Brazilian way of planning

Brazilian way of planning

Brazilian way of planning Jamile asked me for help translating the action planning presentation to recruit volunteers who would work during the Olympics. She said that the whole team must speak English, but even so, the HR team was not following the planning required for the volunteer selection process. She supposed they were not understanding English. Then she concluded that the solution would be to do the presentation in Portuguese for HR. I began to translate the presentation with her and it became clear to me what was not being understood: it was not the language, but the planning itself. Being Brazilian and working with foreigners from different nationalities, I see how Brazilians understand planning differently. Brazil is a country where planning is still being developed. A place where corrupt politicians want works to overshoot deadlines, and for completed works to have only a short lifespan so that it is necessary to spend even more money doing it again. The thinking is focused on the short term. Brazil is a people who have learned to live in crisis and to be creative in dealing with this crisis. It is often difficult to follow planning due to various external factors. It was not just the HR team that was having problems with planning. All areas were having trouble. The technology team needed the facilities to be ready to test the technology. That’s why they were in Brazil, almost 4 years earlier, in meetings with the city hall. It was common to hear from the mayor that he also hoped the works would be ready on time. Every day I could...
Life is not that serious

Life is not that serious

Life is not that serious When this Greek guy named Tassos came to take lessons with me, he already spoke a little Portuguese, but he wanted to be a carioca. Our classes were on Saturday morning. I always amazed by how he put into practice all the things he learned, until he started teaching me about Rio. He always worked hard, but I never saw him stressed. He said that people took life very seriously and life was not meant to be like that. Being professional does not mean that life needs to be so serious. I followed his results at work and his progress with his goal of being a carioca. But even still, I could not understand what he meant by “not taking life so seriously.” On the eve of the Olympic Games, some pre-events had media coverage. He was working at the water arena and, during the event, there was a lack of light. The audience was crowded and all the athletes and staff were there. They could expect all manner of technical problem, but lacking light, something so basic, really? The next day I imagined he had been tense about it, but again he surprised me with a huge smile. He said: “You always tried to explain to me what it’s like to be a carioca, and now more than ever it makes sense to me. There was no light yesterday. What do you expect from a director’s attitude in this case? The director was Brazilian and in a very good mood, he made the whole team feel calm so that everyone could give their...
The family and the bank

The family and the bank

The family and the bank “The bank manager asked about my family!!! What?!? Why?!?” I heard this at a conference for entrepreneurs from all over the world held in Lithuania. The speaker was Simon, an American who is currently one of the world’s largest agricultural producers. He has business in Chile and works with people globally. The audience was made up of many different nationalities and all were really surprised that the bank manager asked Simon such a personal and seemingly irrelevant question when he was just trying to open a bank account. Yet for me, this was not in the least bit strange or out of place, because you’d get the same kind of questioning in Brazil. In the United States it is no longer common to have a bank manager; the whole banking system is online, people are not used to going to the bank in person anymore. In Brazil, I insisted on having a manager for my account, both for my personal and business accounts. When I’m abroad, I often have problems that the call center cannot solve, so I talk to my manager on WhatsApp and he sorts it out for me. My boyfriend is American. When he saw me doing this he couldn’t believe it! When I lived in Australia, I was able to open a bank account in just two weeks. In Brazil, I have students who have been trying for 2 years. I have other students who tried to open a legal account for their company and didn’t succeed. They then open one in their own name only to have it blocked...