Employee Testimonial

Meet Nina Maldonado, Agile Transformation and Digital Innovation Manager

One conversation with Nina Maldonado, Agile Transformation and Digital Innovation Manager, could transform your problems into opportunities. At the D.Edge innovation hub in Amsterdam, she’s helping future proof the company with agility and flexibility.

  • Agile Transformation and Digital Innovation Manager
  • At Business Area Information Management
  • Works in Amsterdam
  • At AkzoNobel since 2017

"I’ve heard from people externally that it’s unusual for a company such as AkzoNobel to invest in teams like ours and the work we do, because our organization is not perceived as being dynamic."

            

The first thing you should know about Nina is that she wants to sit down and exchange ideas with you. There’s probably nothing she loves better than being inspired and inspiring others. So, if you ever catch her in person, make time for a cup of coffee – you won’t regret it.

Nina works in Amsterdam, running the operations of D.Edge. Strategically located in a startup environment, it’s one of the places where AkzoNobel is connecting with other corporates and startups to learn and share experiences.

Startup approach

“We focus on introducing agile ways of working, and we are passionate about building solutions that our customers love,” says Nina. “We aim to gain a deep understanding of our customers, what drives them and how we can help them become successful at what they are trying to achieve. With these insights, we can help teams focus on creating solutions that really matter to our customers.”

She adds: “We also believe it’s important to prototype ideas to test if they will indeed create the value we want. A recent example our team worked on was the development of the mockups and minimum viable product for DryDoq, the new solution launched into the market by our Incubator team.”

Nina continues: “We focus on working in short sprints that can produce results fast. In these ways, we can reduce unnecessary waste and increase the pace in which we launch new digital solutions into the market or deploy them internally.”

Investment in the future

“I’ve heard from people outside the company that it’s unusual for organizations like AkzoNobel to invest in their teams and the work they do, because we’re not perceived as being dynamic. But to me, these investments show that we believe in the importance of becoming more agile, digital and innovative. So it’s good to see that externally, what we’re doing is regarded as a positive investment in strengthening the future of AkzoNobel – essentially future-proofing the company.

“I’m proud of my team. Although we’ve faced some challenges lately, I love the fact that they are flexible, eager to learn, open, take risks and excited about the opportunities we have ahead. I especially love the sparkle in the eyes of the people we inspire through our workshops, meet-ups and ideation sessions.”

Growing impact

Last year, more than 500 employees from the Netherlands, the UK, Brazil and China attended one of the Agile Awareness sessions put on by Nina’s team, and participants included members of the leadership team. Nina’s looking to add more locations and online access so even more people can benefit in the future.

They’ve also facilitated sessions to explore ideas with more than 20 teams from very diverse areas like Human Resources, Legal, Integrated Supply Chain, Marketing and Procurement – bringing this approach to innovation throughout the company.

“I am curious per nature, so I am always looking around to see what is cooking inside and outside the company that we could use.

Connect to learn

“I am a networker and a long-life learner,” says Nina. “AkzoNobel has open the doors for me to continuously learn from day one! If I am not learning something new, I am easily bored. So now, I am starting a new Digital Disruption program that I’m very excited about!”

She adds that she always wants to engage with people at all levels, skills and knowledge: “Those who are very experienced, I know that I can learn from. Those who are newer inspire me with their fresh thinking.”