Valtech is a business transformation company, which provides clients with the tools and technologies that create value, build relationships and grow revenue. Suzanne Schroder, Chief Collaboration Officer, Valtech, has spent most of her career at Valtech. She tells us more about the company and how she helps her staff grow.
Tell us a bit more about your business and how it started.
We’ve been partnering with the world’s leading brands for three decades, enabling them to achieve true business transformation through digital innovation. Whether L’Oreal, Mars or BMW, companies today are facing more complexity than ever before. With the ever-increasing expectations of their customers, businesses need to be set up in a way that enables them to deliver on the experience that is being demanded of them across all touchpoints. That requires transformation at every level of the organisation, from infrastructure and technology to brand and creative. Now with 6000+ people in 20+ countries, we continue to be the strategic partner of choice.
How has the business grown since it started and how did you ensure growth?
Companies today must become digital enterprises if they want to remain competitive. To help them transform, we follow the #OneValtech vision; a culture and way of working that has allowed Valtech to become more connected and integrated across our distributed teams. Early on we understood how big a game changer this would be, enabling our teams to collaborate seamlessly, cross-borders, cross-capabilities, cross-cultures, all with the focus of maximising customer value. Part of my role as CCO is ensuring that our global teams operate seamlessly across our regional delivery units with a common goal, purpose and a clear vision of where they’re heading.
What’s the business’ approach to management?
At Valtech, we’ve created a culture that attracts and retains top talent. We’re constantly working to refine this. To do so, we encourage people to think big, experiment and learn from their mistakes. We also give every Valtech employee full ownership of their work, as we know that putting trust in our people motivates them to deliver.
Finally, we ensure that all managers focus on fostering business collaboration. This is crucial to ensuring that we’re being as efficient as possible and that different parts of the business share knowledge, rather than hoarding it. That’s where I come in as Chief Collaboration Officer.
What is your company’s vision and goal?
I’ve already mentioned Valtech’s mission of enabling business transformation through digital innovation. This is our day-to-day mantra. But ultimately, our long-term vision boils down to finding ways to use technology for good.
Fundamentally, tech can improve society if deployed in the right way. It can make people’s lives simpler and easier – whether it’s driving business efficiency or transforming health, education and accessibility. This is a key motivator for us.
As a strategic partner for many of the world’s best-known brands, we are committed to helping businesses across all industries to secure long-term growth and deliver a better experience for their customers. As the world becomes more complex, we also need to predict and respond to the new and changing demands of our clients. Whether that’s preparing them for the impact of AI, supercharging their brand performance or giving them a competitive edge in the world of B2B commerce, we’ll continue to innovate and enable global companies to deliver the best possible experiences.
What has your career looked like so far?
I’m now over 25 years into my career, and I’m pleased to say that I’ve spent most of it at Valtech. My personal values are closely intertwined with those of the company, which means I’ve been passionate about every position I’ve held here – Regional Sales Director, Corporate Marketing Director, General Manager for Valtech Training and for Valtech France.
Before starting as Chief Collaboration Officer earlier this year, I was Managing Director for ‘Valtech Global Projects’, the entity behind our global strategic clients’ business transformation programmes. I personally oversaw and delivered the first biggest website factory for L’Oréal, which required an agile, connected and accountable team of +200 people working together across most of our offices.
How do you help your staff to grow and reach their full potential?
I personally love spotting potential in people and equipping them with the skills they need to develop. I attribute this to my curiosity, which enables me to tease out hidden talents. But, of course, at Valtech, we have our learning and training hub – the Valtech Academy, ensuring a huge catalogue of available training courses, onboarding paths and certifications for our employees to learn and gain the expertise they need, whether that is soft or hard skills. In addition to this, we have set up global mentorship, to help find the best career paths for our employees – I myself participate in both mentoring and coaching for our people. Likewise in our delivery team, we will always try to mix the teams in such a way that we make sure the most senior people are available to teach the more junior members.
Overall, at Valtech we have a company culture of do-ers and therefore welcome the concept of learning by doing. We embrace being out of our comfort zone and as a manager for many years, this is how I have grown into my role today. Teaching, providing support and helping other team members to evolve has always been a huge focus of mine.
How do you ensure different teams in your organisation work together?
As a Chief Collaboration Officer, I spend most of my life pondering this exact question! There are a million ways we can foster collaboration. But the most obvious is through effective change management. We now have the digital capabilities to work seamlessly across teams, businesses and continents. But implementing policies, processes and cultural change still presents a challenge. A Chief Collaboration Officer like me plays a crucial role in ensuring that teams embrace new, modern systems of operation, holding everyone accountable for delivery.
This goes hand-in-hand with the social revolution we’re currently experiencing. The workplace has transformed from a physical location to an extension of our homes and identities. Employees want to feel connected to their work and have a sense of purpose. The best way to do this is by creating a culture of collaboration. This means embracing diversity and working hard to attract top talent from all backgrounds.
Lastly, ensuring clear, open and goal-oriented internal communication is key to business collaboration. It’s crucial to achieving the above goals and should be a top priority for all organisations.Click below to share this article