Engineering Industry – Custom design and construction of mechanical presses for cold deformation of sheet metal and hot deformation of brass for the automotive and consumer white household appliances sector.


Rovetta Presse S.p.A. (a Manzoni Group company) – via Brescia, 26 – 25020 Pavone del Mella (BS) – Italy (Now: AIDA Europe Italy –


Technical Director: Apr 2000–May 2001


Managing a change in Specialist Technical role to Manager on both a professional and personal level.

The importance of this experience

This was an important step from Specialist Technician to Manager, involving many inherent differences between the two roles and having to adapt quickly to the new role’s challenges. Alberto Servienti achieved almost immediate appreciation/recognition, notwithstanding this being a sector previously unknown to him, reinforcing his confidence in his positive can-do attitude and allowing him to develop his character and skills.

Having had previous experience of more than 10 years working at Firema Trasporti, Alberto Servienti found himself facing new, completely different professional challenges for the following reasons:

  • The company’s size (which was smaller than the previous company he worked for);
  • The type of company (which was a family business, whereas his former company was managed by 3 families, but had had the managerial features of a large organization for some time);
  • The role (as Technical Director of Rovetta Presse, and no longer head of only one department);
  • The sector (cold stamping of sheet metal for the automotive sector, and no longer for the railway sector);
  • The knowledge (initially an expert in the railway sector – with the associated knowledge, culture, reputation, authority and acknowledgments – to being a newcomer in the new company’s business, particularly regarding knowledge and culture. His reputation and acknowledgments had also yet to be achieved in this new field, and therefore the approach had to go from purely operational and coordination to becoming directive and managerial);
  • The acceptance and integration, in the shortest possible time, into the new Company, thus trying to make the transition from an expert Technician in that sector to a Manager with the ability to manage situations and contexts of a different nature

Activities carried out and approach applied

Initially, in addition to being excited about the new role assumed and the importance of the Company and Group in which Alberto Servienti joined, he felt a strong need to personally evaluate what his own general positive characteristics were (which should have been more evident) and what his negative ones were (some of which needed to be carefully evaluated to try to eliminate them or mitigate them to improve his character and performance aspects).
Also, as it was also the first time that he had changed Companies, he was unsure as to how to work within a different Company, what its internal dynamics were, what and who the “opinion leaders” were, and what the Company’s owners were like (members of the Manzoni family).
After the considering these aspects, he was more confident and prepared to face this new role.

Initially, he held a private interview with each of the 25 people he would directly manage to better understand their skills, abilities, characteristics, behaviours, potential, interests, seniority, closeness to top management and family owners, etc. He also opened a dialogue with each of them to consider existing problems, possible proposals for improvement, assessments of their current and future roles, and satisfaction and dissatisfaction, among other things.
This therefore required strong conversational and listening skills and a high degree of engagement with all these people.

Skills employed

From this experience, Alberto Servienti learned how to approach a new Company and role, how to penetrate the Company and master the role as fast as possible and above all how to become a member of the team instead of pushing people away.
The main skills involved were:

  • advanced conversation and listening,
  • engagement with people at all levels,
  • transparency,
  • honesty,
  • open-mindedness,
  • diplomacy,
  • command (but never overbearing),
  • recognition of one’s limits (in specific areas of knowledge),
  • huge commitment and most importantly, trust in others.


Individual interviews conducted to gather a precise picture of each of the 25 people directly managed, with an accurate identification of their skills, abilities and leadership; who the opinion leaders and followers were; and which people were closest to top management, among other things.

A great advantage came from the Deputy Technical Director (at the Company since he was 20 years old), who was one of the opinion leaders and very close to the owners, and who declared himself enthusiastic to collaborate (which indeed turned out to be the case). His support was certainly decisive in allowing a rapid integration into the Company and gain respect from other employees (not only in his technical department, but also from the other company teams and the owner family). It also resulted in him being recognized as influential enough to be tipped for the role of Technical Director.

A further great help in this regard came from also the Plant Manager with whom an excellent feeling of mutual respect was immediately generated, as well as a clear understanding of Company’s targets, and transparency of and involvement in decision making.
Strong relationships were established also with all the other Company teams (such as Purchasing, Workshop, Quality, After-sales assistance, Construction sites, Administration, Human Resources, etc.) as well as with the other Group Companies.