There are several definitions of transformational leadership, each more majestic than the previous. But in the simplest terms, we think of transformational leadership as a style of managing that inspires people and drives positive change in innovative and sometimes even profound ways.
Today, transformational leadership is prevalent in the world’s most progressive companies. Management at these companies could have been content with their already enviable market positions. Instead, transformational leadership pushed them to excel in areas beyond their core businesses. At the helm were leaders who chose to identify new market opportunities and increase the sustainability of their market domination.
In her core business roles over the last number of years, Victoria Pelletier—Founding Director of Olive Ltd—has been a successful leader in leading teams and practices focused on creating purpose-driven organizations, positive workplace culture, and human-centred leadership to drive strong engagement, business transformation and strong stakeholder performance.
In fact, she is relentless and maniacal about not losing focus on culture and leadership as she transforms distinct businesses – this is the key differentiator to long-term organizational success.
CIOLook embraced the opportunity to interview Victoria, where she shared valuable facts highlighting her odyssey and professional tenure in the modern-day business arena.
Below are the excerpts from the exclusive interview:
Victoria, brief our audience about your journey as a business leader up through your current position at Olive. What challenges have you had to overcome to reach where you are today?
I began my career, while attending university, in financial services, leading large-scale contact centre operations, and then was recruited to become the COO of a private Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company at the age of 24.
My career since has been almost exclusively working for professional services organizations serving B2B clients with a focus on providing consulting and outsourced operations that are technology enabled. I have also worked for technology-first organizations like IBM, and I was also previously the CEO of a data and analytics company.
I’ve been heavily involved in technology throughout my career. I have chosen to invest time and money into many technology companies, including the FinTech company Olive LTD where I am a founding Board Director.
Tell us something more about Olive highlighting its mission and vision in the ever-evolving modern-day industry.
Olive is an open banking, payments-driven technology for businesses wanting to help customers reach financial goals by generating new deposits and donations inside of your existing customer experiences.
Enlighten us on how you have impacted the IT industry through your expertise in the niche.
Because I didn’t study the field of technology and come with a business background of commercial and operational experience, I have been very focused on identifying client and business challenges. Moreover, I’m exploring new ways for technology to assist as an enabler to the solutions for the business challenges – recognizing that technology alone is not a silver bullet; I’m also focused on translating business challenges into multi-pronged solutions that include technology, process and people transformation.
I have also been heavily involved is creating greater diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces and communities for those interested in the field of technology and have been fortunate to be recognized for this work with multiple awards and recognition.
What change would you like to bring to the IT industry if given a chance?
There are many opportunities to improve the technology industry that I want to continue to influence and advocate for – from responsible leadership in tech development – such as responsible AI, to utilizing human ingenuity and innovation to solve some of the world’s most significant challenges – particularly around our environment and sustainability, to ensure that we are much more strategic and intentional in building more diverse technology talent deliberately and then continuing to invest in the development of technology skills and digital fluency across the entire workforce.
Undeniably, technology is playing a significant role in almost every sector. How are you leveraging technological advancements to make your solutions resourceful?
No industry or group of companies can claim to be a technology company; in reality, EVERY company is a technology company. Whether core revenue comes from the sale of products and/or services, they are all technologically enabled – we live in a digital-first world where customers and employees expect a consumer-grade digitally enabled experience. Additionally, operational capability and excellence is inherently tied to its technology capability over overarching financial performance.
Where do you envision yourself to be in the long run, and what are your future goals?
I see myself continuing to operate in C-suite roles and on Boards where I will have the opportunity to work for purpose-driven organizations shaping strategy and delivering products, services and solutions that bring value to my clients and customers, while being hyper-focused on positive leadership and winning culture.
I am also a prolific public speaker – educating, motivating, and inspiring on topics such as resilience, DEI, leadership and culture – I see myself continuing to deliver these keynote talks to even more audiences.
What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the IT sector?
The advice that I would give to ANY entrepreneur, not just those in the IT sector, would be to follow their passion – building technology, products or services that are aligned to one’s passion and not just one that meets a market need (which is, obviously, also very important) – entrepreneurship is hard and doing what you love and care about for what can be grueling hours is significantly easier when it’s aligned to your own purpose and passion.