“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” – Henry Ford
Asiapro Cooperative successfully achieved the Bronze Accreditation Award from Investors in People (IiP) last December 17, 2015. This is the next higher level of recognition after the standard certification was awarded to Asiapro in 2011.
Investors in People, is an internationally-recognized organization based in the United Kingdom. It has accredited over 14,000 organizations across the world. Its standard is a framework for improving performance and maintaining continuous improvement. It is a tool for building a highly-engaged culture and for improving business results in an organization.
Through the vision of the current President and General Manager, Gary Quemado, Asiapro joined the world of organizations with highly institutionalized and effective people management programs. It was during the 2011 People Management Association of the Philippines Conference (PMAP), while listening to Janet Webster as she introduced the IiP, when Quemado said to himself, “This is what we need!”
Before IiP was introduced to Quemado, he saw Asiapro as an old car journeying uphill with a speed of 200 kilometers per hour. As a visionary leader, he knew that the cooperative was growing fast. He also discerned back then that it could experience problems and set-backs if things were not done appropriately and efficiently. He needed to do something decisive in order to avoid problems on its journey.
Quemado cited the following compelling reasons for the IiP accreditation of Asiapro.
“WE NEED TO KNOW IF WE ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING”. If there are correct rules and procedures to follow, people can be more successful in their goals. Correspondingly, if things are done correctly, continuous improvement can be attained. Like in a car, proper and accurate maintenance is vital for it to function in its full potential. In an organization, if the practices are validated to be exact, the output and service can be more effective.
“WE HAVE LOOPHOLES INSIDE THAT WE NEED THE BEST PEOPLE OUTSIDE TO POINT OUT”. Yes, the organization avoids biases. In order to do so, Asiapro got the best in its class, IiP to help the organization look for the strengths and then focus on the weaknesses to make these into new strengths. As a growing organization, Asiapro needs to be humble. By being open to criticisms, it improves. By being humble, it becomes teachable. By being teachable, soon Asiapro can become the best.
“WE HAVE WEAKNESSES”. He finally said. Part of one’s journey is trial. As a growing organization, it is inevitable for it to experience problems and shortcomings that will test the member and its management. It can be ensnared to just be mediocre. But to an organization that knows that it has weaknesses, but strives to be better, it is possible to attain constant success. As an iron that turns into steel, it can experience trials and refining. These trials mold the organization to be the finest. Through the help of IiP, Asiapro knows that is not impossible to reach that point.
During an interview, Christinne Siat of Member and Organization Development Department (MODD) said that being part of Asiapro is a life-changing. For her, the most important part of her interview with IiP was the time she was asked a certain question. “Why are you still in Asiapro?” asked Gerry Plana, the CEO of Investors in People. At that moment, she realized that serving the members and giving them the chance to enjoy the privileges of being an Asiapro member has kept her driven in her job. With that ideal in mind, she believes that to inspire meaningful and fulfilled lives with members is her motivation to stay.
Meanwhile, Quemado was also asked an important question by the CEO of Investors in People. “Having all these successes in Asiapro now, how will you lead?” asked the CEO. Quemado answered with a question, “Why do you think that the Catholic Church and Communism lasted a very long time?” After a short pause, he said the answer himself. “It is because of an Ideology, a set of universal beliefs. This belief bonds, unites, and connects them”. He will lead by unifying all the members of Asiapro through its Purpose and Principles, Asiapro’s version of an ideology or set of beliefs. He will incorporate these Purpose and Principles into Asiapro’s current culture.
In Asiapro, the members share the same belief. They are bonded by the same purpose – “We inspire meaningful and fulfilled lives with our members”. Asiapro members move forward together. Now, success is taking care of itself.