Empathy is a core business value for Derya Sousa, co-founder and CEO of construction software firm Kianda
Describe a typical day in your job.
I am a true morning person who starts the day early with positive thoughts. After quickly planning my tasks for the day, I usually keep an uninterrupted hour or two for me to focus on tasks that require me to be in the flow.
We are based in Ireland, supporting customers and partners across the world, so my day can vary in terms of work hours.
Engaging with our key stakeholders is important for me. This could involve attending meetings or participating in conference calls to discuss potential collaborations, reviewing contract negotiations and identifying opportunities for new business development.
Throughout the day, I also engage with my team to ensure they are motivated and aligned with the company’s goals.
What skills and experience do you need for your job?
A strong background in business and leadership, experience in strategy development, financial management and team leadership are all essential skills for my job.
However, one of the most important things is empathising – empathising with customers, partners, staff members, and so on.
By providing innovative health and safety software solutions, we are helping to create more efficient job sites that benefit workers and employers
Despite the transactional nature of the business world, I believe empathy is crucial for overcoming challenges.
Often people fail to empathise and understand each other at core to solve issues. Understanding customers’ core needs and desires is key to driving the growth of the company. As such, I make it a priority to infuse empathy into the organisation.
Moreover, I rely on my innovative, forward-thinking and analytical skills to make critical decisions that drive Kianda’s growth.
As a leader, I strive to inspire and motivate my team to achieve our goals, while fostering a culture of innovation and growth.
What are the challenges and rewards of your role?
One of the biggest challenges is staying ahead of the curve in terms of innovation and development.
The construction industry is like any other industry – software solutions need to be delivered fast to maintain competitive advantage and connect people to the processes.
If companies fail to embrace digital transformation and continue using outdated systems prone to error processes, they risk being left behind.
One of the most fulfilling aspects of my role is the opportunity to drive positive change in the construction industry.
By providing innovative health and safety software solutions, we are helping to create more efficient job sites that benefit workers and employers.
It’s also incredibly rewarding to see the impact that our technology can have on improving workplace safety and environmental stewardship.
How do you think digital roles will help to transform health and safety in construction?
When it comes to digitalisation in the construction industry, I often focus on areas beyond building information modelling (BIM).
While BIM has seen great advances in the past 20 years, modern construction involves many digital aspects beyond BIM, such as field technology and team collaboration.
One area I am particularly interested in is the use of technology to improve health and safety on construction sites.
This is not only important for saving lives, but also for companies to achieve true excellence by moving beyond a reactive mode to a proactive one in their health and safety initiatives.
By monitoring workers and equipment in real time, identifying potential hazards and taking proactive steps to prevent accidents before they occur, we can not only save lives but also reduce costly delays and downtime associated with accidents and injuries.
Furthermore, digital technology can help simplify and streamline health and safety compliance requirements.
By automating compliance reporting and record-keeping, we can reduce the burden on workers and management, while also improving the accuracy and completeness of data. It’s an exciting time for the industry as we continue to embrace and utilise the power of digital technology.