Sunday, September 29, 2013

AC News Editorial : PMAP Aims for More Relevance as it Holds Golden Conference

Wazzup Pilipinas!

I am posting an Editorial written by Ernie Cecilia for the 50th Annual Conference of the People Management Association of the Philippines. The article was posted on the PMAP official website and the link to this article was also shared on the official PMAP Facebook page during the second day of the PMAP golden celebrations. The golden celebration is made up of three days of various activities and events with a huge number of delegates coming from the Human Resources department of many companies and corporations, as well as some students from prestigious schools.

The grand three-day event aims to provide a lot of learning experiences thru talks shared by high-profile guest speakers from both government and private institutions, and to give recognition to the outstanding men and women, along with their companies, to bring about a better and more exemplary Human Resources management and workforce.

The topics discussed aim to strengthen and revitalize the knowledge and skills of the delegates composed mostly of HR practitioners. It aims to inspire many to appreciate their role in their respective companies, and offers a more responsive PMAP that will play a greater role in all HR related efforts.

PMAP Aims for More Relevance as it Holds Golden Conference Article:

Not too many organizations and associations last beyond 50 years, or outlive its founders. The Personnel Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP) was founded in 1956 by 32 personnel practitioners, seven of whom live today. In 2007, PMAP dropped Personnel Management and adopted People Management as the more appropriate name for the Association, while retaining its acronym PMAP. From some 140 participants in its first National Convention in Makati in 1964, interest in PMAP’s annual gathering swelled to roughly 10 times in 2013, as participants to the 2013 Annual Conference at PICC number 1,400 during the opening ceremonies.

Government dignitaries grace the occasion, led by Senate President Franklin Drilon (closing keynote speaker), Senator Sonny Angara (opening keynote speaker), Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Sonny Coloma, Civil Service Commission Chairman, DTI Undersecretary Adrian Cristobal, Jr., and Amb. Arturo Valdez. Foreign speakers add international flavor to the event as foreign HR gurus and CEOs are in attendance – Monica Wofford (CEO, Contagious Companies), Ravin Jesuthasan (Managing Director, Towers Watson), Roland Ruiz (Mercer’s Partner and Talent Market Business Leader), Duncan Howorth (CEO, JLT Asia), Prabhakar Bisen (Country Head, Cognizant Technology Solutions), and Partho Chakrabarti, President & CEO, Pepsi Cola Products Philippines).

The grandiose opening ceremonies clearly signal that PMAP has learned to adapt with head snapping change in the workplace. The high-tech, high-touch introductory portion of the three-day program told of new ways, new priorities, and new personalities emerging in PMAP. The pressing issues of poor education, jobless growth, and high incidence of poverty have not escaped PMAP’s attention today. In sheer contrast, the 1964 annual conference’s theme on “The Role of Personnel Development in Economic Development” betray the reality that issues facing HR practitioners were simpler 50 years ago.

For PMAP to last 50 or 100 more years, it has to be relevant to nation-building, in a regional and global context. As an association of HR practitioners, it has to transcend its traditional role of simply upgrading the skills of Filipino practitioners needed by domestic companies. Bluntly put, PMAP must be more than just a fellowship group, training outfit and events management firm all rolled into one.

After over 50 years of existence, and for the medium term at least, PMAP leaders must ask pointed soul-searching questions: what are we truly good at (competencies), how can we contribute most to nation-building (advocacy on national, regional and global issues), and how can we shape the practice of managing people across the ASEAN borders (lead role in harmonizing HR practices, laws and rules on freer exchange of talents in an integrated ASEAN market). To prove equal to this daunting challenge, PMAP but be the Philippine HRD, Inc. or the HR Department of the whole Philippines. To start off preparing for this new role, PMAP must undergo massive change – mindset change, structural change, business model change, strategy change, and leadership change.

PMAP leader-wannabes must have a clearer vision of how to transform PMAP for greater relevance, significance, and effectiveness. Sketchy notions, reactive positioning, and haphazard solutions based on gutfeel or past experience will only lead PMAP to retrogression. Fifty years ago, massive change was not required of PMAP. But three to five years hence will simply prove disastrous if PMAP aims for a linear, token improvement of the things it does so well today. The solutions of yesterday will no longer solve the problems of today – and tomorrow.

Editorial by Ernie Cecilia, DPM

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