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Reaching Your Potential Julho 10, 2008

Resumo das ideias chave de um artigo da Harvard Business Review de Robert S. Kaplan

The Idea

Despite racking up impressive accomplishments, you feel frustrated with your career—convinced you should be achieving more. You may even wish you had chosen a different career altogether.

These feelings often stem from a common error: buying into others’ definitions of success. To reach your potential, Kaplan suggests taking a deeply personal look at how you define success:

Begin by recognizing that managing your career is your responsibility. Then, follow these three steps:

Know yourself by identifying your strengths and weaknesses and the activities you truly enjoy doing.
Excel at the activities critical to success in your desired role.
Demonstrate character and leadership by putting the interests of your company and colleagues ahead of your own.

The Idea in Practice

Kaplan offers these guidelines for reaching your potential at work:

Know Yourself

Write down your 2–3 greatest strengths and weaknesses. If (like most people) you struggle with identifying key weaknesses, solicit the views of people (peers, direct reports, trusted friends) who will tell you the brutal truth. Ask for very specific feedback (“How well do I listen?” “What is my leadership style?”). Be receptive to the input you receive.

Then figure out what you truly enjoy doing. What’s your dream job? Resist the lure of a hot field: If you go into it without a strong enthusiasm for the actual work, you may waste a number of years before you admit it’s the wrong job for you. Once you’ve chosen your ideal job, you’ll have to start from scratch. But choosing a field you love gives you strength to weather the inevitable setbacks and long hours needed to reach your full potential in any career.

Excel at Critical Activities

Identify the 3–4 activities essential for success in your desired or current role. Then develop a plan for excelling in these activities.

Example: A new division head at a large industrial company was struggling to grow sales and profits. Through interviews with staff and customers, he concluded that success in his business hinged on developing close relationships with top customers’ purchasing managers, putting the right people in critical leadership positions, and staying at the cutting edge of product innovation. He began delegating activities less central to success so he could focus on raising the bar on the three success factors he had identified. Sales and profits improved.

Demonstrate Character and Leadership

Character and leadership make the difference between good and great performance. To demonstrate character:

Put the interests of your company and colleagues ahead of your own, doing things for others without regard to what’s in it for you.
Adopt an owner’s mindset, asking yourself what you would do if you were the ultimate decision maker.
Be willing to make recommendations that will benefit your organization’s overall performance, possibly to the detriment of your own unit. Trust that you’ll eventually be rewarded.

To exhibit leadership, speak up—even when you’re expressing an unpopular view. Your superiors desperately want dissenting opinions so they can make better choices. If you play it safe instead of asserting your heartfelt opinions, you may hit a plateau in your career.

fonte: Harvard Business Review

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Há muitos incumbentes inovadores Junho 16, 2008

Artigo de opinião de João Picoito no Jornal Expresso de 14 de Junho de 2008

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No último encontro da COTEC no Porto, foi lançada por um dos participantes uma ideia que gerou bastante controvérsia. Penso que a intenção era mesmo essa. A ideia que, devo dizer, foi defendida com muita inteligência, convicção e argumentos muito bem estruturados era que – se a memória não me atraiçoa – “os incumbentes não inovam”.

No entanto e depois de ter reflectido sobre ela, concluí com alguma dificuldade – porque isto de discutirmos connosco nem sempre é fácil – que não fazia sentido.

Vejamos. Porque é que um incumbente – uma empresa com uma quota de mercado significativa ou até dominante – é incapaz de inovar?

O mercado global está cheio de provas do contrário disso. A Apple com o Ipod, a IBM com o IT Outsourcing, a Nestlé com o Nespresso, a Vodafone com o Life, a Toyota com o híbrido, a Gillete com as lâminas múltiplas, a Coca Cola com o Zero, a Nike com o Air, a Sogrape com o Mateus Rose, a Lufthansa com o Hon circle, e como é óbvio podíamos estar o dia inteiro nisto.

O que é que estas empresas, que não são propriamente «start up», têm em comum? É que nas suas organizações, existem ou coexistem sistemáticas de inovação que permitem crescer com competitividade e criação de valor no mercado global. São empresas que encaram a inovação nas suas várias vertentes, no marketing, nos produtos, nos processos e até na forma como se organizam.

No mercado português, existem também inúmeros casos que o provam. Além dos mais conhecidos exemplos da Galp com a Pluma, da TMN com o Mimo, do BES com o 360 Graus, da Brisa com a Via Verde, da Optimus com os Pioneiros, do BCP com a Nova Rede, existem muitos outros desconhecidos mas não menos importantes e significativos.

Portanto, a inovação não tem que ver nem com a dimensão nem com a antiguidade das empresas, antes com a vontade estratégica de crescer ou liderar com competitividade no mercado, que como sabemos é aberto e global.

João Picoito