By 2025, 30% of global corporate revenues will be generated by platform companies, yet only 3% of the companies have an effective ”platformization” strategy of their business, according to The World Economic Forum. Regardless of the company size or industry, most products or services will sooner or later be integrated into a platform. And contrary to common belief, these models are far from being accessible to digital entrants only. In fact, incumbents can rely on assets that represent unique strengths when starting platform businesses.
In this context of great opportunities, Flying Rhino is paving the way of sustainable & responsible digital ecosystems, for companies wanting to harness the power of platform business models. Flying Rhino aims to help organizations drive growth, competitiveness and increase enterprise valuation, while ensuring responsibility and ethics. To this end, they provide the vision, the keys, the expertise, the methodologies & tools, as well as the entrepreneurial skills needed to make these innovations a reality.
The Flying Rhino leadership also considers themselves lucky to be able to leverage a culturally diverse international team, with business, technological, sustainability, legal and entrepreneurial backgrounds. Thanks to unique and tailored methodologies and tools, they can span from building a strategy and ideating a platform, all the way to creating a platform venture with, or for, their customers.
The whole Flying Rhino team likes to think themselves as “consult-trepeneurs” with a responsibility for the future.
Leading on a Strong Foundational Background
Nathalie Dumas Lamborghini is the Founder & CEO of Flying Rhino. Nathalie is a graduate from Stanford GBS and has been leading her career at the international level working for industry technology blue chip companies such as Cisco, Oracle and Intel.
Having worked and lived in several countries, Nathalie speaks four languages, and can rely on a strong international network. Nathalie is President and Board Member of several organisations. Furthermore, she is highly committed to the economic sustainable development of the Aix-Marseille territory in the south of France, being the advisor to the President of the Chamber of Commerce; conference speaker, she’s a business angel and startup coach with several international accelerators. On the other end of the spectrum, she is advising big international corporates with 60+Billion revenues on their platform strategies and ventures.
In 2017, Nathalie was awarded the Voxfemina price as digital transformation expert, as well as the Golden Trophy of the « Femmes de l’Economie » for the International Woman of the Year award.
After 20+ years of leading functions in big corporates, Nathalie founded Flying Rhino. As a CEO, she sees her role as inspiring people, taking responsibility while empowering, listening, and sharing success with her team, but also with partners and customers. All this, in all fairness and honesty, always with a win-win spirit. She always says, that one must never forget that each project should be handled as if it was your own.
Pioneer in Transforming Challenges into Opportunities
Pioneer, both in form and content, Nathalie has been driving the biggest part of her international career as a 100% remote worker, from her home office, over the last 16 years. This way of working which today seems normal, was totally unique back then, and frowned upon. Similarly, 10 years ago, she volunteered to take on the Cloud topic at Cisco, while everyone believed Cloud was a hype. Likewise, a few years ago, she worked on pivoting Cisco’s business model towards As-A-Service “against all odd”. And the list of such pioneering examples despite widespread views, is long.
And of course, all this took effort : Nathalie thinks that lack of confidence, and a clear lack of female role models have been challenges faced by women in the industry. She says, 20 years ago, they were very few women in tech, or in executive roles. This made things harder because there was no one she could share her doubts with. And there was no one to highlight that her self-limiting beliefs could disappear. Having said this, Nathalie always found it very valuable to work in international teams, as this forced looking at things from many angles, and therefore realizing that there were often several ways to reach the same result; the limiting factor is always to be able to imagine that things are possible.
Emulating the Role of a Transformational Leader
Nathalie says three things come to her mind when being asked what attributes a transformational leader should have: empathy, boldness and resilience.
Empathy because listening is essential to understanding and finding a win-win path to success.
Boldness because one has to be willing to take risks, and be able to imagine the unthinkable.
And, resilience because if a leader feels in their guts that they are on the right path, they should not listen to detractors who will try to stop them, or slow them down.
Nathalie concludes that, “In fact, if I am deeply convinced of something, hearing “it’ll never work” is an absolute booster for me!”
Understanding Technology to Foster Innovation
When asked about innovation, Nathalie replies : “Listening is key: to my customer, to my partners, and to my team; and then finding the common thread between all of this, and my own convictions. After that, when we have come up with what we believe our customers need, we simply run it by them, in all humility. And then we adjust if necessary. This means that we need to be very adaptable, agile, and that the support we provide is highly customized, and not industrialized; I think this is one of our strengths”.
More broadly, she feels that innovation is not a technological issue, but a business & strategic stake, and that it should bring sense for the future of the company. Technologies such as AI, Big Data, Cloud, IoT, etc, are essential tools though, as they enable new models like platforms, new usages, high speeds, security and customization. Understanding what technology can facilitate is fundamental, because it’s one key element of the innovation puzzle.
Implementing Growth Strategies for the Future Ahead
“We’re only at the beginning of the platform adventure: this fundamental trend brings the disruption of business models as we know them, and it’s going to be just as unavoidable as digital transformation” Nathalie says, and continues that Europe is behind the USA and Asia on this topic, but European companies have all the attributes necessary to catch up. What is important though, is to make it one’s responsibility to ensure ethics, sustainability and positive impact when implementing those strategies.
Trust in oneself is the key to Emerging Leadership
For the emerging women leaders, Nathalie advises that budding leaders should listen to their inner voice: trying to be someone else will drive to failure and pain. She firmly believes that one can succeed with their own set of rules; for instance, who said that it’s impossible to have an international career while being a full-time remote worker and a mum? And who said one should not leave a great job with a blue-chip company to launch one’s own venture? Women must trust themselves and follow their own direction, not the one of others