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José Salibi Neto (author and management guru): ‘The only way to succeed is to focus on the customer’
Author of seven books on the principles of business management, Salibi Neto analyzes aspects of the cultural transformation of Brazilian companies as the country moves towards Industry 4.0.
What are the most critical factors for businesses intent on playing an innovative role in their market?
José Salibi Neto: I would say that you must first consider the company's culture in this technology-driven world. We came from a world where the focus was on competition. It began with globalization in the 1980s, where the focus was on besting your competitors. Then, suddenly, technology broke down all the barriers. Currently, the only way to succeed is with a focus on the customer. You must assess how focused your business is on the client and how much it delivers solutions via products and services that make the client's life easier. I think that’s a good starting point. And the culture of businesses from that era focused on the competition is adjusting to today's world. My book "O novo código da cultura" (The New Code for Culture) is a good example of this.
What do you see asthe main challenges for traditional businesses seeking to remain competitive in the Web3 era?
I would repeat: the cultural issue. Around 80% of the world's cultural transformation projects fail. And the big challenge is not technology because technology is available to everyone, you can call IBM and Oracle, etc and get it right now. The word digital is somewhat misleading because it makes people think of technology. But deep down, what really needs to change is our behavior, processes, standards and values ─ only when we have the appropriate culture in place can we make the digital transformation.
Industry 4.0 is changing labor relations with the automation of production and the migration of workers to areas that didn't exist until a few years ago. How can businesses and professionals respond to the fast pace of change?
Indeed, technology has eliminated certain jobs previously performed by human beings. But, on the other hand, it has created countless others that we didn't have before. Therefore, the only way professionals can survive and succeed in this non-stop world is to redefine their careers. Sometimes it is difficult, especially when you’ve worked a certain way for 30 or 40 years, and suddenly you must discard everything and learn something new. We must have multiple degrees in today's world of work, and regardless, a college education in itself is not enough. Because of emerging professions, we must constantly reeducate ourselves to remain able to work in the modern world, because no place is teaching these professions, particularly not schools.
How would you evaluate the effectiveness of Brazilian companies’ use of data in management strategies?
Data is crucial in today’s world, where technology is vital. It drives business,it drives innovation, and it drives the way you will develop your strategy. However some businesses that have maintained their market share for decades consider data a novelty. And yet given the fierce state of competition these days, there is no room for complacency. Data analysis, data usage and data collection are all fundamental. And many businesses need help in this area because of how they are divided into sections and departments, which makes it harder to transmit data within the business itself. Therefore, businesses need to review their organizational structure to ensure a better flow of data within the company exists and better decisions are made.
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
I have co-authored seven business-management books, and I have an upcoming book, "Liderança Disruptiva," (Disruptive Leadership) co-written with Sandro Magaldi, and which is due out in August. I will be organizing several events and lectures across Brazil, starting in August with our "Gestão do amanhã na prática". (Practical Tomorrow’s Management) You can check everything we are doing on our website https://gestaodoamanha.com.br and follow us on our social networks. We are in full swing!
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