By: Allanah Paragas

Philippine companies from across industries were greatly affected by the disruption brought by the pandemic. With more than two months in Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), most organizations have taken necessary measures to keep further disruptions at bay.

Under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) today, companies have started to cope and apply socially responsible measures as they rebuild in the new normal. Some of the businesses that have started to rebuild are the ones belonging to the construction industry.

As an association supporting the construction industry, the Philippine Contractors Association (PCA) held its webinar on “Rebuilding in the New Normal” last June 4, Thursday, to address strategies that can help construction businesses cope effectively with the new playfield. More than 300 participants looked forward to the insights shared by Aboitiz Construction CEO and President Albert Ignacio Jr., Asia Select Inc. CEO and President Hans Bayaborda, and REID Foundation Chairman Thomas Aquino.

Due to the pandemic, “the construction industry is facing a number of issues,” according to Ignacio. The issues the industry is facing include altered routines of the workforce, overwhelming worries about the COVID-19, uncertainty of projects, challenges in supply chain management, and availability of labor; all directly affect the overall productivity of the company.

A company’s productivity is directly tied to the capabilities of its people and the presence of technological tools. In

“Transformation is a new way of doing things,” Aquino stated. It is through transformation when an organization changes, adapts and copes with situations affecting a company’s operations.

Transformation is not all about technology. “Transformations are business initiatives rather than technological projects,” Bayaborda said. Business executives are the ones on top leading the transformation. For organizations to effectively transform, “C-level [officers] should be able to lead in building coalition between different departments and divisions to make sure they’re going to a direction where they envision in the next few years,” he added.

The goal of transformation “is to create an environment that supports strong change management and fosters appetite for risk.” Bayaborda stated. As the leadership takes on a strong role during the restart, they also need champions or transformational people in their teams, because everything will be put to the test—from planning to operations. The key to successful transformation is through investing in the right people who are prepared to fail fast and recover, and who can learn and withstand challenges.

Not limited to digital, transformation is also about creating value for customers and clients, and empowering people. Now is the best time to create differentiation from other organizations by building a better brand. Authentic communication with both clients and customers strengthens the brand, while investing in professionals—who have values aligned with a company’s culture—reinforces the brand’s value.

As the father of management thinking, Peter Drucker, would say, “The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not turbulence itself, but to act with yesterday’s logic.” In the new normal, it is critical for organizations to learn and have the right people on their side. Effective transformations happen when people work alongside with the right technology; while future-proofing organizations take place when the right executives lead teams of transformational people.

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