Fabio Rosa, CIO Americas, Amplifon

Fabio Rosa is passionate about technology, innovation, services and business performance. His career has been dedicated to building process effectiveness and enhanced customer experience through business engagement, data-driven applied technology, performance management and execution drive. He is currently serving as the Chief Information Officer for Amplifon in Americas, based in Minneapolis, MN. Amplifon is the global leader in Hearing Health Care and is expanding its presence in the Americas, where it is currently present in 10 countries with approx. 2000 clinics.

Recently, in an exclusive interview with Digital First Magazine, Fabio shared his professional trajectory, insights on some of the key challenges facing the tech industry right now, personal sources of inspiration, career highlights, future plans, words of wisdom, and much more. The following excerpts are taken from the interview.

Hi Fabio. Please tell us about your background and areas of expertise.

My journey was built upon a lifelong learning approach and the pursuit of meaningful opportunities to apply my knowledge in relevant areas. On the academic side, I’ve graduated as Computer Engineer at Unicamp, MSc in Enterprise Architecture at Poli-USP, in-company MBA at Insper/Columbia University and am now studying for the MIT professional certificate for Chief Digital Officers. Professionally, since my first internship, many years ago, I’ve explored experiences in several areas of technology, from telephony and telecom to infrastructure, passing to software development, ERP and specialist systems implementation and analytics.

The combination of academy and practical experience in different fields took me through a diverse career through Beverage industries with Coca-Cola and AB-Inbev, home appliances with Whirlpool and Health care with Amplifon, through Brazil, USA, Belgium and Italy.

What do you love the most about your current role?

What I love the most in my current role is how much the work of my team is instrumental in implementing Amplifon’s purpose, to return the gift of sound to our customers and their families. We digitally support all steps of the customers engagement, testing, discovery of the need up to the aid fitting and the transformation of their lives for the better.

What are some of the technology challenges facing the industry right now?

My current largest challenge is to support the company’s technology transformation while performing. Connecting modern platforms with legacy systems is a challenge that goes way beyond technology and touches deep in the processes and data we have in our operations. Every new implementation is a strong challenge to fit historically flexible processes into stronger data quality requirements necessary to enhance our company compliance and security as we evolve.

In your opinion, what should CIOs and businesses do to take advantage of recent technological evolutions?

We’ve been leveraging SaaS and PaaS for some time now and aside from the legacies integration challenge I mentioned before it has been very beneficial for us, especially on the employee’s productivity the modern technologies bring. My current focus areas are 1 – Composability: how to enhance our ESB/data fabric capabilities to accelerate the legacies integration and provide more agility and data quality on new developments and 2 – AI: how to leverage LLM and voice recognition technologies to automate well defined processes, releasing more of our human capital to focus on customer services excellence. Driving this journey will require upskilling our teams and continuously enhance our processes and ways of working.

As a leader, what approaches do you use to create a culture of experimentation and innovation within your team?

Having worked many years close to manufacturing, 11 years in Beverages at Coca-Cola and Ab-Inbev and 3.5 years at Whirlpool Corporation, I’m a strong adept and a firm believer of Lean. That production methodology can be applied in any process and offers tools to identify waste, improve efficiency and release time to focus elsewhere. I would like to split this gained time in enhancing the team education and looking for further optimizations, which generates a virtuous cycle of productivity. That also develops the habit of searching for opportunities that often turns into innovation, incremental or disruptive.

What has been the most fulfilling part of your career?

I get the most fulfilled every time I get to engage a diverse group and collaborate to their evolution as individuals and a high-performance team. My measure for that is see how much you can create new role opportunities by working differently and filling these new positions, especially promotions with internal team members. I’ve been fortunate to have seen that happen multiple times in the last few years.

What are your valuable learnings and un-learnings during your journey to a visionary leader?

It will seem a recursive statement, but learning is the key, as well as daring to change. Continuously studying new models, frameworks, technologies, processes is the way to be able to spot opportunities and produce the change necessary to break the status quo, try new ways of working and get to a new threshold of productivity. Then you are intrinsically unlearning the previous way of working and adopting the new.

In your words, tell us the leadership skills that everyone should learn?

Listening and effective feedback (a.k.a. nonviolent communication) to me are the 2 most valuable ones. You need to be able to engage, understand people’s struggles and stimulate them to break the unproductive patterns, replacing them with better ones. Everybody likes evolving, but growth comes with change and sometimes pain. Being thoughtful to understand and respect that cycle is key in my experience to stimulate people to operate safely out of their comfort zone and empower them to develop up to their full potential.

What is that one thing which motivates you to become better and better every day? 

The people I can affect with my presence and my work. First and foremost, my family, but also my teammates and colleagues and the people we affect positively with the solutions we generate and support. At this point of my life this serving mentality is what gives me the most purpose.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

I could be perfectly happy doing the same as today, as I have a relevant and demanding job that challenges me to become better every day, fulfills me with purpose and gives me the condition to raise my family comfortably. On the flip side, I don’t want to become a blocker for the talent on my team to grow and take over from me. Also, Amplifon is so dynamic, and technology is evolving so fast I’m investing quality time in getting ready to jump on any other interesting challenge the organization may have for me when the time is right.

What is a piece of career advice you have been given that you would pass on to others? 

I started my career too concerned about hard skills, that are doubtlessly important, but at the end of the day, how you engage is what makes you evolve the most. I often refer to five personal principles I collected from great mentors:

Awareness: Understand the playing field you are on. Learn the environment, the market, the company (lies), the culture, the processes, the people around you and engage the most productive way you can; Intentionality:  Assume good intent and ask probing questions helps avoid misunderstandings and navigate conflicts productively; Feedback: Provide and take honest feedback. Work on yourself like you’d like others to do. Humility: Ask for help when needed, as nobody evolves alone. The quality of the people you surround yourself with will give you the dimension of how much further you can evolve; Learning: Keep yourself current in your field of expertise and on your industry standards so you are continuously relevant.

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