Monday, November 10, 2003

Journey on entrepreneurship: Constant reinvention

Business Times. P.B5
Monday, November 10, 2003

By Moje Ramos-Aquino
Journey on entrepreneurship: Constant reinvention

HAVING clearly delineated your strategic driving force, how do you use it to survive, compete and, eventually, lead in your business arena?

On Friday, at a forum sponsored by Ayala Corp., Cesar Manreal and Oscar “Nonong” Contreras, Jr., shared with us their Globe Telecom Journey to success. Their story is a very good example of how to pursue what is driving the business.

Nonong is now managing director of Ayala Corp. and consultant at Globe. He said that in Globe, they have defined their strategic context as operational excellence, customer intimacy and product leadership. Having done that, in 1999, they identified their core business competences. These are business acumen/knowledge, communication, customer focus, decision-making and accountability, leadership, teamwork, creativity and innovation, planning and organizing and results orientation.

To push their strategy and to effect and manage change, Globe embarked on a master implementation plan that they labeled as “Advance.” They concentrated on improving the competencies of their people, on performance management, on career and succession management, on rewards and recognition system and on relentless communication to all stakeholders.

As a result of this conscious effort, Nonong said that the culture and environment of Globe has positively changed. Their structure has become more efficient. Their operation has become very profitable.

Cesar, for the most part, shared his experience in Silicon Valley, California, which he is now bringing to Globe as the new head of Human Resources Group. He discussed some best practices for focus, speed and flexibility of successful Silicon Valley companies.

One of the significant findings of a study of these companies showed that all of them excelled in all four of these competencies—strategy, execution, culture and structure. Also they mastered at least two of these other competencies—talent management, innovation, leadership, and mergers and partnerships. This is part of the Daniel’s Method called 4 x 2.

Globe has achieved excellence in these four core competencies and has mastered talent management and mergers and partnership. No wonder, as Nonong said, they are now earning more than their sister company, Bank of the Philippine Islands.

Many companies seem to have very viable strategies, but after a while, they disappear as quickly as they appear in the business horizon or they are bought by competition. Some have endured through decades and centuries of robust operations pursuing their vision and mission while religiously living their core values and enhancing their capabilities. Examples are those that Jim Collins wrote about in his books Built to Last and Good to Great (HarperBusiness), like Abbott, Gillette, Pitney Bowes and Walgreens.

Here in the Philippines, we have ABS-CBN, which recently celebrated its golden anniversary. We also have the University of Santo Tomas, which is older than Harvard. There is Max’s Chicken and BPIs all over the place, Alpha School Supplies in Davao, Philippine Airlines, Biscocho House in Iloilo, Session Café in Baguio City, and many others. First Philippine Industrial Corp. and Union Galvasteel Corp. have not only survived competition and various economic and political crises, but they continue to lead in their respective industries.

Please take note that all these organizations have stuck to their original business idea while constantly reinventing themselves through technology and talent management. Reminds me of what Seth Godin, Idea Merchant, said, “an idea that wins ultimately does so because of intelligent seeding.”

Personal. Prayers for a blissful married life to Vladimir Tuazon and Abigail Mustard who are tying the knot this November 15 at the Nuestra Señora de Gracia Church and Jeff Pecaña and Ginny Cabalu, on November 29 at the Archbishop’s Palace.

Moje Ramos-Aquino is president of Paradigms & Paradoxes Corp., and assists companies in their Strategic Thinking and Planning. She awaits your feedback at

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