course of the meeting was, therefore, leadership at a time of great change for major group organizations such as BNP PARIBAS, even after the acquisition of BNL. For Gianfilippo Pandolfini it was a positive encounter between two cultures that have been well integrated and now are preparing for new models of work organization, which will also materialize with the transition to the two new headquarters of the Group in Milan and Rome. In Milan a substantial part of the BNP PARIBAS group will move to the Diamante skyscraper in Piazza Lina Bo Bardi whereas in Rome the BNL headquarters and many Bank functions will be located in a new futuristic skyscraper near the Tiburtina station.

Delespaul‘s thinking on the motivation of the collaborators who saw him engaged throughout his professional life, can be summarized in the five points that in the last chapter of his book offers to the readers’ attention:

  1. There is no change in a well-defined business culture: you can evolve it. Each company has its own DNA, a history that needs to be taken into account. Transforming it means doing a change based on what is already there, a sort of chemical reaction that forms new substances from existing particles; with the only difference that, unlike many chemical reactions, business evolutions are extremely slow and gradual. It may take years.
  2. For the same reason – Business DNA, a precise path for every business – it is unthinkable that a consulting company can apply the same model to all companies with which it collaborates indiscriminately. Yet there are still people who try.
  3. Perhaps it is necessary that every change is sensed and desired by one hundred percent of the set of components that make up the enterprise: the top management, of course, but also the collaborators, all staff, customers and even the providers. To curtail, any stakeholder involved in the projects and processes of the company, has to be considered.
  4. To evolve a corporate culture, it is imperative that the entire corporate body, moves consistently. Let’s go back to the skater’s metaphor: if your head or top management goes in one direction and your legs or staff go in the other, it’s impossible to evolve as much as the triple axel. In order to achieve this consistency, we need to think about every detail of every aspect of the company, even apparently trivial: for example, reviewing the office layout, making it less formal and more open space and convivial, incorporating videoconferencing meeting rooms and technologically cutting edges; To offer everyone, without exception, the same hi-tech tools, from smartphones to laptops; Commiserate the manager’s bonus also 5 to the rating given by the employees; To offer a special bonus to the manager whose employee is promoted to a higher level, and so on.
  5. The vision – in fact, the number one, the starting point defining the reasons for the company, must be at the same time simple, understandable to everyone, and have that extra factor to make it wonderful, what urges the collective desire of every corporate subject and then bring it to point 4. (And to the triple axel.) Give the right change, the business project, the mission, the goals; It may seem trivial but it is not: the compact simplicity of concepts is that of an anchor. What’s more compact or simpler than an anchor? Yet it maintains the sophisticated, complex hydrofoil that is the business world.

Delespaul concluded the presentation recalling the meeting with the San Patrignano Community, where he had come to visit to then appreciate, over time, the spirit with which the residents face challenges everyday; admiring the commitment and the results achieved by the residents who attend it. It was a strong meeting, capable of prioritizing and opening a new way of dealing with everyday life. For this reason, the proceeds deriving from the rights of the book, will be assigned by the author to the San Patrignano Community.