September, 2003


Issue # 2 

   Alfredo Behrens

This is a space for quick conversations on management and society. Our interests gravitate around issues of leadership, management of workteams, technology, creativity, emotional intelligence and most issues which should be shared to shape a better world.



This second issue brings your a Feature Article on why companies are becoming less pyramidal and are requiring to know more about people in order to bring about the efficacy of workteams. In Management Insights you will read a call for attention to Brazilian human resources practices in order to retain their talent because executives allegiance to their current employers will become more volatile if the economy enters an upswing during 2004. In Food for the Mind you will see an example of creative energy where most would only see an office device. Last but certainly not least, Professor Theodore Zeldin contributes, as Guest Author, specially for Newsleader, with an introduction to his views on conversation as a tool to enhance the productivity of workteams. Professor Zeldin is a former Dean of St. Anthony's College, Oxford, is an Associate Fellow of Oxford's Business School: Templeton College; and an Honorary Professor of the French Haute École de Commerce. Professor Zeldin leads the Oxford Muse.

Incidentaly, there is no earlier issue of NewsLeader. This one is nubered as the second one  following the advice of the late and wonderful Brazilian humorist, Henfil, who claimed that no good Brazilian periodical survives its first edition.




Talent for hire. Newsleader can put you through to a pool of experienced and highly trained strategists and managers who will coach you through hard decisions. Ask for rates.

The genesis of customer responsive work teams



Alfredo Behrens


[email protected]


Professor Zeldin’s webcast through Tate Gallery has been one of the most inspiring lectures I have attended in many years.[1] It came at a time I am organizing a roundtable to discuss what should be taught at MBA courses. The pressure for reflection comes from a dissonance between the talents executive search consultants look for in candidates and what is taught at MBAs. The latter tend to have little time to develop talents such as empathy, building work teams – talents sought for by search consultants, and their clients.


Professor Zeldin’s talk puts teaching needs into another perspective: as services overcame manufacturing, the XXIst century will see more demand for talents which historically came more readily to women than men, like relationship and network building.


The new customer-oriented workplace will become still more horizontal, and lines of command more diffuse. Intra-company negotiation will be even more necessary than today. Women are more likely to provide the talents in higher demand and corporate structure, which will be still less pyramidal, will favour leadership styles more akin to those of women, or of men with what today are considered more women-like talents.


But Professor Zeldin’s teaching is not only about corporate structure and purpose; it is also about providing a workplace that will reveal the uniqueness of the individual. This is a call to decommoditize labour, in order to stimulate discovery and unleash the person’s creativity, quenching the thirst for leisure away from work. Creativity would stem from allowing more emphasis to build tasks around people’s talents, rather than attempting to sieve people through job descriptions. Productivity would thrive on synergy, rather than process control. Synergy implies in bringing together people that may grow more rapidly together than they would on their own.


Still, how to accomplish this? Knowing more about people would pave the way. Professor Zeldin suggests this new or additional knowledge may come through greater transparency. The past-oriented CV should give place to fuller portraits that will allow others to know more about who we would like to turn into and work with.


Skills, though necessary, would no longer be King. The educational system will continue to certify skills, but once acquired and maintained, people would be allowed to become more than their skills would reveal: an economist may make a better strategist. All at the workplace will begin to look more like what executive search consultants are already trying to look for: executives who know how to catalyze effective work teams.



(End of excerpt, ask for the full article if your wish. )

[1] The Camera at Work: Theodore Zeldin, Lecture at Tate Gallery, London, July 1st, 2003. accessed on August 6th, 2003 at 15:00.


As soon as the Brazilian economy picks-up, companies will most likely scramble for talent, after sheding it for years.


The recruiting staff, hiring laterally and not only at the entry level, will not find enough talent as readily as they wish; they will see wages rise, and a misperception may arise.


Handicapped by years of cut-backs, the recruiting staff will perceive a talented labour shortage; instead of their companies' own strategic shortcommings.


Better retention and performance evaluation techniques should help limiting the need for hiring.


Is your company's labour management ready for an upswing? After many years of contraction it would be suprising if it were! Ask for help while you can.

                      *-----------------HOT TIP------------------*
                    Better matching of people and
                    helps reduce turnover,
                    almost as much as pay does.
HOT TIP----------------*

Learn more asking from NewsLeader or read further into Peter Capelli's USA-focused "Will there be a labor shortage" in the August issue of Organizational Dynamics. Peter Capelli is Professor of Management at Wharton and is Director of Wharton's Center for Human Resources.


Food for the mind

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Scanners were developed as reading machines for the blind. They were later taken over by business and now Katinka Matson uses them to create exquisitely sensual images of flowers. 


Katinka's work provides us with beauty and with an insight into the intersection of technology and art. Besides, she also provokes us to find creative opportunities in the apparently dull office equipment which surrounds us.

Visit the Five Lilies section in her site:

SPOTLIGHT: Mesa redonda na FECAP

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Executivos sob Encomenda, Formando para o Mercado 

Mesa redonda


Participam da mesa redonda, moderada por Alfredo Behrens; Ana Paula Chagas da Heidrick&Struggles; Robert Wong, da Korn/Ferry; Angelo Meniconi da DBM, José Luiz Weiss da Coca~Cola Femsa e a Professora Leda Machado, da FAAP.


A mesa redonda terá lugar no 30 de setembro, às 19 horas na Avda. Liberdade 532, próximo à estação do Metrô. Entrada franca. reserve seu lugar pelo e-mail [email protected]


A mesa é organizada pela Fecap para discutir formas de integrar o ensino à demanda pelos talentos procurados pelos selecionadores e recrutadores de executivos. 


Empatia, capacidade de montar e gerir equipes são alguns dos talentos procurados que não vem sendo ensinados. Podem ser ensinados? Assista à mesa redonda.  


From our Readers:

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Newsleader appreciates your feedback, and this is where it would appear. Limiting your contribution to under 50 words may lead to faster publication.

GUEST Column  Professor Zeldin, St. Anthony's College, Oxford

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The New Conversation

by Prof. Theodore Zeldin


The world has changed, throughout history, not just when a new technology is invented, or new laws are passed, but when people discover a new way of talking, so that they treat one another in a manner that reflects their deepest aspirations for the future. Now, in the 21st  century, there are men and women who are beginning to adopt a New Conversation.


This is the method that enables every individual to feel understood, respected and appreciated, personally, professionally and interculturally. It is the instrument that allows business to use all the talents of those with whom it works, more creatively. It is indispensable for organisations wishing to establish relationships with their clients or customers that are based on reciprocal loyalty.


The New Conversation is an answer to what the great Machado de Assis denounced, the feeling of being shipwrecked, irremedially alone.

How to be a guest columnist instructions

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Provocative insights under 100 words long will receive our attention more
rapidly. Larger pieces may be abridged without consultation with the author. Guest authors may wish to submit contributions in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French or Italian. With each submission please include a statement indicating the work submited is your own. Please also submit your affiliations, email address and CV or Oxford Muse like portrait Oxford Muse . Authors will only be notified when their contributions are selected for publication.

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Copyright Information

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Copyright 2003: Authors retain copyright of their work. Alfredo Behrens is entitled to all other rights concercning NewsLeader, except the template design. You are encouraged to make use of the views and information provided herein, as long as you appropriately give credit to the author and quote this Newsleader's issue number and date.

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Alfredo Behrens
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Phone +55 11 38713363
São Paulo, SP

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