Ken Polotan recently joined Kylla. Here he explains why and what drives him.
One of the things that piqued my interest and led me to join Kylla Corporate Transactions is the firm’s tagline: “Business Beyond Borders.” Let’s just say that I drank the Kool-Aid: I subscribe and believe in “Business Beyond Borders.” Yet Kylla’s translation of its mantra goes beyond just having an international presence. Nor is it just a marketing slogan. The firm not only has offices in the EU, but also in Asia’s emerging growth market.
More importantly, “Business Beyond Borders” refers to a cultural mindset. It’s also a brand promise. The firm is positioned and committed to helping its clients leverage global scale and agility in the areas of corporate funding, deal structuring and governance. Kylla’s portfolio of clients and investors are citizens of the world. As a digital strategist, I see the “Business Beyond Borders” concept as akin to a true digital business: lean, agile, customer-centric and enabled by digital technologies.
I work remotely as Kylla’s first outpost in the U.S. I am excited with the opportunity of growing our business pipeline this side of the Atlantic. My goal is to build and gain traction on Kylla’s brand equity. Specifically, this means identifying potential U.S investors and creating the most optimal alignment and collaboration with our robust, international client portfolio.
I guess you could say that my on-boarding was typical corporate experience. The first few days were spent setting up our firm technology: securing, installing and configuring communications, collaboration and project management apps and platforms. But here’s the real kicker: considering that our team is highly dispersed geographically and that we saddle almost all of the international time zones, I was pleasantly surprised at the flexibility by which my team engages with one another. We always manage to select the most optimal time for audio/video conferences, whether a team member is located in Dusseldorf or Bangkok.
It’s time for a confession: I am passionate about strategy, leadership, innovation and culture. These are topics of my thought leadership articles and presentations at international conferences. My position has always been that for businesses to be successful at innovation and transformation, it has to be a “culture-led” transformation. I firmly believe that culture is now the strategic and competitive advantage.
At an industry technology conference in Brussels, an audience member posed the following question to me after my presentation: “if culture is so important, how do you fix it?” And I responded this way: culture is constantly being designed and modeled by the leadership team. This is how shared values are operationalized on a daily basis. Kylla’s leadership team demonstrates our shared values at every task and activity: trust, respect and transparency. And our version of leadership is not hierchical; there’s a leader at the farthest corners of the organization – from Istanbul to London.
I am excited to be part of the Kylla team. And I look forward to a sustained and productive stint in enabling our clients realize their growth and innovation objectives.