Aboitiz underscores ‘culture of innovation’

THE Aboitiz Group believes having a culture of innovation will play an important role in the conglomerate’s continued growth and expansion both in the domestic and international arenas.

Amid the company's group-wide digital transformation, over 100 Aboitiz team leaders converged at the Aboitiz Leaders Conference (LeadCon) 2019 with the theme “Future-Proof Aboitiz: Driving a Culture of Innovation.” It was held last January 17 at Bonifacio Global City.

Annually, Aboitiz leaders undergo executive leadership development programs designed to impart knowledge and sharpen competencies in the six Aboitiz leadership dimensions: mentoring and developing, fostering teamwork, courageous authenticity, achieving results, sustainable growth, and integrity.

“How can Aboitiz remain evergreen and continue to be competitive in a volatile world of disruptive trends of globalization, technological advancement, changing models, and data explosion?” Erramon I. Aboitiz, Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV) president and chief executive officer, challenged the company's leaders.

“To my mind, it is by driving a culture of innovation,” Aboitiz stressed.

Explaining further, Aboitiz said, “Our business will continue to evolve and expand beyond our borders. It will be important for us to retain the best of a successful past 100 years while making adjustments in what we do and how we do it to future-proof Aboitiz to thrive in a VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) world.”

In recent years, the Aboitiz Group has embarked on a digital transformation journey via a number of innovative initiatives. These are the Aboitiz Corporate Center’s agile workplaces, the Aboitiz Innovation Laboratory (a.Lab), the Aboitiz Group Online Resource Application (AGORA), UnionBank’s fully-digital The ARK branches, rooftop solar panels for AboitizLand’s The Outlets, and the Weather Solutions mobile application, just to name a few.

This year, the Aboitiz LeadCon featured distinguished academic Prof. Gregory La Blanc, chair of the Berkeley-Haas Professional Faculty at the University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business. La Blanc discussed the innovation process--origination, evaluation, and execution.

He also tackled the four roles of a leader: planned work, unplanned work, optimizing/incremental improvements and exploring.

“Innovation is about taking risks, nipping things at the bud before it costs too much pain. Promote constructive conflict, foster more disagreement, create systematic processes to resolve disagreement through data and information,” La Blanc said.

During the conference, two Aboitiz executives also showcased their respective business unit’s (BU’s) innovative strategies.

UnionBank chief technology and operations officer Henry R. Aguda described the bank’s commitment to its core (trust) and how the bank is “hand-holding customers in a digital world.” Meanwhile, Pilmico chief operating officer Tristan R. Aboitiz shared how the firm’s digital journey put emphasis on having an agile workplace and digitized processes in place -- “Innovation 2.0.” (PR)


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