Russia in a New Dimension

As a guest speaker of AEB – Association of European Business, Russian Federation, I delivered a lectured in Moscow on May, 19th 2011 about Leadership to a group of around 200 senior executives, representing several European countries. I could not steal from myself this unique experience by turning it over to someone else.

Russia is the largest country in the world with approximately 17 million km2 of territory. Moscow is the largest capital in Europe with a population of 10.5 million, and the largest concentration of billionaires on the planet live there. Russia’s total population reaches 142 million. It is an energy superpower, with the biggest natural gas reservation in the world, exporting oil and gas, as well as metals and lumber. It is also ranked as the fourth largest grain producer with 1.2 million km2of cultivated land. From 1999 to 2009 its agricultural development was so great that Russia transformed from an importer of grain to the third largest exporter in the world, only behind the European Union and USA.
With an economy already highly interconnected worldwide, it is a nation that walks swiftly towards economic globalization, having adopted, in the early 1990s, liberal principles of market economy. It is now gathering the benefits from such measures.
The Russian people are good and cordial, friends, owners of a diverse culture, inherited in the form of art and science with theaters and ballet companies, living a rich history of military confrontation, conquests and struggles to defend their territory against invading States on all its borders, European or Asian, whose facts and conditions make the Russians proud of their way. You can clearly notice that the managers begin to understand that the largest battle to confront with globalization and economic interdependence among people who will not be won with bombs. But rather with free market economy encouraged by balance, and centered on the basis of knowledge and the use of modern technology, in operational, tactical or strategic plans.
The result is a development of open minded managers who are ready to adapt healthy management principals, moving quickly from the traditional bureaucratic model (Max Weber) with its impersonal and concentrated administration methods, “whoever has the power gives orders, and subordinates obey”, to a contingency model “to be of service”, where there isn’t a one and only predetermined way of doing “something” (“there isn’t the best way”), and another model, “it depends”, where all the installed human capital participates and servers in its totality in the corporate world.
This is the Russia I met, where there is great certainty about the absolute dependence of the means of production to the talent available. They are also facing a talent blackout as we are in Brazil. So they know that they must educate their people and change the way they manage in order to conquer the best talent, with strong objectives for building good organizational environments so they may attract, retain and motivate the best talent. This is how in Russia the multinational companies that are being installed and the national companies will win the new market war. Brazil, be it in the government or in business, has to restart thinking and acting in this way in order to compete in equal conditions in the global arena.

Alfredo José Assumpção
CEO & Partner of Fesa Global Executive Search Transforming Leadership
Author of nine books – www.alfredoassumpcao.com.br

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