Cover Photo By Hannah Lacaden
Cover Photo By Hannah Lacaden.

Honing leadership and management skills through CSG: Organizational Building 101

“If this pandemic has taught us anything, [it is that] there is no way through this pandemic but together.” - Vice President of the Philippines Leni Robredo

By Bea Mendoza, Zophia Emmanuelle Tendido, and Elle Yulo | Wednesday, 23 June 2021

With the aim to hone the skills of our nation’s future leaders, the Benilde Central Student Government (CSG) launched “CSG: Organizational Building 101,” a six-week webinar series featuring various facets of leadership and organization management. It was held every Friday from May 14 to June 18 via Zoom.

Benilde CSG’s Vice President for Operations King Albaña welcomed the participants, consisting of aspiring leaders and organizers from various schools in a kick-off ceremony last May 14 via Zoom. Albaña emphasized on the  importance of training and getting to know the organization’s mandate.

“The very training ground of our future leaders is their current affiliations through their various organizations,” he said. 

The said project is a series of training sessions dedicated to honing the skills of our nation’s future leaders in preparation for the real world.

Meanwhile Celyna Co, Project Head of “CSG: Organizational Building 101,” elaborated on the project as a six-week webinar series that aims to give thorough knowledge to aspiring leaders and organizers on the basic structures in building an organization. Divided into five tracks, the project also aims to provide operational efficiency, improvement, and development for future leaders through comprehending basic organizational systems and components. 

Moreover, in the closing ceremony, keynote speaker Vice President of the Philippines Leni Robredo emphasized how constant collaborations with the Office of the Vice President and organizations with the same goal helped both in achieving their goals, especially in the time of the pandemic.

“This webinar is important because building a better normal cannot be done alone. Constant collaboration is crucial and one of the best ways to enable that is by joining an organization or building your own and linking up to those who align with our values,” VP Robredo stated.

“If this pandemic has taught us anything, [it is that] there is no way through this pandemic but together,” VP Robredo continued.

She cited how various organizations, big companies, and Filipino citizens collaborated with her office that led to the success of their initiatives in combating the virus.

“Organized actions paved pathways where we can contribute and collaborate,” VP Robredo ended.

Look back on the highlights of the six-week webinar series: 

Departmentalization: A Distributive Authority

In a back to basics session, Mirus Ponon, founder of “The Youth Advocate,” discussed the process of departmentalization, wherein he also defined it as “building the foundation.”

According to Ponon, departmentalization can be done in three steps. First, align the organizational structure with the mission, vision, objectives and strategic plan of the organization. Then, test and envision how the organization is going to work using the organizational structure. And finally, evaluate the organizational structure through officers and members. 

Moreover, he shared his insights on how every company has two organizational structures. “The formal one is written on the charts; the other is the everyday relationship of the men and women in the organization.”

Entrusting responsibility, granting authority, and creating accountability to achieve the goal for positive change are just some of the foundations of departmentalization.

Towards the end of the session, Ponon gave tips on how to achieve proper and effective delegation. The list are as follows:

  • Sit, think and plan
  • Define the results to be achieved
  • Define the rules and limits
  • Define performance standards
  • Ask for a plan
  • Ask for an implementation plan
  • Follow up and follow through

Leadership and Management Development: Picking the right people for the job 

Held via Zoom last May 28, Benilde’s Consular and Diplomatic Affairs alumna and 22nd Benilde Model United Nations Secretary-General Janine Bragais spearheaded the second track session highlighting importance, difference, and interdependence of leadership and management development, as well as tips on how to find the organization’s best future stakeholders.

“Essentially, leaders must be able to make or motivate his/her colleagues to participate in achieving the organization's goals. (...) Leaders are considered highly influential in terms of creating high performance organizations, and leadership means mobilizing others to work hard towards the common goal of your organization,” Bragais mentioned.

As she discussed and magnified the similarities and distinctions between leadership and management, Bragais explained that the development of both goes hand-in-hand and why it is essential for companies and organizations to invest their time and resources on the both of them.

“Increasingly, we live in a world where you cannot just have one or the other. There is an ongoing interdependence between the two. Good management requires good leaders and good leadership,” she stated.

For the second half of the session, she proceeded with discussing the four tips she has garnered through her personal experiences on how and which people one would choose that would best fit to lead or to contribute for the organization. 

  • Understand how the candidate’s aspiration fits with the job.
  • Do not forget to look beyond the credentials. 
  • Evaluate their work ethic and attitude. 
  • Pay attention to their willingness to learn from others.

Lastly, Bragais concluded that there is no singular and universal definition of what is a leader because anyone can be a leader; however, they must begin from knowing themselves first in order to serve others.

“I do believe that most, if not all of us, have what it takes to be a great and effective leader. But in order for us to achieve that, we must start within ourselves. Self-development  is an important part of building yourself as a leader. Do not be afraid to make mistakes because it’s part of it,” she ended.

Human Resource: How to Recruit (HR)

Due to the College’s announcement of class suspension due to the power outages and interruption, the track session was postponed last June 4 and was re-scheduled to be held on June 10.

Benilde Hotel, Restaurant, and Institution Management alumnus and faculty member and New World Hotel Makati’s Talent Development Manager Mr. Omar Jon Tullao shared his insights and tips as a Certified Guest Service Professional in the hotel industry regarding talent recruitment.

“In HR or in recruitment, they pay attention to the people they hire because as Ray Kroc, the one who started the fast food chain (McDonalds), said: ‘You’re only as good as the people you hire.’ So, you have to be very particular in terms of recruitment. [...] A recruiter is a very hard position—it’s actually a make or break position (that is crucial for the company),” Mr. Tullao stated.

His presentation that discusses the HR process’ system was divided into seven parts in line with the seven stages of recruitment: 

  • Preparation for recruitment, which focuses on how the recruiters holds the recruitment preparation flow in sourcing internally and externally;
  • Source out talent, showcasing the ideal recruiting software landscapes for video interviewing, job aggregation, testing and assessment, and many more;
  • Screen and call, featuring the points recruiters look for, which applicants to watch out on, and what questions are frequently asked;
  • Interviews, which points out the different types of interviews, how to professionally and legally conduct them on-site and remotely, and how to avoid and pinpoint direct and indirect discrimination in the interview process;
  • Reference and assess, emphasizing the need to assess each interviewee by balancing the basis of backed-up references, assessments, and data, as well as gut instincts;
  • Job offer, showcasing how crucial time, speed, decisiveness, and negotiation is in getting the top talents given that competition is not just within the employees but also with the employers as well, and; 
  • Onboarding, the unnoticed part of recruitment plan, which includes the orientation to the newly-accepted members in order to understand the organization as a whole, the brand culture, the members and structure of the team and how they operate, the code of conduct, the rules and responsibilities of each department, and how people do things at the company.

As he went into discussing HR controversies and stories about the competitiveness and time constraints in hiring decision-making among the details of the recruitment process, he highlighted the importance of recruiters to be formal, well-mannered, and professional regardless of the platform used for recruitment (physical or virtual) as they are one of the crucial holders and representations of the company or organization’s image and culture.

“Recruiters are (the company or the organization’s) brand ambassadors so we want to ensure that the candidate’s experience is nice. Whether we take that person or not, you must make sure that the company is reflected well in that person,” Mr. Tullao concluded.

Setting goal and quantifying effectiveness of an organization

On the fourth track,  Ms. Christine Desolong, Consular and Diplomatic Affairs alumna and currently an Executive Assistant at the Department of Tourism, discussed the process of setting goals through Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and Performance Matrix. 

According to Desolong, one of the common mistakes of organizations is failure to engage in strategic planning. 

“In terms of organizational management, [organizations’ failure to engage in strategic planning] implies that people within the organization are just there without knowing the purpose of that organization,” Desolong discussed.

She also cited Harvard Business Review’s study that 90% of organizations fail to reach their strategic goals, which also is the reason organizations fail.

“One of the benefits of strategic planning is that it creates one cohesive and forward-looking vision. [...]  It enables [organizations] to craft a singular and a future oriented vision,” Desolong said.

Moreover, Desolong described the components in setting goals: 

  • Goals are a group of related plans, activities, programs that reflect the organization’s primary efforts that would lead them to the realization of their purpose.
  • Can be strategic, tactical or operational.
  • Can be short-term or long-term
  • Can also be derived from individual aspirations of the organization’s members.
  • Different from the daily routine and activities of the organization.

“Goals serve as a source of internal motivation and commitment [...] it guides the performance of employees or members of the organization,” Desolong said as to why it is important to set goals.

Furthermore, Desolong discussed how organizations can set goals:

  1. Members of the organization shall brainstorm together to lay out their individual aspirations as a member, and their vision for the group.
  2. Find commonality, shared values and beliefs.
  3. From the said mutuality, create a criteria for the final list of goals. Use the Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound (SMART) method.
  4. Turn the goals into strategic objectives and determine your finish line.
  5. Delegate among members the accountability and responsibility for each goal or objective.
  6. Ensure that a monitoring and evaluation mechanism is present.

According to Desolong, in setting goals, here are the following questions one need to ask first:

  • What are you striving for, and why is it important to set these goals?
  • Are there actionable steps your team can take to achieve your organization’s goals?
  • How will progress and success be measured?
  • What is happening in the world that could impact the timeliness of each goal?

Furthermore, Desolong discussed the importance of KPIs in measuring and monitoring the performance of the organization. According to her, KPIs are the important key indicators of progress towards an end result.

The following are “Good” KPIs that are helpful for organizations: 

  • Provide objective evidence of progress toward a targeted outcome. 
  • Measure what has to be measured in order to make better decisions.
  • Make a comparison to see how much performance has changed over time.
  • Track efficiency, effectiveness, quality, timeliness, governance, compliance, behaviors, economic, project performance, people performance, or resource usage
  • Balance leading and lagging indicators (leading - past success; lagging - what the organizations want to achieve in the future).

Materializing strategies to a successful outcome

In the last track of the six-week series, guest speaker Desiree Jane Tan, Vice President for Internal Affairs of De La Salle University (DLSU) Young Entrepreneurs’ Society, discussed how to “build external opportunities and partnerships.”

Tan emphasized on the purpose of external officers of an organization. “When we have events, external officers are responsible for the concepts, participants and partners,” she stated.

According to Tan, when organizing an event, partnerships can be done internally and externally. Internal partners are the organizations or professors within the institution. Meanwhile the external partners are brands which can be reciprocated with marketing efforts through the event. 

Lastly, when organizing an event, Tan emphasized the importance of keeping in mind the target market of the event and partners to have a successful outcome.

“CSG: Organizational Building 101” is co-presented by Letran Student Council and School of Design and Arts School Student Government (SDA SSG). To learn more about Benilde CSG’s events and updates, visit their official Facebook page.