António Calçada, CEO of Repsol Portugal: «A Company’s Vision Lies Within the Hearts of Its Employees»

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The third edition of the international symposium, “Companies with a Human Face: How to Integrate Values into Business”, was sponsored by Huf Portugal, ISS Facility Services and Repsol Portugal and brought together more than 150 managers, academics and professionals who take a humanist view of doing business.  

On Friday, 10 April 2015, Lisbon’s AESE Business School hosted the third edition of the international symposium, “Companies with a Human Face: How to Integrate Values into Business”, which was organized in collaboration with the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya’s (UIC) Department of Management by Missions and Corporate Governance.In 1990, less than 40% of the companies that made up the Fortune Global 500 had mission statements. Today, that number has risen to 99% and the use of mission statements has become common practice amongst companies and a key tool for employee motivation. Studies have shown that management by missions helps make mission statements genuinely effective and ensures that everyone in the organization plays an active role in pursuing the corporate mission, embracing the values it espouses and making sure these values reach every department, team and employee.

This was the general thrust of the symposium, where this new trend in corporate management was examined through the use of case studies, keynote addresses and interviews. “It has been shown that an organization’s results improve if its employees have embraced the corporate mission and are not solely goal-oriented", pointed out Carlos Rey, the Director of the UIC's Department of Management by Missions and Corporate Governance.

“A company’s vision lies within the hearts of its employees”, added António Calçada, the CEO of Repsol Portugal. “Management by missions has changed the way we work and, above all, the way we approach internal communications”, he continued. Repsol Portugal has been using a methodology based on management by missions for several years and has realized the value of adopting a cross-cutting approach to its activities, as evidenced by the results presented by Calçada during his address.

He was followed by Joaquim Borrás, the Executive President of ISS Facility Services, who affirmed that the key lies in transparency, urgency, encouraging people to take part and ensuring that progress is being made. “Doing good business means using your business to do good”, he concluded.

José Fonseca, an academic from AESE Business School, then presented a practical case study, the “5 Million Lives Campaign”. Fonseca used this case study to challenge those attending the symposium (the majority of whom were senior corporate managers) to think about the role companies can play in society and how we can develop a more human business culture that looks beyond mere economic objectives.

The event was brought to a close by Jon San Cristóbal, the Managing Director of Huf Portugal. He spoke about “companies in search of meaning”, and went on to highlight the importance of ensuring commitment to the company’s mission on the part of middle managers in order to fully integrate the principle of management by missions within the organization.

The symposium also offered an opportunity for the department to thank the Jiménez Maña Corporation for its contribution to the department’s creation and on-going activities.Departmental Director Carlos Rey presented a ceremonial plaque to Manual Jiménez-Maña, the corporation’s Managing Director, and thanked the company (which forms part of the automotive industry) for the faith it has shown by sponsoring the department for the last three years and for its commitment to the principle of management by missions.  

Also present at the symposium were João Martins da Cunha, an academic from AESE Business School, and José Ramalho Fontes, the School’s President, who gave the welcome address.

The next symposium will be hosted by the UIC Barcelona in 2016.