By Josué Bressane, managing partner at FALCONI People
Times are hard and require a reflection on how it is possible to immunize a given business against the inconsistencies of the economy. There are plenty of things to do, especially during times like these, when a country or its economy goes through oscillations, and it is time for us to look within and get our home into order. But what does this mean? This means that we need to look at our internal procedures and assess what can be improved, changing the current structure. With less pressure to make sales or to meet shareholders’ demands, there is more room to think about the public and internal procedures.
The center of all attention must be people and how people can work together to turn lemons into a lemonade. First of all, we must think: do we have the right people, who are engaged and willing to help us think outside the box and find different solutions to what is ordinary? In moments of exhilaration, or when the market is experiencing a good moment, good news comes easily. In times of major difficulties, we truly see the people who are most engaged and creative, who will look at our business and seek alternatives that no one had thought before.
The fortress built by a company’s culture is what makes it victorious in times of major difficulties. Culture is the set of values and beliefs of an organization. This set of values and beliefs is what determines the choice of the right people, people’s engagement in business activities, the generation of improved results and the possibility of achieving the company’s “dream”, which is its long-term mission.
In my experience, a winning culture is one that generates in people a sense of ownership, in an environment where professionals are required to seek alternatives for problems that one had thought before, by means of quality, results and reaching their goals. And what makes an organization more or less productive and more capable of achieving its best results? A substantial part of this answer is in the company’s abilities to acquire the right people according to its culture, occupying the right positions, in addition to having the ability to form leaders and successors who are ready to take over challenging positions and generating a culture of learning and constant challenges.
But do we make this happen in a constructive way? It all begins with a major dream, a long-term mission, something that the company believes in and that you can use to convince people to walk this path alongside the company. Any given place is good enough for people who do not know where they want to go. Also, this dream must be clearly translated in valued and beliefs, spread throughout the company in a solid way.
The next step is to devise a method and goals, and have a lot of discipline to execute tasks. A critical element in achieving success is the precision of execution after all have been exposed to the company’s directives and goals for the year, because only through disciplined and obstinate execution can the company achieve its goals and dreams. Be passionate about what you do and make everyone in your company be passionate about their work. People who are not passionate about what they do are just executors, and they won’t help you achieve your mission and dream, and they won’t help you overcome difficult times.
Even with a well-defined path and discipline, being prepared for adversities and uncertainties is equally important. Answer quickly: do you have the right people to make the best decisions, which are often the hardest? Lastly, we need leaders who like being leaders, who like people. Technical leaders must lead technical projects, not people. You can promote an excellent technician to manager or leader, lose a good technician and end up with a terrible manager. This is deadly for organizations. An excellent leader is not necessarily someone who is an excellent technician. They must be capable of building a team with high technical skills in order to overcome target goals and who is 100% in alignment with the company’s values and culture. It must be a team that has a true business owner attitude.
Text featured in the edition published on 5/2/2016 of newspaper Correio Braziliense.