Pedro created ClearSale, in 2001, the fraud risk management company that innovated how fraud is handled in Brazil to become the industry leader, with more than 75% market share. He is an athlete, and competed in the 110 and 400-meter hurdle races for Brazil in two Olympic Games and five World Championship. He has a degree in Computer Science from Point Loma Nazarene College, San Diego, US, and knows how to apply the discipline of sports to the corporate world, always looking to outdo himself. He created the first antifraud system for Submarino (B2W) and C&A, two of the biggest retailers in Brazil.
Articles and studies by business experts normally inspire me and get me thinking. I recently read an article that motivated my words today, given by professor Vicente Falconi.
This important industry figure has worked on numerous issues related to the earnings and permanence of major companies, and caused me to consider how people develop themselves and think professionally at ClearSale.
Sixteen years ago, when I founded the company with my partner Bernardo Lustosa, I had no idea the size we would be today. By 2016 we had over 800 employees and analyzed over 100 million transaction. Who would imagine that an idea we had in 1999 to develop fraud-prevention software would achieve such a sustainable level of granular business analyses, using solid statistical models and data taken from a unique industry database built by our team and the market. Along the way, we managed to pick up a few very important awards in the people dimension, such as Great Place to Work and Love Mondays.
I believe the reason for this is simple - when the personal and professional develop together, life goals make more sense within the organization, delivering excellent results in a way that is more natural. It is clear to us that our professional side is an important component of who we are, and looking at the professional side in isolation can seriously impact results and quality of life.
The issue is not limited to disruptive business environments such as ping-pong tables, decompression rooms, flex time or benefits such as taking your pet or child to work. This format is criticized by some opinion leaders who believe people lose "working time" by enjoying these activities.
This requires a far more granular analysis and to me, can be summarized in two major issues. One is how a tired and pressured mind returns to work after using some of these facilities, services or benefits. Let's go back and retrieve some of the moments when we had creative insights or good ideas to solve some problem or enigmas in our professional life. I am sure that in many cases your mind was relaxed - perhaps you were sitting at a bar with friends, or relaxing in some other way.
At times like this a phenomenon similar to what Sigmund Freud described in his theory of the division of the human psyche, or relaxation of the superego (the unconscious in action). That part of our brain operates as an internal moral compass, which when the brain is more relaxed, is capable of combining elements that we had, but were not consciously aware of, producing new ideas based on our brain's database.
Ant finishing up and combining all these pathways together to create a strong and sustainable pillar, it is important to be part of the transforming environment. People must be intrinsically bound to their professional side, so that excellence is a consequence of their effort, rather than a target. Instead of delivering indicators and a larger bottom line, people view their professional side as a part of themselves, producing better results all around.
Just as an example, we recently had an employee who worked on events for a year, but that clearly was not an area where she shined. Management helped her define her personal and professional goal - she wanted to work as a journalist, which was her training, translating what the company does into content. Once this was set up her career took off and her eyes were shining again. The improvement is perceptible as we walk the corridors and when we see the quality of her deliveries, her planning and her ideas.
It is this type of mindset that enables ClearSale and other companies to deliver significant results and surpass its targets even in crisis years, such as in 2016. Valuing the human side of its team, with active education and training management that is always willing to listen and trade experiences to be able to extract individual growth from each and every one of us to ensure the collective victory.
This is the high point of this reflection, as we believe we can demand a lot from people in the work environment. We suggest aggressive targets and demand accountability and high-level results, while never excluding or harming people's personal lives. If you do not understand a person's life context, you may lose the opportunity to explore a more refined and dedicated side of his/her talent.
There is a thin line between freedom and accountability, and this must be respected if a company wants to pursue its path and create a history as a company that is here to stay. Issues such as a clear mission, vision and values, inside-out management and creating not only value, but people with values, may be the perfect chemistry to make your company more than just a source of financial revenue.