What business school taught a change specialist about reinvention

More than most, Sérgio Maria’s vocation has been about changeover and transformation. In a doing the job life assisting classic firms navigate the upheavals of new technologies, he has also rethought his possess path along the way.

For far more than a decade, the 48-yr-old senior digital govt, who lives in São Paulo, has worked with organisations adapting to digital disruption and innovation, initial at Google and now with Brazilian media and leisure group Rede Globo. All the while, building the expertise to set himself in others’ footwear, divine their business requires and talk how he can assistance has been at the centre of his vocation.

For the duration of twelve years at Google, Maria’s main perform was creating associations with publishers, such as newspapers, broadcasters and suppliers. “In 2011 in Brazil, the news industry was quite averse to Google,” he remembers. “I could not have a discussion with a newspaper CEO — they wouldn’t even respond to my calls.”

The icy reception was easy to understand. At the time, digital was decimating the classic news industry. Viewers ended up finding their news online, advertisers ended up next them and the print revenue design was having difficulties.

In opposition to this backdrop, the Brazilian was tasked with finding places wherever the competitor could develop into a collaborator. He joined Google as a strategic lover supervisor and inevitably rose to develop into director of world partnerships for Latin The united states and Brazil throughout broadcast, news and commerce.

Sergio Maria - New Businesses Director of Rede Globo - São Paulo, Brazil
Lengthy-expression eyesight: The scale of the obstacle at Globo persuaded Sérgio Maria to take on his newest part © Ricardo Lisboa

“Google has the promoting sales part that competes with all the other teams for promoting budgets . . . and that is how it is heading to perform without end,” Maria acknowledges. “But I was in a group that was searching at the other side — which is, how can we assistance these companions acquire themselves, be far more efficient in the way they do their business and also generate revenue?”

He also worked with journalists, outlining how to mine Google knowledge for investigative perform he taught publishers how technologies could assistance them comprehend users’ conduct and he helped optimise mobile solutions. The world accumulation of this kind of perform grew into the Google News Initiative, which supports journalism in the sort of a teaching centre and an innovation fund, for example.

Just after twelve years at Google, Maria was at a crossroads. If he stayed, the upcoming step would be a shift overseas, in a new part and society. That did not fit with his individual strategies, so he made a decision to take a vocation break, commit time with his loved ones — he has 3 sons — and reflect on his upcoming shift.


2004-2005 Products and products and services director, Oi Online

2006-2007 Products supervisor, Brasil Telecom Online

2007-2011 Strategic lover supervisor, Google

2011-2016 Head of strategic partnerships, Latin The united states, Google

2016-2017 Director of world partnerships, Latin The united states, Google

2017-2019 Director of world partnerships: broadcast, news and commerce, Google

2019-present Director of new business development, Rede Globo

Occupations, he suggests, are a 3-stage journey. At the starting, professionals’ expertise tend to be far more technical. Then they may perhaps develop into people today professionals, providing up a great deal of the practical perform and building expertise in top groups and creating a eyesight. The 3rd is the govt amount, searching at firms strategically in the prolonged expression.

Maria was ready to changeover to the 3rd stage. So in 2018, while at Google, he enrolled for the counsellors development programme, a company governance course, at Fundação Dom Cabral business university in Brazil.

“It was appropriate for that second in my vocation,” he suggests. “It allow me invest some time to comprehend the strategic part of boards better and how to then affect the administration workforce of the organisation.”

The programme, which he done at FDC’s Belo Horizonte campus, prepares long run board members. Alongside training the concepts of administration and governance, it explores how to apply this — for example, participants put together for and guide mock conferences of directors.

The return to formal discovering was “amazing”, Maria suggests. His vocation break meant he was spared balancing loved ones, perform and examine all through the course, which was taught in two week-prolonged blocks a few months aside. This permitted him to interact completely, he adds, one thing that those contemplating about govt programs need to be ready to do.

“People need to be geared up to remain offline and hook up to the people today on the course and hook up to the course alone,” he suggests. “It is envisioned that you take part a good deal and there is real value in bringing your encounter. It enriches the discussion and the practical physical exercises.”

This also signifies students need to share any problems or places for enhancement with classmates. “Be present, be trustworthy and be fearless,” Maria suggests. “The far more you are open, the far more people today will be equipped to assistance you and you will be equipped to assistance [other] people today.”

One particular of the advantages was creating a potent community of like-minded peers, and Maria carries on to assistance people today remain in touch as a course ambassador.

The programme has helped in his part as director of new business development at Globo, which he started very last June. “It’s not the specific technical issues that I use,” he suggests, “It is a great deal far more of a attitude transform on how to glance at and solution issues in the prolonged operate, searching at what is in the minds of executives and the board.”

Globo may perhaps be Maria’s most significant obstacle still. As part of its digital transformation, the business declared very last yr that it was bringing some of its firms jointly in a person group, such as broadcast and cable tv firms, its web-site and movie on-demand service.

Alongside the inside transform, Maria is doing the job on creating this new media technologies business for advertisers. “The possibility is how to combine all these mediums,” he suggests, so that advertisers can talk their messages seamlessly throughout all of Globo’s channels. For example, he adds: “Can we glance at the journey when people today shift out of Television and go to an app to continue on consuming the information?”

This solution and information would assistance advertisers comprehend what concept performs greatest wherever and when. It also advantages people, he suggests, in that adverts need to feel fewer jarring if picked in this kind of a way.

“We still provide interruption,” he suggests. “But we will need to make interruption a great deal better in a way that is connected to the information and to what is related to people today.”

It was the scale of the obstacle that persuaded Maria to take the part at Globo. When the chief govt introduced his eyesight for the business, 3 elements clicked into put: the amount of transformation a realisation that Maria could use his teaching in digital and speedy-shifting environments and finding one thing that he was very good at and fired up about.

“I reported, ‘OK, 3 or 5 years afterwards, if I glance back and we ended up equipped to put into practice the amount of transformation that the eyesight suggests, I’m heading to be quite very pleased of that.’ And that is a legacy I’m heading to depart. Speaking about a media group, it’s actually a legacy that my kids are heading to know about.”

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