Connect with Txabi: Why Successful Organizations Hire for Tomorrow, and Not for Today

We have witnessed and experienced a great deal of change in the last 100 years – cross countries by air in days, man setting foot on the moon, watch movies in full color, send mails electronically in real time, communicate with our friends regardless of where they are, and the discovery of medicine for multitude of illnesses continues to save and preserve lives. I could go on with my list and generate a hundred more. These are just what I easily pulled out from the top of my head.

As in the course of history, what remains on top of mind and can instantly evoke a sense of importance are those that are significant – this means, those which made a significant mark, which continues to innovate, which survived and stayed the longest until the present time, and which added greater value to the bigger community. Such principle applies even to organizations. Creating and sustaining a business organization entails more than passion and hard work.

In Simon Sinek’s book “Start With Why,” he shared that all organizations start with a WHY, but only the great ones keep their WHY clear year after year. For companies to succeed, it’s always important to go back and understand the WHY. Aboitiz Group has been doing business for over a hundred years and through time, has evolved and innovated to adapt to the changing needs but is still grounded on its purpose to drive change for a better world.

15 years ago, we said we want “Passion for Betterways.” To us, it’s very inclusive. Today, we re-articulated our group purpose. There’s a strong component of finding new and better ways and we are still committed in doing so. However, to drive change for a better world is broader. So how do we translate it to make more sense? We will do this through our building blocks, the ABCs: by Advancing Business and Communities.

For us to build a bigger organization, we need to build talents towards that direction. We need to understand the trajectory. Now, you ask yourself:

Do I play a role in that?

Can I play a role in that?

Do I want to play a role in that?

We used to be a Cebu-based organization with presence in industries such as power distribution, land, and shipbuilding but we expanded nation-wide and is now conquering the regional market.

Looking at that trajectory, it’s exciting to visualize where we will be 5 to 10 years from now. This will open a lot of opportunities for anybody – within or outside the organization. This is the challenge that we need to prepare for. We want to attract talents that are attracted to this, and who see themselves having a role to play in this growth.

We are not limited in getting talents that we need today. Our challenge is finding and developing talents for tomorrow. 

We are not looking for quick engagements. This is somewhat similar to courtship. People make decisions on where they want to spend the rest of their career in. We want people to start asking that question. We want people to think of Aboitiz as THE answer to this question.

Is this something appealing especially to the millennial generation? I read a lot of articles describing this generation as “non-commital” or one that does not look at long-term plans. My thoughts are different. I think they find value in long-term plans, but it’s being committed to something for so long and the fear of missing out on every opportunity that’s out there that’s holding them back. How do engage millennial talents, then?

We’re not trying to single them out but we have to understand that an effective organization is one who has plans and programs that cut across multi-generation. In Aboitiz, regardless of the generation and background you’re from, we value the possibility of your long-term contributions and this is being supported by our development programs. If we are only focused on what you can do today, why do we invest so much on self-driven career management programs?

We’re not after the value you bring in when you join us alone, but on your ability to continuously add value, and the value you can create which then will add exponentially because of the learning and development you will get along the way.

It will become valuable as you move on, as you build your competence and you position yourself in a role where you can add the most value. That’s when your value becomes greatest.

Careers must be self-driven. Opportunities and possibilities are there but you have to come in with the right set of mind.

For anyone to achieve their optimum career aspirations, it really must be self-driven. 80% of the work comes from you as an individual. You need the 20% which comes from the environment your organization creates that is supported by leaders and structure.

Find an organization that allows you to explore and discover yourself.

We are committed in making sure that we create this kind of environment. We’re going to do it because we need to support business growth. And the only way we can do it is to get the right talents who are driven by their desire to reach their highest potential in this organization.