[Digital Transformation Journey] Office Depot – Europe

//[Digital Transformation Journey] Office Depot – Europe

Adrian Fogas is Director Accounts Receivable at Office Depot – Europe

My first taste of a digital journey probably started when I was just around 5 years old (although not quite aware at that time) when my grandpa’ told me two things:

🠮 “Put the will over the skill”
🠮 “No matter what you will want to do and enjoy doing in life, always remember to watch for the soul, as the soul with thrive on emotions first and foremost, vivacity, creativity, empathy, compassion, consciousness, intuition, warmth and nonetheless on mystery”.




Another 5 or so years later I began playing field tennis, and also connecting the dots. The aim was not to win, every person has that in a way or another… the aim was to lay the foundation and construct the path to win, that was what mattered most.

And the coach put me to the test…




And that is when the creativity kicked in (while the coach sat quietly on his bench), there were half a dozen of us that started to actually not look only as opponents but as teammates, by re-arranging the machine on the court, changing the courts and subsequent surfaces (slag, grass, concrete)…meant increased or changed speed & vivacity. What about compassion and empathy? Supporting and encouraging your friend to sharpen the dodgy backhand move while he supports you on developing your forehand 100 times. Intuition? Mystery? Challenging ourselves to run & circle the field while hitting at least 3 times the same ball, shaping the speed, pace and preparation for the next moves.

What happened in the end was that based on players like us working together with developer through constant feedback, measurements and monitoring let’s say that it began addressing all of these and better and better ball throwers emerged.

Looking back, the most important lesson was actually that through refreshing, (re)coding and rewiring the mindset and the landscape, the path was set to create a new “thrower” machine and essentially a new culture aroused.

I was asked what was the level of digitization prior COVID-19 in the company I work for and what is it now? Whilst the reality is that the all of the market has and is facing unprecedented challenges, I am proud to say that we’ve implemented full work from home in a day. I’ll say that again, in a day. And this is one of the best barometers that any company can use even retrospectively in my opinion. Most importantly, it was a team effort in which by far we could recognize vivacity, creativity, empathy, compassion, consciousness, intuition and warmth all of them with no exception. It was by far anything but easy, however we made it work and we made it together as a team, on our own unexpectedly, newly & mightily created “tennis” court!

There are numerous examples of adaptability, processes changed, amended and improved through semi and full automation that we’ve implemented on fast forward in the last 3 months and not only. And this has not come as a surprise but merely through hard work! Hard work and dedication of a beautiful team that drafted a culture of continuous Process Improvement, through ideas submitted by our own colleagues who get a real & on-time pulse of the challenges faced by the external as well as internal customers. Only last 3 months we’ve implemented in excess of 50 improvements!

Equally important, in our Talent Management holistic programme, a special place is withheld by the Process Improvement Academy, an academy that has the role of nurturing, developing and fostering through mentoring sessions, tailored trainings and implemented projects the next generations of leaders in the digital age.

More than agree with the fact that the COVID crisis threw us all on the “tennis court” quite quickly regardless if we wanted or not, forced us to adapt, (re)create, transform ourselves and as for digitization definitely a turning point as history is already in the making.

As a synopsis, how we work together, how we constantly refresh, (re)code, (re)create and rewire our mindset and landscape, how we are watch(ful of) the soul, especially in these times is most surely of paramount gravity and substance!

*** This article is written from my personal point of view ***