"We need to reset our mindset toward unity," said Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines Inc. (PCPPI) Board Member Rafael Moreno Alunan III. "Teamwork, solidarity, and hard work will stem from that. These behavioral changes are key to sustainable progress, and it all boils down to unity."
Alunan, who has served both in the private and the public sector, has seen first-hand how a mind-shift from division to unity has helped companies and even countries forge ahead and beat competition. PCPPI is no exception for it to consistently excel and move past its business targets and visionary goals.
"In Pepsi, I observed how employees steadily performed by being selfless and focused, subordinating their personal comforts and convenience to their team’s goals and the company’s annual operating targets. That’s the kind of mindset and behavior that drives unity of purpose and teamwork. And we, as a people, adopt that culture, we would become a progressive and prosperous nation as well.”
"Pagbabago is a heavy word that has lost its weight and meaning through overuse. There’s a lot of ‘talk the talk’ but little by way of ‘walking the talk.’ People say our country's growth and development is anchored on that fundamental shift and they’re right; but their rhetoric must be backed by positive and sustained action." he added.
Alunan testified how PCPPI grew to become a competitive company. Exercising leadership was crucial to inspire and motivate the entire work force to work together and find better ways of improving shareholder and stakeholder value through best practice. Exceptional leadership ignites in followers the desire to persist, do more and be better for the greater good. That attitude is vital for nation-building.
The role of unity and self-discipline in nation building
Alunan has spent a good part of his life in private sector organizations that placed a premium on professionalism that, in turn, shaped the company’s culture. It was that mindset that he brought to the public sector when he was asked to join the Department of Tourism in June 1989. In 1992, he transferred to the Department of the Interior and Local Government. In both cases, he championed and led the campaigns against corruption and inefficiency that produced landmark results.
The former official who served in the Cabinets of Presidents Corazon Aquino and Fidel Ramos currently sits as an Independent Director of PCPPI.
"Unity is crucial to us. A divided company will never overcome its problems," Alunan stressed. The same principle applies to the country. "Unity means switching from self-interests to the national interest; from self-service to public service; from self-good to the common good. We must be able to tell ourselves that if it's good for the country, then it's good for me. That calls for self-sacrifice.”
Since joining the company in 2008, Alunan said the change in the work culture and attitude of employees helped PCPPI turn in a profit consistently and surpass its annual performance targets. "Our progress is the product of a long journey toward change -- it takes time to change old habits which calls for consistency of action from all concerned. Unity is best attained by people who genuinely care for each other's welfare and make an effort to do even the most ordinary routines extraordinarily well.”
"Many of us don't think of the Philippines’ interests anymore. Although there’s plenty of individual achievements, patriotism is left wanting. " he said.
"We have a generational problem on our hands that requires generational solutions that will take time to take root. We need to have all hands on deck to build our company, for that matter our country, to overcome the challenges in the 21stcentury and build it to last for generations to come.