Carlos de Castro

Carlos de Castro began his career with SGS (Société Générale de Surveillance) in Brazil in the Industrial Division and worked for a number of years as a consultant and account manager. In 1996 he joined Worcester Controls Brazil, a leading brand of industrial valves and automation, as Materials & Quality Manager. This company became part of Invensys and later Flowserve.

In 1999 Mr. de Castro joined the ZF Group, a global leader in driveline and chassis technology with production sites in 26 countries, as responsible for TQM first in South America and few years later in Friedrichshafen, Germany, when he was named Group Senior Manager of Business Excellence.

In 2005 he joined Philips and occupied different positions in Consumer Electronics, Domestic Appliances, and latest as Head of Quality for business unit Coffee in 2011. There he was responsible for brands like Senseo, Saeco and Gaggia.

In 2014 he joined Novelis, the world leader in rolled aluminium products, delivering high quality alloys to the beverage cans, automotive, architecture and consumer electronics industries.

Carlos was born in Brazil and holds a degree in Business Administration from Mackenzie University and specializations from Fundaçao Getulio Vargas, the University of Michigan and the IMD in Lausanne.




In the past few years an increased attention to formal quality systems and certifications has been pushing organizations to implement more and more tools and techniques in the search of improving quality, productivity and safety. When targets are not achieved or improvements don’t materialize, management often try tweaking the system or implementing new tools with the hope of reverting the situation. However, as professor Manfred Kets de Vries said, “Organizations are like automobiles. They don’t run themselves, except downhill”. On a similar way tools and systems alone do not operate a business without the people. This element is often forgotten and behaviors and attitudes is a topic left to the human resources teams to care about.

When cultures are left to develop and expand without attention, new people joining the organization will find an established environment and quickly adapt, letting this culture to be perpetuated and reinforced. If the leadership allows the culture be built around “firefighting”, the heroes and firefighters will be recognized, promoted and followed. If the culture is built around complexity, decision process will be lengthy and inefficient as people will learn to come up with complex theories and abstract concepts to solve problems. If leadership allows meetings running with no facts but with assumptions and imagination, a culture will develop around blaming, finding excuses, procrastinating execution, etc. It’s not difficult to imagine those behaviors not driving any culture of continuous improvement, customer orientation or focus on good performance.

Conversely, we see excellent organizational cultures built around reality, facts, respect, trust, empowerment, etc. There are a few foundations that the leadership can practice and promote daily to ensure they manage the organizational culture rather than watch as the culture manages them. By fostering those practical foundations before bringing many tools and techniques, leaders may create a quality culture of accountability for good performance, where problems and weaknesses are made visible and there is interest for solving those on a sustainable way.

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