Monday, July 14, 2003

Company, individual values must be compatible

Business Times p.B5
Monday, July 14, 2003

By Moje Ramos-Aquino
Company, individual values must be compatible

OUR avid reader, Melvin Tomas of BayanTel, wrote to say: “If you want to be happy in your work, your values must be congruent with that of the company you work for. That is why it is very critical to ask what the values of the company in any employment interview. Sad to say that most employees are enticed to transfer or join a company because of pay, only to find out that they can’t grow to their full potential because the company doesn’t recognize their values or the other way around. Ergo, you are stuck with your entry salary (which is probably big at that time) and putting 10 times more effort to do your job because you don’t agree with your company’s value. One must be very careful in defining one’s value/s because there is no such thing as compartmentalized values. You can’t say that you love your family and yet spend every Friday night in a joint.”

For a company value system to be of real value to the company and its publics, especially its employees, it must answer the following questions:

• What are our core competencies?
• What are the capabilities, attitude and character of our management people that are critical to our success?
• What behaviors and actions do we reward?
• How do we manage diversity and conflict?
• How do we manage continuous learning and innovation?
• Who makes decisions and how are decisions made?
• What are the fundamental processes we use and by which we will develop our business?
• What is our company made of?
• What are the engines and enablers in our company that can drive our business towards our vision and mission?
• What are the strategies that energize our growth engines?
• How can our company tap into the infinite potentials of our resources (money, machine, method and information)?
• How can our company tap into the infinite possibilities of our external environment (marketplace, politics, competition, technology, legal and physical environment)?
• How can our company tap into the infinite talents and smarts of our employees?
• How can our company create and nurture mutually profitable relationships with our stake­holders (fund sources, stock­holders, employees, customers and suppliers)?
• How can our company harness and help the community and environment where we operate?
• How can our company tap into the rising aspirations of our country and the world in general?
• How can our company continuously energize our organization and people?
• How can we overcome our deficiencies and mistakes and learn from them?
• Is there actually a formula that our company can use for profitability and success?
• What are the fundamental components that make up an individual human being?
• What processes could help our employees grow and evolve into the persons they want to be? To achieve and succeed in their career and personal lives?
• How can the company make personal growth and happiness a permanent way of life for our employees?

These are just a few questions you can use to evaluate your current value system or agree on a new one. One final question is: Are your corporate values driving your strategies, making you achieve your mission towards the path of our vision? We’ll have many examples of corporate values next Monday.

World Peace: From Arlene Mandia of Skycable: “To contribute to world peace, I start with myself. I gain inner peace by being happy with what I have, by being and doing good to other people, and by appreciating and putting into good and noble use God’s gifts to me as a means to fulfill my mission in this world.”

ASTD Global Network Panama: This year will hold the first ASTD Global Network Panama International Conference with the theme, “The Revolution of Change in Businesses”, from September 17-19. Esteemed performance consultant Dana Robinson will conduct a Productivity and Performance Evaluation and will lead a number of speakers from different parts of the world. This columnist is one of the speakers. There will also be an expo of equipment, materials and services applied to human resources and development and other worksite issues.

Conference participants are principally business executives and managers, human resource and organization development managers and professionals, consultants and chief learning officers. For brochures and details, please call Grace Victoriano at 715-9332.

Personal Notes. My recent trip to Davao City proved to be unexpected. I conducted a Supervisory Development Program for Landbank of the Philippines. The participants came from different provinces in Mindanao–Cotabato, Lanao, Agusan, Iligan, Cagayan de Oro, Davao City, etc. They spoke very proudly about their life and work in their respective province. They say, yes, there are sporadic unpleasant situations, but nothing to be afraid of or wary about. At the very last day of our workshop, they scrambled to take their ride and were raring to go home to their family and friends. They say that there are good news and there are bad news, thank you, but they are happy where they are and will never leave their homes.

I was ready to spend my free time inside my room at the Landbank Training Center. But to my pleasant surprise, Davao City is alive and kicking 24-hours a day. The big three malls are bustling and making good business. Commerce is active among businesses situated everywhere especially along good old streets of Claveria, Bonifacio and J.P. Rizal. Of course, Magsaysay St. is still lined with durian vendors. We ate durian to our heart’s delight in one of the stalls there sitting on rickety “banko” with soft drink cases as our table. Durian for four days? What a life!

It is fruit season in Davao City–durian, mangosteen, rambutan, melon, honeydew, cantaloupe, lansones, mangoes, pomelo, many others. Lami kaayo! Catch the Kadayawan Festival next month, savor the hospitality of DavaoeƱos and dig into their fresh fruits and seafood.

One thing I admire about Davao City are their taxi drivers. They volunteer to give you change even if you have already stepped out of the taxi. The meter read P32, so I gave the driver P40. He gave me a P10 change because he didn’t have P8. And my friends, Ruth and Jojo Agullo say that it is always the case. Very heartening. I hope our cab drivers here in Manila take a lesson on honesty and integrity from them.

I had a reunion with my friends Jess and Mena Dy, Boy Uste, Rene Lizada, Manny Yarra and others. The Toastmasters are as active as ever in Davao City. Since I’ve not seen the City in years, my long-time friend Jess drove me around Metro Davao, shared lunch with me at Luz Kinilaw, gave me cratefuls of fruits and very tentatively asked me, “do you want to live here in Davao City with the bombings and all that?” The city-girl me hesitated for a moment, but my soul cries out, “yes!” Davao City is peaceful and DavaoeƱos are peace loving. They have retained those truly admirable Filipino values.

Do visit Davao City. Better yet, do your business there. You are doing business while on vacation. Labi’ng maayo! (It is best!)

Moje Ramos-Aquino is president of Paradigms & Paradoxes Corp. and facilitates strategic thinking and planning workshops. She could be reached at

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