What business school taught a change specialist about reinvention

A lot more than most, Sérgio Maria’s profession has been about changeover and transformation. In a doing work lifetime aiding conventional organizations navigate the upheavals of new technology, he has also rethought his very own route alongside the way.

For more than a ten years, the 48-calendar year-aged senior digital executive, who lives in São Paulo, has labored with organisations adapting to digital disruption and innovation, to start with at Google and now with Brazilian media and leisure team Rede Globo. All the even though, creating the skills to place himself in others’ sneakers, divine their business needs and communicate how he can aid has been at the centre of his profession.

All through twelve several years at Google, Maria’s main get the job done was creating interactions with publishers, together with newspapers, broadcasters and stores. “In 2011 in Brazil, the news sector was pretty averse to Google,” he remembers. “I could not have a dialogue with a newspaper CEO — they would not even reply to my phone calls.”

The icy reception was understandable. At the time, digital was decimating the conventional news sector. Audience were being getting their news on-line, advertisers were being pursuing them and the print earnings product was struggling.

Towards this backdrop, the Brazilian was tasked with getting regions the place the competitor could turn into a collaborator. He joined Google as a strategic companion supervisor and at some point rose to turn into director of world wide partnerships for Latin The united states and Brazil throughout broadcast, news and commerce.

Extensive-time period vision: The scale of the challenge at Globo persuaded Sérgio Maria to just take on his most up-to-date purpose © Ricardo Lisboa

“Google has the advertising gross sales purpose that competes with all the other teams for advertising budgets . . . and that is how it is going to get the job done without end,” Maria acknowledges. “But I was in a team that was wanting at the other facet — which is, how can we aid these associates produce them selves, be more effective in the way they do their business and also create earnings?”

He also labored with journalists, describing how to mine Google facts for investigative get the job done he taught publishers how technology could aid them recognize users’ conduct and he assisted optimise mobile products. The world wide accumulation of these kinds of get the job done grew into the Google News Initiative, which supports journalism in the kind of a education centre and an innovation fund, for example.

After twelve several years at Google, Maria was at a crossroads. If he stayed, the up coming phase would be a transfer abroad, in a new purpose and tradition. That did not suit with his individual ideas, so he made the decision to just take a profession crack, devote time with his loved ones — he has 3 sons — and mirror on his up coming transfer.


2004-2005 Merchandise and products and services director, Oi World wide web

2006-2007 Merchandise supervisor, Brasil Telecom World wide web

2007-2011 Strategic companion supervisor, Google

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

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

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

2019-present Director of new business progress, Rede Globo

Professions, he states, are a 3-phase journey. At the beginning, professionals’ skills are inclined to be more technical. Then they may perhaps turn into people today managers, offering up a lot of the realistic get the job done and creating skills in major groups and creating a vision. The 3rd is the executive amount, wanting at organizations strategically in the long time period.

Maria was all set to changeover to the 3rd phase. So in 2018, even though at Google, he enrolled for the counsellors progress programme, a corporate governance class, at Fundação Dom Cabral business college in Brazil.

“It was ideal for that instant in my profession,” he states. “It allow me invest some time to recognize the strategic purpose of boards far better and how to then influence the administration staff of the organisation.”

The programme, which he completed at FDC’s Belo Horizonte campus, prepares foreseeable future board associates. Along with educating the ideas of administration and governance, it explores how to use this — for example, members prepare for and lead mock conferences of directors.

The return to official studying was “amazing”, Maria states. His profession crack meant he was spared balancing loved ones, get the job done and review all through the class, which was taught in two week-long blocks a several months aside. This authorized him to engage fully, he provides, something that all those considering about executive courses really should be all set to do.

“People really should be ready to keep offline and join to the people today on the class and join to the class alone,” he states. “It is anticipated that you take part a good deal and there is serious price in bringing your experience. It enriches the dialogue and the realistic workouts.”

This also means students really should share any complications or regions for improvement with classmates. “Be present, be sincere and be fearless,” Maria states. “The more you are open, the more people today will be equipped to aid you and you will be equipped to aid [other] people today.”

One of the benefits was creating a potent community of like-minded friends, and Maria carries on to aid people today keep in touch as a class ambassador.

The programme has assisted in his purpose as director of new business progress at Globo, which he started out last June. “It’s not the specific technical matters that I use,” he states, “It is a lot more of a attitude adjust on how to look at and solution matters in the long run, wanting at what is in the minds of executives and the board.”

Globo may perhaps be Maria’s biggest challenge but. As section of its digital transformation, the business introduced last calendar year that it was bringing some of its organizations jointly in a single team, together with broadcast and cable television organizations, its web-site and video clip on-need assistance.

Along with the interior adjust, Maria is doing work on creating this new media technology business for advertisers. “The option is how to combine all these mediums,” he states, so that advertisers can communicate their messages seamlessly throughout all of Globo’s channels. For example, he provides: “Can we look at the journey when people today transfer out of Tv and go to an app to go on consuming the content material?”

This solution and info would aid advertisers recognize what information operates ideal the place and when. It also benefits people, he states, in that adverts really should come to feel much less jarring if selected in these kinds of a way.

“We nonetheless provide interruption,” he states. “But we will need to make interruption a lot far better in a way that is connected to the content material and to what is appropriate to people today.”

It was the scale of the challenge that persuaded Maria to just take the purpose at Globo. When the main executive introduced his vision for the business, 3 aspects clicked into put: the amount of transformation a realisation that Maria could use his education in digital and rapidly-shifting environments and getting something that he was excellent at and psyched about.

“I mentioned, ‘OK, 3 or 5 several years later on, if I look back again and we were being equipped to implement the amount of transformation that the vision states, I’m going to be pretty proud of that.’ And that’s a legacy I’m going to leave. Chatting about a media team, it is essentially a legacy that my youngsters are going to know about.”