Saturday, August 27, 2005

Focused Thinking

I just created a group to further expand the discussion about this blog at I hope you can join and share your thoughts.

The biggest challenge in juggling several projects is being able to focus. This not only takes serious thinking in the evening as you thought of what should you should do the next day. But it also needs follow-up in the morning and lunch time. At night, evaluate how you did that day and think through for the next day.

I know this is easier said than done. I hope being able to muster enough discipline and determination to get this done.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Sharpening the saw

I'm attending a 4 Roles of Leadership workshop at the Center for Leadership and Change Inc. from August 16 to 18 at the Ateneo Professional Schools in Makati City. Quicky, I can say that it is still different to attend a face-to-face workshop as there's much interaction with fellow participants. More updates and sharing in my future posting.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

How do you want to be remembered?

As the Honorable Raul Roco passed away, it made me thought of the legacy this great person has left behind to our country. In studying the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey gave us the challenge to think about, "how do we want to be remembered?"

He has done a lot of good that his legacy is what people remembered the most, not his assets, controversies that hounded him, nor his imperfections. It is all about the good that he has done to teachers, the public school education system, protection of women, and the clamor for new leadership.

What happened to Honorable Raul Roco is also a reminder for all of us about the 4 intelligences (physical, social, mental, and spiritual) that we must take seriously. As we take one for granted, physical intelligence in particular, the achievement of our vision and mission is hampered.

Physical intelligence is about taking care of ourselves. It is like imagining ourselves to had a heart attack lately and live our life accordingly, if we want to live longer, completing our personal mission in life. Of course, all of us have our time and death will happen to us sometime or someday, but we also control our destiny. Nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa.

We are all urged how do we want to be remembered as this will guide us in our actions. In my case, I hope to be remembered as:
  • a loving wife, mother, sister, daughter, and friend.
  • a supportive mentor and educator who ensures that the people she trained will survive and grow without her.
  • an emphatic co-worker, boss, and leader who ensures that the organization she leaves behind will grow after her stint.
  • a determined innovator who invests her time, resources, and effort to her projects, on a long-term until critical mass in achieved.
  • a forgiving and simple person who has no room for vanity and will always give way to others.

May Honorable Raul Roco remind us to remember the legacy we intend to leave behind in everything that we do. May his death remind us as well, the great responsibility of taking care of ourselves to achieve our mission and vision, ensure completion of tasks and continuity of important causes by the people we leave behind.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Four (4) Disciplines of Execution

(If you want to learn more about this topic, I encourage you to attend CLCI's 4 Disciplines of Execution Workshop. The first version of this article was published in Sun.Star.)

If your organization is having a hard time achieving business goals or missing critical deadlines, perhaps it is time to review your organization’s Execution Quotient.

I first discovered this while reading the 8th Habit. I was on a middle of a process improvement project but noticed and felt that there are a lot of challenges and issues that hampers me from getting the work done.

As a consultant, your role is to support, facilitate, and contribute your expertise. In order to create a lasting impact, every effort must be taken to ensure that the organization will do well on its own after your term of service. This is what Level 5 Leadership is all about where empowerment of peers, discipline, and consistency is a normal culture in the organization.

The Execution Quotient survey looks at the level of employee commitment, whether organization goals are properly understood, and identify issues or barriers that prevent them from meeting their organization and team goals.

I believe this survey should be undertaken by all organizations every six months as it gives you a realistic perspective on the health of your organization with metrics supporting it. It will also guide you in coming up programs and set-up appropriate metrics to monitor its progress.

My interpretation and understanding on the 4 Disciplines of Execution taught me the following:

1. Focus on the Wildly Important Goals
Having a clear organizational vision and goals are important. They serve as a point of reference for each employee to base his/her actions, activities and contributions on. Team or department goals can be created to support the vision. Personnel would be able to define their individual goals to ensure that they hit the target.

Without it, the employees will base their initiatives on perception and personal understanding of what is best for the organization. This could result in lack of trust among personnel, as issues are not openly discussed or are used against the personnel raising it.

This may sound easy but it is easier said than done. Baseline is needed and the metrics that we define should be realistic and challenging enough for the entire organization to pursue.

2. Create a Compelling Scoreboard
Once clear vision, goals, and metrics are identified and disseminated, a visible and compelling scoreboard needs to be made available to everyone in the organization. This is how achievement can be monitored and evaluated.

3. Translate Lofty Goals into Specific Actions
From the identified goals, specific actions have to be identified. They must be realistic. Management must also take every effort to ensure that proper resources and support are provided, avoiding favoritism. It is not fair to ask employees to meet goals if resources are insufficient. This can only result in loss of morale.

4. Hold Each Other Accountable - All of the Time
Assignments must be clearly identified and be aware of the dependencies that rest on their work output. The scoreboard can help greatly in monitoring progress. If we have problems on delivery output by our peers, we need to be upfront in raising our concern. We should leave no room for "I noticed that in the past but I kept quiet." These remarks don't help, they only intend to point blame on people. Being quiet does not take your accountability away as well in getting a project done according to plan.

However, in a supportive environment, if we have finished our work ahead of schedule, there's no harm in helping out others (who may have taken more than what they can chew or underestimated the task)

An evolving process
These are not easy tasks, especially for organizations that have been around for a while. Also, only those who are in pain may succeed in instituting changes.

It is important for an entity to first address its basic organizational problems before embarking on serious projects that require a lot of resources and change in process, such as ISO certification and the like. I remember an ending pitch that the host of American Top 40 TV and radio edition would say, as he wraps-up the program, "Keep your feet on the ground and (or as you) reach for the stars! (or sky)"

Monday, August 08, 2005

Call for regional entries! Philippine Schools CyberFair 2006: Inspire and Unite!

Attention: All elementary and high school teachers!

Engage students in performance-based, collaborative, project-design competition this school year 2005-2006!
  • Support standards-based, authentic learning
  • Connect students to their local communities
  • Increase students' global perspective
  • Increase real-world, transferable skills
  • Involve students in the assessment
  • Teach students information-age skills (research, project management, publishing, digital media) is launching the 5th Philippines School CyberFair Project with the theme, "Inspire and Unite". This competition encourages students to "shine the spotlight" on people, places, businesses and other things in their local community -- that serve to "inspire, motivate, and encourage positive change."

All Philippine entries shall also join the International School CyberFair. On its 11th year, it has been described as the largest educational event of its kind ever held on the Internet. This program has brought together more than one million students from over 100 countries.

It is also an authentic learning program used by schools and youth organizations around the world. Youth conduct research and publish their findings on the Web. Recognition is given to the best projects in each of eight categories: local leaders, businesses, community organizations, historical landmarks, environment, music, art, and local specialties. This program encourages youth to become community ambassadors by working collaboratively and using technology to share what they have learned. Students evaluate each other's projects by using a unique online evaluation tool.

CyberFair encourages youth to connect the knowledge they learn in school to real world applications. It also supports current education subjects such as Filipino, English, Computer, Social Studies, Science, Music, Practical Arts, Character Education, among others.

This year, schools can submit multiple entries. However, it should only be limited to one entry, per category, per division (elementary / high school). All entries must be written and presented in English and Filipino.

We are launching earlier this year to give way to the regional competition. Prizes this year includes:

Regional level (August to November 2005)

  • Trophy for the school, medal for students
  • Regional IT leadership convention for all Cyberfair participants

Note that regions with less than 40 entries shall be merged with nearby regions or be directly included in the national competition.

National level (November 2005 to March 2006)

  • Trophy for the school, medal for students
  • National IT leadership convention for all Cyberfair participants
  • Train the teachers on E-Learning Content Development 5-days workshop

For more details, visit

Do you like to support the Philippine Schools CyberFair 2006? Here's how.

  1. Disseminate this information to the schools in your area.
  2. Coach teachers and students in preparing the CyberFair entry.
  3. Volunteer as a reviewer of website entries.
  4. If you are from the media or have a blog, write or talk about this initiative.
  5. Become a corporate sponsor by providing resources needed for this project.
  6. Become an individual supporter by buying a book, e-book, research report, or become a club member at

Friday, August 05, 2005

Reaching Mount Everest

I just discovered a new reflective thinker who happens to be one of my friendster - Papa Dexter. For those of you who got the chance to read John Maxwell's "17 Indisputable Laws of TeamWork Workbook," he tackled about the Law of Mt. Everest.

It requires teamwork to get to the top. Note that not everyone in the organization will get there but each one has a role in order for the organization to reach that goal. This is where the concept of shared success is built where internal teamwork must be fostered instead of internal competition.

However, a Mt. Everest team can't just accept any skillful individual as a team-member. It requires maturity, with the 7 Habits instilled in such person. With the right people in the team, their strengths combined, can build a powerhouse of self-starters all committed to a single goal, lead by one with utmost credibility and empathy, for the organization to reach the top of Mt. Everest.

Trust among team members and having a scoreboard for monitoring must be fostered. This keep the team members' feet on the ground and constantly having a reality-check as to where the team is. This transparency is important especially when managing several teams.

How would you know if you have the right team members? According to Jim Collin's "Good to Great," you can simply ask yourself, how would you feel if this person will leave the company now? If you feel relieved, then you know that you are not working with the right person as you are most likely compensating for that person's weakness, by getting others to help out. If you feel sad and regretting the idea of letting that person go, then take the necessary steps to stop them from leaving.

Of course, there's the factor also that if you have weak people now, you don't just dump them. Give them a chance by developing their capabilities (like the 7 habits of Highly Effective People) and mentor them (8th habit). If unsuccessful, it will be unfair for both of you to keep each other. Better to let go by then.

As Filipinos are very relationship-oriented and personal, as much as there are a lot of positive side to it, the worst is there as well. (crab mentality, back-stabbing, power play, among others)

Working on our core values now and of our young generation will be vital to nation building. Not one of us is perfect but should take this challenge in changing ourselves for the better.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Cebu Workshop

On Aug. 23-25, 2005, Righttraining and Human Resources will bring to Cebu - Stephen Coveys "7 Habits of Highly effective People' in a public workshop to be facilitated by no less than Mrs. Lirio Ongpin Mapa, Vice-president of Center for leadership and Change, Inc. (who is also the mother of CICT Commissioner Dondi Mapa). The event will be held at Conference room 1 Pag-ibig W.T Tower Mindanao Avenue, Cebu Business Park, Cebu City

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People® three-day workshop is for anyone who wants to improve personal performance on and off the job. This workshop is based on the principles found in the best-selling book of all time The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. Training in the 7 Habits lays the foundation for improved effectiveness and leadership at the personal, interpersonal, managerial, and organizational levels and helps make follow-up training or new initiatives you employ more successful.

Implementing the 7 Habits helps you learn how to:

  • Boost Performance through principles of effectiveness

  • Replace burnout with achievement through creative cooperation

  • Develop and clearly communicate your mission, values, and vision

  • Increase trust and teamwork

  • Balance all aspects of your life

  • Improve team and interdependent communication skills

  • Parties interested are requested to call tel. no: (032) 412-6492; Fax. No: (032) 412-6492 or email: