Dijana Vetturelli, Chief Executive Officer
Dijana believes in the power of conversation as a driver for sustainable change. In her interview, she reveals her thoughts on sustainability, entrepreneurship, and the power of collaboration & partnerships.
1. The last two years were challenging for the whole world. How do you manage the risk and uncertainty that comes with being an entrepreneur?
The media has been portraying entrepreneurs as extraordinary figures who accomplished their businesses solo, while overlooking the fact that nobody is able to construct a prosperous enterprise alone. If the team is the foundation of value creation, then it is essential to include them in managing hazards and uncertainties. Therefore, it is essential to be open and involve the team in addressing the issues we come across. During my time as an entrepreneur, I encountered many roadblocks, crises, and uncertainties, but I never solved them in private. I always included my partners, colleagues, and associates in the process. Being transparent is the priority.
2. How has being an entrepreneur changed you as a person?
Change is the only constant. :) Being an entrepreneur allowed me to grow and develop in ways that wouldn't be possible while working in a big corporation. But don't get me wrong - in no way do I regret my time spent there. As a young woman, I have advanced significantly, bringing me a sense of achievement. The expertise I acquired as a manager in a large system is priceless.
Nevertheless, as an entrepreneur, I gain more understanding, build expertise in new areas, and meet different people and industries. Above, as an entrepreneur in my industry, you discover the connection between economic, social, and political issues daily. I have learned to observe more attentively, think critically, and make decisions that I find fair and sustainable, with more freedom.
Large systems are too occupied with their invented protocols, and employees are rarely given the opportunity to look beyond what is in front of them and examine what is still sensible and what is not. They are confined within their own sphere, their own bubble.
3. What is the connection between sustainability and qohubs?
Whenever there's a shift in a company or society, it's happening on two levels - the tangible "level of action" and the intangible "level of perception". This applies to sustainability, too. Companies often spend a lot of energy focusing on the action part - like creating rules, going digital, and creating workshops - but don't consider the perception side. This includes the stereotypes, paradigms, and other beliefs that shape our reality. Companies invest heavily in internal communications, hoping that changes will be accepted and implemented quickly. However, we often find the results are not as expected. That's because they're missing the perception side.
No amount of written words, internal newsletters, communication platforms, visuals, podcasts, or video messages can change someone's mindset. Such messages without context are ultimately fruitless; if one desires a change, it's important to converse and come to a mutual understanding of the situation, as well as its implications. This is what qohubs encourages, and I consider it essential for sustainability in any sector.
4. How does qohubs incorporate sustainable practices and what are some examples?
Our product is created with a focus on our social responsibility, and its environmentally friendly credentials come from the fact it is entirely powered by renewable energy. Furthermore, using qohubs has a direct and positive effect on the environment. In big companies, traveling for training and development can take up to 60% of the employee learning & development budget. It's difficult to tell how much fuel is expended in traveling, but it's evident that the resulting CO2 emissions are significant. And this is only one side of the story - we should consider the time spent traveling as well - it means less time for value creation, resting, and spending time with family and friends.
5. How do you collaborate with other companies and organizations to promote sustainability?
I love qohubs because it gives us the opportunity to connect with an incredible array of people, experts, thinkers, authors, businesses... and we're looking forward to each and every collaboration, since we know that together we can make a positive difference in society. For example, we have been teaming up with the Croatian Paralympic Committee. Sure, you hear a lot of talk about DEI activities, but only 4% of firms that promote these initiatives are actually doing anything for people with disabilities, which is rather appalling, especially when you consider that people with disability make up 15% of our population. That's why we created a qohubs session to tackle this issue and help employees become more aware of missed opportunities, making better workplaces, and in the end, better societies. And in the coming weeks, more cooperations will be announced too! :)
6. Fun fact about you
I am fascinated by time traveling.😊