By Prof. Vicente Falconi, FALCONI’s Founding Partner
The end of the year is always a time for refection, thinking, and making plans for the future. It is good that it is like that. It is a very special time to all of us.
In the end of last year, we received a great New Year message from a friend. He talks about the need to be always observing and acting towards the New. He also talks about the revolutionary effect of the educational process and about people’s self-transformation, which should happen before the transformation of organizations or countries.
We agree with him. This is true not only concerning companies, but also, and perhaps, mainly, regarding our personal life. We think about our own family and about how different our Christmas have been. We can no longer have the presence of my father, my mother, my father-in-law, and two brothers-in-law. My two daughters got married and now they have to share their Christmas celebrations between their family and their husbands’. Our nephews are also getting married and they are no longer playing around in our houses. They already have their own families. On the other hand, we have the hope that grandchildren will soon be around to reestablish the noise and the innocence of Christmas days. Facts happen daily and change the realities around us and we have to change and create new solutions, each day, so then we keep on enjoying the challenges and the joys in life.
Companies are human organizations, just like families. Everyday there are new facts, not only inside the companies, but also outside, which change their realities and create new scenarios, altering their conditions for dynamic balance. A company could be doing well (momentarily), but we can never say that a company is good because of its sales, its balance sheet, or due to just any episodic situation. A good company is the one that knows how to effectively and quickly react to the changes around it. The managerial process is essentially that: establishing and reaching targets (reaching results) that would grant the company a good stand in new scenarios that arise continuously.
There is not a definite comfort position. This is a fact of life and was recognized by Abraham H. Maslow (“Motivation and Personality”) in his analysis of human behavior: life is a continuous alternation between satisfaction and dissatisfaction and the motivation of life is exactly this struggle for human satisfaction. Good management process is highly motivating, even if it is challenging. The search of the best result, the exceptional result, is the real joy of human work. Look at our artists.
Now look at what happens to the companies in their daily lives. New technologies that change completely the way of doing business come to light. Think about the Internet, the transformations in the commercial sector and the threats to the current tourism commercial structure. Think about the evolution of information technology and the changes in the areas of services and business administration. New materials appear everyday modifying products and services. An important example of that is the rise of new packaging materials and the dairy industry. Changes in the economic politics change competitiveness in business. Monetary stabilization has brought great challenges to the trade sector in general, which undergoes dramatic changes. It has also brought a new scenario to the public administration which can no longer rely on the shameful inflation tax to close their “budgets”. Given those changes, which are increasingly rapid and dramatic, the ones who are not willing to face them as part of their day-to-day will be ran over by them.
Those changes are spread out on all internal and external fronts of the company. Considering the acceleration of those changes and the complexity of some of them, it is no longer possible for a company to have one or two heroes that “command” them. The changes need to happen in all fronts and they should be attacked by all people in the organization joyfully and voluntarily. There is no other definite way of doing this and that is why nowadays education is not only important, but it is a survival factor for the organizations and for society itself. The major challenge is to take the competence to everyone, so then each one may conduct the necessary modifications inside their own competence area.
Then, there is another challenge of these current times, the large gap that exists between the amount of knowledge people have and the knowledge that is really transformed into benefits for the organization. Two professors from the Stanford University in the USA, Pfeffer and Sutton, have conducted research on the topic and published a highly interesting book titled “The Knowing-Doing Gap”, in which they conclude that U$ 60 billion are invested in the USA yearly to train people that end up not applying what they have supposedly learned (useless and wasted knowledge). After their research, they concluded that the only way to take knowledge to people with the warranty that the product of knowledge is applied to the company is through learning by doing in they day to day of work. We already do this at FALCONI Consultants for Results.
In Brazil, we have followed this path reasonably. We still invest little in training and we also spend in an ingenuous way in many cases. However, in this past decade, under Japanese influence, we have adopted in large scale, at the companies, the learning practice of “learning by doing and with a focus in the production of results”. The extension of the work that is done and the results several companies have tasted lead us to believe that this decade will show many Brazilian companies as world exponents in performance, in addition to the ones that have already proven it, which would be something unbelievable until a few years ago. We just need the governments to really get into it!
Based on everything we have seen in hundreds of Brazilian companies, we are convinced that if we succeed to make a revolution in education and to invest massively in education in the fundamental and secondary levels at the national level, we will bring Brazil to a very advantageous position to face the huge changes that the world will be facing in this century.
We can do that. It is in our hands!
Published on January 11, 2016 on LinkedIn Pulse.