Interview to Miguel Galvan Espinosa

By: Miguel Galván

It’s six in the morning with almost 32 minutes and here with me in the studio, is Miguel Galván Espinosa he is the general director of BTC or Business Transformation Consortium.

  1. Let’s start from the beginning: what is BTC?
  • BTC is a consortium with membership where we dedicate ourselves to accompany the general director and his committee of directives so that they may develop the ability to transform their businesses. You know better than anyone that all businesses are being transformed right now. As we say, “whether you know it or not, you are either transforming your business or it is being transformed”. Many times, the general director visualizes the “what”, very clearly but the “how” is missing. We accompany him in the “how”.

What is it that you see in terms of the transformation and the need you have detected to transform Mexican companies?

  • Let’s imagine this transformation you mentioned looks like a river that is moving, and one moves with it even when you are not moving at all. 
  • I’d say two important things:
  1. One is that general directors have sought help on the outside for years, they have wasted time, money and effort. And in reality, the rhythm of change in the day to day is a lot faster than we give credit for. Right now, the general director has an urgency in the “how”. We need help in leading, managing and transforming business more efficiently.
  2. And the second very relevant note is that in Mexican businesses, there is a group of companies that are very important for the general              economy, whose founders are directors in one moment but need to inherit or institutionalize their businesses to assure their future. Also, there they are having trouble with the “how”. Sometimes the next generation is not ready because they know how to do their own trade, but they don’t know how to institutionalize the business.
  • It is a key topic because Mexican businesses today are having a very deep and always faster technological transformation. Things that happen in the analogic world are precisely which axis of decision making is used, how decisions are made and all of that you mentioned. If the baton has been passed down to the first or second generation, if the founder manages to transmit his culture of work and ethics to his sons, normally it stays that way. But the third generation becomes more complicated because they are born in a very different dynamic, with more privileges and with less complications. Furthermore, what global business history demonstrates is that, if one of them looks at the United States, they will institutionalize quickly. What do you think? Because you and your associates have extended experience in the management of global businesses, as well as on Mexican ones which have institutionalized.

Which of them do you think is the first step and what can you contribute to this component?

  • Right, if you think of it, in all the journey the general director is on his own. So what we contribute to him is just being with him without being a consultant per se, without being a coach and without being part of their board. We are a combination of all of that. We call that an accompaniment. We are with him with a methodology that we have developed along 25 years through transformation seen from consulting, general direction, from business directions and we have seen how it works. We do not focus on trends, we focus on what works for the business and an example is what you just mentioned.
  • Many times we tend to criticize those fundamental principles, those practices that made the directive successful and what built the business. We should not criticize. We should then institutionalize our contribution to our general director:
  1. We accompany them.
  2. We help them on that which made the business successful, and with them in charge of the operation we make it institutional. It should not depend on people, but on institutionalized culture and technology, processes and more, so that they can have the peace that their principles and values are there for the future of the company.
  • I don’t know if you agree with me, but to the leaders of businesses of today, proof of a correct institutionalization is if one can go on vacation calmly. Concretely, if the CEO cannot go on vacation, it means that the business is not institutionalized.
  • I totally agree, going on vacation is being sure that the day-to-day operations and a strategy for the future are designed. Both. Why then they would not go? Continuing with the metaphor, It could be that the general director resolves one of the day-to-day problems, but he feels like there is still something that needs defining. He has to see two things: he has the double challenge of operating the day and transforming the future.

Symptoms of the need of a business institutionalization.

  • Clearly, even if a business is operating well, if the director is a micromanager, he/she feels a hole in his stomach caused by the anguish that everything should have a good outcome. It means that it has to be corrected, if not, they have to delegate in an organic manner. 
  • That is a good symptom that the institutionalization is not ready. Because institutionalizing is not implementing a tool or doing a project here or there. Institutionalizing is a mixture between a strategy that is very clear and linked with the day-to-day management, along with the detail of which meetings you have, what projects you do, what organization, processes and culture you really have, and evidently, what technology you are using
  • Now, something very important that you contribute in “The loneliness of the CEO” is just in that process, and I think that when the CEO of the business is more than 55 years old,their children begin to question and it is not easy to doubt. If you can’t doubt publicly, then who can you go to? You need that accompaniment because in that loneliness, if you have a vision for the company, it’s not easy to express those doubts.
  • And that Paradigm must be broken Rodrigo. Now that I remember, there’s a phrase that one of the most important directors in Mexico told me:

“Miguel, I know which building I want to build but I don’t know how.” And that is what many general directors do not verbalize. But it’s just like that, the general director knows “where”, he knows the “what”, but the “how” needs direction.

  • And how do you generate mechanisms to begin the process of dialogue? There’s nothing better than confronting ideas in a non-politized manner and being very interested in finding the best answers for the organization.
  • And that is why our working system is different, because we are a consortium by membership, and with that, you become a member of us. We forget about money and deliverables and we concentrate on what can build success for the general director, and in that the business has success, and that it can learn from other directives as well. Because being a consortium means that several general directors are on the table, learning. Not in a casual conversation, but in a structured one, using our methodology which we have developed for more than 20 years of integral business transformation as a base and with it, they learn something concrete that they can apply to their businesses.

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