Balancing the Grind with Francesco Paglione​, Head of People at Climate X

Francesco Paglione​ is the Head of People at Climate X, a company unlocking the power of climate risk data with global coverage and granular analytics.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

After a degree in international relations, I started my career within the hr field at the US Department of State – American Embassy in Italy. After this experience I decided to bring a financial and business perspective to my career getting a master in corporate strategy at Bocconi School of Management.

I have matured my expertise in industries tech, Financial Services, FMCG, Pharma & Retail industries and working for companies like with TikTok, L’Oréal, and Ernst & Young and Climate X. where I lead the global people agenda ensuring people growth and business goals stays always synchronised.

2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

Italian coffee. Morning news and a facetime to see my beloved dog.

I have a disability, and my dog is the best therapy I could desire. Today more than ever is crucial for any organisation, to be successful in their D&I strategy, to enable their employees to be the true version of themselves, whatever the race, the sexuality, the background, or the disability is. Being always kind and inclusive has immense power and is a hyper engaging boomerang for a corporation, smaller or bigger it may be.

As Indyra Noori said “ people still think that if you have a hectic agenda, this is a sign of how important you can be.” And I couldn’t agree more. I do believe in the power of delegation and accountability. Particularly I am a fan of this approach because it does not reduce the volume of meetings I have but transforms each of them into an occasion to learn and to make a tangible impact.

3) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

For decades, scholars have described how organisations were built upon the implicit model of an “ideal worker”: one who is wholly devoted to their job and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, every year of their career.

This was always an unrealistic archetype, one that presumed a full- time caretaker in the background. There have been many calls for restructuring how work is done, including making more room for our families and questioning the real value of the eight-hour (or more) workday.

As a people person, my personal and professional commitment is creating processes and models for highly performing teams, yet maintaining a healthy and safe environment, wherein every single employee feels deeply included, respected and valued beyond the sole contribution to the company growth.

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4) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

I learned how to disconnect and create learning opportunities outside the workplace. Particularly when you have to manage a multi-country perimeter and your time-zone is increasingly enlarging, you will need to be stimulated by truly enriching opportunities.

I started a new master and I am taking singing lessons – a dream I always had since I was a child. Those two activities are bringing me pure joy and inspiration, commitment and thrive, all essential characteristics if you want to succeed in your role.

Always be- ing plugged in can erode performance. One leader observed that “certain cognitive processes happen when you step away from the frenetic responding to emails.” (The history of science, after all, is marked by insights that occurred not in the laboratory but while the scientist was engaged in a mundane task— or even asleep.)

5) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

Always a great food for thought is the Harvard Business review library. Recently I’ve been mesmerised by  “the burning questions” from Margaret Atwood.

6) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

“To break the rules, you have to first master them. “ There is always a time when you need to break the rules. The trigger for me to do so is the resilience you demonstrate to have in governing the increasing uncertainty, a typical feature of the post-pandemic environment.

Not being afraid to challenge the status quo, to break the old rules and set up new, more sustainable and ethically driven standards. This perspective will make you a better professional because a better human being.

7) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

Listen actively, be bold, and be always inspired by all sort of people because you need someone who can always push you and isn’t pulling you back.

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.