Alice Guehennec is the Group Chief Digital & Information Officer at Saur, a water studies company with 13,000 employees, 10,000 local authorities under contract, and net revenue of approximately €2bn.
Graduate of the UTC (Compiegne) with a master’s in science as well as a master’s in Information Technology, Guehennec holds 15 years of experience split between management consulting and IT services, with a strong focus on business and IT transformation management. Prior to Saur, Guehennec has held roles at companies such as EY (IT Consultant), Capgemini (Vice President Business Unit), Accenture (Senior Manager), and Sodexo (CIO & CDO Europe).
She believes her experience taught her about strategy and business transformation, but also how to develop strong knowledge in the operational implementation of information systems.
When it comes to leveraging her expansive experience, Guehennec is quick to point out the relevancy of her skill set. “My experience is very useful in my current position because a consulting company teaches you how to work- methodologies, how to approach a new organisation, how to define a new strategy, and project and programme management as well. And all this is very useful when you are in a CIO position because you have to very quickly become aware of where your organisation is and where you want to go and then define an execution plan and, finally, execute.”
She offers some advice for leaders on driving transformations during these challenging times. “To be a transformation leader, there are few capabilities to develop—first the capability to very quickly understand the situation and where to go. You have to be to have a strategic view of things and the capability to make things understandable for CxOs because most of the CxOs do not have a solid understanding of technology. So part of the job is to train leaders, CxOs.
“And the last topic, of course, is resilience because when you are in execution mode, we need resilience. And then there’s the buzzword of the day- agility, the capability to adapt to a situation because, of course, there’s a difference between the theoretical plan and the real plan.”
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