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Perhaps it was the lymphoma that Luiz Gondim recovered from, or maybe it was just the right moment in his career for a change. After nineteen years across three countries within brewing powerhouse Anheuser-Busch InBev, Gondim was ready for a completely different industry.
“I was very intentional about finding a new role,” explains the global technology leader. “It was something I spoke with my wife about a lot, and when I received a proposal from Johnson & Johnson [J&J], it made a lot of sense to me. After going through treatment for lymphoma, there was something that appealed to me about coming to an organization with the kind of credo that J&J not only advocates for but practices every single day.”
Now as vice president and head of technology for Latin America at the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of J&J, Gondim is tasked with spearheading innovation through technology initiatives, go-to-market strategies, or simply thinking differently about leading cross-functional teams.
The challenge Gondim was most excited to tackle was in continuing to build high-performing teams while also creating a cultural shift in change management and mentality. “The mindset was already here,” the VP says. “But it’s my job to create the strategy and methodology to make us even more agile, more innovative, and more connected.”
His transformational efforts to push teams to greater heights are all based around five behaviors he’s zeroed in on: simplification, prioritization, innovation, people focus, and winning mindset. In print, these words may seem common, but their execution is backed by over twenty years of bridging the gap between technology, innovation, and high-impact strategy, which exceed expectations time and time again on Gondim’s part.
“Luiz is a force change, not for the sake of it but to generate value to the patients, physicians, and internal teams. He is not afraid of challenging the status quo and incorporating new practices.” says Luiz Cieslak, senior vice president of digital solutions at CI&T, a partner of J&J for the last nineteen years. “CI&T has established a well-oiled partnership with Luiz and his team where the result is far greater than the individual contributions and we keep elevating the omnichannel experience delivered patients and physicians.”
The executive’s approach to innovation is particularly informative of how to improve an organization already well-regarded as staying well ahead of the curve of its industry for 137 years.
“Innovation can be immediate, or it can be more incremental,” Gondim explains. “It may be a new technology, it may be a way to introduce a better patient experience, or it may be a way to interact more fluidly with our physicians. We can disrupt but disrupt for the right reasons. The right reasons are our patients, our physicians, and our internal customers.”
That’s why the “people” and a “winning mindset” are the two strongest pillars of this behavioral project. By focusing on the end users and Gondim’s team’s ability to improve their experience, the rest falls into line.
Is a process complicating an issue for one of these stakeholders? Change it. Can a new technology improve the stakeholder experience? Do it. Is a project or idea taking time away from something that could better serve a stakeholder? Prioritize the latter, not the former.
“If these behaviors guide everything that we do, then we’ve created a successful foundation on which to build everything else,” Gondim says. “This will create even higher-performing teams that are empowered and aligned to a common mission.”
At J&J, his teams are heavily invested in creating more optimal digital and omnichannel experiences for both physicians and patients. When it comes to physicians, J&J wants to make sure they are able to get immediate and easy access to information about medications and education. For patients, J&J wants to ensure access to help regarding questions they might have about their treatment. Call centers are an important component of patient service, and Gondim says they’re a vital component of the omnichannel experience.
It’s just one example of the dozens of initiatives currently on Gondim’s plate, but they are immediately traceable to those behaviors the technology leader is intent on driving. Regardless of how quickly tech continues to move and what the newest and latest technological solution might be, Gondim understands that solutions don’t make sense if they’re not solving the core mission of an organization.
Four Thousand Weeks
Luiz Gondim recently read Oliver Burkeman’s Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals. The title is a meditation on how many weeks we can all hope to enjoy should we live to age eighty. It got the executive thinking about how he hopes to be remembered.
“What’s going to be on my grave?” Gondim asks. “It’s not going to be about a project I implemented. I hope it mentions how much I loved my wife and children. I make sure I dedicate time to my family so they know how important they are to me.”
Prior to his lymphoma diagnosis, family time included skating, surfing, and other high-impact outdoor activities. But the treatment left Gondim’s leg without the means to support that lifestyle. While he is still happy to occasionally practice jiu-jitsu with his daughters, he seeks out experiences and quality time with his family that are impactful without being so impactful.