Acceleration Program entrepreneurs participate in management workshop for startups

The third workshop of the Partnership Platform for the Amazon Acceleration Program brought together entrepreneurs on June 26 and 27, in Manaus, and addressed the theme of Management for startups. 

The activity was structured in four modules: Talent management (facilitated by Rafael Ribeiro, from NESsT); Agile methodologies (facilitated by Diego Siqueira, from 4Four it); Accounting management (facilitated by accountant Silvana Macedo); Cost management and pricing (facilitated by Leonardo Ragazzini, from UFAM).

According to economist Ana Carolina Bastida, Coordinator of the Acceleration Program, this third meeting was important to improve the internal management processes of accelerated businesses. “Entrepreneurs have already undergone training in strategic planning, impact measurement and marketing, now is the time to look inside the business and tidy up the house and structure, to grow and receive investments”, she evaluates.

A board game started the programming. Elaborated by NESsT, the game Got Talent addresses 12 skills – judgment, credibility, refining, strategy, recruitment, measurement, operations, feedback, quality and consistency, partnerships, knowledge and network. Rafael Ribeiro guided the participation of entrepreneurs, who were soon challenged to establish communication with their peers in the game through different possibilities – mimics, word translation, description of situations associated with certain words. Gathered at tables, the pairs formed competed with each other, as only one pair would win the table.

“When people gamify any process, learning becomes enjoyable. We play, but we also learn. If it were a lecture, perhaps we wouldn’t pay that much attention”, says Glauco Aguiar, from Manaós Tech, one of the businesses accelerated by the PPA Program. “The beginning of the game was the most complicated, because we didn’t understand the rules well. So, we started playing and learning. It’s a lot like entrepreneurship, we learn the rules of the game throughout the process”.

For Aline Iglesias, from Awi Superfoods, the lesson learned from the game was the need for collaboration. “When people in an organization communicate and share their ideas, everything goes smoothly. So much so that here we finished the game well before the other tables. We had collaboration between all the pairs”.

Other points of attention raised by the game were the need to master and understand the concepts of the business field and the importance of valuing people’s skills in a strategic way.

Rafael Ribeiro also presented entrepreneurs with a methodology on talent management, pointing out seven stages of the development of talent in an organization: attraction and recruitment; evaluation and selection; integration; training and development; Performance Management; retention; succession planning. For each stage, adequate tools were presented.

Throughout the process, the entrepreneurs pointed out cases in their own organizations that exemplified the internships, or even pointed out doubts about how to move forward in matters of talent selection and retention.

“In Manioca there was a very large turnover in the team. Until we realized that it was necessary to focus much more on people than on qualification. With people aligned with the process, we stopped having this turnover. This takes work, demands the development of new skills, because they are usually younger people, but they create a link with the purpose of the business”, reported Joanna Martins.

The company 100% Amazônia already thinks about the succession stage: “The most important thing is to define the company’s purposes and seek people who identify with them. We had an experience with an intern who was with us for a while, went out to look for other experiences and came back asking about a career plan. She became our quality coordinator and has been with us for six years. She has already received other proposals, but continues with 100% Amazon”, reported Joziane Alves.

Karina Lobato, the former intern at 100% Amazônia and today responsible for the quality sector, pointed out what was decisive for her return and permanence: “At 100% Amazon, I rediscovered values with which I grew up, and that was very good. I have been aligning my life, habits, with the company’s philosophy”.

Rafael pointed out, at the end of the workshop, that the knowledge shared throughout the workshop was mostly focused on sensitizing entrepreneurs and promoting openness for them to share their reflections with the group. “We have no idea of the impact that a workshop like this can have on the lives and history of these organizations. I am very touched to hear how their performance has changed from interactions like this. They are often quick, and we think they are ephemeral, but they can have a very big reverberation if they touch people”. 

Agility, accounting and financial management 

The workshop also presented entrepreneurs with methodologies for mindset, formation of agile teams and feedback techniques, with Diego Siqueira, from 4Four-It. Diego highlighted how individuals and interactions are as important as processes and tools, approaching methodologies such as focus groups in the development of products and services, the importance of listening to the customer and how to respond to changes, in the case of impact businesses in particular, which often proves itself more appropriate than following a drawn plan.

Entrepreneurs participated in dynamics that sought to make them realize the relationship between their life purposes and those of their businesses and were encouraged to apply the same process to the employees of their organizations.

Diego also presented the Kanban tool, which allows the organization to visualize all activities under execution, provides quick feedback and helps to measure the time cycles mobilized for each task. Other feedback methodologies and metrics he addressed were Happiness Canvas and Return on Investment (ROI)

“I am always connected with the universe of startups here in the region. But this is my first time working with an acceleration program focused exclusively on sustainable products and I have found this opportunity wonderful. I have seen a series of products that I never imagined were already on the market”, says Diego.

Entrepreneurs were also introduced to good practices and tools in accounting management by Silvana Macedo and worked on cost management and pricing, with Leonardo Regazzini, from the Federal University of Amazonas (UFAM).

“At the beginning of the workshop, I had two words to define what was happening there: cooperation and collaboration. And I leave with one more, which is connection. They helped me with some demands that I have in Carauari and I was able to help them make connections”, evaluates Silvana.

The next workshop will take place in August 2019 and will address the topic of Storytelling and successful negotiations. 

About PPA

The Partnership Platform for the Amazon (PPA) was created with the objective of leading the construction of innovative solutions for sustainable development in the Amazon with companies and the private sector, prioritizing investments in businesses with a social and environmental impact. In practice, PPA acts in the incubation and acceleration of entrepreneurs, in carrying out strategic studies to expand investments and through partnerships between companies, communities and governments. 

Currently, PPA’s executive coordination is exercised by the Institute for the Conservation and Sustainable Development of the Amazon (IDESAM), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), the Amazon Conservation Team (ECAM) and Instituto Peabiru.

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