14 November 2018 ... min. read Listen

Florina Cirlan

Walk us through your career path in ING 

I joined ING Tech about two and a half years ago and since then I’ve been a Chapter Lead for Data Management & Products, a team that sits at the core of the data flow in Wholesale Banking. We are part of a large cross-cultural team, our collegues are in the Netherlands. 

How it’s Life @ ING? (especially from a learning perspective)

Every time there is a path, there is a direction to follow in order to get a certain result. Once the journey starts, we start learning. So one of the nicest learning experiences came from my involvement in a project that had no other alternative that reaching great results, from day one; I must add that the context was not really challenge-free. It was the first project we worked on in this cross-cultural formula with our colleagues from the Netherlands. We had just started the project when we encountered a huge communication issue that slowed down the project.

After assessing the situation we realised the misunderstanding was coming from cultural differences, things that are specific to every culture and that were foreign to us. So we started a whole process of learning about one another and adjusting our communication so that it made sense for both groups. We considered each team’s perspective, pace and cultural characteristics, we even did role-playing to facilitate empathy between the crowds. As a result, the group’s dynamic improved and since then it remained great.

Diversity is central to ING Tech – we collaborate with teams of different cultural backgrounds and we all strive for a harmonious and balanced way of working and interactions. This type of environment encourages you to become curious about the people around, discover them and pay attention to the differences that matter. There is this book, very popular in our organisation at the moment, The Culture Map by Erin Meyer. It talks about the skills required to navigate through cultural differences in global teams. It’s a very useful read for anyone working in  a global organisation.

How would you explain your role to a 7-year-old as a Chapter Lead in ING Tech?

I like to have perspective and to offer this to my team, as well. So picture this: an orchestra or even better, a music band. Each band member plays an instrument. My role is to offer each of them the support they need and to make sure that when we have a “performance”, each of them will distinguish themselves by playing perfectly, but we will also play greatly as a band and the performance will be phenomenal. 

If you were to recommend ING to a friend, what would you say about the organisation?

I would pick 5 words to describe it: people, trust, autonomy, hi-tech, innovative.

If you were to save the world with an app…

I love music and I’m a big Apple Music fan. So the app to save the world with, would be pretty similar to Apple Music, but maybe a little more personal. :-)

Our phones collect all data about us, such as: what we like, what we do, what we feel etc. Maybe, if we could connect the “phone’s knowledge” about us with the before-mentioned app, this could serve us the right music for the right moments. In my opinion, this would save the world.

Let’s say you wrote your first SF book. What would you call it?

"What if nobody’s watching?"

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