Monday, July 28, 2003

More on corporate values

Business Times p.B5
Monday, July 28, 2003

By Moje Ramos-Aquino
More on corporate values

Mr. Arnedo “Dodie” Lucas, managing director of Roadrunner Network Inc., has this to say about values:

1. Values come from the word value. It means something so dear and important that you will not exchange it for just anything. Core values means the thing that is nonnegotiable and nonexchangeable. Personal values mean that which a person chose to value. Corporate values, that which the company chooses to value. Both can be made explicit or can be kept implicit.

Corporations who are people-centered realize that corporate values cannot stray away from personal values. There should be congruence between the personal and the corporate. This is required for the organization to succeed in its mission. Personal values that mirror the corporate values is what makes empowerment possible at all. Empowerment is good for an organization because it saves on the number of personnel, provides better customer interface because of not having to ask higher-ups for the “final” decisions. It is also good for innovation and change because the environment of freedom allows all that. These together will produce more revenue and less cost, so more profits. However, empowerment without values is like giving the key to the vault to a thief or giving a gun to a murderer. So corporations who take into “empowerment” without the values will find themselves very poor quickly.

2. It starts with higher management doing a change “for the good.” If “goodness” materializes, then higher manager discusses that change with other managers. Managers now realize that what they experienced as a successful decision is based on values. They will begin to apply values as benchmarks to every decision they make. It will then become a habit and then a culture. Other staff then realizes how decisions are made and apply the norms themselves.

3. Our values: Truth, justice, peace, love and freedom. All decisions are squared with these. There is no “denial stages” when things are not going our way, corrections are accepted, conflict is accepted as a way to find the truth.”

Here are other edifying corporate values of successful Filipino organizations:

VCP Trading International: Professionalism, reliability, integrity, customer service and satisfaction, employee development and growth, supplier support and stability

Philippine Airlines: (5 TPCs) totally pleased customers; time management, productivity & cost effectiveness; teamwork, participation and communication; total personnel care; total personnel commitment.

Lopez Group of Companies: integrity, public service, entrepreneurship, loyalty, social responsibility and employee welfare

Rockwell Land Corp: excellence, fairness, integrity and innovativeness

Asian Eye Institute: quality, ethics, excellence and care.

Manila North Tollways Corp.: concern and respect for external and internal customers, teamwork, ethics/integrity, social responsibility, work excellence and commitment

First Philippine Industrial Park: passion for quality and continuous improvement, customer focus, teamwork, integrity, sense of responsibility, flexibility and respect for others.

First Gas: integrity, public service, entrepreneurship, loyalty with performance, teamwork.

Meralco: malasakit, integrity, quality, productivity and teamwork.

BayanTel: (ATOM) action, teamwork, ownership and meritocracy.

Adtel Corp: passion for growth, relentless customer service, sense of ownership, teamwork, strong work ethics.

Davis Fogg notes in his book, Team-based Strategic Planning, that these values are external (e.g. customer service, supplier support, social responsibility) and internal (e.g. teamwork, entrepreneurship, meritocracy). They are not about profit and money. They are about working toward excellence, caring and respect for each other with integrity and commitment.

Charles Handy writes in his book, The Empty Raincoat: “It is cathedral philosophy, the thinking behind the people who designed and built the great cathedrals, knowing that they would never live long enough to see them finished. The new cathedrals will not be of stone and glass, but of brains and wits. They will take equally long to build and we who must start the building may not live to see the conclusion. This is why we need to look beyond the grave and beyond our generation. It is hard to believe that we will make the sacrifices involved unless we can believe in the long-term existence of our little local world and of the bigger global one. We should, however, remember that there is no need for that continued existence to be in the same form as it is at present. The second curve is different from the first; there has to be change to be continuity.

We need to have faith in the future to make sense of the present.”

1st Congreso Internacional 2003 Panama. You are invited to attend the ASTD Global Network Panama Conference and Expo on September 17 to 19, 2003, at the Hotel Riande Continental, Panama City, Panama. Conference languages are both Spanish and English. Speakers from Africa, Australia, India, the Philippines, United States, Europe and Central and South American countries will truly give this conference an international perspective. This columnist will be speaking on the topic “Leadership and Development.”

For details and brochures, please call Grace Victoriano at 715-9332.

Personal: Thank you to all relatives, friends, colleagues and readers who consoled with us, sent flowers and mass cards and offered prayers and masses for the repose of the soul of my departed father, Ambrosio Zulueta Ramos from Basud, Camarines Norte.

(Ms. Moje Ramos-Aquino is president of Paradigms & Paradoxes Corp. and helps companies develop shared vision, matched missions and congruent values. She could be reached at

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