Interview with Juliana Oizerovici, Head Of Partnerships and Open Innovation at Raia Drogasil.
For many, the symbol of creativity is “the lone genius”. They picture an inventor (often a man) alone in a laboratory inventing the next big thing. But innovation comes in many shapes and forms.
One skill that is very often neglected when it comes to innovation is the ability to connect with other people. Ideas rarely win on their own merit. They need help with being presented to the right person, at the right moment, in the right manner.
And for that to happen, the ideas often need help from what I now choose to call “Ray of Connections.”
I got to think about “Ray of Connections” when I interviewed Juliana Oizerovici, Head Of Partnerships and Open Innovation at Raia Drogasil.
Juliana is one of those people who are gifted with that ability to connect with people. But that gift, like all gifts, needs to be nourished to flourish.
Juliana has this skill of very quickly connecting with the right people at the highest level. People will express things to her like: “I never opened up with someone as I opened up to you” or “I never connected to someone so fast as I connected with you”, and after talking to her for just one hour I felt in a similar way.
That makes her a very strong connector. Just an example, in just a couple of months, after living abroad for a long time, she had gotten to know almost all the people on the board of Raia Drogasil, and now she is one of the key people in the transition of transforming Raia Drogasil from a “company that sells drugs” to a “company that helps you live healthily.”
I asked Juliana what I and others like me could learn from a super-connector like her.
She told me: “Vulnerability is the key to connecting to people. Open up about yourself and people will open up to you.”
And when they do open up, make sure you listen. Juliana: “When I get to know a person I am really listening to what this person needs.”
The key strategy, according to Juliana, is not just to “to know a lot of people”, but to know what they do, what problems they have, what connections they are looking for – and then be able to make those connections at the right time.
The people who really know how to do this are not just helping the person with the problem, but also – by making the introduction – helping the person who has the potential solution to the problem.
The reason I decided to call people like Juliana “Ray of Connections” is because they, and their connections, are to ideas what the sun is to a plant: Invisible, but take them away and the plant/idea dies. People with connections are the energy that ideas need to survive.
Develop your own skill to become better at nurturing connections, but more importantly: learn how to identify pure Rays of Connections and take very good care of them. They – and their connections – are the ones who will make your idea come to life.
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