Friday, February 13, 2004

The most powerful force in business

Business Times p.B8
Friday, February 13, 2004

By Moje Ramos-Aquino
The most powerful force in business

Tim Sanders, chief solutions officer of Yahoo, boldly declares that the most powerful force in business is love! Where will you and I be without love? Whether you are celebrating today, tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, depending on your circumstances, remember to have a happy valentine’s day.

Business is borne out of love. You are in business because of your love for money or profit, customers, your product and service and/or your talents. Some, though, go beyond the boundaries of love of profit and become obsessed or greedy.

There are also stories about office romance that bloom into marriage and family. There are also romantic stories that can only be celebrated the day before or after valentines. These are different stories all together.

Let’s go back to our subject of Key Result Areas (KRA) and Strategic Goals (SG) and love, pristine love. There is no greater love in business than that between company (owner and management) and employees. After all, it is your employees who are your immediate customers, they produce your products, they deliver your services, they blow life into your processes and technology, and most important of all, they can make or break your business.

One company’s KRA and SG is “Organizational Excellence: Leadership, Human Capital, Facilities, Information Technology, and Administrative Products and Services.” It calls its people “leadership” and “human capital,” resources to be used, perchance, when needed. Do you think there is love between company and employees here? People here, maybe, just work for the employment opportunity and salary.

Same with this organization whose KRA and SG #6 is Development of Necessary Resources: Develop the human, financial, and physical resources needed to realize is vision of becoming the best school of environmental science, management and policy in the world. They haven’t heard of St. Valentine. No wonder they are unheard of in this industry.

This organization, on the other hand, has a semblance of management-employee caring. It’s KRA and SG #6 is “Emphasize performance and results through excellent management. Develop and retain independent mission-critical expertise and align the organization with the dynamic communications market. Parang pagmamahal ng pastol sa kanyang mga alagang kambing.

The most important aspect of love in the business setting is the one between employer-employees or management-employees+—human-to-human. This affection is manifest in the KRAs and SGs that companies set. One school stated its strategic goal as “increase student achievement.” Another school is set “to employ a professional, skilled, motivated and diverse workforce.” I smell romance.

The National Science Foundation intends to invest in people, ideas and tools to meet its mission of promoting the progress of science. For people, it will endeavor to develop a diverse, internationally competitive and globally engaged workforce of scientists, engineers and well-prepared citizens as one of its three strategic goals. True love.

These strategic plans of a police department are built on values intrinsic to their organization. Sigurado hindi nangongotong ang mga pulis doon.

Ethical and Professional Excellence

• We are proud of the Police Department and treat all people with dignity, fairness and respect.
• We display admirable behavior both on and off duty.
• We value all employees, striving to develop mutual respect and trust.
• We demonstrate the highest standards of honesty and integrity.
• We believe in and practice teamwork.
• We strive to be the best at what we do.

A college-owned retail cooperative pursues this long-term goal: Relationships

We are enhancing the relationships as owner stores, between stores and vendors, and with other organizations. We are discovering cooperative activities with other industry organizations that have independent stores as members. This love is made stronger by employees’ loyalty, high productivity and high quality of outputs.

Unfortunately many organizations neglect to set their KRA and strategic goal for their people. They are set to develop and profit from their markets, products, technology, networks, processes, distribution channels, raw materials and other resources; but not their people. They consider February 14 and every business day of the year as ordinary day for people to toil and sweat for their keep. These are companies that are ripe for radical employees’ actions. Can’t blame them. Anyway, there is no love lost between company and employees.

Let us heed the wise advise of Carlton Jackson, co-creator of Humanisphere, Inc., “In vain do we build the company, if we do not first build the people.” It will help to put it in writing as a KRA and SG lest you forget what David Rockwell, president of Rockwell Group, said, “It helps everyone if you really say what’s on your mind, as opposed to trying to couch it through a series of niceties.”

Where do we get KRAs and SGs? Not from the stork or from the air. Let’s discuss that in the next leg of our Journey on Entrepreneurship.

Moje Ramos-Aquino, president of Paradigms & Paradoxes Corp, facilitates Planning programs and other people retention initiatives. Her email address is

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