A business is a living being, says educator

24 de outubro de 2017

São Paulo – Profitability, processes, products, services, physical structure. All of these elements make a company, but only part of it. A workshop hosted by the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce this Tuesday (24) in São Paulo provided a different perspective on what companies and their leaders should be like in the new economy.

The workshop was delivered by Carlos Soares de Carvalho, one of the partners of corporate education company Metanoia. According to him, in addition to a body – the part described above –, a company also has a mind and a soul. “We don’t pay enough attention to the people who make the company’s results: the client and the people who do the work,” he said.

Metanoia, a philosophy and a word and that means a change in thinking, proposes that leaders modify their mental patterns so they can see the company from those three different perspectives and strive to balance them out. In addition to looking at the body, which is wealth, they should take into account the subjects that are part of it, such as the staff and clients.

“In the old economy, much is said about the product. Executives put a lot of emphasis on supply, but fail to converse with the demand side of things,” said Carvalho regarding the efforts made to become familiar with a product’s features, and fact that not much time is spent focusing on the client. According to him, the biggest challenge of the new economy is getting to know “the person that’s on the other side.”

Metanoia posits that a company’s direction is strongly connected to the behavior of its leader, who should be a manager of perceptions within the business. “If our mental framework is one of scarcity and survival, we’re bound to experience scarcity and survival,” said Carvalho. According to him, the great leader of the new economy will be the one who best understands human nature.

Carvalho says a leader must be a manager, an entrepreneur and an administrator. A manager will focus on productivity and efficiency. An entrepreneur will understand the ins and outs of the market, work with imagination and intuition, treat clients as partners, and get emotionally involved with them. An administrator will understand that results come from people, from a committed staff and a loyal customer. “That’s why he’ll make room for people,” he says.

According to Carvalho, this conflation is where one creates an ethical, humane, prosperous company, a company with body, mind and soul. A leader’s role is to build a culture within the business, he asserts. According to him, a business requires a philosophy, a strategy and a method, and this is what makes up its culture.

He said companies are ill and lacking in purpose and meaning, because people fail to see their work as a journey and a life purpose. “Everyone approaches their work from an extraction standpoint. Most of the time, we’ll exchange our time for a wage at the end of the month. People don’t view their work as a journey, a journey that might have a purpose.”


The workshop lasted some two hours and was a summary of one of company Metanoia’s programs, Meta Gestão, which takes a day and a half to complete. The company also offers two other programs to corporate leaders: Meta Riqueza (Meta Wealth), which keeps track of administrators’ work over a nine-month timeframe, and Limiar (Portuguese for Boundary), designed to balance out one’s professional and personal life.

The workshop was attended by businessmen and by Arab Brazilian Chamber C-level executives. Luiz Carlos Martins, the owner of Lupetec, which supplies equipment to anatomical pathology laboratories, was in attendance. “This is important so that we can determine where we stand and where we’re lagging, so that we can improve,” he said.

Juan Musso, a compliance consultant with projects management company Pro Result said the recommendations that were given during the workshop are important in making businesses more efficient. Arab Chamber director Willian Atui echoed Carvalho’s statement that businesses and their leaders must be emotionally engaged with their clients. “This is key when it comes to doing business with Arabs,” he asserted.

The idea to have a workshop on this subject came from Arab Chamber director Mário Rizkallah, who remarks that one of the organization’s goals is to host meetings focusing on management, and not only foreign trade. “So that we can take a break from the routine, open up our minds and question what’s being done,” he told ANBA after the workshop.

Arab Chamber president Rubens Hannun, who was also in attendance, pointed out that the very event was an instance of what Metanoia proposes, since the Chamber and its members companies participated. “This is one of the roles of the Arab Brazilian Chamber: prompting reflection on leadership and management and looking at companies as living beings,” he said.

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani & Gabriel Pomerancblum