Looking Back, Forging Ahead

Updated: Apr 30, 2020

by Gerry A. Plana, DPM

If you recall, the PMAP theme adopted by the 2019 board “Delivering HR That Truly Matters Today and Tomorrow”. The key message last year was really “Relevance”. I think whenever we speak of relevance, I’m constantly reminded about the 80/20 Pareto principle which says that if you know how to focus on those few vital activities the 20% that can produce the 80% results then you can be relevant. When we crafted this 2019 theme, we had this in mind. We said for this 2019 we should help everyone in the profession focus on what is truly relevant, what truly matters because this is the only way we can truly get recognized in our own respective organizations and claim to be a true business partner. If you look at this from the perspective of today, this is how I see the challenges that the current HR practitioners face.

We all start with HR fundamentals and what does HR fundamentals mean? We get into our specialized area whether that’s development, that’s compensation or labor relations. We try to be good at that but somehow along the way we find out that specialization is not only what’s needed to be truly effective. We need to be a generalist in HR so even if you are in development, we needed to know a little bit about compensation and labor relations and vice versa, because it’s only through that well-rounded perspective can we truly claim to be good in HR fundamentals. This has been the journey for many of us for many years. Some of us stop at HR fundamentals because there’s just so much to learn in HR but the challenge in our journey is to become a business partner and the only way we can become one is if we start to understand the business. That’s why the business acumen part is saying if we truly Forging Ahead want to be business partners we need to invest some time, understanding, and knowing the business because that is the context by which we will apply everything we know about HR. In short, to be a true business partner we need to apply HR solutions to business problems and challenges. But sometimes in our eagerness to be good business partners we forget the people side and this is where I think I draw the line between a good HR and a great HR. A great HR is somebody who pursues and applies everything he/she knows about HR not only to serve the business interests but to serve the employees’ interests as well as other stakeholders’ interests. Now that is a greater HR challenge because here you need to integrate seemingly conflicting interests of these various stakeholders. As we move to the future, we need to prepare future practitioners.

I’d like to thank everybody because all these achievements were the result of a collective effort. The effort of the entire 2019 board, professional staff, the active members of PMAP and chapters.

One of the insights I got here when we were developing this theme was the dwindling enrollment in HR classes in some schools aside from the fact that there was some quality issues in the way HR education was delivered. We feel that if there’s going to be any CSR of PMAP it will have to be the TEACH program ensuring that the future practitioners will become even better than us because if they don’t then we have failed as an organization.

Presenting the highlights of 2019, I chose the framework 3G which stands for Gaps, Growth and Giving. If you take a look at these 3G, gaps is about relationship building, growth is about personal and professional growth which is our main mandate and the third G is giving, which to my mind is where the heart belongs.

If you take a look at this and see how we did in 2019 as far as 3Gs are concerned, here’s how it looks like. In the gaps area, when you try to take a look at these gaps it’s all about building relationships; building relationships with CEOs and several different organization such us MAP, IBPAP, IW, PCCI, PSTD, and so on. So, there’s a lot of organizations we built relationships with. Why? Because we feel if we have the mission of improving our workplaces and creating strong organizations that can thrive in a highly disruptive environment, we need more allies. PMAP cannot do this alone. And as a result of this relationship building initiative, we were able to enhance our image, people got to know us better and we were able to have the opportunity to share with them who we are and what we can do for organizations.

For this, the person I’d like to thank who has been at the center of all of this relationship building efforts is Vice President, Lin Mukhi. The other relationship we needed to build under the gaps area was something that was internal to PMAP. We had a discussion in the board about how we can restructure PMAP is such a way that we can even become more efficient. I commissioned a committee to do this study and I’d like to thank this

particular committee headed by Past President Mon Medina who studied how we can move forward with some structural changes. They spent a lot of time on this study and gave us a comprehensive proposal. However, said proposal was not accepted by the

Board but numerous discussions ensued that resulted to a resolution aimed at improving PMAP’s efficiency. One of the things that we resolved is the separation of

policy and execution.

For a long time, our board has been very operational. Through a board resolution, your 2019 board has changed the role of trustees. Board of Trustees are no longer in charge of committee operations. They are in charge of the big ticket items, items that needs decisions that will bring us forward to the future. Truly, a policy and strategic kind of work. In this way we can empower our professional staff to just execute the plans that the board approves. This is the first year of transition. Most of the activities we did in 2019 would be along the areas of growth.

If you take a look at the well received annual conference and high attendance, we achieved quite an achievement considering that we were able to do this despite holding it three months earlier than the traditional conference date.

With this said, I would like to thank my successor President Loi Echevarria and her team for this outstanding performance. Another highlight last year was the highly rated training programs we delivered. We reached 3,000 participants and had the highest income ever in the history of PMAP. I would like to thank Past President Lucy Tariella as the head of AIHRM and Richard Mamuyac for this. I also would like to thank Past President Nonong Contreras for having grown the membership of the Society of Fellows to 262 members – the highest ever. Here also along the growth area is the Leadcom achievement. For the first time they broke records, they had 36 mentees, for the first time ever, and they had a lot of great learning sessions. I’d like to thank Fredy Primicias and Beth Nasol and the LeadCom team for this outstanding performance. Part of growth is also the ISOP book. It’s a great reference material for HR practitioners and this was made possible by the 4 authors, 3 of them are Past Presidents: Sonny Coloma, Noli Payos, and Ernie Espinosa and joined by Orly Zorilla.

Moving forward, the last G is about Giving. You might ask what does giving have to do with all this? This is the heart part. PMAP showed its heart in so many ways in 2019. We gave a helping hand to PMAPers in need, as well as made contributions to Mindanao Earthquake Victims. As a result of that, we are now in the process of institutionalizing giving aspart of our business model. All these are part of showing our heart but I think

that the more sustainable thing that we can do is if we can institutionalize our TEACH program. I’m glad that the newly formed foundation has taken this challenge to move this forward.

So, as we wrap up and end 2019, I’d like to thank everybody because all these achievements were the result of a collective effort. The effort of the entire 2019 board, professional staff, the active members of PMAP and chapters. Going back to the 3G

framework, when we do the 3G which stands for Relationships, Growth and Heart, we become more human. In this age of high technological advances, where we are so excited talking about machine intelligence, we also need to have conversations about

what it means to be truly human because after all we are in the people business. I look forward to another exciting and great PMAP year ahead.

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