Cristiano Andrade has been named as the first SPS Fellow in South America. He is currently a marketing consultant for CESAR, an innovation institute in Brazil.
Why was the SPS Fellowship important to you? I have studied twice in the UK, first as a business management undergraduate and secondly for a Masters in Marketing Management. While I was in the UK I came into contact with the SPS, and saw the benefits of membership. It is a great way to network, access strategic thinking and connect with current thinking. As a Fellow I am able to take this further and can demonstrate the benefits professionally.
How important is the increasing professionalisation of strategy in Brazil?
Things have moved on a great deal in the last ten years. Brazil is the fifth largest economy in the world and there is widespread recognition that businesses need to operate strategically in order to compete in this economy. However, in order for that to happen effectively, you need informed, organised, prepared professionals, capable of strategic thinking.
A good way to help people develop is to exchange ideas and network. If you can access a network and discuss topics that are hot elsewhere in the world, the world economy is so connected that anything you can learn from elsewhere and apply it will help you stay ahead of developments locally. That’s one reason why I am working with the SPS as to whether we can establish a branch in Brazil.
What are the key strategic challenges in Brazil?
Brazil is wrestling with the challenge of innovation. We produce and supply raw materials on a massive scale: we are a power house for raw materials. But the added-value result of a branded product is not Brazilian. Brazilians are known as very creative people, but that needs to brought into the economy. How to create innovation is a strategic challenge that has to be grasped. At the CESAR insutitute, major manufacturers come to us and ask us to develop new products, so I work a great deal with innovation. One question we are considering is what comes first, the innovation around which the strategy is built, or the strategy for which the innovation is produced?
What developments interest you at the moment?
I am doing lots of work with resource based value strategy: how you organise your resources to create value. In the past the focus was on positioning: finding a niche and exploiting it. However, smaller businesses may not have the capability to fill that niche. The question is how the business organises itself to develop a strategy to explore and evolve its capabilities. There is still much research to be done in this area, and I look forward to talking to other strategists who are working on this kind of strategic thinking.
NB: Fellowship application is now available online, for more information please click here.
If you would like more information on SPS Brazil, please contact Paul Barnett