May 30, 2017
The Aboitiz Group Purpose was officially launched to team members through cascade sessions that were livestreamed via AGORA on March 20 and 21, 2017. Team members who were part of the live audience, as well as those watching the online feed, posed questions to further understand how “To Drive Change for a Better World” and “Advancing Business and Communities”, in unique ways, can create an impact in their own lives and on others.
Live Q&A with SMA
What changes in behavior do you expect from team members in light of our Group Purpose and Brand Positioning?
I have a guide on how I do everything every day. I have it clear in my mind and when I make decisions, I always have that as a guide. Maybe we start by having a vision of how you want to be, two or three sentences that guide you.
When we talk about To Drive Change for a Better World, the first change has to come from each of us. Some may think that they are part of Aboitiz only within working hours but that has to change because we are Aboitiz all the way through. Carry that with pride all the time in whatever way you may be called. You have to give the best of yourself every time.
–Ernest Villareal, Senior Vice President, Aboitiz Equity Ventures
What are we going to do with Passion for Better Ways?
Passion for Better Ways is very internal; we’re changing that to Advancing Business and Communities to make it inclusive. Passion for Better Ways was more a description of who we were, our brand essence, not really what we’re going to do. It’s the HOW we are going to make a change is by advancing business and communities and each one can adopt it in their own way.
With the new Brand Positioning and Group Purpose, do we expect a more accelerated pace or maybe gradual in terms of our strategies and initiatives as a group moving forward?
I don’t think it’s going to change, we’re just articulating it. Millennials want to know why you’re doing something so it needs to be more articulated, make it clearer. We’ve always done that, we’ve never gone into businesses that are bad and we have always been guided by that.
Do you think the age of technology and the young demographic profile of the Philippines play a key part in our brand refresh?
Yes, definitely. No argument.
With this brand positioning, how will we make Aboitiz different from its competitors?
Purpose unites you. In a family, you have the same way of thinking, you have a united way. Our values pass on from generation to generation and this is the same thing. When you ask “what is it?”, we articulate the same way, it’s clear, there’s no difference.
What’s changing now is how we’re actually articulating that high purpose. If you look at successful companies and why they’re sustainable, it’s because they have the sense of purpose and values that they’re communicating and really believing in. There’s really not a whole lot of change in terms of what we’re doing now; it’s simply having that outward look in terms of what the company’s purpose is all about.
–Jojo Guingao, First Vice President, Digital Management
Can we expect to see more collaboration across our SBUs in order to provide services to our communities even if it could be more beneficial for one SBU than the other?
Yes, we will see more collaboration. That’s the whole idea of our common purpose. That’s what leaders should talk about—how do we collaborate more and take advantage of each other’s presence. As we move this conversation upward, we will see more collaboration, more ownership when it comes from one’s self.
Talking about the role that each of us should take in conversations about the Group Purpose, us officers should be able to have this conversation all the way to the team member levels so that your team member, wherever they are in the country in whatever BU, can actually relate to the purpose and find meaning in their work in relation to Advancing Business and Communities.
–Susan Valdez, Chief Corporate Services Officer, Aboitiz Equity Ventures
For new team members, any advice on how to stay longer in the company?
One would be feedback. If you participate and give a lot of feedback, that really helps. In Pilmico, we started by leading through values and the whole plan came from the bottom up. People have a lot of fun doing it because they are engaged and can really feel it—we have a lot of buy-in from the team about leading through values. That’s an example of how you can make it a better place to work so that you will actually want to stay.
One of the reasons I left my old company was culture. I see that our brand positioning is really more of an affirmation. I’ve always believed that doing business well doesn’t mean at the expense of your customers, your communities and the like and in a lot of ways I found it here. Part of the answer to how we can stay longer in the company are contributing to the culture that we want the company to have. The bigger challenge is to help contribute to maintain or even improve upon that culture looking forward.
–Dave Valeriano, General Manager, WeatherPhilippines
How will you replicate the successful bottom-up approach in AEV?
People have to be convinced and not forced to do it. Hopefully, we can have the same in our own way in AEV, because it’s not the same for every Business Unit. AEV has got its own character, pace, and what it has to do so we in AEV have to find our own way of how to do this.
Are our five business legs particularly geared towards Advancing Business and Communities?
Power by electrification, Land by building different types of communities that have better value. In Food, we affect the lives of farmers and bakeries that we serve. Our partnership with the distributors, those go down to the level of the farmers.
Outside big business is seen as existing to make profit. While it’s true, when that business grows, you help the community, you’re a good taxpayer, you help the country. My personal thing is if business grows, it helps the government, it helps the people, you provide jobs, less people go abroad to work because it’s better to work here and companies are good employers.
–DJ Sta. Ana, First Vice President, Government Relations
What should we stop doing in order to advance business and communities?
If you have something to complain about, bring it up and let’s do something to change it.
What are the challenges that we expect in our brand positioning?
The biggest challenge is against ourselves. Have your own mission in life where you think about it every day moving forward, it guides you when you’re stressed and really helps you to not make stupid decisions and always be considerate of everyone.