The greatest entrepreneurial reference in Brazil

Ricardo Semler
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At GEC 2013 (Global Entrepreneurship Conference that happened in Rio), one of the most talked about subjects was the "lack of entrepreneurial references that we have in Brazil". This is something I always hear. Along with the speech "Brazil will forever be the country of the future", "in Brazil this would not work" and "here the culture of the Brazilian way would not allow this to work", among other phrases that only serve to keep us apathetic, justification that there are no people to inspire us here in our wonderful country made me write today's post.

Lack of entrepreneurial references?

Are you kidding me? Were not the more than ignored and socially demoted bakers, news owners and small farms, among many others, who quietly take Brazil ahead waking up in the madruga every day for us to drink our hot coffee by reading the latest news from Lehman, Sicupira and Telles, admired all over the world for, in summary, going from Banco Garantia members to representative shareholders of AB Inbev, the world's largest brewer, Burger King, Heinz Company, B2W, Lojas Americanas, Blockbuster Brasil and many others, besides social initiatives like Fundació Estudar, Fund Gera Venture, among others, we would still lack motives to complain. These guys are admirable for their claw and for knowing how to play the conventional game of business very well.

But there's a guy who deserves even more space ...

On these guys you read in the most conventional blogs of entrepreneurship, after all they are good doing what already is done. Today I came to talk about a guy who, I believe, every Brazilian should know. Often in lectures when they begin to ask more about LUZ and other initiatives in which I am contributing, I speak of Ricardo Semler to support some of the decisions we make and that any college professor who believes in the books he reads finds absurd. There are very few who know you, so I was called to come and introduce you to you ...

Ricardo Semler was born on 1959 and playing his father's company, Semco, which made $ 4 millions in 1982, arrived in 2003 earning R $ 212 millions. As if growing 53x your company in 21 years was not enough, what matters most is not the result in which it arrived, but rather how it got there. Imbued with an extremely questioning spirit, at the 21 years Semler became president of his father's company and on his first day of work as President, dismissed 60% of the board and senior management. Unlike his father, he believed in a more participatory, decentralized system. Still in the 80 years he began to think about new products at Semco through a nucleus of technological innovation. Less than 10 years later, 2 / 3 employees and products acted on products designed by this core. But this was just the beginning.

Still motivated by his more humane view of business, Semler began applying Industrial Democracy. Term coined by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon in the nineteenth century, a democratic industry describes industrial workplaces where employees make far more decisions than in the conventional hierarchical model. Some examples:

1. At Semco the employees themselves make their work schedules (there are 30 years ago! Let's not be naive to think this is cool technology company thing)

2. There the employees who interview and hire their bosses. It is not the manager who interviews his employees, but the employees who choose their managers.

3. The salary is given together. From 6 in 6 months everyone stops to see how much each will win. Six months later, they sit in the room all over again to talk and re-define values.

4. There is no strategic planning or any warlike term there. It is believed that reality is very unstable and chaotic so we can fit it into a longer plane than 6 months.

5. Employees choose the color of the uniform, plus the color of their machines and other everyday things.

6. For those who saw the film up there, you can see that at Semco you can give up 10% of your salary so you do not work in the quarterfinals. The program is called "retire a little". What about?

Examples come in the tens!

But does this all work?

Well, it depends on what you consider "work", but I have some grants to give you to draw your own conclusions. That company grew 53x in just over 20 years you already know. What you may not know is that during the complicated Collor era the employees themselves decided to reduce their own wages by 40% (yes, they made that decision on their own) since they knew that due to recession or some would have to leave, or they would have to find another way to work together. Have you seen this type of teamwork in your company? In addition, after telling this and other stories writing the greatest non-fiction bestseller in Brazilian history (Turning her own table), Semler also wrote a book called "The 7 Days Weekend: Changing the Way the work works, "which already tells you something about your quality of life today.

"Oh, all right, the company seems to work but it's not doing anything 'around the world," you might be thinking. At 1990 Semler went to education and founded the Lumiar school in São Paulo that challenges any concept you have of learning. Want to see what he has to talk about education? Below is a nice speech about education in Curitiba

In times of social mobilization, when we are pausing to think about where we should go and who our references are, it is important to reflect on the topic before we leave speaking. If you did not know Semler and want to make a different company, read one of his books, the business is good! Till next week!

Note: Up there and in the title I put "the greatest entrepreneur in Brazil" or something. I honestly do not believe in bigger and smaller today, even because this generates dualism, which brought humanity to this level of separation and non-identification that we find ourselves. I ask you to understand it only as a way of drawing your attention to a man worthy of being known

Obs2: Like it? Want more? Mango movies follow it down

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  1. Felipe speaks

    I think I wrote this post for myself! I was really missing him, I watched a lecture almost without meaning to it was the whole weekend remembering. In the end I needed to share some of the ideas!

    Pamella, really stimulating


  2. Guilherme, I never read your posts again!

    I've already seen more of 30 videos from Ricardo Semler, out many posts in which I get synergy and I'm waiting for three books to arrive! Finally I'm listening to someone with a speech about business processes that makes sense!

    In Maino, in our weekly team meetings, we always discuss in a group where we are hitting, where we are going wrong and the staff suggests actions to improve the company decided to adopt there at the time, together. We did it sort of instinctively. Seeing an entrepreneur with unquestioned success, with a philosophy and actions that match what I believe, is incredible!

    I do not know who you wrote this post for, but it was worth it! Best post ever on the Light blog !!!

    Big hug!



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