Paulo Maia is one of our performance consultants and was in Saudi Arabia for two weeks, in Riyadh, to finish a project he had the opportunity to develop over several months.
“For me it made perfect sense and in a way it was poetic that I was able to finish a project in which I have been working practically since I’ve joined Crossjoin”.
We asked him about the impact of working in a culture so different from Portugal and he confessed that, in fact, there are many restrictions, inequalities and habits completely different from ours that have caused him some discomfort. Among the examples he gave us, he highlighted the fact that women have to wear a long black dress with sleeves, called “Abaya”.
However, Paulo was surprised by the safety he felt on the streets, the hospitality and friendliness of the locals.
He said that one of the times he went out with his colleagues, they decided to go to a very recommended café because it had a decoration based on the series “Friends”. When they got there, the coffee was closed, but there were still people inside the cleaning. When they realized that there were customers outside, they immediately approached and asked: – “What’s wrong? Do you want coffee?”. They served them the coffees, talked to them, and in the end offered them the coffees. This funny episode helped to make a more positive impression on the country and the people.
He was also happy to see a woman driving a Uber and glad that it is no longer obligatory to wear the burkha, although they have to wear the Abayas.
Our Crosser shared with us a curiosity which, although he does not agree, he considers to justify a little the reason why the country is so conservative.
In 1979 there was a terrorist attack on Mecca, the sacred place of worship of the Islamic religion, which killed huge numbers of people.
The Prince interpreted these attacks as a sign from God that the Arab people had to be purified. From then on, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia became too conservative and closed. From then on, women were forced to dress in a more covered manner.
Regarding the project, Paul said it was very challenging and said that the greatest difficulty he and the other crossers felt was to gain acceptance among all the other colleagues so that their recommendations could be heard and considered. Due to the quality of analysis and communication with the client, two of the greatest riches of Crossjoin’s work, they were able to show their value and overcome obstacles.
The clear and constant definition of objectives was also a fundamental component of success. “In Crossjoin’s methodology, the goal must be immediately defined in any task/difficulty/challenge. With the ever-present goal in mind, actions to achieve that goal flow more naturally.”
When we asked Paulo what he values the most about Crossjoin, Paulo promptly replied that he couldn’t name just one aspect, “What I value most about Crossjoin is what brought me into the company which is the contact with various technologies, rapid growth and learning, a strong customer contact component, a spectacular peer environment and an organizational structure that accelerates the feeling of belonging to the company”.