Recently, Frédéric Lasnier (Pentalog CEO), Loïc Finaz (Admiral of the French Navy and strategic advisor of the group) and I visited Pentalog’s production centers in Romania, discussing Pentalog’s mission and other topics during in-person meetings.
As we traveled from Iasi to Cluj, passing through Bucharest and Brasov, there were 11 questions I was asked most often during the trip, and my answers of course.
1. Did you have a good trip?
Very good, thank you. Three hours from Paris, it goes by fast. Except for the little spinach sandwiches on the plane, it was perfect.
2. First time in Iasi? (Bucharest?) (Brasov?) (Cluj?)
For Frédéric Lasnier, no, this is his 287th time. “Romania is my second home,” he says. And moreover, he speaks Romanian. But for both the Admiral and me, it was our first time.
3. Why are you here?
Our purpose is twofold: First, to see the “humans” after two years of pandemic. Second, to talk about the Mission of the group on the other.
Personally, I’ve been working remotely with my Romanian colleagues for two years, in Teams, with timed appointments. For two years we have been working very well and always with a smile. I was looking forward to meeting them in real life, people on foot, perfumed, glasses of wine in hand and time available.
4. Why an Admiral with you?
Loïc Finaz has sailed the seas, on frigates and submarines, and then directed the French War School. When Frédéric learned that Loïc had recruited up to 3,000 people per year for several years, he thought that if anyone knew about missions, it was him, and that he could accompany us. Loïc introduced each of our presentations with his thoughts and experiences on leadership and what makes a good mission.
5. You are “VP of Company Culture,” what does that mean?
A company that is growing and hiring at a rapid pace is faced with many new challenges. Among the most delicate is maintaining the culture. This secret ingredient is a treasure to be cherished because it is the foundation on which the future rests. If you deny your culture or neglect it, you run the risk of becoming a band of mercenaries instead of a tight-knit crew of missionaries. Investing in the company’s culture, especially through the expression of its mission, is necessary for growth.
6. How do you define a Mission?
The mission is that mantra that comes from within. It’s there to remind you every day of the value of your job. To define it, you have to take inventory, look deeply at what the company is, its history, its values, its flaws, its dreams. It is like a sort of global skills assessment coupled with a brief therapy session.
The objective is to be able to communicate, in less than twenty seconds, with any new candidate, partner, client or media representative, the essence of the company.
7. Why this mission, “Positive Tech Impact”, and not another one?
This mission was born out of Frédéric Lasnier’s impulse last year. Cosmina Trifan (CMO), Frédéric and I were talking about impact, about doing things well and for the general good, and in the world of tech, where we live. We’re not going to change the world globally, but we can start by doing things in our sector.
We wanted a mission statement that was short, clear and punchy, not long with empty words. With this mission everyone understands the idea. We want Pentalog to be part of the global effort in a complex world, and we say so.
8. How do we apply this mission in practice?
We have broken down the mission into five objectives. Five very clear goals that we must achieve by 2025 (we put a deadline on it otherwise it’s too quiet!).
- Goal #1: Health & Well-being
- Goal #2: Sustainability
- Goal #3: Equality
- Goal #4: Education
- Goal #5: Value & Integrity
These are 5 action areas that are deeply rooted in the introspective work done within the company over a period of weeks. Following to ESG (Environment, Social & Governance) principles, we chose among fifty action areas those aligned with our DNA.
9. What will this change for us?
As Andrea Tatarus said in a Super Humans video, “We’ve always done it but now we have a label!” And Vlad Georgescu added, “I use it at work. In agile mode everything changes all the time, so it’s nice to know that we’re doing this to do good, it’s powerful!”
The mission is a beacon within the blur of business. You know why you’re working, you put meaning into what you’re doing, and you contribute to something bigger. Of course, the contribution is on our scale, but it’s already something. More and more companies want to work with partners who integrate these issues: we will be there to answer them.
10. And how can I participate individually?
Everyone can take part in the topics that are proposed. Health and wellness touches for example on the freedom to work remotely or in the office. Equality touches all subjects, sex, gender, age, origin, and all forms of distinctions. The environment includes our methods and our organization. Education, both within the company and in the community, is a historical topic at Pentalog. We allow everyone to grow, train and learn to progress.
And finally, we see value & integrity as the way we think about what meaningful growth looks like. Five objectives, but a thousand subjects that we are going to launch progressively, area by area, depending on the sensibilities of the teams and the wishes of each person.
11. Which of the four Romanian cities is your favorite?
I’m going to try to keep my new Romanian friends for as long as possible, so I’ll keep my impressions for now. In order to get a real and fair idea, I would have to come back as soon as possible, for work of course.
While waiting to return to Romania to continue these exciting, enthusiastic and useful exchanges, I am beginning to see initiatives emerging here and there around the mission. This week some proposals came from Brasov… And I am delighted! I hope that this is the beginning of many new projects with impact.
See you soon!