Our Values

The world of business is complex and in constant change. It demands a company’s a regular attention to their market positioning, agility in their organizational structure and flexibility to change. Managers are in charge of decision-making in sometimes adverse conditions. What worked well yesterday may not be the solution for tomorrow’s challenges.

At ELPing we approach every project with a fresh look; we tailor our response to the specific set of challenges that our Client brings us. A solid experience in Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), Life Sciences, Executive Search and Leadership Strategy Services Consulting enables ELPing to intervene in several business sectors.

ELPing is a company that is especially oriented to the analysis of Clients’ needs, the support of the development of teams and leaders and to promote organizational alignment. Our mission is to help our client companies to face their present challenges and establish a successful partnership.

ELPing: Your Partner.

What We Do
Leadership & Senior Team Identification and Development
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Change Design
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Organizational Alignment
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Eduarda Luna Pais

was born in S. Miguel, Azores and attended College in the United States where she graduated in Medical Technology and took an MBA at Northeastern University in Boston. Upon graduation, she worked in a small Consultancy company. She joined Johnson & Johnson Group in 1988 in the United States and then moved to the Marketing Department in Portugal as Product Manager. She was promoted to Trade Marketing Manager and afterwards had the opportunity to create and build the Janssen Farmacêutica’s Pharmacy Division (1992); two years later, she merged this division with Cilag’s. In 1996, she transferred back to J&J Consumer and restructured the Sales Department from a field structure to Key Account Management.

After this successful restructuring process, Eduarda decided to expand her career development in a different area so in 1999 she became a Consultant at Egon Zehnder International, a Leading Firm in Executive Search, Board Consulting and Leadership Strategy Services. In the last years, Eduarda was Office Leader and was elected Partner.

In 2009 Eduarda decided to start a third stage of her career as an Entrepreneur and founded ELPing Organizational Fitness to capitalize on her experience as a Manager and Consultant. Her vision of ELPing is to help organizations develop their leaders and Senior Managers as well as improve the design and optimization of their structures.

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Toolkit for Managers
The Benefits of Delegating
Who gains benefits How delegating benefits
You + Your staff Improves the level of trust and communication between you and your staff

Achieves goals that require cooperative group effort
Your organization Saves Money by ensuring that tasks are assigned to the right person at the right level

Increases overall productivity and efficiency by making the best use of organizational resources
Common Arguments against Delegating
Argument Response
“It’s easier to do it myself than to organize it, explain it, and monitor it” This is a short term view. In general, the time spent planning the project will be worth it, and, over time, your employees will be able to take on more responsibility for structuring and planning their own assignments.
“I don’t have confidence in my staff” Start by delegating small tasks and projects that will allow you to build confidence gradually.
“My staff will resent the extra work” or “My staff expect me to be the problem solver and decision maker” Manage the expectations. Make it clear that your role is to support your staff in making decisions for themselves. Also, make it clear that this means they will get opportunities to do new and interesting work. Make sure you follow through.
Steps to be Followed
for delegating to the right person for communicating a delegated assignment
for delegating to the right person:
  1. Be aware of the skills associated with specific tasks or functions.
  2. Become familiar with your own strengths and weaknesses and those of your staff:

    1. Do not be afraid to take advantage of the skills of more than one person in completing a task;
    2. Challenge your staff members with assignments that test their skills so they can discover new capabilities;
    3. Keep track of special skills that you may need to call upon for special projects.

  3. Coordinate everyone’s skills to achieve the most complementary fit (assemble the best teams).
  4. If necessary, look for resources outside your own group and do not forget your supervisor as a possible resource.
  5. Consider using resources outside your organization (outside consultants or temporary workers).
for communicating a delegated assignment:
  • Set up a face-to-face meeting with the person to whom you are delegating an assignment;
  • Clearly describe the task, project, or function;
  • Establish agreed-upon standards of performance, measures of success, and levels of accountability;
  • Define the resources and support that will be available;
  • Identify the need for any special training or coaching, and describe how it will be given;
  • Clearly define the level of authority being delegated;
  • Agree upon parameters for follow-up and feedback.
Do not delegate
  • Planning, directing, and motivating your team;
  • Evaluating employee performance;
  • Handling complex customer negotiations;
  • Performing tasks requiring your specific set of technical skills;
  • Hiring and firing staff members and helping your direct reports develop their careers.
Source: AAVV, Delegating Work, Harvard Business Press, Boston, 2008.
Changing Employer
Onboarding Checklist
Business Orientation Checklist Stakeholders Connection Checklist Expectations Alignment Checklist Cultural Adaptation Checklist
Business Orientation Checklist Getting to know all the company and not just the area you work on: products, brands, operating systems, planning, performance evaluations, etc.:
  • As early as possible, get access to publicly available information about financials, products, strategy and brands;
  • Identify additional sources of information, such as websites and analyst reports;
  • If appropriate for your level, ask the business to assemble a briefing book;
  • If possible, schedule familiarization tours of key facilities before the formal start.
Stakeholders Connection Checklist Identifying major stakeholders and building productive work relations both vertical (bosses) and lateral (peers):
  • Ask your boss to identify and introduce you to the key people you should connect with early on;
  • If possible, meet with some stakeholders before the formal start;
  • Take control of your calendar, and schedule early meetings with key stakeholders;
  • Be careful to focus on lateral relationships (peers, others) and not only vertical ones (boss, direct reports).
Expectations Alignment Checklist Check and recheck expectations after entering the company – "recruiting is like romance and employment is like marriage":
  • Understand and engage in business planning and performance management;
  • No matter how well you think you understand what you need to do, schedule a conversation with your boss about expectations in your first week;
  • Have explicit conversations about working styles with bosses and direct reports as early as possible.
Cultural Adaptation Checklist Adapting to the corporate culture as well as to the subculture of the Department where you work:
  • During recruiting, ask questions about the organization's culture;
  • Schedule conversations with your new boss and HR to discuss work culture, and check back with them regularly;
  • Identify people inside the organization who could serve as culture interpreters;
  • After thirty days, conduct an informal 360-degree check-in with your boss and peers to gauge how adaptation is proceeding.
WATKINS, Michael D. , The First 90 Days - Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter (updated and expanded edition), Boston, Harvard Business Review, 2013.
The First 90 Days
Assessment of Core Challenges
Assessment of Core Challenges
Core Challenges Diagnostic Questions
Prepare Yourself Are you adopting the right mind-set for your new job and letting go of the past?
Accelerate Your Learning Are you figuring out what you need to learn, whom to learn it from, and how to speed up the learning process?
Match Your Strategy to the Situation Are you diagnosing the type of transition you face and the implications for what to do and what not to do?
Negotiate Success Are you building your relationship with your new boss, managing expectations and marshaling the resources you need?
Secure Early Wins Are you focusing on the vital priorities that will advance your long-term goals and build your short-term momentum?
Achieve Alignment Are you identifying and fixing frustrating misalignments of strategy, structure, systems, and skills?
Build Your Team Are you assessing, restructuring, and aligning your team to leverage what you are trying to accomplish?
Create Alliances Are you building a base of internal and external support for your initiatives so that you are not pushing rocks uphill?
WATKINS, Michael D. , The First 90 Days - Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter (updated and expanded edition), Boston, Harvard Business Review, 2013.
Considering an International Career
Recomendations for International Careers
With the contributions of a group of Portuguese Professionals with international Careers, ELPing has prepared a short summary of Recommendations for Professionals considering an international career.
With the contributions of a group of Portuguese Professionals with international Careers, ELPing has prepared a short summary of Recommendations for Professionals considering an international career. map graphic

Check those up!

There Are Two Major Ways to Start an International Career:
  • By working in a multinational company in your own country and then "take the leap";
  • To study in a foreign University and be recruited there.
  • Other ways (direct applications, executive search companies, etc.) are not so effective, since they lack the "quality certification" that the first two ways provide.
Do it Early in Your Career

Characteristics to Succeed:

  • Sense of adventure, open mind and flexibility;
  • Able to go out of comfort zone;
  • Love of travel;
  • Capability of dealing with adversity;
  • Being humble;
  • Resilience and persistency;
  • Capacity to absorb some of the local culture;
  • Passion for what you do and ability to share this passion with the team;
  • Proficiency in at least 2 or 3 foreign languages; proficiency in the local language is fundamental for the integration;
  • Do not be afraid to stand out because of your professional skills, hardworking attitude and humility.
Hints Job Market:
  • Find a job that fulfills you and in which you are great;
  • Career wise it is much better to go back in the short term and bet on the right road for the long term;
  • Make sure there is a fit between your own experience and the position you are assuming;
  • Many management competences are universal and it is up to each one to know its strengths and weaknesses and position him / herself accordingly - as one would do in its own country;
  • You need solid experience and knowledge built on your own mistakes. In emerging countries, business and careers are so fast that locals do not have time to learn because they cannot fail;
  • A global job market prefers expats that have already had several experiences outsider their countries, because the risk of excessive integration (acculturation) is lower;
  • The first expatriation is the hardest; you are competing in a bigger market with a lot more competition. Getting used to new cultures gets easier when you become more culturally rich and diverse;
  • Do not make pre-judgments about places and people you do not know and welcome new challenges (even if they are in unlikely places);
  • Shape your career based on what you can do more than on what you know. Knowledge is valuable but more critical is the ability to learn new things every day;
  • Language: for a global high-flying career you do need good English. In Latin America, learning formal Spanish is a must. Good drafting skills are essential. Saying what you really mean (and meaning what you say) are key to any business;
  • Be direct! Portuguese tend to go around the bushes. One needs to adapt to the circumstances and use emotional intelligence to find the more efficient way to get the message across.
New Work Environment:
  • Be humble and ask ask ask... And above all, hear so that you can incorporate and do differently;
  • Surround yourself with good teams;
  • Local professional culture: simple questions, such as motivating a team or relating with employees, might be very different from Portugal;
  • At all times, question what is being done... Different markets, consumers and competitors lead to different results. The same solution does not apply everywhere;
  • Portuguese can sometimes come up with creative solutions ("desenrascar") that English or German people would never come up with. Although that is very good it is not enough. You have to mix it with planning and rigorous execution. Action not structured in markets that are easily 10, 20 or 100 times bigger will not certainly work.
  • Be open to maybe never coming back;
  • Keep an active contact network in Portugal, through Skype, LinkedIn and participation in conferences; this way you will be up-to-date with the national market and, if you want to return, you may have the possibility of adopting an adequate positioning;
  • Plan your return in anticipation – six months to a year, depending on the sector;
  • Returning: to the same company? Will there be a place for me? Will I have an interesting function or will it be equivalent to the one I had before? This is especially relevant in a multinational company with an operation in Portugal smaller than in other countries where you worked as an expat.
  • A bit of luck;
  • Make sure you do your long term financial planning (pension, taxes, etc);
  • Take a leap of faith even for an opportunity that may not sound great.
Practical Aspects to Take into Account
  • Maintaining the labour contract in Portugal, a side letter should specify the scope of the international assignment, duration and financial conditions;
  • If a new contract is written, it should take into consideration the years of tenure within the company; in some cases, the value is tied to a "no compete clause" (cannot work for any competitor for a certain period after leaving the company);
  • To maximize the retirement pension received in the future, it is important to become a voluntary contributor to the Portuguese social security (if all payments are outside Portugal); one alternative is to receive part of the salary in Portugal;
  • Life, travel and health insurance, extensive to family members; European Health Card (when moving inside Europe) is advisable;
  • International school for children should be provided; if family does not join immediately, the payment should also contemplate an international school in the country of origin (to allow for a smoother transition);
  • Two to three plane trips in executive class to the origin country (corresponding to about six in economy);
  • Housing should be provided and payment for moving expenses (some important personal belongings);
  • A specialized company should give support in terms of tax optimization during and one year after returning to Portugal.
When Relocating Abroad with Your Family
  • Analyse your family's existing support system, such as doctors, lawyers, dentists, babysitters, tutors, etc.; do a support-system inventory, identify priorities, and invest in finding replacements quickly;
  • Get your spouse back on track. Your spouse may quit his old job with the intention of finding a new one after relocating. To accelerate job search, negotiate up front with your company for job-search support, or find it shortly after moving;
  • Time the family move carefully. For children, it is substantially more difficult to move in the middle of a school year. Consider waiting until the end of the school year, even if it means a separation from your loved ones and the wear and tear of commuting. Be sure that your spouse gets extra support to help ease the burden while you are away;
  • Re-establish family rituals as quickly as possible and maintain them during transition. Help from favourite relatives also makes a difference;
  • Invest in cultural familiarization. If you move internationally, get professional advice about the cross-cultural transition. Isolation is a far greater risk for your family if there is language and cultural barriers;
  • Tap into your company's relocation service, if it has one, as soon as possible. Corporate relocation services are typically limited to helping you find a new home, move belongings, and locate schools, but such help can make a big difference.
Guidelines adapted from WATKINS, Michael D. The First 90 Days - Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter (updated and expanded edition), Boston, Harvard Business Review, 2013.
Improving Your Team
Efficient Teams
"... Members of Truly Efficient Teams" How to Identify Areas for Improvement?
"... Members of Truly Efficient Teams: efficient_teams
  1. Have mutual trust.
  2. Engage in discussing ideas openly and without filters.
  3. Commit to decisions and action plans.
  4. Hold each other accountable for the fulfillment of the plans.
  5. Focus on the achievement of collective results."
How to Identify Areas for Improvement?
Absence of Trust Team members are unwilling to show vulnerability in the group. When these is not genuine openness to flaws and weaknesses, trust is impossible.
Fear of Conflict Lack of an open and unfiltered discussion. Too much diplomacy and hidden agendas.
Lack of Commitment Without having expressed their opinions, team members are less willing to buy in and compromise, even if there is apparent consensus.
Avoidance of Accountability Difficulty in demanding accountability to team members when the action plan does not have a true agreement by all.
Innatention to Results Occurs when team members put their individual needs (such as ego, career development or need for recognition) or the needs of their areas above the collective goals of the team.
Adapted from LENCIONI, Patrick - Os Cinco Desafios de uma Equipa, Lisboa, Smartbook, 2009
LENCIONI, Patrick - Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team, San Francisco, Jossey-Bass, 2005
Steps for Addressing Resistance to Change
  1. Encourage people to openly express their thoughts and feelings about change...
  2. When resistance occurs, listen carefully...
  3. Treat resistance as a problem to solve, not as a character flaw...
  4. Once you understand the nature of their concerns, bring people together to discuss and deal with the perceived problems...
  1. Encourage people to openly express their thoughts and feelings about change. Create an environment that fosters open communication and exchange of ideas. Actively reach out to employees - using informal hallway conversations, more formal one-to-one meetings, e-mail, and other channels - and ask them how they are managing the change effort.
  2. When resistance occurs, listen carefully. While it is important to explain the benefits of a change program, employees who are resistant to the change do not always want to hear an explanation of why the change is necessary. Instead, work to understand their resistance by exploring their concerns and by taking their feelings and comments seriously.
  3. Treat resistance as a problem to solve, not as a character flaw. Resisters may provide valuable information about a change program - information that you may not be aware of. For example, a resister may reveal an unanticipated consequence of a projected change that could result in a potential threat to either the unit or the organization. Instead of dismissing the resister as someone who is negative or inflexible, try to understand his or her rationale and sources of motivation. Doing so can open up new, unexpected possibilities for realizing change.
  4. Once you understand the nature of their concerns, bring people together to discuss and deal with the perceived problems. If people feel that they have been heard and have had opportunities to discuss problems and suggest solutions, they are more likely to support the decisions surrounding the change initiative. Address all concerns head-on and provide people with as much information as possible.
HILL, Linda A., Managing Change, Boston, Harvard Business Review, 2009, p. 51.
Managing Meetings
Five Essentials Agenda The Minutes Should Include Some Suggestions
Five Essentials:
  • Plan the meetings ahead;
  • Set the agenda;
  • Inform the participants;
  • Control discussions;
  • Summarise and keep conclusions.
  • Order the agenda logically;
  • Define the duration for each subject based on its importance, not urgency - set the time in the begining of each topic;
  • It is preferable to have a longer agenda that defines more precisely what constitutes each point and allows the preparation of participants in advance. It may be useful to have a brief explanation of why each topic should be discussed and categorize it according to three classifications: Information, Discussion and Decision;
  • Send the agenda in advance, but not too early. Participants must be able to prepare themselves so they can take to the meeting some notes about the topics that will be addressed.
The Minutes Should Include:
  • Date, time and place of the meeting;
  • Name of the people present, absences and reasons;
  • All topics discussed and all decisions;
  • If there were actions decided, names of those responsible for implementing;
  • The main reasons for the decisions;
  • The time the meeting ended;
  • The date, time and place of the next meeting.
Some Suggestions:
  • Confirm attendances the previous day;
  • Establish operating rules;
  • Measure the success of the meeting by the ratio of concrete actions divided by the number of hours x number of people; calculate the cost of meetings.
Taking an Entrepreneurial Approach
Entrepreneurship in Portuguese
«A Alma do Negócio», Entrepreneurship in Portuguese
«A Alma do Negócio», Entrepreneurship in Portuguese "Alma do Negócio" was recently edited by Sofia Ramos (Sabedoria Alternativa Editions). This book contains short articles by 29 Authors, most of them portuguese, showing different perspectives and rich and diverse experiences in entrepreneurship.

Some of the issues this book talks about are: testing the idea, dealing with bureaucracy, attracting "Business Angels" and other supports, legal issues, business management and learning with your mistakes. Complementing the book there is also a site,, that will host several meetings, provide contents and give information on other initiatives about entrepreneurship.

This book has the support of FLAD - Fundação Luso-Americana para o Desenvolvimento.
Building the Team
Seven Distinctive Characteristics of Entrepreneurs that Help Them Create Teams:
  1. Ability to Communicate Your Vision
  2. Understanding the Sources and Uses of Power
  3. Desire to Meet the Needs of Others
  4. Ability to Delegate Authority
  5. Trial and Error Tolerance
  6. Ability to Attract People who Complement Your Skills
  7. Ability to Motivate Each Member of the Team
Seven Distinctive Characteristics of Entrepreneurs that Help Them Create Teams:
  1. Ability to Communicate Your Vision
    The reason for a team's existance consists of its mission, philosophy, goals and shared values, defined by the leader and ratified by the team members. When there is rapid growth or reduction in the organization, it is particularly challenging to maintain the vision alight. It must be clearly defined and communicated repeatedly.
  2. Understanding the Sources and Uses of Power
    The ability to overcome the ego is essential in the management of people. We are witnessing today a certain contradiction: people recognize the need to work in cooperation, but at the same time feel a childish need to overlap - "spoiled generation". Avoid surrounding yourself with "yes men"; very few creative, ambitious and hard-working people are willing to work with a "prima donna".
  3. Desire to Meet the Needs of Others
    You must understand the needs of your employees. There was a revolution in values and attitudes in the workplace and today's employee does not accept to be treated with the methods of former leaders and does not accept unnecessary bureaucracy and is skeptical toward authority. He / she aims to develop through challenges, and create a sense of belonging. People want autonomy, equality of opportunity, participation in profits, work with meaning, and a sense of belonging and affiliation.
    If you have not witnessed this reality, it is likely that you may not have been recruiting properly, or you are creating an adverse environment for innovation.
  4. Ability to Delegate Authority
    Autonomy in the workplace is the most valued factor for job satisfaction - even more than compensation.
  5. Trial and Error Tolerance
    Innovators know that success results from experimenting, and error is a possible consequence. There should be no "punishment" after mistakes, but rather space to discuss and see what we could have done differently. People must feel that they can talk and communicate their ideas.
  6. Ability to Attract People who Complement Your Skills
    "Never hire someone who is not better than you in the area you are hiring for." It is necessary to recognize your own limitations in order to choose the right people.
  7. Ability to Motivate Each Member of the Team
    There are several types of motivation programs that focus on remuneration, but recognition is essential, and it cannot happen only once a year!
Adapted from Breakthrough Thinking
Denis Waitley, Nightingale-Conant Corp, 2007
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AESE is Portugal's oldest Business School and is dedicated to the specific training in business leadership and management from a Christian perspective of Man and Society.

AESE is renowned by its 30 years of instruction using the Case Method; the culture of participatory learning; the Alumni network and its social and corporate responsibility.

Eduarda Luna Pais is Teaching Fellow in the area of Human Factor in the Organization, and lectures Career Management at AESE's Executive MBA Program.

História do Futuro
História do Futuro is a Program aimed at the development of competencies needed for the job market.

Among its main features is a five day Intensive Training for people that just ended their academic studies and for people in transition. This training aims to contribute to the development of a personal and professional strategy for the future and to set new career paths.

História do Futuro was created by CUPAV - Centro Universitário Padre António Vieira and is currently managed by IPAV - Instituto Padre António Vieira.

ELPing is Partner of História do Futuro and Eduarda Luna Pais is responsible for the session named "Conquering Opportunities" during the Intensive Trainings.

Eduarda Luna Pais, ELPing's founder, is regularly invited as keynote speaker or participant in public and private events. Check here some of her participations:

Interview for RTP2 Ecclesia

Interview for Caixa Woman magazine