Breaking news!

    follow me on Twitter

    Thursday, December 25, 2008

    Nobel Peace Laureate recalls his AIESEC Experience

    ROTTERDAM, December 16 th, 2008- Speaking to AIESEC in Finland, Martti Ahtisaari recalled warmly his time in AIESEC, as a university student. Mr Ahtisaari was a member of AIESEC in the early 1960’s and continues to endorse the relevance of working with young people to build peace and international co-operation.

    Check the video:

    Barking dog doesn't bite!

    I had the chance to look at my country with the eyes of a person who has been abroad in the past four years.

    I re-discover the beauty of nature and the kindness of the people and I also had a taste of the many management challenges the country is going through.

    In my opinion, Costa Rica did not prepared to host the population that we currently have, the immigrats that have arrived and the quality of life we all expected.

    The symptoms can be experienced on a daily basis when you get caught in a traffic jam, suffer of long waits for low quality governamental services or feel insecure at your own home.

    I have been following politics in my country since 1998 when I joined University and I have realized that we have been sticking bandages in the system and trying to stop the licks with our fingers.

    I can't really blame the government. Since 1998 we have had 3 different democratically elected Presidents and every time they have became the scape goat for all the country's problems. If I ask my older brother or my dad, they will add at least 3 more Presidents since 1978. In other words, doesn't really matter who the President is because the attitude of our people remains the same.

    I believe that Costa Ricans work very hard as long as they see a direct, short term return in their work. We take care of our families and friends but feel little sympaty for strangers of our own community. We go from University to Business Schools but not usually to start our own ventures. We have a say in politics but not always an action in society. Like the old saying barking dogs don't bite!

    I wish Costa Rica would start a long term planning process for the next 25-35 years with clear population targets and strategies around key areas of development like health, housing, education, transport, jobs, finances and retirement supported by strong pillars on national security, environment, heritage, technology and positioning.

    I wish one day each productive, social and political sector, each organization and each person in this country will be delivering on an agreed contribution that will lead us to provide each individual the opportunity to be as great as he or she can be.

    And I guess it is all a matter of will, good (political) will.

    Pura Vida!

    Sunday, December 14, 2008

    Learning to lead at AIESEC International

    Last night I arrived to Costa Rica after facing the regular migration challenges of a Latin American crossing the world.

    But I have to say that I really enjoyed the flight because I decided to use it to reflect in the past 7 months and the experiences that I have lived. So I bought three magazines on topics like leadership, entreprenuership and global reality to facilitate the process and sat in the airplane for over 15 hours and free coffee.

    In February 2008 I was elected President of AIESEC International, which means that I have to select 22 people and create an international team to support the operations of AIESEC around the world.

    In May we started with the Transtion, in June the 22 members of the team arrived from 16 different countries, by the first week of July we had our plan created - Connecting to deliver -, in August we met in Brazil with more than 1000 members, partners, Alumni, guests and friends to focus the deliverables of our year. In September we deployed the team to support operations, do sales and deliver partnerhsips. We have been constantly present in 6 regions of the world. By October, we started the review of all our activites as we diagnosticated that our organization needed to get fit to succesful overcome the global financial crisis. And today, we have grown 20% over the last year and reached an absolute delivery higher than the past 15 years.

    All of this has helped me to become more selfware and to realize some key aspects that I need to pay more attention to play the role that the job requires.

    I feel confident when it comes to build focus and direction with the team, also I have noticed that I give a good level of trust to the capabilities of the each individual and that I enjoyed jumping from the detail of the execution to the scope of strategy.

    The aspect that I will commit to improve in the next months is empathy. I am a little bit impatient and not always recognize that others are not aware of the context and they don't own the level of information that I have access to. So, when the need to make decisions faster increases I have the tendency to put too much pressure on the individuals without considering the factors affecting them.

    So far, this aspect hasn't generated big issues mostly because I have built a strong safety net around me through the support of key individuals in my team that I constantly invite to give me feedback on my behaviours and the reactions of others.

    I have learned a lot these months and I am very very impressed with the level of people I worked with everyday. These are guys that understand what is commitment and that have given everything they have to support our countries delivering great experiences.

    At this point in time, this team of 22 people represent what I care about and value the most in my life and I am very happy that I decided to live this experience.

    Sunday, December 07, 2008

    We are driving around the Finacial Crisis!

    A popular question flowing around business minds these days is: how can we decrease capacity to increase results?

    This fundamental question is becoming the leverage point for many organizations facing the challenges of the financial crisis.

    It is leading organizations to review their bottom-line together with the processes that deliver in such results. It has also time-framed opportunities as well as quantified return on soft investments.

    That question has also generated a strong review on HR practices promoting leaner processes in talent supply and shorter retention lenghts, aiming to result in a lower number of Full Time Employees(FTE), which adds to the increasing entry-levels supply looking for exciting opportunites.

    More young talent, more short term opportunities, faster supply processes results in a thriving talent market around the world.

    In the last edition of Harvard Business Review(HBR), there is an article on: "Winning the Race for Talent in Emerging Markets" which is a remarkable study on what young talented people is looking for in a career opportunity: a brand that inspires and make you proud, a purpose that fulfills your sense of existence, an opportunity that challenges you in new way and a culture that recognizes and promotes success.

    When I finished reading, I realized that this is the reason why AIESEC is making it through the financial crisis -we have reported growth in all quarters with an average of 25% from the past year- : because we are a source of talented young people that has been able to create the connection between promises made and promises kept to our partners and ourselves.

    Looking forward to close a great year!

    Search This Blog