With every passing second, a substantial growth as well as disruption can be witnessed in technology sector. Though implementation of new advancements has become quite a need yet merely few leaders have able to do it. One of such impeccable leader is Cydni Tetro.
The Face of FORGEDX.
Cydni Tetro is leader in innovation, digital transformation and customer experience, and is recognized as a technology leader, STEM advocate and speaker. Today as CEO of ForgeDX she is a thought-leader on technology storytelling and works with the Fortune 100 who use their platform for customer experience and transformation. She also runs the Women Tech Council a non-profit focused on the technology talent pipeline and diversity & inclusion. She is faculty for the Goldman Sachs 10k Program and Babson Executive Education.
She was previously CEO and founder of venture-backed 3DplusMe, a 3D printing experience platform that partnered with Marvel, Star Wars, NFL, MLB, Hasbro, Walmart and Target to created transformative personalized customer experiences, it was acquired in 2016. Prior to that she led innovation and technology commercialization at Disney in Imagineering across Theme Parks, ESPN, ABC and Interactive. She was COO and CMO and lead innovation, product and customer experience at technology companies that were acquired by Ancestry, Proofpoint & FAST. She has been recognized Women of the Year and as top 10 Coolest Entrepreneurs. She received a Stevie Award for Entrepreneur of the Year and Innovator of the Year. Cydni sits on the board of Intermountain Healthcare, Ticket, Tribe and the Governor’s Economic Forum. Cydni holds a master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s in computer science and is always looking for more ways to build relationships with people doing incredible things in technology.
She states that the company’s mission at ForgeDX is to inspire the world through technology storytelling. As technology continues to impact and change every industry from retail and healthcare to manufacturing, ForgeDX has the opportunity to help tell the stories and shape the impact this has on customers, employees and businesses. In healthcare, she states, this means working with technology providers to help move dialysis to the home by showcasing how healthcare workers are trained and the ways patients get information. While in fan experience, it means helping amplify the fan experience and increase safety through facial recognition software that recognizes irregular routes or activities and notifies security. Whatever the industry, innovation or story, ForgeDX’s platform and technology align to the different audiences involved to help to illustrate their technology stories and make the world better.
Traits one must Posses
“The value of a creative problem solver cannot be overstated,” says Cydni. She states whether you’re in leadership or an entrepreneur, every day involves mini-crises with complex tradeoffs and real time implications. It’s essential to be able to take in lots of often complex information, make tradeoffs, determine routes that are not always anticipated, and lead a team through ever changing environments.
Activators are also invaluable – people who can turn ideas into action and create a balance between strategy and execution. Many people have great ideas but can never push them through, and others can drive massive projects but do not appreciate the nuance of strategy enough to make the trade offs necessary to stay aligned with objectives. The ability to balance customer needs, product delivery, and client relationships in a way that brings strategy and execution into harmony, while simultaneously activating.
Lessons worth Admiring
She states that early in her career right after completing my MBA, she was working for a VP of product management in a technology company and thought she had all the answers. Once after a meeting, the VP sat her down and said, “You don’t have to talk all the time.” She realized immediately that she could either ignore him, or she could take his feedback and adjust her style and interactions with people. After that interaction, she decided that she would always approach feedback openly with a desire to learn and improve. She would never have all the answers (she still knows she doesn’t), but she believes that she could grow by being willing to take feedback and constantly improve.
Later in her career, she had the opportunity to go to Disney and work in Imagineering on research and development. During this time, she was completely focused on how to create immersive experiences for guests that moved beyond transferring a message to creating a story that built to an outcome—making memories with family and friends. Instead of helping people watch a story, it was all about experience . This mindset of the power of transformative storytelling has shaped her career ever since, from founding a 3D printing entertainment line that turned people into characters in their favorite stories to her current work storytelling the future of innovation across industries and audiences.
While running 3DplusMe, she was involved in raising venture capital. Most VC firms receive 1,000 or more pitches a year, and of those they usually fund around 1% or less. That means rejection is an inherent and frequent part of the process. “As you repeatedly refine your pitch to align with execution and objectives, you learn endless lessons on the combination of optimism, courage and grit. Those lessons still guide my outlook on many situations today,” says Cydni.
Future through her Eyes
Technology, innovation and storytelling have always been a part of her career. Her role at ForgeDX is extremely rewarding in the way it blends these passions with the opportunity to work with some of the biggest brands in retail, manufacturing, hospitality, entertainment and financial services. She is also extremely passionate about her work at the Women Tech Council helping expand the economic pipeline for women in tech by creating opportunities and visibility from high school to the boardroom. As, she lead this software company and work to unite the technology community for women, she will continue pushing forward these core parts of her DNA.
Advice to Rely On
Cydni states that there are two gaps in leadership that can be death sentences. First, many leaders are not teachable instead, they think they know everything, and in doing so close themselves off to important feedback and learning opportunities. The best leaders always have a mindset of learning and growth.
“Adopt that from day 1 and never lose it,” suggests Cydni. Second, many leaders cannot take feedback. They assume they have everything under control and can do everything, to the point that feedback to the contrary is crippling and stunting. No one improves without support, retrospection and introspection. Make sure you always remain in a place to both receive and internalize feedback. Improvement is impossible otherwise.
Beyond those two essentials, the most successful entrepreneurs are fearless. They learn to become activators, to set ideas in motion and drive bottom-line delivery. Learn to understand, monitor, mitigate and appreciate risk while fearlessly pursuing your passion.
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