Sunday, May 5, 2013

Success starts with a plan, a strategic plan

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Event: 1st Strategic Planning and Operations Manual Workshop
Client: Katlo San Julian
Date: May 2-5, 2013
Venue: Binogawan Beach Resort, San Policarpo, Eastern Samar

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Work better, reignite your creativity

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(Published on page L6 of the Job Market-Working People section of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, April 28, 2013, Sunday)

By Roel Andag

Remember when we were children? With our fertile imagination, an empty cardboard box became anything ranging from a battleship to a spaceship. Our brain’s right hemisphere, believed to be the house of creativity, dominated our waking hours.

The July 19, 2010 Newsweek article The Creativity Crisis explains that a lifetime of creative accomplishments (such as books, patents, inventions, lectures, music compositions, policies, ad campaigns, etc.) are largely based on childhood creativity than on childhood IQ.

Our first forays into formal education were filled with crayons, storytelling and play but as we climbed the ladder of education, especially as we reached high school and college, our right brain became stunted and muted, giving way to our left brain, which is the domain of logic. Reason overpowered our then uninhibited raw imagination. The artist Pablo Picasso is believed to have said “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”

Said Newsweek article, which observed that each American generation becomes more and more intelligent but less and less creative, explains that education by memorization and limited time for creative undertaking are among the major culprits for the creativity crisis in the US. Surprise! Isn’t Philippine education system copy-pasted from the American model?

This unbalanced academic conditioning is carried into the world of work that, ironically, values creativity as a prized quality in a worker. In 2010, IBM’s Global CEO Study identified creativity as the topmost leadership competency. In February 2013, the Department of Labor and Employment publicized its list of top ten highest paying jobs in the Philippines. Art directors were on top of the list.

Creativity at work is important. Some people, however, readily call themselves completely uncreative at worst or lackluster at best. What is creativity, really? Is it about painting, singing, sewing dresses, designing buildings, conceptualizing ad campaigns, or whipping up heady recipes? If these are the only domains of creativity, then a lot of people will join me as outcast. My drawings are limited to my doodles during boring meetings.

Creativity is the ability to produce something that is at the same time original and socially valued for its usefulness and/or beauty. The ultimate goal is not to defeat the left brain but to tap into right brain-left brain synergy – to exponentially expand potential. Face transplants, smart phones, space exploration, seawater desalination, garbage recycling are just some results of right brain-left brain coupling. The list of tangible and intangible examples of creative products is endless. Life continues to get better because of humankind’s creativity. Creativity doesn’t need to be grand. Creativity in the littlest things can lead to breakthrough ideas and significant innovations. Whatever your job, wherever you are located in the organization, management positively views creativity at work.

“Kill me first before you kill my creativity” is one of my work credos. I flourish in training, a career that demands creativity – to produce engaging modules and presentations, to capture the attention of the audience, to impart the necessary lessons, and to stimulate action. Add to this the dynamism of being an independent consultant. I serve multiple clients at the same time, each with a different requirement and set up. I'm pumped to be creative on the fly. I also have to be creative with my marketing and sales techniques.

We are inherently creative, remember we once were children. But we have rusted but we can reawaken our creativity from prolonged brain freeze. How?

1.      Use Tony Buzan’s mindmapping and Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats techniques for ideation, planning and decision making. These techniques stimulate the combined use of the left and right sides of the brain. Both techniques can be used by an individual or a team.
2.      Make full use of all your senses. For example, when writing an article, visualize how your intended audience will likely react to the words that you use. Make images pop in your mind.
3.      Find inspiration everywhere. Be curious. Take risks. Translate inspirations into creations, not necessarily masterpieces but things that make you happy and are, hopefully, useful. Take up a creative hobby that is convenient for you. Mobile phone photography, for example.
4.      Simplify creativity, do not romanticize it. Don’t wait for your Muse to descend. That often results in procrastination. Don’t over intellectualize either. Find your flow. Do something!
5.      Don’t subscribe to the self fulfilling stereotype that creative people are moody. It’s joyless working with a creative person who is perpetually cranky. Be EQ-adept.
6.      Don’t underestimate yourself. Don’t think that creativity is exclusively for certain types of people except you. Believe that you are creative, expect yourself to be creative. Think of ways how you can become productively creative in your job.
7.      Ideas occur to us unscheduled. Record in real time your ideas as notes in your mobile phone or tablet for later retrieval.
8.      Creativity requires divergent thinking (generating many unique ideas) and then convergent thinking (combining those ideas into the best result). Suspend the habits of self judgment, criticism and the obsession for correctness. At the initial stage of ideation, think up crazy ideas then bring them to street-level sensibility later. Don’t be afraid to offer your ideas. Your idea that you think is stupid may be considered brilliant by someone else.
9.      Defend your brainchildren but never fixate on them. Be open to scrutiny, suggestion and rejection. Take feedback and critiquing as polishing agents. Be ready to dismantle, repurpose and reassemble.
10.  Ask for help. Ask your creative friends for ideas, cultivate friendships with a diversity of people and create a brain trust among them. Ask online sources.
11.  Attend creative thinking trainings.
12.  Practice, practice, practice. Be persistent. Persevere. Take time but be conscious of deadlines.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Leadership and the EQ factor

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Type of Training: Emotional Intelligence: EQ and the Workplace
Client: DMCI Homes
Date: April 26, 2013
Venue: DMCI Homes Training Room, Makati City

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Urgent vacancy: Training Consultant (my replacement)

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I'm looking for my replacement. Send your application or share this with your friends who are qualified. Thank you.

DMCI Homes is looking for a TRAINING CONSULTANT that will handle management trainees under its Management Development Program (MDP). As part of the company’s succession planning, the MDP is composed of on-boarding, technical, behavioral, and on-the-job trainings.

* Ensures the motivation and engagement, and monitors learning and performance of management trainees who are top graduates of top universities and are being groomed for leadership positions.
* Coordinates with internal and external mentors and trainers.
* Markets the MDP to top management for internal buy-in and to top universities to stimulate interest of candidates for graduation and alumni.
* Creates MDP materials (mainly training modules and handouts)
* Conducts management and behavioral trainings to equip Management Trainees with effective work-life habits and skills.
* Provides regular updates to management.

* Bachelor’s degree in human resources, psychology or business related course. Masters degree/units are a plus.
* With at least 3 years experience in training (can perform all facets of the training cycle and with excellent platform skills) and talent management.
* With strong leadership skills (achievement orientation, communications, creativity)
* Can work with minimum supervision.
* Willing to work on project basis.
* 35-40 years old.

Please send your application to ASAP.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

In which I am speaker at the Philippine Daily Inquirer career fair

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Type of Training: High Impact Online Image
Client: Philippine Daily Inquirer - Job Market section
Date: April 17, 2013
Venue: Glorietta Activity Center, Makati City

Monday, April 15, 2013

New Inquirer websites for job advertisers, jobseekers and deal hunters

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Last March 18, 2013, Mr. Jesse Rebustillo, Editor in Chief of the Philippine Daily Inquirer's Working People section, invited bloggers to a meeting where two Inquirer websites were introduced.

The first one is Job Market Online (, which is the online version of Working People section of PDI Sunday edition - plus more. Logos of companies that advertise job vacancies are featured in the site. These logos are hyperlinked such that a job applicant can conveniently know more about the companies by simply clicking on the logos.

During the meeting, Mr. Rebustillo reported that PDI's job ads section, which was number 2 in the past, is now number 1 - based on a Neilsen survey. He added that PDI has found a niche in advertising hard-to-fill jobs with unique titles.

I like this site because this is where my HR/career articles are posted after being published in paper. Equally important, I like the site because it makes jobhunting easy and fun as a job applicant can file an online application, be assured that what are advertised are not job scams, research companies of interest, read career articles and read feeds from the Inquirer online.

Another website is Pinoy Best Deals (, an ad site that allows advertisers to post standard ads for free. Premium packages are also available.

Mr. Rebustillo informed us that, in keeping with the Inquirer brand, the website does not accept advertisements of escort services and similarly inclined services and products. A team dedicated to this website vigilantly screens submissions to ensure that only the best deals get advertised.

Visit these two websites to see more.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Creative team decision making

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Type of Training: Leadership Training - Creative Synergy (Day 7 of 10)
Client: DMCI Homes, Inc.
Date: April 10, 2013
Venue: DMCI Homes Corporate Office, Makati City