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It’s not every day that you get to talk to a professional like Giorgio Gandellini. A person with over 40 years of business experience, first in managerial positions for multinational companies and then in training and consultancy, which led him to follow projects in more than 30 countries.

In this interview, we tried to leverage his background to focus on the cultural differences between Italy and foreign countries.

Working extensively with managers, future entrepreneurs, and startups, Giorgio cannot help but notice, despite the enthusiasm, readiness, and motivation, the significant differences existing with counterparts from other countries such as the United States, France, and Germany.

In particular, he noticed, for example, that in general in Italy, a tool like Excel is only used for accounting and not, instead, as a tool for crystallizing decision-making processes, analysis, and interpretation of data. Excel is, in fact, first and foremost a decision-making tool, in which it is possible to build models that help clarify the relationship between decisions and results, not just a “calculator on steroids.”

What is lacking is the culture of data and measurement, the sensitivity to reconstruct cause-and-effect relationships to increase the possibility of controlling variables, and the most important business processes. And so paradoxes are created, such as the one where on the one hand we have a market that to keep up with international competition raises issues like Big Data and Industry 4.0 while on the other hand, we have thousands of SMEs that don’t even have a CRM available to work on very simple data but capable of helping managers and entrepreneurs to keep key processes under control.

The main theme is the awareness of the importance of certain topics, and this is found not only in terms of data and quantitative techniques but also, for example, in terms of market orientation. In Italy we are very good at making excellent products, but then we tend to think that the market will not be able to do without desiring them, and instead, it is not so. Market dynamics are increasingly complex, and product excellence alone, while important, is no longer enough, if it ever was.

Precisely to try to respond to this latent need, Giorgio led the working group that produced the Reference Practice on Market Orientation for Profit and Non-Profit Organizations, promoted by AISM and published by UNI at the end of last year. There is indeed, and it has been demonstrated by several studies, a positive correlation between competitive success and the level of market orientation that can be measured with different methodologies and should be the subject of attention from both entrepreneurs and institutions.

On these topics, Giorgio is particularly active, both with Nestplan International, his consulting company and with his teaching and training activities, as well as a content creator for publications like Marketing Mindset, which he founded together with Alfonso Pace and Virgilio Gay.