For Domenico Dargenio, completing his EMBA at Aalto EE was the first step on a continuous path of lifewide learning. His biggest driver is the intrinsic motivation to shape a better future for all.
In a fast-paced and ever-evolving world, becoming a lifewide learner can have a transformative impact on the lives of both individuals and organizations. Domenico Dargenio, driving Culture & Leadership Transformation at the Nordic energy company Fortum, is a prime example.
"Generally speaking, I am a curious person, but in the first ten years after finishing my second Master's degree and starting my career, my focus was elsewhere. I couldn't have cared less about further training and education," says Domenico, aka Dom.
Gradually, however, he recognized the gaps in his understanding of the complexities of business, prompting him to pursue an EMBA. This became a turning point in his journey.
I rediscovered the joy of learning in a wholly different way. It brought me back the pleasure of playing with my curiosity."
"I rediscovered the joy of learning in a wholly different way. It brought me back the pleasure of playing with my curiosity."
Since completing his EMBA at Aalto EE in 2015, Dom has embraced a continuous path of self-development. Actively participating in diverse training programs and earning certifications, he remains committed to staying updated with industry trends and seeking fresh inspiration from webinars and conferences.
Balancing professional commitments and educational pursuits can be challenging, but Dom draws on his intrinsic motivation. While acknowledging that energy levels tend to fluctuate, he has found a balance between using his free time on hobbies and seeking intellectual growth.
"I'm also learning to learn. I have realized, for example, that I don't have to read books cover to cover. Instead, I try to be focused and read only those parts or chapters that are pertinent to me and my situation."
Dom is a strong believer in the importance of staying relevant in a rapidly changing world. This is also where his desire for continuous learning comes from.
"I have a need to make things better. The satisfaction brought on by a better job and better salary is not enough. It fades away fast."
While Dom emphasizes that it's up to each of us individually to figure out how to stay up to speed, he points out that organizations also have a role to play.
There is no greater value for a company than becoming a learning organization."
"There is no greater value for a company than becoming a learning organization. We cannot push people, but we can create an environment where people have the opportunity to take time to learn and grow."
Turning the conversation to leadership, Dom underscores that exceptional leadership is rooted in acknowledging our shared humanity and fostering a human-centric corporate culture. He stresses that good leadership is a combination of different elements.
"You need to have the basics in place, you need to know what your strengths are, and you need to have contextual skills and knowledge. If you find a good mix, you will see the magic happen."
Challenging traditional notions of leadership, Dom calls for a shift from individual-centric to collective leadership.
"Let's face it: leadership is not a solo game; it's a team sport. People contribute in different ways. We still have quite some way to go to realizing and accepting this."
Dom encourages organizations to create psychological safety and challenge outdated models to drive transformative change.
We also need the courage to be vulnerable. We need to get rid of the narrative of leaders as superheroes."
"We are struggling to let go of a framework that was adopted 150 years ago. While technology is changing exponentially, organizational models are changing logarithmically, that is, very very slowly. The current organizational setup is not made to thrive in a VUCA world."
Dom calls for a shake-up of the traditional organizational landscape. Embracing lifewide learning, nurturing curiosity, and making radical changes is the only way to effectively navigate a world in transition.
As Dom aptly states, "We need more courage. And by this, I don't mean doing crazy things and taking big risks. We also need the courage to be vulnerable. We need to get rid of the narrative of leaders as superheroes."