The Story of Adizes Brazil

In 1983, Paulo Villares, CEO of Industrias Villares, a large organization in the capital equipment industry with over 8,000 employees, heard Dr. Adizes speak at a Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) event. Shortly thereafter, Villares became the first company to deploy the Adizes Methodology in Brazil.  They adopted the full Adizes management program, forming an internal center of excellence under the Direction of Clóvis Carvalho and Fernando Mourão, to cascade the implementation of the Adizes Methodology throughout the organization. Industrias Villares continued to utilize the Adizes Methodology until the Villares Family sold the organization. In 1985, Paulo Villares wrote, “One of the key characteristics of the Adizes methodology is the capability to create enthusiasm and the achievement of effectiveness and efficiency in the short and long run.”

With a large number of executives from Villares having been exposed to and even trained in the methodology, the knowledge started to spread. One famous application of the Adizes Methodology was led by Clóvis Carvalho. Clóvis Carvalho had been invited to join President Fernando Henrique Cardoso’s team in 1994. At that time, Brazil was experiencing the highest rate of inflation in its history. Clóvis used the Adizes Methodology and management processes to gain alignment between all of the relevant stakeholders, ministries, and regulatory agencies of the government to arrest the inflation.  The political-economical plan that they came up with and successfully implemented became known as “Plano Real”.

Carlos Valdesuso, who had graduated from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA),  the same University where Dr. Adizes had been a professor, became the first Adizes Associate in Brazil and assisted with the implementation of Adizes in Villares. Carlos later became the Managing Director of the emerging Adizes Brazil office. That office quickly became active serving various prestigious organizations such as Banco Garantia, Banco Safra, and the São Paulo Chamber of Commerce.

Jorge Paulo Lemann, founder and General Superintendent of Banco Garantia, which would later become InBev, wrote, “I learned from Adizes the essence of having people of different styles in different roles and the key components of motivating people to work together in harmony. This has been extremely useful in my business.”

Banco Safra used the methodology to upgrade all of its IT services to a competitive level while building a climate of mutual trust and respect. Luiz Carlos Zambaldi, Banco Safra’s CIO wrote:

“Find a vision of the future knowing the present, keep focused on business, balance the human and technical aspects in the composition and management of a team, and finally manage for the results. This is what Adizes provided us with, remarkable simplicity.”

The São Paulo Chamber of Commerce utilized the methodology consistently for over 20 years to help rejuvenate itself and increase innovation and flexibility.

Marcio Aranha, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce wrote:

“I learned from Ichak Adizes that it is key to listen to our ‘internal’ clients needs. In this way, we became a more proactive organization where people worked as owners of the business”.

During this period, with the help of Carlos Valdesuso, five of Dr. Adizes’ books were translated into Portuguese and began to find their way into the curriculum of various Universities and Business Schools in Brazil. As a result, Dr. Adizes’ books started being mentioned continuously in more than one hundred MSc and Ph.D. theses in the main universities and business schools of Brazil. This attracted more professionals interested in the methodology creating greater and greater awareness.

Currently, a training program based on the Adizes Methodology, known as TopLeaF, is being implemented across CIEE. CIEE is Brazil’s oldest and largest not-for-profit study abroad and intercultural exchange organization. It operates in 136 countries, with over 30,000 international participants.

Humberto Casagrande, CIEE President, and CEO, has recently stated that the concepts of the Adizes Methodology helped to create a much better climate of mutual trust and respect, positively developing people’s mindsets and attitudes.

Carlos Valdesuso, who was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Adizes Institute in 2018, has since retired but continues to promote Adizes in Brazil. Wilson Fukushima and Rafael Kominich have taken over as Co-Managing Directors of the Adizes Brazil office.

A special thank you to Fernando Mourão and Gustavo Monteiro who helped “fill in the blanks” for this story.

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