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You can say that Erwan Rivet is a true global citizen and businessman. He grew up in France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, and the United States, spent eighteen years in Silicon Valley with Logitech and Cisco and five years in Switzerland with Honeywell and Merck Serono, and has travelled for business to China and India.
TRIUM has helped me become a purposeful and authentic leader, with a strong drive to keep learning and serve the people in my organization.
Having an international background gave Erwan a solid foundation in the cross-border tech and medical field industries, and he pursued an EMBA to complement this global experience and technical knowledge with business acumen. Erwan also sought to progress his career into the C-Suite and wanted to evaluate the opportunity to launch his own business and pursue funding for a start-up in the IoT space. TRIUM’s reputation and the extended network of alumni and professors convinced him that the program would help him with these goals.
Erwan recently spoke with TRIUM about the growth mindset that drives him to continue learning and evolving as a leader, how his diverse cohort and the global focus on the program further “widened his lens,” and how his time at Singularity University during Module 2 of the program reignited a spark of passion for the potentials of AI and the future of work.
You work in the intersection of technology, the medical field, and science. What excites you about AI and the future of work? How did TRIUM and your time at Singularity University during Module 2 impact the way you approach your work?
I am excited about the opportunities AI provides in the field of precision medicine. Being part of the move to making medicine a science more than an intelligent practice and making a difference in the lives of people living with neurodegenerative diseases is extremely rewarding. AI is transforming our work to the point where I hired a team of data scientist before hiring a full team of engineers.
TRIUM directly helped me communicate better the concepts of multi-sided platforms and omni channel approaches to service and product development. I also learned through the program and the capstone experience the critical aspect of building the right team. Who you work with, who you hire, and how you lead them is critical to any endeavour’s success. My work with partners in the industry has also been greatly improved by combining my technical background with my new business knowledge, thanks to the program.
The Singularity University experience in the California module also created a network of great value. Exponential Medicine is a conference I will continue to try and attend in the future, as it really opens up my vision as a CTO to new ways of approaching problems and building future roadmaps in medicine. TRIUM ignited the spark here.
You have an extensive international background. How did TRIUM’s global focus further widen your lens?
TRIUM helped me see the connections of the global dynamics at play between regions, countries and even specific industries. Coming from the technology world and transforming existing industries, these insights were extremely valuable. TRIUM also widened my lens on other industries, and on how little early investors and VC funders truly think globally. There are very few global start-ups, yet they are usually much stronger and can yield some significant growth quickly.
Speaking of gaining different perspectives, tell us about your experience with your cohort.
In London, we went through several exercises which helped accelerate our relationship building. I really felt comfortable with most of my cohort and really learned a lot from them. I also felt supported in the challenging times where work, family and the program became overwhelming. Having people from all regions of the world helped me see our classes and topics with a different view from my usual bias. Having worked in Silicon Valley for so long, it was really exciting to see my cohort discover what was my “normal,” and their perspective was very enlightening to me.
You are Chief Technology Officer and as such, are a leader for your team at the dawn of exciting new innovations and technologies that will drastically change how we work in the not-so-distant future. How did TRIUM shape your sensibilities as a leader?
As a leader I see my responsibilities as building teams which can create new ways of approaching challenging problems, build capabilities in AI, ML or DL which are deeply rooted in answering business questions, and can perform across multiple areas of expertise. Being part of a mission-driven organization is extremely helpful in attracting a level of talent who can adapt and keep motivated through the different pivots a start-up needs to go through.
TRIUM has helped me become a purposeful and authentic leader, with a strong drive to keep learning and serve the people in my organization. The program has also helped me fine tune my ability to find opportunities where people may not always be looking. Many companies focus on moving their existing paradigms to new technologies. I saw the opportunity to directly leverage those technologies (like AWS) and build a very scalable and lean solution to better serve the business needs or even build the business from the ground up.
What piece of advice would you give to leaders during this time of rapid growth and innovation?
I learned a valuable piece of advice at TRIUM. You should have a strategy for our digital world and not a separate digital strategy. It applies to many domains. It is not about digital health, but health in a digital world.
Keep on learning. Today’s technology, innovation or best practice will not last very long.
Build a team who is more interested in the journey than the actual destination. That destination will change over time, so your team needs to be ready to adapt and grow as the environment changes at an increasing pace.
Reflect on what your personal core drivers are and your organization values, strategies, and mission, keep them aligned.
Iterate as much as you can. “Think big, Start small, Learn Fast” is something more challenging to do than it looks like. It does really help though, no matter which organization you are part of. Start-up or Fortune 500.
How would you describe your TRIUM experience in three words?
Amazing. Life. Transformation.