Meet George Leal Jamil

On the 24th April, 2014, we (Continue to Grow) participated on a Market Intelligence workshop organised by UPTEC PINC, Creative Industries Centre and startup incubator from the University of Porto. It was on that exact spot that the serendipity was in our favour and we met George.

George Leal Jamil is very responsible trainer and for our convenience the workshops started on time. He began introducing his profile and professional background, and shortly after, continued with the highlight of the day – Market Intelligence. His talk captured everyone’s attention and the auditorium scooped his extensive experience. The workshop touched on subjects such as Innovation, Market Intelligence, Decision processes and Entrepreneurship and, seamlessly we arrive to the end of the day. The workshop was over, however our collaboration was about to start.

Dear George, could you tell us who is George Jamil?

I am Brazilian, from Belo Horizonte, where I was born and live. We have a peculiar culture, strong sectors as Civil construction, Mining and Information technology. I am used to teach and consult for these sectors, among others.

Please tell us shortly about your professional career.

I tried to develop my professional skills in a more general, open view way. I do not consider myself as a "specialist" on any subjetc, although I am used to work as a consultant and teacher on some themes, as Strategy (which is not a "specialist" theme, for sure), Marketing and Information and knowledge management for various organizational situations. I received my BsC in Electrical Engineering in 1982, got a Masters in Computing Science in 1999, a PhD in Information Science in 2005 (all at our Federal University of Minas Gerais) and a Post-doctoral certificate at Porto University in 2014. I work with applied research, for businesses, what results in several publications (books, papers, posts, etc.), tutorial, mentoring and teaching works in Brazil and abroad and also consulting. My most frequent themes are Strategy, Marketing and Information and knowledge management.

Could you please name your main career wins and lessons learnt?

My academic titles and every publication I had opportunity, along with my classes constitute my professional wins. The main lesson I learned was about how to apply knowledge (specificall, technologic knowledge): if one organization does not have good managerial, human resources and business ecosystem, as it frequently happens in Brazil, technical knowledge does not produce optimal results, not provide its expected results.

What captures you about innovation management, more specifically Market Intelligence?

Innovation is a "forever-buzzword". We have to innovate all the time. But, first of all, we must understand that innovations are not so difficult, distant, sophistication-related objectives or results. We can find and need innovation everywhere. For example, I use to discuss with students and professional customers if and how innovation can occur in SMEs around the world. Is it a subject only available for big and rich corporations with investment possibilities in laboratories, research? The answer to this last question is: NO! Innovation can occur in any human activity, in small process changes, working environment, answering to new customer needs, changes in communication and other apparently "trivial" actions and tasks that are available and required for any organization.

Market intelligence appears as an opportune process of continuous knowledge provision for commercial sectors for strategic marketing planning. It is conducted in predicted phases, which encompass value chain modelling, diagnosis of available data, information and knowledge (usually fragmented around the sector) and then its processing to generated that expected knowledge. This results can be applied for any organization for their specific plans and projects. Thinking this way market intelligence is a useful method or tool for innovation positioning, aligned to strategic market needs for any player in the sector.

What has been in this area the latest breakthrough in your opinion?

It is not an area of spectacular events, but what calls attention in the last months or years is the growing conscience of cooperation, networking entrepreneurship, experiences sharing and other "sectorial" efforts around innovation, that would promote and reinforce ideas such as the "quadruple helyx" (soft to announce, hard to put to work). This conscience by private and public agents is the most remarkable factor. Usually, we face a lot of disbelief in this cooperation but nowadays, knowledge sharing for innovation becomes a perceivable decisive factor.

In what projects are you working currenlty? What is your expectation on them?

I am working in five simultaneous book projects about Strategy, Innovation, Information Knowledge and Information Systems. Although it doesn´t seem so significant, each project involves several researchers, entrepreneurs and other science application agents, each one with more than forty chapter authors. These projects are now being held in Portugal, USA and Brazil, supported by different publishers. In Consultancy, I am working on two projects of market intelligence, for food and mining industries, each one with different schedules and objectives. We (because I integrate a group of consultants) have the expectations to deliver the first results - knowledge for marketing decisions (which implicates in innovation potential) - in the first semester of 2015.

We are arriving to our collaboration. How would you describe CONTINUE TO GROW Alliances Network and your treasure/expertise in it?

It has an excellent potential to form an open platform to support knowledge production, documentation, registering and sharing for innovation management purposes, in all its fashion. I strongly believe in initiatives like this and C2G people is skilled, commited and highly capacitated to promote the intended "Network". My experience is growing and I have good expectations on conducting and helding several works and scientific discussion with partners and agents in the Network.

If you would meet the Mr. "Loss of Business Opportunities"  then what would be your message to him?

It is one of the business problems that we identified when initiated the solutions development. Image that one of your potential customers faces this problem. Please provide him a message helping him to overcome this problem.
It is exactly what marketing intelligence is all about: with a more precise decision knowledge-based platform, sharing resources, two main events occur:

  1. An organization can identify better the real conditions of opportunities, what are the risks, resources needed, estimate results and impacts, along with productive chain coordination to answer final customer expectations.
  2. Also, an organization can precisely and qualitatively identify why one opportunity was lost. It will allow for this organization to process these informations and be a better competitor for another future opportunity, learning the lessons from the lost opportunity.

Coming to more relaxed questions. How do others see you?

Maybe they see me as someone who follows the instincts and probably a bit weird. I started my career as an electrical engineer and worked in the area for 18 years. I was very well, nevertheless decided to leave and start my own company. I´m a required professional but individual career is a risky business.

What fascinates you besides work?

Travelling around the world, music (Rock and roll), following (and insuficiently practicing) sports around the world and news, a lot of news.

For resuming this pleasant dialog, would you be kind enough to share with us a personal quote. It could resumes your main values on life and/or relate to innovation.

Innovation is a matter of a balance of an unrest spirit with planning abilities.

Just let me ask one more question. From your point of view, what is that crazy, unexpected, flying cars like innovation that you wish to see come true?

I really appreciate Gene Rodenberry´s Star Trek communication, transportation and "Engineering" though in the "old" 1960s. Maybe, one day, we can achieve some of those "crazy" innovations.

George Leal Jamil is a professor of several post-graduation courses in Brazil. He has a PhD in Information Science from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), master degree in Computer Science (UFMG) and his graduate area was Electric Engineering (UFMG) and has a post-doctorate at FLUP – Communication School at University of Porto, Portugal in Market Intelligence / Information and Knowledge Management.

He wrote 14 books in the information technology and strategic management areas, with another 8 works in books as co-author and Editor. Yearly, he manages the doctoral consortium of the International Conference on Information Systems and Technology Management at the University of Sao Paulo (USP) as one of his main activities. His main research interests are information systems management, strategy, knowledge management, software engineering, marketing and IT adoption in business contexts.

If you wish to know more about George Leal Jamil, please visit his LinkedIn profile.

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