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Spotlight on Leadership: Leaders of the Next Way

Mervin Azeta, SLB Global Flexible Work & Culture Project Manager

Genii Earth partners with visionary leaders who are shaping the future of business. We’re shining a spotlight on the leaders who are making a meaningful impact and introducing innovative ideas to tackle the world’s greatest challenges. Here is a firsthand look at the work of Mervin Azeta, the Global Flexible Work & Culture Project Manager at SLB, as she leads the way in creating positive change.

How would you describe the accountabilities of your current role in 1-2 sentences?

As the Global Flexible Work & Culture Project Manager at SLB, I am entrusted with the responsibility of managing the company’s culture evolution program, which aligns our values and behaviors with our purpose, strategic ambitions, and brand promise as a global technology company.

In this position, I collaborate across various business units, with multiple stakeholders, and coordinate efforts to deliver impactful and positive experiences. I also oversee our flexible work program, the evaluation of its performance metrics and the execution of improvement initiatives, ensuring that they balance the expectations, needs, and preferences of the business and our people.

Through it all, we are working to amplify and sustain a high-performance culture to advance our mission of driving energy innovation for a balanced planet.

What are you most excited about regarding your culture change work at SLB?

We are making a conscious, momentous, and tangible shift in our culture to sustain our ability to not just operate but also thrive in an increasingly complex, uncertain, and volatile world of work. As a priority, we are attracting, developing, and retaining top-tier talent, and fostering a nurturing, inclusive, and innovative environment that empowers our multigenerational workforce to deliver outperformance across all levels at SLB.

What are you learning is the most important consideration when trying to engage leaders in a large global organization?

Leaders play a crucial role in shaping the culture we want. So, it’s essential to get them on board early to create traction. This involves working on their mindsets, challenging any limiting beliefs, encouraging them to embody the right behaviors and values, and supporting them with the operating principles and systems that align with these values.

The cultural direction you envision should be evident in the decisions leaders make and the messages they convey to their teams and the entire organization. If there’s a mismatch, things can go south fast.

What message would you send to other organizations that are considering taking on this work?

Putting a spotlight on company culture is a game-changer, closely tied to the core goals of the business. It’s not just a side note; it’s a competitive advantage, especially as the landscape of business models, policies, and technologies evolves to tackle our world’s challenges head-on.

Keeping culture front and center becomes even more crucial as we welcome more Gen Zers and Gen Alphas into the workforce. These generations see the world and work differently. They want to be part of something meaningful, and seek workplaces where they feel effective, respected, uplifted, and valued.

When diving into this cultural journey, start by listening comprehensively. Talk to all stakeholder groups – employees, customers, suppliers, partners – to paint a holistic picture of the existing culture and the culture most needed for success.

Once you’ve defined the culture you want, the next step is creating a solid plan to make it happen. It must be concrete, robust, and sustainable. This way, you’ll gain a valuable return on your investment.

Be prepared to invest significantly. Changing culture isn’t for the fainthearted or those who externalize their responsibilities. You need to commit resources – financially, timewise, and emotionally. The investment in creating the desired culture is well worth it – far outweighing the cost of a poor culture.

Read more: Mervin Azeta 

Read about another New Way Leader: Andy Calitz, Future Energy CEO

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