Interview with Professor Vicente Falconi, founding partner of FALCONI
What is the importance of studying public management?
Approximately 30 years ago, when I wrote my first book on management, TQC: Controle da qualidade total no estilo japonês, there were few books on the subject in Brazil. Nowadays, you can find books on management even in newsstands. I remember we started introducing these methods in Brazil in the 1980s, and then things started to develop quickly in companies in the 1990s. However, the public sector did not join until the 2000s. Even today, there are many difficulties in the public sector, but the situation has improved considerably. A lot of politicians seek us to work with us at FALCONI. They know management does not cost much and can lead to outstanding results, especially votes.
What are the main public management difficulties that the Brazilian government is facing nowadays?
There are many difficulties, but it’s important to highlight that this situation also exists inside companies. The first difficulty is the lack of a leadership that acknowledges the value of management and that “grabs the bull by its horns”.
Can the management techniques from the private sector be used in public management?
Management techniques are universal. They can be used to manage anything; what does change is technical knowledge. A lot of people mix these two elements up. For example: school management is one thing, pedagogy is something else. What we need is a management school in Brazil.
What is the profile of a good public manager?
A good manager, either from the public or the private sector, must be a leader. They must be focused on results, on always wanting to improve, on questioning everything, on wanting to improve their teams and on loving their country. The role of a leader is having a dream for their area of influence, touching the hearts and the minds of people with it. Afterwards, they must set goals, guide their team, devise action plans, and execute them. If this leader does not know how to make adjustments to their team, they must seek the help of specialists. In summary, they must have goals and the attitude to assist their team, including providing them with training.
Text published on 8/16/2015 in Correio Braziliense.