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AIM Alumni IN China

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Susan Africa-Manikan ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Sherbet Katigbak-Manalili





Haji Zulkifly Baharom





Maritess Aniago-Espiritu Khristine Revilla Voltaire Masangkay Amy Nerona ALUMNI RELATIONS OFFICE STAFF

Sec. Jesli Lapus Enrique Abadesco Ignacio Bunye Jerry Quibilan Dhrubajyoti Das John Wesley Bayot Jesse Edep Rose Cheryl Orbigo Kishore Daswani CONTRIBUTORS


Jopet Puno Karl Vicente Marco Edejer PHOTOGRAPHERS

Brian Vallesteros Rommel Joson Chili Dogs ILLUSTRATORS

Lexmedia Digital PRINTING







The AIM Alumni Leadership Magazine (AIM Leader) is a quarterly publication of the Asian Institute of Management with editorial office at the Alumni Relations Office, Asian Institute of Management, 123 Paseo de Roxas, Makati City, 1260 Philippines Telephone No.: 892.4011 locals 331, 540 and 533 Telefax: 893.7410 | Email: aimalumni@aim.edu Copyright 2007, AIM Alumni Leadership Magazine. All rights reserved. Reproduction in any manner in whole or in print, in English or other languages, without written permission is prohibited.



TO MY DEAR CO-ALUMNI, I write you, for the last time, as president of the Asian Institute of Management. Thank you for the incredible support, advice, inspiration and opportunity you have provided me to serve our beloved Institute. This has been an incredibly rich personal experience. In a world filled with uncertainty and trepidation, I step down more confident than ever in the future of the Institute. As I noted from my first day at the job, the Asian era is upon us. By reason of history, its “DNA” and its network of relationships, this is the Asian Institute of Management’s time. As in all things in life, the fulfillment of AIM’s potential will not come cheap— its stakeholders must set aside parochial concerns, come together, take the opportunity by “the scruff of the neck” and make it happen. As inheritors of the AIM legacy, the alumni MUST underpin this effort. Of the work done over the last thirty-four (34) months, I hope the following are sustained and, where applicable, improved: 1. Meritocracy As an Institute that prides itself with being a leading, practitioner-oriented, Asian graduate school of management, AIM must “walk the talk”. In this connection, a new, performance-based evaluation, advancement and compensation system has been formulated and approved. AIM must be a meritocracy—where the interests of faculty, management and staff are aligned and where advancement and compensation relate directly to the individual’s contribution to the Institute as a whole. 2. Strategy In the course of my term, AIM took a hard look at itself, the competition and the future. It identified the resource constraints and developed a strategy that I believe responds to the profound changes in global economics and the corresponding imperatives of management education. Most importantly, the strategy is implementable. This strategy is premised on: a) A growing international recognition that the global economic center of gravity is reverting to Asia. b) Focusing on: - strengthening AIM’s case method pedagogy - developing a strong understanding of Asian regional economic integration, its potential and implications - domain expertise particularly relevant to Asia - pursuing practitioner-oriented research beyond traditional case research - renewing and internationalizing the faculty c) Building upon/strengthening existing strategic partnerships and networks.

ISSN 1908-1081

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alumnileadership alumni leadership d) Establishing strong partnerships (and joint programs) with selected, highly-regarded Asian management schools sharing a similar commitment to the development of Asian management knowledge. 3. Key Initiatives Among a number of important initiatives that were developed to support the AIM strategy are: a) The development of an Advisory Services capability aimed at the Institute’s multi-lateral partners and their substantial capacity-building requirements. b) The activation of an AIM CEO forum that addresses the requirements of local and Asia-based CEOs. c) The convocation, by AIM, of important roundtables among major Asian decision makers on critical issues like “corporate governance in the financial crisis” and “the role of Asia in the new financial architecture.” What Remains to be Done

Much remains to be done. For this, the new leadership will require our total support. Let me summarize what I think are some of the more important: 1. The AIM community must be unified behind the new leadership. I have often said: the competition is tough, smart, well-financed and determined. We cannot afford the luxury of disunity. Silos must give way to “one AIM team” and all team members must be “firing on all cylinders.” 2. Accountability and Responsibility The responsibilities of each AIM team member should be clear to him (her) and to AIM. From CEO to entry level, all AIM team members should be accountable. 3. Academic a) The new practitioner-oriented research thrust— or a suitable equivalent—should be enforced. b) The curriculum should be re-designed to: - Strengthen Asian content at the macro, sectoral and micro levels with a focus on complementation opportunities. - Mainstream into the enterprise (MBA, MM, EMBA) and development programs (MDM), important Asia-relevant research output on bridging leadership, corporate governance, family enterprises, publicprivate partnerships, Islamic management and

finance, regional financial markets, corporate social responsibility, renewable energy, etc. 4. Internationalization and Diversity Faculty and student diversity should be strengthened. 5. Campus and Facilities The existing campus should be substantially renovated or a new campus established—providing AIM the “brick and mortar” and “software” it requires to achieve its mission. Overriding all these concerns is the conviction that, at a time when the world is adrift, AIM must provide the managers and entrepreneurs that it trains solid ethical moorings. AIM must itself, set and live by the highest standards of governance and behavior, demonstrating to its students: 1. That the interests of the individual manager or entrepreneur is subordinate to those of the stakeholders of the organization he/she works for; 2. That a narrow focus on maximization of shareholder value does not contribute to sustainable growth; what is required is the creation of value for all stakeholders. 3. The commercial and economic imperative of inclusive growth; 4. The importance of reconciling often conflicting stakeholder interests. In making all these happen, I cannot over emphasize the critical role that you, AIM’s over 36,000 alumni from over 70 countries, must play. After all, you are critical stakeholders of the Institute. I passionately believe that the current financial crisis has brought AIM to the cusp of an exciting renaissance. However, I am just as convinced that the realization of this “golden age” depends a great deal on how much the alumni are prepared to invest. I appeal for your involvement and support.

In a world filled with uncertainty and trepidation, I step down more confident than ever in the future of the Institute. As I noted from my first day at the job, the Asian era is upon us. By reason of history, its “DNA” and its network of relationships, this is the Asian Institute of Management’s time.


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THIRTY YEARS AGO China embraced Deng Xiaoping’s pragmatism, launched economic reforms and started opening up to the world. Today, China is an economic miracle as the third largest economy in the world due to its cataclysmic growth averaging 9.8% since 1978. China’s gross domestic product swelled from US$53 billion in 1978 to about US$4 trillion presently. Amidst the global economic meltdown, China stands as one of the few growth areas though projected to slow to “only” 8% this year while the rest of the world sinks deeper into recession. China today is the epicenter of the world’s new economic engine that is Asia. The world scrambles to understand China and its people, and on doing business there. Even as China progresses with its economic and social transformation at breakneck speed, it continues to be an enigma to the rest of the world. Needless to say, the country also continues to be of immense academic interest to AIM. This issue, in particular, places the spotlight on some of the leaders and managers, who in their own areas of endeavor, have contributed to the China miracle—the AIM alumni in China. Precious few in number but evidently so talented, global in thinking and a cut above the rest, the China alumni provide for us a deeper understanding of China through their unique perspectives. It is interesting to note the different views, personalities and distinctive management styles of our dynamic graduates in China. We are proud to feature in this issue the compassionate and curious Catherine Chen, the exuberant Jack Niu, the conservative Peide “Peter” Jiang, the flexible Max Niu, and the entrepreneurial Rock Hsiung. I am doubly-blessed not only because I had the opportunity to interview them face to face but more because I have seen them progress in the years I have known them. They have also tirelessly dedicated their time and talents to move forward AIM’s brand in China. In that regard, AIM has embarked on a significant addition to its curriculum to allow its students and alumni an experiential knowledge of China and its people. To pursue its mission of being a practitioner-oriented educational institution which produces leaders and managers for Asia, AIM launched a new elective, the one-week Asian Industry Immersion Program (AIIP) last November 2008. AIIP


exposed the future graduates to Beijing and Shanghai, and to its business landscape and its people, notably our alumni leaders there. Acting as gracious hosts, warmly welcoming the AIM community in their home grounds, the alumni even provided their expertise through the various fora which they held during the AIIP. They briefed the students and the Manila-based alumni on industry practices mixed in with the rich cultural traditions of their country.

Acting as gracious hosts, warmly welcoming the AIM community in their home grounds, the alumni even provided their expertise through the various fora which they held during the AIIP. They briefed the students and the Manila-based alumni on industry practices mixed in with the rich cultural traditions of their country. This year, the Graduate School of Business for MBA and MM students will continue the AIIP to other regions in Asia. Slated in the second quarter of 2009, alumni will also continue to be invited to join the students in exploring the industries, the people and the culture of the region. Another tour of China is scheduled for November 2009. The global economic meltdown will continue, some say hasten, to shift the economic center of gravity from West to East. We invite all to join the AIIP, watch it happen on the ground in real time and retool and learn as Asia continues its rapid and exciting unfolding. I am pleased to inform you that the AIM Alumni Leadership Magazine is now online. Along with a new alumni portal, which we hope will help you connect better to AIM and the alumni community, the Alumni Relations Office continues to enhance its services for all graduates around the world. Help us spread the good news that YOUR magazine can now reach the four corners of the globe, and is now free to everyone. Visit and register at www.AIMalumni. org. Your continuous support and feedback is precious to us. Do send an email to aimalumni@aim.edu. God bless!


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aim alumnileadership FIRST QUARTER 2009





First 16-Month MBA Class Graduates from AIM Sereno Heads Policy Center AIM Community Welcomes Year of the Ox AIM Honors Retired Faculty Policy Center ED Receives 2008 Tofil Award Kelab AIM Malaysia Holds 32nd AGM Maj. Gen. Oscar Rabena, MM 1990 Named Philippine Air Force Chief SWS 2008 Surveys Review Upping the Peace Antenna AIMAAI: New Team at Work



A Leadership Paradigm for Educators Third Generation O.D. Tools Asia and the Global Financial Turmoil Business Response to Social Issues

Asian Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility 44

Alumni CHINA



Ready...AIM...WAC’d East or West, AIM is Still the Best


Courage and Catherine: CHEN XIANYAN “CATHERINE” Spelling Success: NIU WENZHONG “JACK”



The Conservative Manager: JIANG PEIDE “PETER” Moving, Learning and Listening: NIU XIANG “MAX”


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Art: Kayamanan Golf: AIM Golf 101 for Beginners Bookshelf: My Favorite Fables and More Islam and Historical Development

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The 1st Asian Industry Immersion Program Goes to China 40 AIM Host Family III Held at Manila Ocean Park . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Class Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

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First 16-Month MBA Class Graduates from AIM THE FIRST CLASS OF THE 16-month MBA held their commencement exercises last December 14, 2008 at the SGV Hall, AIM Conference Center Manila. AIM Dean Victoria Licuanan presented the candidates to the AIM community. Eighty-three young MBA graduates received their diplomas from AIM President

Francis Estrada and Associate Dean of the Washington SyCip Graduate School of Business, Prof. Ricardo Lim. Prof. Horacio Borromeo, Jr. was the master of ceremonies. Guest speaker during the event was Mr. Fernando Zobel de Ayala, president and chief operating officer of the Ayala Corporation. In his speech, he encouraged the class to look for opportunities with guarded optimism amidst the challenges of the global financial crisis. Family and friends shared the jubilation of the graduates after successfully achieving an MBA degree in AIM’s first 16-month class. (left) Triple A awardee and Vice Chairman of the Alumni Association of AIM-Philippine Chapter, Mr. Perpetuo de Claro led the oath taking and welcomed the new graduates to the AIM alumni community worldwide. (top right) AIM Dean Licuanan and AIM President with Distinciton awardee Madhusudan Ponnuveetil and his wife (right) Mr. Fernando Zobel de Ayala

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Sereno Heads Policy Center ATTY. MA. LOURDES SERENO has been appointed executive director of the AIM Policy Center, succeeding Prof. Federico Macaranas who has led the Center since 2000. Atty. Sereno comes to the Center with a strong background in the research and practice of Economics and Law. She has an undergraduate degree in Economics from Ateneo de Manila University, a Bachelor of Laws from the University of the Philippines where she graduated Valedictorian, and a Master of Laws from the University of Michigan. She is an acknowledged expert in international trade and has written on WTO, AFTA, ASEAN, GATT and Dispute Resolution in APEC.

AIM Community Welcomes Year of the Ox

ON JANUARY 23, 2009, THE AIM COMMUNITY OF STUDENTS, ALUMNI, FACULTY AND STAFF gathered at the Zen garden to celebrate the Chinese New Year. It has always been a tradition for AIM to commemorate the significant event, as students of many nationalities took respite from the case rooms and assembled at the garden to have fun and enjoy the celebrations. Despite the occasional drizzle, everyone enjoyed the traditional dragon dance. A film showing of “Hero” in Chinese version commenced as snacks were served. Alumni Association of AIM Chairman-Philippine Chapter Mr. Gabby Paredes officially opened the ceremonies and welcomed the students and guests. This year’s affair was organized by the Student Services Admissions and Registrar (SSAR) and host classes.

Photo from i-accesslaw.com.ph

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AIM Honors Retired Faculty January 27, 2009, SGV Hall, AIM Conference Center Manila. The Asian Institute of Management paid tribute to seven faculty members—Prof. Soledad A. Hernando, PhD, Prof. Jose M. Faustino, Prof. Teodoro Ma. P. Dizon, Prof. Victor S. Limlingan, Prof. Errol B. Perez, DBA, Prof. Rafael J. Azanza, and Prof. Purba H. Rao, PhD—who retired after meaningful years of service and commitment to the Institute through the Voluntary Retirement Program. AIM Dean Victoria Licuanan and AIM President Francis Estrada, together with the rest of the AIM family, honored our distinguished professors in one unforgettable evening, which as Prof. Sol Hernando said, made her feel “so special, so loved.” As of January 6, 2009, the seven professors remain as adjunct faculty.

From left: Perez, Dizon, Faustino, Hernandez, Estrada, Licuanan, Limlingan and Azanza


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Policy Center ED Receives

2008 Tofil Award DR. FEDERICO M. MACARANAS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR of the AIM Policy Center, has been chosen to receive the 2008 The Outstanding Filipino (TOFIL) Award for Community and Humanitarian Service. Dr. Macaranas joins four awardees for the 2008 search, the 10th since the TOFIL was launched in 1988 by the Philippine Jaycee Senate and Insular Life Assurance Co. The four other awardees are: Mr. Antonio Abacan for Banking and Finance, Sr. Mary Placid Abejo for Arts and Culture (Music), Dr. Rustica Carpio for Humanities, and Dr. Rafael Guerrero for Science and Techology. JCI Senator Lourdes Sotto, chairperson of the 2008 TOFIL Awards Committee, said Dr. Macaranas had been adjudged the best among this year’s nominees “because your lifelong devotion to your field of endeavor has benefitted the Filipino people either directly or as a shining example to the rest of our countrymen.” The formal awarding ceremonies was held on December 11, 2008 at the Insular Life Theater, Insular Life Corporate Center in Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City. Dr. Macaranas is one of the most sought after international leaders and speakers on globalization, economics and leadership.

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Maj. Gen. Oscar Rabena, MM 1990 Named Philippine Air Force Chief Standing from left: Datuk Sarip Hamid, Datuk Pahamin, Tan Sri Hadenan, Datuk Annas, Effi e Goh, Datuk Raduan Md Taib, Hj Zul. Seated from left: His Excellency Victoriano Lecaros, Tan Sri Lin, Tan Sri Talha, Tan Sri Wan Rahman, and Tan Sri General Abdul Aziz

Kelab AIM Malaysia Holds 32nd AGM KELAB AIM ALUMNI Association in Malaysia held its 32nd Annual General Meeting in late 2008 at The Kuala Lumpur Raintree. His Excellency Victoriono Lecaros, ambassador of the Philippines to Malaysia was the guest of honor. Datuk Ir. (Dr.) Mohd Annas Hj Mohd Nor, MM 1984 was re-elected for another term of two years (2008-2010) as president of the Kelab, his sixth term since 1997. Other office bearers are as follows: Haji Zulkifly Baharom, MM 1989, vice president; Mr. Ching Lai Huat, MM 1984, hon. treasurer; Haji Kasmuri Sukardi, MM 1994, Dr. Ahmad Zaki Hj Ismail, MM 1985, Mr. Thillai Varna Selvaratnam, EMBA KL 1999, Mr. Rosman Isli, MM 1999 (chair, Sabah Branch), directors; and Mr. Kem Salleh (AIM representative/country director), ex-officio. Hon. auditors are Dr. Jauzi bin Hj Abdul Aziz, BMP MARA 1980, and Mr. Khoo Chin Guan, MM 1984. In gracing the commencement of the Kelab’s annual meeting, H.E. Victoriono Lecaros aptly articulated that “the increasing interaction between the Embassy of the Philippines and Malaysian 12

AIM alumni is indicative of our strong family like relationship.” Ambassador Lecaros had been supportive of many events organized by Kelab AIM Malaysia.

“I believe that the Philippines still offers one of the best learning environment and our universities, like AIM and University of Philippines, are highly rated...” Lecaros praised the Kelab’s leadership in initiating collaborative efforts to connect AIM Manila with the top business schools in Malaysia. “I am appreciative of the Kelab’s joint effort with the Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (IKIM) and the Business Schools of International Islam University Malaysia (IIUM) and Universiti Sabah Malaysia (UMS) together with AIM and AAAIM Philippine Chapter for organizing the Manila Forum on Islamic Management in Makati City on March 6, 2008,” notes Lecaros. “In fact, I fully support your next step to reach out and organize a similar forum in Cotabato City in Mindanao Island.”

At one point in the 70’s and 80’s almost 10,000 Malaysians were enrolled either in AIM or other well-known colleges and universities throughout the Philippines. But the number has been shrinking over the years because of the many options available. Lecaros notes, “I believe that the Philippines still offers one of the best learning environment and our universities, like AIM and University of Philippines, are highly rated with quality degrees and post-graduate qualifications for the Asian managers in all sectors.” Kelab has managed to create new synergistic partnerships and network of contacts for making the AIM alumni presence felt both in Malaysia and the Philippines. In conclusion, Lecaros remarked, “the Embassy, the Kelab, AIM alumni and its partners should invest more time, energy and effort to encourage new dynamic and synergistic relationship for the future. I pray that soon our matured friendship should be developed further beyond mere cooperation and collaboration. In the final analysis, all of us are the children of God.”

Maj. Gen. Oscar Rabena, MM 1990 has recently been appointed as the new commander of the Philippine Air Force (PAF). A member of the Philippine Military Academy’s Class of 1978, Rabena assumed command from Lt. Gen. Pedrito Cadungog in simple turnover rites at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City last January 9, 2009. In his acceptance speech, Rabena vowed to instill a “planning mindset” in the troops to prepare them not only for success, but for failure as well. “I’m counting on Team Air Force not only in propagating an aura of culture, but in developing a planning mindset, one that takes into account everything “I’m counting on Team Air Force not only in propagating an aura of culture, but in developing a planning mindset...”

that needs to be done for a given period and anticipates blind spots,” Rabena said. Before his appointment as PAF commander, Rabena was chief of plans and programs at the Armed Forces. Sources: http://www.philstar.com/ Article.aspx?articleId=430517 and Philippine Daily Inquirer

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Hunger Hit A New Record High

Total Hunger

23.7% (2008 Average = 12.6%)


Moderate (2008 Average = 9.2%)


Severe (2008 Average = 3.3%)

Source: The 2009 SWS Survey Review

Ratings of Philippine Presidents






national consciousness were: hunger (that climbed to a record high at 23.7%) and self-rated poverty; extension of term limits for Philippine elected officials and Charter Change; the state of corruption in both the public and private sectors through the Survey of Enterprises; family planning education and the passage of the Reproductive Health Bill; the Senate ZTE-NBN Probe; the US elections; and the ranking of the 2010 presidentiables. On January 13, 2009 at the AIM Conference Center Manila, Dr. Mahar Mangahas, president of SWS, presented the survey results in detail before a large audience represented by the various sectors—academe, business, diplomatic corps, government, civil society, and the media, along with Secretary of Defense


Gilberto Teodoro, Jr. and Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz as reactors. Mr. Klaus Preschle, country representative of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation opened the programme, while Professor Sonny B. Coloma of the AIM wrapped up with a synthesis. Present in the audience was former Secretary of Health Dr. Alberto Romualdez. To view the 2008 SWS Surveys Review, visit http://www. policy.aim.edu/SWS2008.asp.

+40 0


-40 1986


1998 2001



SWS 2008 SURVEYS REVIEW FOR EIGHT YEARS NOW, the AIM Policy Center, in cooperation with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, has been teaming up with the Social Weather Stations (SWS) to review the major

lessons of the past year from the unique perspective of SWS Survey respondents in the SWS Survey Review conference. In 2008, the issues that were at the forefront of the Mangahas

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Upping the Peace Antenna “E

H.E. Kristie Kenny (center) with the Young Moro Professionals Network (YMPN) and the Mindanao Young Leaders Parliament (MYLP)

Participants with Samira Ali Gutoc, YMPN co-convenor (second from left) and Aleem Guiapal, MDM 2008, YMPN executive director (third from right)

AIM International Muslim Student Association (AIM-IMSA) Adviser Prof. Borromeo and AIM-IMSA President Musarat Ali Sait


VERY SINGLE person and certainly the Young Moro Professionals have the voices and the influence to stand up and make a difference. If you don’t succeed the first try, look for other avenues to find peace,” United States Ambassador to the Philippines H.E. Kristie Kenny encourages the participants during “Our Peace, Your Peace: Mindanao YSpeak, Upping the Peace Antenna” forum on February 6 at the SGV Conference Hall of the Asian Conference Center Manila (ACCM). AIM President Francis Estrada furthers, “Youth leaders express themselves so passionately! We need the energy, imagination, and idealism of the youth—Muslim or non-Muslim. Old paradigms lead us nowhere. They should show their values in action, show their highest ethics, and show what Islam really represents.” The Young Moro Professionals Network (YMPN) and in collaboration with the Mindanao Young Leaders Parliament (MYLP) and supported by the the Asian Institute of ManagementInternational Muslim Student Association (AIM-IMSA), KonradAdenauer-Stiftung (KAS), the USAID through The Asia Foundation (TAF), and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) have brought together leaders from various sectors to push for the implementation of peace and development agenda in the country, particularly in Mindanao. “Without peace and freedom, nations cannot develop, and mankind can enjoy neither happiness nor tranquility. Peace for the individual is impossible without peace for the community. Nor can peace for the individual

be achieved without peace for the entire nation. But peace without freedom is not peace at all,” KAS Country Representative in the Philippines Mr. Klaus Preschle explicates. TV personality and 2008’s Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) awardee Ms. Karen Davila served as moderator of the forum, which aims to engage national leaders, the media, the academe, and nongovernment organizations to up the peace antenna. Country representative of The Asia Foundation Dr. Steven Rood said that the dialogue is a necessary step in putting peace on the broader national agenda, and in challenging not only the young Moro leaders and the government but also everyone especially the youth to promote and to sow peace. Also among the panel of speakers were Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Avelino Razon, Jr., ABS-CBN Senior Vice President for News Ms. Maria Ressa, Beacon Global Network Inc. Chairman Ms. Berna Lomotan, Head of the Political Section of the British Embassy in Manila Mr. Christopher Wright, who urged that effective communication is key in the peace process. PLDT-Smart Foundation Executive Director Mr. Anthony Pangilinan and KIDS Foundation Founder Mr. Deither Ocampo were also present during the event. In closing, Prof. Junbo Borromeo, AIM-IMSA adviser, concluded by defining peace as setting aside differences. He also urged that the way to peace is simple—we just need people do things together, “so the more we do this, the more we realize that we have similarities and move forward from there.”

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AIM-Alumni Association India

New Team at Work THE NEW MEMBERS OF AIM ALUMNI ASSOCIATION INDIA (AIMAAI) started their term of office last September 20, 2008. Since then, they have firmed up plans to involve as many members in their activities as possible. One of the steps taken is to create three committees namely: Fellowship & Programs Committee (Manish Panchal, MM 2003, chairman), International Relations Committee (Sushant Panda, MBM 1989, chairman), and the Membership Development Committee (Segi Idicula, MM 1998, chairman). Each committee has been mandated to develop its own team and agenda to be effectively pursued for the next two years with a clear sense of continuity. The other significant move of the new team is to create local/regional chapters in key cities of the country. The Hyderabad Chapter of AIMAAI was launched by AIM President Francis G. Estrada last November 13, 2008. New Delhi, Bangalore (now Bengaluru) and Chennai chapters are in the offing. The common denominator of all AIMAAI activities—whether national or regional—is to create a better image of AIM and improve its visibility in the country through larger involvement of alumni members. AIMAAI also plans to create a ‘placement’ cell that will coordinate employment opportunities of Indian students graduating from AIM year after year. The new team of AIMAAI, under the leadership of Mr. M. P. Singh, MBM 1976 as president, believes that their initiatives will stand AIM and the Association in a better stead. OFFICE BEARERS Mr. M. P. Singh - President Mr. Dhananjay Keskar - Vice President Mr. S. P. Arora - Hon. Secretary Mr. Prerak Goel - Treasurer Mr. Ramesh Gelli - Chairman Advisory Committee EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS Mr. Arvind Dayama - EC Member Mr. Manish Panchal - EC Member & Chairman of Fellowship & Programs Committee Mr. Sushant Panda - EC Member & Chairman of International Relations Committee Mr. Segi P. Idicula - EC Member & Chairman of Membership Development Committee Mr. Ranjeet Nambiar - EC Member







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Illustration by Brian Vallesteros

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Education Governance for the 21st Century:

A Leadership Paradigm for Educators J E S L I L A P U S , M B M Secretary, Department of Education

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Under the leadership of Sec. Jesli Lapus, the Department of Education has been rewarded with unprecedented public support, consistently receiving one of the highest approval ratings of all government agencies in the last two years. Sec. Lapus has also received the highest performance rating among all cabinet members in the latest Ulat ng Bayan survey of Pulse Asia. This article is excerpted from his speech delivered for the National Educators’ Congress held at the Baguio Teachers Camp on December 2, 2008.


HE WORLD WE LIVE IN HAS CHANGED dramatically in what seems to be a blink of an eye. We see the most powerful and most advanced nation brought to its knees by its own financial folly, a sub prime mortgage crisis signalling the need to adjust, and an urgent need for change that went unheeded, thereupon blowing up into catastrophic proportions, spreading its malevolent influence to other countries across the globe. We see the threat of this cancer to spread throughout Asia. And although our continent has been characterized as having withstood the worst of the crisis, at least for the moment, Asian countries, including the Philippines, must be prepared for this ugly contagion as it is expected that the more advanced countries will move into recession. Today—in our world—even those in the field of education must be mindful of the environment in which we operate. And among the most important skills required of educators—now more than ever—are the skills of leadership and management in our respective areas of competence. So while proficiency in education continues to be the major building block for the transmission of knowledge, we need to recognize the importance of effective leadership and management skills in our field, just as they are necessary in the economic and financial fields. For indeed, as economics and finance impinge on our capacity to perform our tasks in education well, we need to have the appropriate instruments to help us navigate the treacherous shoals ahead—those events foreseen and unforeseen that could distract and disable us from that which we have been used to doing in the field of education for more than half a century. DepEd is where a complete manager can use his expertise—all the weapons in his tool bag—to really make a difference.

It is here where his analytical and professional background can be put to use to achieve his goal of improving—if not changing— some of the long-held practices and beliefs that covertly encompass it. Our most serious obstacle, of course, is the resistance to change— not because DepEd prefers to remain a Jurassic creature but more so perhaps because of the instability and discomfort toward change, it’s the fear of learning how to think out of the box and fear of not being able to cope with the new challenges ahead. The institutionalization of policy reforms under our medium to long-term Education For All plan and the acceleration of quality improvements in the basic education sector force us to look out of the old box and employ strategies that will help us turn basic education performance around in the shortest possible time. School Based Management

This means we have to make the entire bureaucracy active participants in the reforms we undertake. This means that we need to make managers out of every principal, every supervisor and superintendent, every administrator and director. The classic civil service tradition of seniority—though not without merit—has to be modified and strengthened, not by throwing the baby out with the bathwater, but by inspiring individuals to grow through the proper performance of their duties, so that upward mobility comes not as a result of length of service or, heaven help us, age. This long-established practice of promotion hits us with a double whammy—we lose our best teachers by promoting them to become principals; and we get ill-equipped principals by promoting these teachers even though they have not been properly trained and prepared for the principals’ role as managers of our schools. As a manager, the principal is the captain of the ship. As a manager, the principal has other responsibilities, including budget preparation, fund disbursement, strategizing annual plans aligned

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to the city or provincial and national level master plans, and marketing them effectively to ensure funding. This is no joke. But think about it—how can someone who cannot even balance his check book be expected to do basic bookkeeping or understand what is the “bottom line” when budget preparation time comes around? New rules guide decision-making in our globalized world, and not being an island unto itself, Education must also act accordingly— our educators must realize that decision-making is fraught with booby traps, from reporting standards and risk management to accountability and transparency and social responsibility. Management has to do with the ability to analyze, sift through a menu of alternatives, and making the right decisions. As with business and industry, education must have the managers who are capable of looking at the big picture—strategists and visionaries who can provide the momentum for the sustainability of our reform agenda. This is why among the first things I am focusing on is the department’s human resource, or as we say in economics, human capital. Teachers are our frontline. They are out there to ensure that the department achieve its goals. Our department—and our entire school system—can only be as good as our teachers, along with our principals, supervisors, superintendents and directors.


o, if we say better management is critical to having a better corps of teachers, then it is absolutely necessary for teachers to get the proper management training as well. It can’t be the usual in-service two- or three-day conference. Honing management skills requires a well-thought out and comprehensive program that can provide them with a tool kit that they can use as true agents of change in education. It can’t be a haphazard set of lectures that will only be discarded as time passed. It has to be a rational “ladderized” program that begins with the provision of basic management skills, then moves on to a management development program for higher-level officials, and finally, to a leadership development program that will prepare DepEd’s high level officials for their nation-building responsibilities. Turning to my alma mater, the Asian Institute of Management— one of the most respected schools of management in the country— we had designed a set of School Based Management Programs for the department. I felt that my corps of teachers will benefit from the same management training I had experienced—the same management training that started me on my career path. This partnership with AIM provides us now with the three levels of learning that I considered necessary. We have to groom our high level officials to make them at par with high level officials in the private sector and in government financial institutions. As such, the first course is a Leadership Development Program, which is designed to sharpen the skills of my undersecretaries, assistant secretaries, central office officers, regional directors and assistant regional directors. This group of top-level officials are there to provide the department with the ability—and confidence—


to effectively align and direct organizational structure and policies and control systems (the so-called “hard elements” of management). These officials are introduced to such ideas as people skills, leadership styles and organizational cultures (the so-called “soft elements”), so they can provide the Secretary with expert assistance, even to the point of stepping into his shoes should this become incumbent. At another level, the program for superintendents is designed to groom those superintendents who have achieved a reputation in functional and area management to increase their familiarity in this field; to deepen their cross-functional and cross-border management competencies; and to hone their managerial leadership in the crafting of corporate strategy, organizational renewal, and transformational process. This program is specifically designed to help these education leaders in cross-functional integration. And, considering the need to provide a basic management program for school principals and supervisors—the first line of defence in school management—our third program for these DepEd managers is designed to help the supervisors and school principals understand organizational functional units and relationships; to further develop and strengthen the management skills of the school supervisors and principals; and to further hone their analytical and problem-solving skills and enhance the management process experience of these school managers. Beginning with the first batch in the Leadership Development Program last July [2008], we now have two other programs that are presently ongoing. In the LDP, DepEd leaders have graduated. In MDP, 92 superintendents have graduated. And for the Basic Business Development Program, 86 school principals have graduated. These graduates constitute approximately a third of the participants of our Congress, and if I am not mistaken, they are proudly wearing their AIM jackets. The LDP—the Leadership Development Program—requires the participants to each conceptualize a project aimed at pushing for a school based management program in their respective division or region. We at DepEd will shepherd and mentor them; the AIM faculty will coach them. This project—called the Personal Action Learning Program—will be submitted to the Secretary of Education and the AIM Faculty. It must involve planning, organizing, staffing and controlling in the different units or organization and servicing of clientele. And it showcases each participant’s ability to apply the lessons and insights they have learned from the LDP. To date, 57 participants have submitted their projects on such varied topics as the proper resolution of administrative cases in the department; an E-Balik Paaralan program for out-of-school adults; operationalizing school reading programs in public secondary schools; a system for monitoring and managing records; an orientation workshop for pre-school teachers on the revised competencies for fiveyear old Filipino children; and A Learning Advocacy Plan to Upgrade Skills for effective school governance (interestingly, the acronym for this is L-A-P-U-S...Learning Advocacy Plan to Upgrade Skills...Lapus!). And according to AIM, all our three programs have received very high assessment marks from our participants, both over-all and also in terms of faculty, materials, teaching method and administrative and

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other services provided. And drawing on the suggestions of the faculty and the participants, we hope to enhance this program for future installments. Apropos this, it was also mentioned that there should be follow-up sessions to further deepen and strengthen the knowledge that had been obtained.

...better management is critical to having a better corps of teachers, then it is absolutely necessary for teachers to get the proper management training as well. Another interesting sidelight of the training at AIM is the profile of participants, courtesy of a survey conducted by their trainors. This survey allowed the trainees to look at themselves—like they would when they look at the mirror—to try to understand how they react to certain situations they meet in their daily life—the good, the not-so-good, and the areas for change and improvement. Classified into four quadrants, the trainees found themselves in one or a combination of these tendencies: (1) The Thoughtful Realist— one who tends to say “Let’s keep it!” and prefers the status quo; (2) The Action-Oriented Realist—one who tends to say “Let’s do it!” and focuses on results through practical action; (3) The Thoughtful Innovator—one who tends to say “Let’s think differently!” and is concerned with visioning; and (4) The Action-Oriented Innovator— one who says “Let’s change it!” and leads through enthusiasm, focusing on systems and relationships. An effective tool in management, this personality analysis helps us understand the people we have to deal with, as this is crucial to our ability to carry out our responsibilities. The Manager’s Tool Kit

Similar to the protocols of the banking industry, with bank branches acting in accordance to manuals and procedures universally applied, we need to define procedures, decision making steps and authorities, and provide strict sanctions for misconduct. In other words, we will provide templates for action. This will eliminate ad-hoc solutions, influence peddling and other unethical practices. And yes, this will provide opportunities for excellence. Earlier, I mentioned the need for a tool kit, one that managers must be able to pull out of his hat. The tools in this kit are as follows: The first has to do with costing—Financial Literacy is important for our education managers, and not just through the traditional allocation of costs, they must be able to accurately assign costs to cost objects (this is what we refer to as activity-based costing). The second tool is Activity-Based Management, which when used with the first will help to identify ways to perform activities more efficiently (and aligned with this is the balanced scorecard that has been touted as an effective tool). The third is Benchmarking—our educators must learn to benchmark (they must identify other organizations, regions or even

countries that excel and thence adopt or adapt their methods to achieve greater effectiveness and efficiency); The fourth tool is the technique of Process Re-engineering, which may actually be top-down driven for the purpose of improving in terms of cost and quality. The fi fth tool is Total Quality Management, which in contrast with Process Re-Engineering, typically seeks incremental improvements through a careful identification of their “customers” (finding out what they need and how best to provide for these needs). Finally (and I cannot emphasize the need for this well enough), the sixth tool in our kit is Strategic Planning—developing a vision and a strategy for implementing that vision (and such strategy being translated into operational terms). My message to you is simple—DepEd is performing well. And by improving our management practices, as we have been doing now, we can expect DepEd to perform even better. Management is the critical ingredient to reforming and strengthening this Department of Education. Managerial empowerment, therefore, is the one legacy that I intend to leave. And so, this is the governance framework that I am determined to institutionalize in the department: First, I intend to provide educators with management competency and to create an effective and responsive decision-making hierarchy through the management tools that you have learned through the training programs we have initiated. Second, I intend to establish a reporting and monitoring process that will ensure transparency and accountability. And third, I intend to make use of information technology as a tool to help you navigate the nuances of the interactive world that you must inhabit, understand and control. My vision for DepEd is to create a leadership team in every corner of our archipelago. This team must be transformed into a dynamic force of strategically focused, cross-functional, and integrated and communicating leaders—each one filled with a sense of urgency, each one eager to respond to these challenging and difficult times, each one motivated to change existing paradigms that keep our educative processes in a rut. I believe the Department of Education must ensure that its leaders—at every level—are competent, intellectually curious, courageous, authentic and inspiring. We can provide competence and curiosity through training programs such as those we have developed with AIM. We can draw out courage, authenticity and the ability to inspire from the hearts of our people—and I am confident that our people who have chosen to be in the area of education, against all odds, can draw from their wellsprings the hope and faith needed by our nation to nurture and encourage the youth of our land. Our passion for our work and our compassion for the millions of Filipino children who stand to suffer or succeed from the work we do must serve as our institution’s war cry. No economic crisis or education crisis will bring us down. With your continued partnership for this, our noble cause, and with God’s grace, we shall overcome. To request for the full text of Sec. Lapus’ speech, send an email to aimalumni@aim.edu.

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THE DISCIPLINE AND PRACTICE KNOWN as Organization Development (OD) surfaced at the end of World War II, together with the euphoria brought about by the victory of liberal democracy over fascism and authoritarianism. As a parallel movement in the field of management practice, organization development emerged as a reaction to the models of bureaucracy and scientific management. This article will describe the evolution of OD, particularly, the shifts in underlying assumptions from Classical OD (which we will classify as First and Second Generations OD) to the emerging large systems interventions and their basic premises which we will call “Third Generation OD.” Classical vs. Third Generation OD

The last four decades encompassed the birth, adolescence and maturation of “Classical OD.” The foundational disciplines of Classical OD are rooted in four disciplines: 1) Human Relations Laboratory Training; 2) Action Research; 3) Survey Research; and 4) the Socio Technical approach. The first foundation, Human Relations Laboratory Training, focused on understanding and challenging personal processes, interpersonal relationships and group dynamics. Action and Survey Research, on the other hand, emphasized the collaborative nature of the OD approach, based on data collection and diagnosis. The fourth foundational discipline, from the Tavistock Institute in the UK and early practitioners from Norway and Sweden, explored social behaviors in the context of work systems. The practice of OD in the fifties and the sixties (First Generation OD) highlighted personal awareness and group dynamics.

The objective of the emerging OD tools is to raise collective awareness and generate new possibilities and social agreements, which in turn, can lead to change. Emphasis is therefore placed on conversations which promote total system awareness and self organization.


Third Generation

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OD also came in as a strong advocate of normative values around human potential, participation and development. In the seventies and eighties, OD practice evolved into integrating personal and group awareness with productivity. This phase of OD is what we will call “Second Generation OD.” New work designs built on the principles of productivity and the human potential were tried and successfully developed in companies like Exxon, Shell, Volvo, Procter and Gamble and other business organizations in Europe and the United States. Second generation OD tools included interventions such as Work Redesign, Total Quality Management (TQM), values and culture management, visioning and strategic planning. In the Philippines, San Miguel


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Corporation established its internal OD unit in 1976 and incorporated first and second generation OD tools in its practice The classic definition of OD is offered by Richard Beckard: “Organization Development is a planned, organization-wide and top management effort to increase organizational effectiveness and health through planned interventions in the organization’s processes, using behavioral science knowledge.” Authors French and Bell in their 1991 book “Organization Development” give a more expanded definition: “A top management-supported, long range effort to improve an organization’s problem solving and renewal processes, particularly through a more effective and collaborative diagnosis and management of its organizational culture—with special emphasis

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on formal work teams—with the assistance of a consultant-facilitator and the use of the theory and technology of applied behavioral science, including Action Research.” The two definitions assume a linear cause and effect perspective of change management and a scientific bias based on Newtonian principles. This highly rational approach to organizational renewal assumes that intervening from the top of the organization using empirical methods can lead to organizational effectiveness and health. Beginning in the nineties, a new set of assumptions about the nature of reality converged as a result of recent research breakthroughs. New tools in the practice of OD coming from these assumptions are what we call Third Generation OD. Assumptions of the New OD

The past decade has witnessed an emerging set of OD practices based on premises which are very different from the key assumptions of its founding gurus. These premises stem from recent discoveries in brain research, quantum physics, evolutionary biology and the social sciences of psychology, sociology and anthropology. These breakthroughs are brought together in the new science of complex adaptive systems. From a scientific perspective, these findings represent a paradigm shift from Newtonian Science as illustrated in Table 1. Table 1. Newtonian vs. Complexity Science NEWTONIAN (MACHINE MODEL)


Predictable Linear

Surprising Cause and effect separated by time Role of change agent as farmer Chaotic but patterned Adapting Emergent

Role of change agent as driver Orderly Controlling Designed

Complexity science explores the properties of dynamic systems as varied as termite colonies, rainforests, the stock market and human organizations. “The power of the complexity framework is that it suggests ways to operationalize a change in perspective from seeing organizations as machines—systems that can be engineered—to understanding organizations and their processes as dynamic and non-linear.” (Lisa Kimball, Practicing OD in Complex System, The OD Practitioner 2008).

The 21st Century World

In addition to these theoretical breakthroughs, the external world of the 21st century has also dramatically changed. The bestselling book, “The World is Flat” by Thomas Friedman (2005) dramatizes the shifts in the New Economy. Friedman cites the spread of PC use, the internet revolution, outsourcing and off shoring among others as factors which “flattened the world,” changing the industrial landscape into the knowledge society. Value creation has also shifted from the agriculture and manufacturing sectors to services. This is indicated in the change of value created by intangibles (such as software, financial, consulting, creative and entertainment services) from 20% of all worldwide value created in 1972 to 90% in 2007. Stock market analysts have also started to impute financial value into other intangibles such as leadership, innovation, knowledge management, speed to market and a shared mindset. New Assumptions and a New OD Definition

Classical OD assumes that an organization can be studied using empirical methods, hence, its emphasis on diagnosis and evaluation. Third Generation OD, on the other hand, looks at organizations as “meaning making” systems, a social reality. While classical OD views reality as an objective and single fact, discoverable through rational and analytic methods, the new OD looks at reality as a social construct, with multiple truths emerging from the situation and socially negotiated. Table 2 summarizes some of the contrasts between Classical OD and ThirdGen OD assumptions. Table 2. Classical & New OD Assumptions CLASSICAL OD ASSUMPTIONS


Reality is a single, objective fact

Reality is a social construct; there are multiple realities and meaning is negotiated Reality is what people agree on Raising awareness and collective inquiry leads to change; conversation is a key process Focus: Mindset change

Truth is discoverable through analysis Collecting data and diagnosis leads to change; problem solving is key process Focus of action: Behavioral change Premise of predictable, managed change Change agents plan and manage change

Change is not linear, is on-going and systems are self-organizing Change agent role is to create conditions for facilitating change

The objective of the emerging OD tools is to raise collective awareness and generate new possibilities and social agreements, which in turn, can lead to change. Emphasis is therefore placed on conversations which promote total system awareness and self organization. Third Generation OD, drawing from the science of complexity, relies on the following principles (Surfing the Edge of Chaos by Pascale, Milleman and Gioja, 2000): (1) Prolonged equilibrium in living complex systems is a precursor of death. The challenge is to ensure that organizations do not grow complacent in the comfort zones of equilibrium. Alfred North Whitehead captures this phenomenon: “Without adventure (disequilibrium caused by breaks with convention), civilization is in full decay.” (2) In the face of a compelling opportunity or the threat of extinction, living systems move toward the edge of chaos. Jack Welch, through his various initiatives in GE, exemplified how a leader fosters disequilibrium and moves the organization to the “edge of chaos.” The edge of chaos represents a condition which can propel an organization into self-organization and emergence. In this state, a system can be most adaptable and creative. (3) Self organization and emergence represent order coming out of an seemingly chaotic situation. A key characteristic of complex adaptive systems is that order emerges from the interactions among individual agents without central control being exercised. This phenomenon, seen in molecules, termites or plants, applies as well to human organizations. (4) Living systems cannot be “directed” along a linear path. The challenge is to disturb an organization and “nudge” it towards a desired end-state. Relying on the principle of “small changes can generate big effects” rather than big, centrally planned solutions, can result in longer lasting and deeper impact. Given these new assumptions, the author suggest an updated definition of OD as “a systems-wide effort to enhance collective awareness and commitment to change, utilizing diversity to activate collective creativity and connections among all stakeholders. The purpose of the OD change agent is to facilitate self organization and the organization’s on-going transformation” (OD paper, Abadesco, 2008). “Third Generation O.D. Tools” cont. on page 54 >>

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Asia and the Global Financial Turmoil D H R U BAJ YO T I


EMAND FOR THE TRANSPORTATION industry is always derived from the activities of real economy, or of the “Main Street” as Mr. Obama calls it. The industry does act as a health detector, as it feels the pulse of the economy a few months before the numbers end up as statistics on economists’ desks.


Since the beginning of this decade there has been a significant surge in Chinese exports to the US and Europe, rendering the country as the “factory of the world.” This surge came immediately after China joined the WTO in the end of 2001. Similarly, there has been a significant export and trade growth in Vietnam after it joined the WTO in the end of 2006. These are important observations. Globalization meant relocation of manufacturing (and its associated pollution) to countries like China and Vietnam. These were commercial decisions made in most cases by the multi-national companies (MNCs) driven by the sole objective of maximization of profits. The transportation industry and in particular, the container shipping industry, played a very important role as a facilitator of globalization. The industry did manage to provide a very cost efficient logistics solution. The transportation costs typically amounted to tiny fractions of the final retail price. Hence, how far away the production center is located from the consuming center did not really matter much as long as relocation of manufacturing resulted in an overall reduction of costs. The export-led economic growth has helped the Asian countries in many ways—in accumulating financial surpluses, in improving the standards of life, and in reducing poverty. It also boosted intra-regional trade as more Asians had more purchasing power.

Return of Manufacturing to the US?

There are now suggestions from many quarters that the export-led growth of Asia is unsustainable, and that manufacturing must return to the US. Asian countries are advised to re-tool their economies by reducing dependence on exports and by boosting their domestic demand. While it is good to boost domestic demand, the fundamental question remains whether a return of manufacturing to the US will result in an overall reduction of costs. After all, it was the profit maximization motive that drove the relocation of manufacturing out of the US in the first place. The only way it would make sense for the MNCs to move their manufacturing back to the US is if the protectionist tariff structures make it more costly to import goods manufactured in Asia. This then leads to the policy issues. Would the US abandon its commitment to free market and unilaterally decide to build protectionist walls? The questions will soon be answered by the President-elect Obama. But


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considering the geo-political realities of an increasingly multi-polar world, it is an extremely unlikely scenario that the US will abandon its commitment to free market and globalization. Asia’s Reaction to Current Crisis

During the Asian currency crisis a decade ago, the affected countries embarked on an export growth strategy as a path to recovery. This was successful for two reasons; first, lower exchange rates made the products cheaper for the buyers, and second, there was a strong demand elsewhere in the world since the contagion of currency crisis was in a way contained only within parts of Asia. Unfortunately, the previous solution of export-your-way-out-of-theproblem is not going to work this time around. At least, not yet. Simply because, there is not enough consumer demand in the developed worlds of the US and EU. So, does it mean all gloom and doom? Well, as a first step, there ought to be positive thinking which should lead to positive actions. We must consciously work towards improving sentiments, individually and collectively. The US$ 580 billion economic stimulus program swiftly announced by the Chinese government is indeed good news. Realizing that there is not enough demand at the moment for the export of Chinese manufactured goods, the government announced an inward-looking program, which among others aims to develop investments in productive infrastructures including low-cost housing as well as to give EU government initiatives in unlocking this more cash in the hands of the citizens spurring dospending power coupled mestic consumption. At first with a deliberate attempt to improve sentiments will this will lead to increase indeed act as a global savior in construction activities, to the current crisis. which will have a positive impact to the steel industry. Through the trading of necessary raw materials and related products as well as the spin-off effects to other industries, the rest of Asia will have a lot to gain from this stimulus program of China. Chinese government will perhaps not hesitate to take more decisive steps if the above stimulus proves to be less than satisfactory. One thing that is now hampering the intra-regional trade is the lack of trade financing. The banks are simply not lending money even for trade related working capital. The letters of credits are not being opened because the banks have stopped trusting each other and are hesitant to take counterparty risks. Banks, most of which are publicly listed, are shying away from new lending in order to shore up their balance sheets prior to year-end closing date. It is widely believed that trade financing will resume once we step into the next financial year. “Asia and the Global Financial Turmoil” cont. on page 59 >>

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Illustration by Rommel Joson

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Ready...AIM...WAC’d WAC (hwãk, wãk) Function: verb Etymology: probably imitative of the sound of a blow Date: 1968

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transitive verb 1. to strike with a smart or resounding blow : WAC a CP senseless 2. to cut with or as if with a whack : WAC a CP mid-sentence 3. chiefly AIM-esque : to bring someone to his knees : defeat


idioms: 1. out of WAC : improperly ordered or balanced; not functioning correctly. 2. WAC’d out (Slang) : Exhausted. Crazy. Under the influence of a mindaltering drug or assignment.


OMING UP WITH A BLOG title isn’t easy. A lot of contemplation goes into the process. For those uninitiated and unaware, there are actually specialists for hire that do nothing but think of titles and headlines. I kid you not. Since I don’t know of any hole-inthe-wall and for the most part couldn’t afford it, copious amounts of caffeine, deliberation, and pacing about had to do. And voila! I came up with “WAC’d.” As with any great piece of work, it usually involves some form of unbelievable trauma to cull inspiration from. Well, in this instance, it was the dreaded Written Analysis of Cases, otherwise known as the WAC. Wuh? WAC. It’s part and process of crawling through the cracks for an MBA at the Asian Institute of Management. The Shaolin Temple of B-Schools... Hell on Earth...Bane of the existence. Any of these ring a bell?



Depending on what you’re into, AIM is either the Bates Motel or Lady Heather’s House of Pain of graduate schools in Asia. Regardless, it has the requisite mediums of torture that such establishments are known for. Let me name a few:

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MBA 2007 The Case Method. Read 800 cases in 16 months; 80 hours in 1 week. The intensity and rigor is allegedly aimed at developing tough, action-oriented managers. A requirement for any good master or dominatrix. The Pit or Case Rooms. To be called upon cold with a case of amnesia is a sure fire way of getting pounced upon and eaten alive by cut-throat, merciless monsters otherwise known as your classmates. The MRR or Management Research Report. Field studies presented to a coven

comprised of your two faculty advisers, the industry expert, and your sponsor (read: the guy footing the bill of your “whining” and dining, under the impression you’re doing research!). They’re there to whup your ass, make no mistake about it. And make you do all sorts of very strange things found only in your nightmares. The worst of it being “rewrite.” (innocent smile) See, getting WAC’d all starts innocently enough on Friday nights. 5.00pm at the end of a tough week. Beaten and bruised like Nacho Libre after a round in the octagon with Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell, you crawl to your pigeonhole and find an HBS case. No big deal. Just a 100-pager you’d need to read,

analyze, crunch numbers...in short, compose a WAC within 1000 words (excluding exhibits, sir!) for submission at no later than 8:00 am the following day. Jack Bauer gets 24 hrs and you get 15?!? Not fair? Ask me if “the man” gives a hoot. What happens next is a frenzied blur of discussions of the case; fevered and sometimes bordering on delusional analysis. Depending on what level of torture or drug you’re into, hours of handwritten or typewritten drafts. For most, it was the first time to have to write a business analysis on a regular basis given such rigid expectations. For some, it was the first time to have to write it themselves. For everyone, there’s no running to Recto or Quiapo or Cliff’s Notes. And anything outside the word limit and deadline imposed automatically gets you a score of “U” for “Unsatisfactory”—a grading system perhaps conceptualized over kegs of beer by some grumpy old men at the Harvard Business School. Great! You go through torturous methods of teaching and after which you’re graded pretty much the same way like a pre-schooler. Fascinating! After all was said and done, your “masterpiece” complete, you run like heck from the dorm, fly across the Zen garden, and crash land in time to drop the fruit of your labor into the WAC chute. Pathetic? Not really. You weren’t alone. Folks comprised mostly of seniors and zombies still alive after a sleepless night, stood along the course and cheered you on. The WAC is a rite of passage; a mutuallyshared torment leading to an absolute and consumate experience—the AIM experience. An experience that binds us all to each other and to all the great minds of Asian business who walked the same hallowed halls of the institution before us. So, is it a time-honored tradition or the worst way to spend a Friday night? Honestly, it doesn’t matter. Long after graduation and after the parchment starts to fade in its frame, being WAC’d isn’t such a bad thing. The lessons learned stay with you: Think things through. Think, don’t blink! We learn. We commit. We act. One step at a time. In business, as in life, there is no one right answer. (But hey, don’t take my word for it.) Printed with permission from “WAC’d” by John Wesley Bayot. Visit http://aimwacd.blogspot.com/

I L L U S T R AT I O N : PA N C H A L C A R A Z I L L U S T R AT I O N S : C H I L I D O G S

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An AIM Student’s ISEP Expereience

East or West, AIM is Still the Best K I S H O R E


I PACE THROUGH THE COLD WIND WITH A PANNINI IN HAND and excitement in my heart. I enter a museum guarded by two lions, and decorated with paintings of unknown pizza makers. Distracted by the beautiful scenery, I finally find my way to the classroom conducted by Imhotep from ‘The Mummy’ series. In line with the museum-like beauty of the building itself, the classrooms were no less similar. There were numerous seats with the capacity of a hundred people, surround sound speakers, flat screen computer on the teachers desk, retractable canvas screen and a ceiling mounted projector. Very advanced, quite complete...with the exception of basic features, namely that of distributed outlets for our laptops. Considering the school has a good network of internet services (I will get to this later on), and the professors provide us beforehand the Powerpoint materials before classes, it would have been very productive if we could follow the lectures with our laptops and notes we have made therein prior to the class. Well this was not the case as everyone’s laptops were on the brink of shutting down due to exertion.



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The beauty of the classroom did not amaze me really, nor did the diversity of women in the classroom (Spanish, Serbian, French, Moldovan...need I go on?). What truly amazed me was the learning method in the university itself. I was informed that this was by far one of the most interactive teaching methods in Italy. For their standards, probably it is. However coming from the Asian teaching method it fails in comparison. Let me elaborate. In class the teachers are well prepared and are open to discussions regarding the lessons, the powerpoint materials are complete and you learn thoroughly. However the students themselves don’t question the teachers (unless they are ISEP and come from a CP based learning system like I was accustomed to). I remember one instance where an Italian classmate of mine answered a question poised by the professor, and I quickly rebutted proving his argument wrong. Rather than try to prove my argument wrong, he just looked at me in a stern way (kind of hinting that any further transgressions would result in me sleeping with the fishes, if you know what I mean). This kind of behavior in the learning process baffled me. They only study for the last two weeks prior to the examination, and they have different options in the studying method. (Basically if you attend class or not, at the end of the day, it all boils down on the final examination anyway). The competitive spirit was boiled down on your exam grades and your grades were based on a ranking wherein your rank in relation to the class curve would determine your grades rather than your absolute performance...it was difficult to determine where you stood throughout the whole process. This teaching result was further exemplified when we had to present a final group project for a branding class. I noticed that all the groups worked hard on their presentation, with fancy animations and short movies (that looked professionally done) aimed at dazzling the audience. The problem is that they don’t know how to present it, they had their papers in front of them, reciting a script as they went along. The group that I was in just had a very basic Powerpoint presenta-

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tion with key imagery highlighting what we had to say. I presented of course (being the only one in that class representing Asia in a truly varied form), my presentation was the normal presentation I would perform in my time in AIM. However, what was to happen when I ended the presentation, I would have never expected. The whole class stood in an uproar, clapping their hands until they were red, a standing ovation! I would have never expected that in a hundred years at that point (considering that other presentations looked nicer than ours). It then dawned upon me that the learning style that they were accustomed to was directed by the paper in front of their eyes, and that despite their ability to be very sociable outside the classroom they have not experienced a selfdirected learning where The beauty of the classroom they enhance their soft did not amaze me really, nor skills. The fact that they did the diversity of women relied on their exams was in the classroom (Spanish, Serbian, French, Moldovan... the reason for it all. I was need I go on?). What truly glad that I studied in AIM amazed me was the learning method in the university itself. where I was exposed to a different learning method. Because this method allowed me to develop skills that are beneficial for a manager, skills such as public speaking (casing point of the presentation), listening (I listened attentively to class as my basis for studying the examinations), communication, and most importantly I learned to be quick on my feet and come up with answers on the spot. Their education system was of course complemented by a very comprehensive IT network. You can do practically anything on their IT network, from registering your classes to registering for your examinations (different exams, different dates). Every student is given an ID card and with this card, they can access terminals where they can check various information or even get certification from the university for different reasons such as permit of stay or even a monthly public transportation pass. These cards are also used to gain access to the numerous computer rooms in the university. You can access the internet and print, and you are provided by the university to print up to 20 pag-

es a day per student, which is good because the only reason you need to print is to submit an assignment since everything is provided via the IT network. The best part of the network however is the individual student portal. In this portal you have your class schedules, exam schedules, materials for the classes, links to different departments, your webmail and even an online organizer which helps you schedule yourself in line with your activities in the university. My experience in Bocconi University was a good one, I grew up a lot in those four months that I lived on my own. At that time I lived in my own apartment, and did not experience the dorm life in Bocconi (although they did convert a hotel into a dormitory so I think the facilities were nice). I learned to fend for myself, I learned to assimilate myself into a completely different culture, and most importantly I learned to appreciate what I had. My experience in AIM is irreplaceable, although Bocconi may have several advanced features in their portfolio. The sheer human touch, the basic elements in the classroom and the high value education (I was pushed, pulled and mashed into the ground in AIM, the WAC nights, the CP, the AC and the oh so dreadful MRR! You cannot get the same valuable education experience anywhere) that I received in AIM is what I hold in high regard over the museum like facilities, and over the comprehensive internet facilities (sorry but this does not go over the diversity in women!).

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Alumni CHINA I N T E R V I E W










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Much has been said and written about the vast imperial region of China, more so today as the world focuses on how the financial crisis will affect the East Asian region that has become one of the major powerhouses of the global economy. It is interesting to learn from a civilization that has spanned 5,000 years, and from its people that have preserved the enigma and culture of the east. Catherine Chen, chief representative of an international enAIM ALUMNI IN CHINA HAVE SHOWN THEIR ENERGY and dynamism by establishing chapters in Beijing and Shanghai. ergy firm’s Shanghai office also emphasizes the value of quanxi. “Traditionally, Chinese do put weight on relationships, both on Their energy and dedication for their alma mater mirrors their enthusiasm in supporting the Institute in myriad ways, evidenced private levels as well as business levels,” she says. “Doing business in China is about relationship building. Our country is more more recently by hosting meetings with students and alumni on people management, people in control, not the system and who participated in the school’s first Asian Industry Immersion legislation, so when you talk about people, it goes back to the inProgram held last November 2008. From Catherine Chen, Peter terpersonal level.” Handling organizational relationship in China Jiang, Rock Hsiung, Jack Niu and Max Niu, unique perspectives is a necessary ability which foreign investors need to acquire, in were culled on doing business in China, relating to their people addition to cultural sensitivity in order to and how their AIM experience has helped apply an ideal management system suited them advance in their careers. to the organizational structure. Peide “Peter” Jiang, a partner at “Doing business in China And for Wenzhong “Jack” Niu, the Bellwether Consulting in Shanghai, is about relationship building. North Asia service operations director China, credits the government’s strong Our country is more on people management, people of Honeywell Building Solutions (HBS), political will as an important factor in control, not the system and a deep understanding of cultures and in achieving economic development. legislation, so when you talk As China moves towards a more about people, it goes back to an education at AIM are immense plus factors in succeeding in China. “Asian capitalist system, the national, the interpersonal level.” perspectives and regional cases of the municipal and provincial government MM program made me quite familiar and confident with is still considered as a major driving force. The regional regional culture and leadership styles as well as market develgovernment continues to play a significant role in creating the opment,” Jack shares. “With an education in AIM, alumni can infrastructure to support businesses. For Xiang “Max” Niu, the general manager of Otis Elevator attain the competitive advantage in multinational companies at strategic thinking, communications with the company’s Co. in Shanghai, there are exceptional lessons that managers senior management, and financial planning, as compared with should learn from China. “The central government extends local managers. We have developed broader Asian networks to the provinces. It’s like a company. This is a very important factor why China can grow so quickly. Per province, the growth and a deep understanding of Asian cultures and business cases, compared with other overseas MBA returnees. I believe that, rate can be monitored,” he says. with the further development of the MM and other programs, As the president of Roled Opto Electronics (Shanghai) Co., the entrepreneurial Hsiung “Rock” Ko-Tsang suggests that work- an AIM education will add more value to our professional ing for a big corporation first would be beneficial for one to learn career development in Asia.” There are many paths to successful venture creation. In the key success factors in the market. “There is no big difference times of chaos, change, and uncertainty, opportunities thrive in doing business in China compared to other countries in Asia. when one is equipped in thinking. With the insights, skills But maybe quanxi (relationship) is much more important in and attitudes that our alumni in China have acquired from China than in the rest of Asia, and the regulations and tastes AIM, there are numerous possibilities on how these leaders can vary from one territory to another in a vast country like China.” Quanxi is an important element of Chinese business culture as it continue to carry the AIM brand in succeeding in their own respective areas of acumen. involves building mutual trust with partners and investors.

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Chen Xianyan “Catherine” BMP 1995, MBM 1998


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Courage and Catherine


“I took the BMP [Basic Management Program, 1995] then MBM [Master in Business Management, 1996-1998]. BMP, that was for young managers and they had broad subjects in finance, marketing, and operations. It was a way to prepare me and it gave me a new idea of what a manager was regarding their scope and functions. That was a one month course and the first course I took in a foreign country,” she recounts. “Then I took the MBM.” Listening to Catherine speak today with her impeccable English coupled with a charming accent, it is difficult to imagine that she had problems with the language. “I was not as good at English at that time [I was studying at AIM]. We had English courses starting from primary school until college. I think I started learning English in Grade Three. But it’s really different when you go to a country where almost everybody speaks it. I had a hard time, but I was able to read the cases with the help of a dictionary. The Risk Taker In my BMP Program, most of the time Catherine was born during the Cul- ...AIM helped me to believe tural Revolution. With her mother a pro- in my potential...It’s not really I just listened to what other people said. I was too shy to ask for help, and just fessor of physics and her father a scientist the subjects but the lessons relied on the dictionary,” she smiles. in a research institution, she remembers we learned—the attitudes and how to deal with What was unforgettable to Cathmost her mother’s lesson: “stick to what thinking—on people and get along with erine, as with most AIM students, is you believe in,” a phrase which deeply them well. That really helped applied during that period of unrest. in my career and personal life. the dreaded WAC (Written Analysis of Cases). “My first WAC, I don’t rememAn admirer of realism in the arts, ber the case, but it was really scary and I almost missed it. I Catherine pursued Advertising Photography in the School of Engineering of the Shanghai University of Engineering Science had to rush to the school and drop it in the box, and that was (SUES). She proceeded to take further studies in management just before the box was taken away!” But simple non-academic campus pleasures remain the in the same school, graduating in 1995. fondest in memory and as a student from China, Catherine Wanting to taste adventure and leap from her proverbial enthusiastically joined the AIM traditional International comfort zone, Catherine decided to leave Shanghai to pursue Student’s Day. “We had a Chinese costume show. I organized further studies abroad. “At that time, the risk everybody saw that. The students and professors were shouting and screaming was that you would go abroad without the family’s protection. when they saw our beautiful costumes—they weren’t the traYou’d be left to face the world alone. But for me, I was excited ditional Qi Pao type, our typical Chinese costumes. They were to see new things. Just to see more,” she shares. costumes worn by various ethnic groups in China. We weren’t Catherine had already replied for the State University of all Chinese—there were Indonesian, Filipino, and Indian New York when a wise man changed her life. “He asked if I students...we just asked who wanted to volunteer to wear the wanted to stay there in New York after I graduated. I said no, traditional garments. We had around 10 or 20 borrowed from I wanted to come back after I study. Then he said that if I wanted to go back, I might as well study at AIM. I was working the embassy, and the students were happy to volunteer. It was held in the Sunken Garden.” already at that time. I believe Asia is the growing engine for Within a span of twenty-four months, Catherine emerged the growth economy.” from AIM a different person. “I would say my time at AIM The wise advice led her to the doorsteps of the Asian Institute of Management to take not only one, but two “Courage and Catherine” continued on page 43 >> programs of the school. HI YI QIAN ZHANG YI ZHI” MEANS A fall into a pit, a gain in your wit. It is a battle cry of the courageous, of those unafraid of failure, with a certainty that only good fortune and priceless lessons await those who dare. As a young lady growing up in a country with a civilization of more than 5000 years, being successful in a culture where the male gender takes pre-eminence needs more than courage. A combination of wit, gentility and a sparkle of feminine feistiness characterize the lovely Catherine Chen. With her modest ways and unassuming intelligence, she has managed to succeed in the largest city in China, currently as the Chief Representative in an international energy firm’s China office, and as one of the AIM representatives in the alumni chapter in Shanghai.




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Spelling Success

N DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE WORLD, PARTICULARLY assuming the new post as acting general manager, Jack led the in China, a person’s given name plays a significant part bid and clinched the Bird’s Nest low voltage contract, making the company the housekeeper of the Beijing National Stadium’s control in one’s life. The Chinese believe that the name contains a person’s invisible fate and influences his destiny. systems—a major achievement for Honeywell. In 2007, he was promoted as North Asia service operations direcChinese parents consider choosing a name for their tor of Honeywell Building Solutions (HBS) to lead the service operachild as crucial because it could spell either success tions in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea and Japan. Honeywell or failure. Elders, astrologers, fortune tellers, monks is a Fortune 500 American multinational conglomerate company and other experts are consulted for the perfect name. The meaning headquartered in Morristown, New Jersey. of the characters, the Wu Xing or the five elements (metal, wood, Apart from the good combination of characters in Jack’s name water, fire, and earth), the time and date of birth, and the Chinese and his assiduousness, he also credits the MM for the successes he astrological sign are mostly taken into consideration. Although it may be seen as superstition by others, many success- attained. “The MM experience created a big impact in my profession. It was the MM program that brought me a comprehensive ful individuals still believe in the power of the name—attributing their fortune or drawing inspiration from their name. Wenzhong Niu knowledge of management and confidence, which helped me shift from industry expert to a professional is one of them. manager in different industries. Strategic “I believe that a person’s name is a Management and cases in MM helped me to personal value. It guides people how to behave The MM experience created big impact in my profession. implement most of the strategies in my MRR and to explore life,” shares Wenzhong or Jack, a It was the MM program that into reality,” Jack shares. the Western name he has been accustomed to. brought me a comprehensive

knowledge of management and confidence, which helped me shift from industry expert A name given by his grandfather and a professional manager in parents, Wenzhong in Chinese means “knowl- to different industries.

Behind the Name

edge” (Wen), and “honesty and loyalty” (Zhong). His surname Niu means ox, which in Chinese astrology, he explains, is characterized as “bright, dependable, hardworking, patient, and an inspiration to others.” Embodied not only in name, Jack’s brilliance, fortitude, hard work, and professionalism have reaped great rewards in his professional life. Like his animal namesake in Chinese astrology, Jack possesses an innate ability to achieve great things. After completing the Master in Management (MM) program in 1998, Jack returned to the Otis Elevator Company, where he led the country service team and grew the service business in China. In 1999, he joined the Otis China marketing group to formulate marketing strategies to merge four business entities into one Otis China group. Not an overnight success, Jack recounts that his most significant career movement started in 2002 and continued thereafter. He relocated and joined Rockwell Automation in Beijing in 2002 after eleven years in Otis in Tianjin, his home city. By the end of 2003, he joined Honeywell as country service business manager to lead the business growth of the China building services. He then took a new managerial role as the China service director and the acting China general manager. Under his leadership, just a month after W O R D S




Under the Monkey Sign

As someone born in the Year of the Monkey, Jack feels he possesses much of the characteristics under the sign. Being a good listener is one. “I currently manage teams all over North Asia from different locations and different cultures. The challenge is how to have one vision in mind with such diversity. Regular and open communication is the key. I am open to feedback and suggestions.” Jack also sees that his natural curiosity lends it the desire to become more erudite. “I travel frequently and my constant companions during my trips are books. They are for my selfimprovement and enlightenment. I am a learner and continuous learning is important to me.” Much of what Jack has learned he shares. Jack is also a faculty member and part-time facilitator for leadership skills workshops and for sales and service training programs in Honeywell Asia Pacific. Through the trainings Jack conducts, he hopes to bridge the best practices of the global team and the local team. Another Monkey trait evident in Jack is his farsightedness. Like a true visionary as he sees himself, he plans his life as far out in advance and controls his destiny to the last detail. Jack believes that long-term view and positive attitude gives “confidence to make progress everyday so as to cope with challenges.” No wonder he is

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Niu Wenzhong “Jack” MM 1998

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The Rock Rises

big project, from the beginning of lighting design to the installation SIUNG KO-TSANG WAS BORN IN TAIWAN TO A on site. But if you conquer all the critical issues, and the big project is family of six. The parents of Rock, as he is called, at an end, then you become very pleased. You appreciate the internal were farmers who planted rice to provide a promisand external teams that worked together (to complete the job).” ing future for Rock, his two elder sisters, and one Armed with two decades of experience in the business, Rock was younger brother. ready to create a new foundation. On January 8, 2007, he and his relaThey sowed good seeds in their own children, as Rock was able to tives established the new venture Roled Opto Electronics (Shanghai) obtain a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the National Taiwan University. His first job was with Philips Lighting in 1988. Co., Ltd. Roled stands for Rock LED, with LED referring to light-emitting diode. Rock himself is the company’s president cum managing director. “I started as a sales representative to promote lighting fixtures to the Reporting under him are two vice presidents and three managers. market in Taiwan,” he recalls. “After one year, I was promoted to sales As organizational head, Rock intends to imbue their 180 employmanager for project business. But in 1991, I encountered a leadership ees with the company’s values: (1)honesty in dealing with internal bottleneck. How does one become a good leader? I dreamt to become and external customers; (2)cooperation and teamwork; (3)innovaa general manager one day, but I needed to upgrade my abilities in tion and creativity; and (4)speed and proactivenes in handling issues strategic planning, financial management, leadership, etc.” in order to satisfy customers. To help Rock in his search, a former classmate handed him a These values seem to have been absorbed well. In just two years, brochure of AIM. “I chose AIM because I knew that Asia is an emerging Roled has completed major undertakings such as several colorfully market. The region has big potential to grow, and it will become more lit bridges, the Wuxi Wonderland Lingshan project, the Shan’xi important in the global economy and global society,” he reckons. He never regretted his decision to enroll in the Master in Management Hanzhong Wanbang Times Piazza, and the Shanghai Mansion. Roled aims to be “the most professional company providing LED program in 1992. “Learning from the successful and failed stories of 500 case studies, and the challenges from the classmates and facilitators while lighting products and LED control systems in China by 2010.” Its other goal is to establish the core competence of LED debating the case—it was the most enjoyable time for total solution in terms of (1)LED drivers, (2) in my life,” he notes. “I appreciated all the profesfrom the successful color-changing control system, (3)industrial sors who coached me, and all the classmates who Learning and failed stories of 500 case and mechanical design capabilities, (4)optics shared their good experiences with me in AIM.” studies, and the challenges development, (5)heat dissipation management, AIM education helped Rock to assume from the classmates and facilitators while debating and (6)solar control system. positions of greater responsibility. As a newly the case—it was the most Nevertheless, the fledgling company faces minted master’s degree holder, he returned enjoyable time in my life. challenges in terms of enhancing product portfolio to Philips Lighting Taiwan to fill the post of management to meet different customers’ needs, strengthening supply senior sales manager. “Beginning 1993, I practiced what I learned from AIM to the lighting market in Taiwan. By 1995, Philips Lighting chain management, credit policy and cash flow management, and human resource development and retention. Rock, however, is more than ready became the No.1 company in Taiwan. The team not only tripled the sales results in three years, but also built a good foundation for future and equipped to take them on. He has journeyed far from the boy who sales development,” he narrates. “That same year, Philips Lighting re- hopped on rice paddies and later arrived at AIM to learn about leadership. In November last year, Rock came face-to-face once more with located me to Beijing to manage and develop the professional lighting AIM students, who went on a study trip to China. “They are young, market of North China. In 1996, I was promoted to general manager very active, and very confident in asking questions and explaining for business unit of Luminaire in China. In 1999, I was promoted again to general manager of commercial lamps for the China market. their perspectives,” Rock observes. He advised the up-and-coming MBA students to value honesty and integrity. “Keep these two traits whether In my six years as general manager—three years for Luminaire and you’re working for a company or building your own business.” He likethree years for Commercial Lamps—my team managed to elevate wise places importance on lifelong learning. “Learn from your bosses, Philips Lighting to the No.1 position in the China market.” In 2000, Philips Lighting recognized Rock’s feat by bestowing on him the Asia- peers, subordinates, and customers. Learn from books.” Finally, to fellow alumni who are interested in setting up businesses Pacific CEO’s Award for Outstanding Achievement. Rock is passionate not only about the business side of lighting but or business relationships in China, Rock suggests: “It is better to work also lighting per se. “Lighting is a ‘bright’ business. It is wonderful to for a big corporation in China first, so that you can learn the key success factors in the market. There is no big difference in doing business in offer a good lighting solution to people. You get a sense of achieveChina compared to other countries in Asia, but maybe quanxi (relationment when you complete a good lighting solution for a project, such ship) is much more important in China, and the regulations and tastes as an office building, a department store, a stadium, or an expressvary from one territory to another in a vast country like China.” way. There are so many challenges in the process of accomplishing a W O R D S





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Hsiung Ko-Tsang “Rock” MM 1993

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Jiang Peide “Peter” MM 1995


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The Conservative Manager

N ALMOST THREE DECADES, THE ECONOMY OF CHINA HAS grown faster than that of any nation in history. Why? “Because our government, having a political will as strong as an ox, is crisp in achieving economic development,” says Peide Jiang, a partner at the Bellwether Consulting in Shanghai, China. In 1980, at the beginning of the economic reform launched by the late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, the gross domestic product (GDP) of China was only about $301 billion. In the year 2007, however, the country’s GDP was more than eleven times higher, reaching $3.43 trillion. It surpassed some of the G7 countries and became one of the major powerhouses in the global economy. Peide believes that China’s industrialization and modernization will go the distance. As today’s workshop of the world, China continues to manufacture numerous industrial products ranging from iron and steel to coal and petroleum, from cement, machinery, chemical fertilizers, automobiles, to telecommunications, and almost every single consumer product sold in Wal-Mart.

tomer financing department of Nokia (China) Investment Co. Ltd. For seven years, he handled Nokia’s joint-venture investments in China. He mostly monitored the accounts receivables. Flinty decisions

In August of 2005, Peide was named partner in Bellwether Consulting—a post he presently holds—where he supervises consulting services of investing, financing and taxation. With Bellwether Consulting, Peide has made flinty decisions. His judgment calls in this consultancy firm, he says, mirrors the path he went though, from business schools to his stimulating work experiences in the real realm of business. At his present workplace, Peide accomplished many achievements. He had aided the establishment of a solar energy-equipment firm for a private company in Wenling, Zhejiang Province. He had facilitated the Shanghai International Group to successfully acquire 33.5 million shares of Bank of Communication from a Wuhan-based company. Also, he had helped a His knowledge ripples Through the best management Hong Kong-based company to successfully acschool in Asia, which is the quire a building in Shanghai’s Tianshan Road. Peide, who became a professor in finance AIM, I distinctly learned how Contrary to all these successes, he concedes and economics in various universities in multinational companies that he is “not an ideal leader. I am not the China, certainly knows what he’s talking operate, particularly banks. tough type.” But, in some aspects, he believes to about regarding his country of birth. After he obtained an economics degree from the Shanghai University of Finance “have good communication skills to reach out to my staff, to my people. I know how to reach mutual understanding.” and Economics in September of 1983, he thought that his acquired “I don’t think I’m a good entrepreneur,” adds Peide. “I’m very knowledge could best ripple to other individuals through teaching. conservative.” He says he looks up to all the most successful and From 1983 to 1989, Peide taught accounting and taxation at the richest entrepreneurs in China. Staff University of the number one Business Bureau in Shanghai. He For China to produce more individuals with strategic and taught similar subjects at the Shanghai University’s College of Interentrepreneurial minds, Peide suggests that AIM should have to national Business and Management from 1989 to 1993. aggressively penetrate China’s mature demands for people with And, while Peide was an associate professor at the Shanghai International Studies University in 1994, he enrolled in the AIM’s Master Master in Business Administration (MBA). “Potential students should be searched out,” says Peide, who heads the Federation of AIM Alumni in Management program through the Metrobank Foundation Inc., Associations Inc. in Shanghai. the corporate social responsibility arm of the Metrobank Group. “It was the time when Metrobank, the flagship company of Metrobank Group, was seeking license to open branches in China,” Now, the third-largest economy says Peide, who finished the postgraduate program in May of 1995. With all that’s happening in China right now, the country has be“Through the best management school in Asia, which is the AIM, come the world’s third-largest economy, surpassing Germany and closing I distinctly learned how multinational companies operate, particular- rapidly on Japan, according to the government and World Bank. ly banks,” he says, pointing out an observation: “People in Metro MaAlthough the world’s top economies, the United States and Japan, nila are very liquid—the very reason why the Manila’s unit of Bank are in recession, the most negative estimates for China’s growth in of China is faring well, like the Metrobank branch in Shanghai.” upcoming years runs about 5 percent. That could allow China’s GDP to When Peide went back to China, he decided to take himself off overtake Japan’s, which is currently at $4.3 trillion, within a few years. from teaching to work fulltime as credit marketing manager at the The US economy, the world’s largest, was about $13.8 trillion in 2007. Shanghai branch of the Bangkok Bank. Two years later, in 1997, serving The World Bank’s estimate of China’s economic growth is about 7.5 the same position, he moved to the Shanghai unit of Banque of Paribas, percent. But China has seen a sharp decline in exports in November and which is now known as BNP Paribas Bank, after its merger with BNP. December as other major economies struggle, and the bank’s analysts say Peide admits: “Working for a foreign bank challenged me a lot. I rates below 6 percent could worsen the rest of the world’s slump. had to be in front of a lot of people.” And some analysts say China will have other problems to overEventually, in 1998, he filled in the post as the manager of cuscome if it is to maintain its rapid expansion. W O R D S



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Moving, Learning and Listening


T IS A CHERISHABLE PARADOX THAT A LANGUAGE that succeeded almost by stealth, treated for centuries as the insufficient and second-rate tongue of peasants, is now the most significant and successful language in the world. And, for a Chinese business leader to concede that, English has truly gotten—if not totally—its way across the world. Xiang Niu, the general manager of Otis Elevator Co. in Shanghai, is convinced of English’s eminence, a realization that he proved to be true during his entire stay at the Asia’s premier management school, the Asian Institute of Management (AIM). “I really had to make my way up in terms of understanding, speaking and writing in English, being the language of instruction in most countries, particularly in the Philippines,” says Xiang, who claims to have articulated English three months after he started in the business school in April of 1997. Xiang, who finished Master in Management a year later, learned more than just using the universal language. Through AIM, he ultimately honed his critical entrepreneurial, strategic and ethical thinking.

‘The future depends on me’

Six years later, in September of 2005, Xiang rose from his rank. He became the general manager of Otis in Shanghai, a position he holds until now. “This kind of job is an entirely challenging ball game to me. This enables me to learn new things and meet new people,” he says. As the general manager, Xiang always makes sure as shooting to create an open line of communication between him and his subordinates. For instance, he says being in a smoking room, which makes up a free-and-easy environment, enables him and his people to exchange information freely and casually. Also, Xiang certainly knows how to get away from conflict immediately. He changes the mindset from debate to discussion on truth to getting things done “because the company’s future depends a lot on me,” he quips with poise. It goes without saying that the company depends on him on how to improve its cash flow. “In the last five years, our revenue grew by 60 percent,” he says. Adds Xiang: “The hotel and office markets in Shanghai are very stable, since it is still a mature city. The newer cities are potential markets too. We also have to rebuild structures Surely, opportunities knock after earthquakes, hospitals and schools.” When Xiang was a sales manager in are unique lessons The Shanghai operations of Otis is a tradOtis’s arm in Shanghai, his first job with the There that managers ought to learn ing or a service company, where “teamwork is firm, various opportunities to further his pro- from China...The central an essential factor to make the firm survive. fessional path had kept knocking at his door. government extends to the provinces. It’s like a company. The daily challenge that I have to handle is One of those, which, he says, was a unique chance, was the company-sponsored This is a very important factor how the sales, the project and the maintenance why China can grow so quickly. teams uphold respect,” Xiang shares more. graduate studies at the AIM. Xiang shares: “I How he brings off respect to the company, Xiang says, is a reflecnever balked for this prospect; I apparently grabbed it.” tion of how he deals with his family—his wife, Jessie, and his son, Which, in turn, made him athirst for challenges when he went Owen—and friends, nonetheless. back to Shanghai in 1998. He was then asked what sort of job he The 41-year-old executive, who enjoys playing golf during his wanted, and his answer: “Anything but sales.” downtime, adds that his vision for his family is just simple. Since life So, from 1999 to 2005, he supervised the Tianjin-based comis mostly froth and bubble, he says he just wants to make the best of pany’s sales, installations and services in its 28 branches all over their time together on earth. the country. In a span of six years, he became the zone director in People truly appreciate how Xiang devotes his time with friends East China, North China and South China, making each zone reach too. And his experience with AIM, he says, is truly worth reminiscdouble-digit growth rate in terms of booking unit. ing. “That’s why I keep contact with my classmates via e-group. “I got moved around the country a lot,” says Xiang, who had And, in the past ten years, some of our classmates have visited an undergraduate degree in industrial management engineering Shanghai already.” and freezing engineering at Shanghai Jiao Tung University. “That’s among the things I love about being with Otis, the traveling.” Otis has eight joint ventures in China: Tianjin, Beijing, Shanghai, Many sacrifices Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Xi’an, Suzhou and Chengdu. At present, Otis Xiang was absolutely proud and grateful of how he has morphed is the largest elevator and escalator manufacturer and service provider since he embraced the real world of business management—the in China, with a network covering more than 100 cities in the country. same way how China has become a global economic powerhouse. Otis’s key projects in China include Shanghai World Financial And his frankest thought about China’s economy is powerfully Center, the world’s tallest building; Beijing Fortune Plaza; Shanghai “Moving, Learning and Listening” continued on page 43 >> Oriental Pearl TV Tower; Tianjin TV Tower; and Guangzhou Metro. W O R D S




E D E P,


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Niu Xiang “Max” MM 1998

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COVER STORY The AIIP group at the Great Wall of China. In Chinese, the wall is called “Wan-Li Qang-Qeng” which means 10,000-Li Long Wall.

The 1st Asian Industry Immersion Program Goes to China A DELEGATION OF 33 COMPOSED OF AIM MBA students, ISEP (International Students Exchange Program) students, alumni, faculty and staff arrived in Beijing at noontime on November 16, 2008 to kick off the one-week Beijing-Shanghai study tour. The tour is part of the Asian Industry Immersion Program, now a regular MBA offering at the Asian Institute of Management. Under the autumn chill, the group experienced the delicately balanced world of China where the ancient marvelously blends with the modern—from the imperial wonders of the Forbidden Palace and the Great Wall to the contemporary Olympic Village and the Oriental Pearl Tower. Apart from the discovery of the splendor of China’s culture and history, the group richly learned from and interacted with industry experts and AIM alumni in China: Mr. Gu Weimin, Director of the Department of Investment and Trade Development, and Mr. Chu Xiangyin, Vice Chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Beijing Sub-Council during the Department of Investment and Trade Development forum; Mr. Jaime FlorCruz, CNN’s Beijing Bureau Chief, Mr. Simeon Hernandez, Commercial Counselor of the Philippine Embassy in Beijing, and Mr. Jack Niu, MM 1998, service operations director of Honeywell Building Solutions (HBS) North Asia, in a forum which discussed the regional economic disparity in China and China’s policies on foreign direct investments; and Ms. Catherine Chen, MBM 1998, chief representative of an energy firm, Mr. Peter Jiang, MM 1995, partner at the Bellwether Consulting in Shanghai, Mr. Rock Hsiung, MM 1993, president of Roled Opto Electronics (Shanghai) Co., and Mr. Vikas Jalan, MM 2008, who has joined GM China, during the networking dinner with AIM alumni in Shanghai. The most significant learning from all the forums is that of the guangxi (relationship), which is a special feature of doing business in China. A firm understanding of one’s Chinese counterpart and a relationship built on trust and respect are crucial. Dignity and honor is also deemed as critical in conducting business wherein one’s counterpart’s losing face has a significant business impact. The immersion program also included an interaction with Tsinghua University students and plant tours at the United Biotech, Liwayway China Co. Ltd., Roled and Baosteel. And no cultural immersion in China is ever complete without the authentic taste of Chinese lauriat and the market orientation (or shopping) in Silk Street in Beijing, Nanjing Road and the Yuyuan bazaar in Shanghai.

Alumni Ramon Jarencio, Jerome Jordan and Graciella Jordan during the Huang Pu River cruise

Starrie Sun and Serafin Tongco at the Red Theater in Beijing

Beijing Panda Zoo

From L: Starrie Sun, Lucky Uy, Serafin Tongco, Diamond Uy, Michelle Yap and Luther Bersales at the Beijing Urban Planning Museum Greg Atienza, Prof. Jun Borromeo, Jaime FlorCruz, Simeon Hernandez, Jack Niu and Prof. Mau Bolante



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Serafin Tongco and Jeppe Holst

From L: Katrine Praest, Diamond Uy, Luther Bersales, Emilia Bresser and Greg Atienza on the illuminated glass floor panels with the printed photgraphy of the of city layout at the Beijing Urban Planning Museum

Katarzyna Daniel and Nikita George at the Tiananmen

ISEP students Jeppe Holst, Christele Rosinet, Katrine Praest At the Beijing forum and dinner and Elodie Duboi at the Bird’s Nest

Matthias Graef and Katrine Praest in a local restaurant For a few yuan, Serafin Tongco poses for a souvenir photo in a Chinese warrior costume at the Great Wall

From L: Lucky Uy, Serafin Tongco, Luther Bersales, Michelle Yap, Diamond Uy and Starrie Sun at the Yuyuan bazaar

Kung fu fighting Tess Magdaleno, Cora Manalo, Weindell Lim, Serafin Tongco, Connie Banaag, Starrie Sun and Diamond Uy at the Forbidden City Alumni enjoy a Brazilian barbeque lunch in Shanghai

Christele Rosinet and Elodie Duboi warms up with a hot cup coffee in the Forbidden City Sipping hot tea during the tea orientation at Beijing’s Dr. Tea

Alexander Lind and Emilia Bresser with a Chinese boy at the Great Wall

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Alex Lind, Katarzyna Daniel and Elvind Pettersen at the People’s Park in downtown Shanghai


Tess Magdaleno, Connie Banaag, Weindell Lim, Cora Manalo at Baosteel

Greg Atienza enjoys a lively chat with Chinese alumni Catherine Chen, Rock Hsuing and Peter Jiang at the Holiday Inn Jan Grosse-Weischede and Alex Lind explore Chinese streetfood

Rock Hsuing orients the group on LED lighting at Roled Professors Mau Bolante and Jun Borromeo at The Bund

Connie Banaag at the Oriental Pearl TV Tower in Shanghai

Ramon Jarencio, Marie Referente and Prof. Mau Bolante at Shanghai’s shopping haven Nanjing Road At the Silk Museum in Shanghai

Jan Grosse-Weischede and Per-Oskarat Forsvik during the United Biotech plant tour Jeppe Holst enjoying the Shanghai view from inside the Maglev

Prof. Jun Borromeo beside the Shanghai Maglev train at

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>> “Courage and Catherine” continued from page 31 helped me to believe in my potential, and compared with before, [I became] more aggressive and talkative! I think it changed my way of thinking. It’s not really the subjects but the lessons we learned—the attitudes and thinking—on how to deal with people and get along with them well. That really helped in my career and personal life.” A Passionate Curiosity With an AIM degree tucked under her sleeve, Catherine went back to Shanghai, involving herself in marketing fast-moving consumer goods, then working in M&A for almost ten years, first with Shanghai Securities Co. then with Daiwa SMBC-SSC Securities Co. “Good pay and I already know the rules of the game,” she muses. “Life couldn’t be easier. If I wanted to stay there, life would be easier. Then I decided to jump into a brand new industry. Learn something new.” In 2007, Catherine joined an international energy firm as Chief Representative for the Shanghai Rep-office. Of her decisions to explore new realms, Catherine credits her school. “AIM helped me to be stronger and more confident. In a way it also enabled me to be more open to challenge, and sometimes I chose challenges rather than stay in the comfort zone. I intentionally take challenges,” she emphasizes. While majority would opt for job security and the sanctity of status quo, the gutsy Catherine dares to be different. “When you take a chance, you have to face the consequences. There are not so many people who are willing to do that. That’s my observation. On my part, I just want to find that challenge that will stimulate me. I want to see how much I can do,” she says. “The most exciting thing about my current job is that I have to start from scratch. I want to make things happen in my hand. That’s the most challenging thing and that’s something I am enchanted with.” With a wealth of management experiences behind her, what matters most to Catherine is her growth as an individual. “Generally I think my past ten years have been a success because I have seen myself grow and be a better person. That’s a success for me. Failures happen once in a while. Some are due to my fault, some are not. But nevertheless, as long as I learn, failures can be blessing.” And the leadership style in the workplace, which she propounds, is also reflective of a manager with a soul, as she tailor-fits her style according to the individuals’ needs. “Doing the right thing is more important, but again it depends on the team members: their skills, their maturity, their experiences. It also depends on the

nature of the job, whether it is routine, or a job that needs creativity and motivation. It also depends on the working environment. Is it conservative or adventurous? It’s situational. There’s no uniformed style. It all depends on the people you’re dealing with, the environment and the job you’re doing. Every person you deal with is unique, and each individual is a unique experience.” As a leader, the things that matter most for her in the workplace are values attuned to the spirit: “First of all, always being open-minded. That’s very important. That gives you drive to experience new things. You need guts to take challenges. Believe in yourself and keep living. There are also two things I really value the most. The first is passion—for everything, for life, for one’s job. And another thing that I think makes people grow, regardless of age, is to always have curiosity.” Doing Business in China As the center of growth in Asia, in spite of the global financial crisis, it is of great value to learn China’s culture and its people to discern the aspects which contribute to its success. “Ji suo buy u wu shi yu ren,” an ancient Chinese proverb which means that one should treat people the way one wants to be treated, is perhaps a key towards interpersonal business associations. “For me, our country walks fast on the way to be a ‘society of laws’ but that does not eliminate the importance of ‘men’. Traditionally, Chinese do put weight on relationships, both on private levels as well as business levels, so in my view, relationshipbuilding still plays an essential role in doing business in China” shares Catherine. “Doing business, again, is dealing with people. So when you talk about people, it goes back to the interpersonal level. In Chinese, one of the important cultural beliefs is ‘Qiu tong cun yi’ which literally means: you seek similarities among people, but meanwhile you respect the differences.” Catherine further expounds, “It’s like between the Chinese and Americans; if you look only at the differences, they are enemies. But if you look at the similarities, they can be competitors—but not enemies. That is central. When you see similarities then you have a common ground for conversation, for understanding that kind of need. I’ll also give you a Confucian proverb: ‘san ren xing bi you wu shi,’ which literally translated means ‘you walk with others, at least one of them can be your teacher’. It means, you can always learn something from someone regardless of his social status, his age and gender, his profession or academic achievements. You just learn from others. Be open-minded and you will be able to see the bright and beautiful side of a person.”

AIM in China As the graduate school of choice for anyone wanting to do business in the region, AIM seeks to increase its presence in China, and to enhance the population of students from China in its Manila campus. For Catherine, increasing AIM’s presence in China entails not only efforts from the institute but also from its alumni as well. “Every alumnus at the chapter in China is part of the brand name building. We just have to do our job well. Live advertisement!” she smiles. And with the dedication, hard work, commitment, constant curiosity and thirst for challenge that is exemplified in Catherine Chen, AIM has an invaluable partner in living up to the slogan ‘We know Asia Best!’

which means son of Jack,” he shares. As women continue to gain foothold in China, Jack believes in the empowerment of women and encourages his wife to move up in her career as well. Jack’s wife, JiaJing or Jane, is currently completing her Master in Accounting degree. “Jane observed that my career has increased. She wants to catch up, and I support her. “I love my wife, my son and my parents and relatives. I wish to bring happiness to the family through my efforts and achievement,” Jack adds.

On AIM Grateful to his alma mater and hoping that others benefit from the same invaluable education he received from AIM, Jack wishes that AIM strengthens its presence in China. He enumerated several initiatives which AIM >> “Spelling Success” might want to consider. “A rep office in China, continued from page 32 exchange programs, Chinese alumni as guest fascinated and inspired by China’s visionary- speakers in lectures or forums, and case reformer Deng Xiaoping. “Deng Xiaoping studies on China should be realized. changed China. He had a strong vision to “Take advantage of the technology make progress and reforms. Because of his such as teleconferencing, which costs less. vision, China has become one of the fastest This way AIM will be able to invite more Chigrowing economies in the world.” nese alumni to give insights and participate A good leader is someone who in the learning process.” can assess himself. One who knows his Just like in Jack’s favorite game of capabilities and strengths and who is aware chess where mastery and practice are of his weaknesses and mistakes. Jack vital, Jack in closing advises AIM students acknowledges that he is overly meticulous, to “focus on their strengths, to utilize which sometimes hinders him to delegate the knowledge, and to practice, practice, enough to his subordinates. “As a business practice to sharpen your skills.” leader, I know I should be able to empower and develop the talents of my people.” Asked how he envisions himself in the >> “Moving, Learning & Listening” next few years, Jack reveals that he desires continued from page 38 to become “a senior leader in the global business environment or a professional striking. “There are unique lessons that consultant who can help business leaders managers ought to learn from China. The on leadership, management, sales and country itself has sacrificed hard enough in customer service skills development.’’ the areas of environment and healthcare” “I would like to be a knowledgeable for its brisk economic growth, he reckons. professional who understands the global “The central government extends to business and become a connection between the provinces. It’s like a company. This is a China and rest of world,” Jack adds. very important factor why China can grow so quickly. Per province, the growth rate On Family Life can be monitored,” he says. Jack has a lot on his hands, with the Xiang stresses, “It’s time to slow down numerous responsibilities and demands this growth to deal with those problems. People fastened to his work. But Jack ascertains always think that China’s economic growth is so that he is able to strike a balance between amazing, so efficient. But it’s a forced growth.” work and family. “I enjoy staying with my In short, the cost of rapid growth, as family during my free time. I love playing Xiang suggests, has to be dealt with—and chess or table tennis with my son. I also help there’s no other time but now. This is my son with his studies. He is now learning the rationale why he proposes to AIM to English. It is for his future.” aggressively recruit students in China to Chenyu, Jack’s son, is now eight help make a difference in supporting the years old. “Chenyu means universe, which development of Asian societies. provides broader vision to imagine and Therefore, he keeps on “moving and explore. My wife and I gave my son’s name, learning and listening” to change the counbecause we both hope our son will have a try and the world through employing young global mindset. We want him to have a wide minds and talents at his firm—the very knowledge and to seek the truth in the unisame reason how the English language has verse. Chenyu’s Western name is Jackson, changed the present world.

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Asian Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility

Business Response to Social Issues

On the evening of November 21, Dr. Noeleen Heyzer (third from right), Under-Secretary General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, delivered the keynote speech and presented awards to companies that are blazing the trail for CSR in Asia. Accompanying Dr. Heyzer on stage are (from left) AIM president Francis Estrada; Mr. Boon Yoon Chiang; Dr. Anjan Gosh, director for corporate affairs for Asia Pacific of Intel; Ms. Claire Chiang; and Mr. Ramon del Rosario Jr.

Historical Info on the AFCSR Year


Conference Theme

Conference Co-Chairs


Dusit Nikko Hotel, Manila Le Royal Meridian Hotel, Bangkok

Asia Business For Society

Ramon R. del Rosario, Jr.

Business, Government, and Civil Society Collaboration in Nation-Building

Senator Mechai Viravaidya and Ramon R. del Rosario, Jr.


Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

Altruism vs. Economics— Can CSR be Sustained One without the Other?

Tan Sri Dato’ (Dr.) Ahmad Sarji Bin Abdul Hamid, Tan Sri Dato Lin See-Yan and Ramon R. del Rosario, Jr.


Jakarta Hilton International Hotel, Jakarta

Exploring CSR Strategies for Business—How the Right Strategy for CSR can make Business more Effective

Dr. Arifin M. Siregar and Ramon R. del Rosario, Jr.



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THE AIM RAMON V. DEL ROSARIO SR. CENTER FOR COR- porate Social Responsibility conducted its seventh Asian Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility (AFCSR) and the 6th Asian CSR Awards Gala Dinner at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel in Singapore on November 20 and 21, 2008. There were 473 delegates from 299 organizations from 30 countries represented. Seventy-eight percent of the delegates were from the business sector, 18% from NGOs, and the balance came from the government, academe, and media. The 2008 AFCSR was co-presented by the AIM-RVR CSR Center and Singapore Compact for CSR. Co-chairing the event were Ramon R. del Rosario, Jr., President and CEO of Philippine Investment-Management (PHINMA), Inc., Mr. Boon Yoon Chiang, AIM Governor and Chairman and Managing Director, Jardine Matheson (Singapore) and Ms. Claire Chiang, President of Singapore Compact for CSR and SVP of Banyan Tree Holdings Limited. Present to deliver the welcome remarks was Chairman [Mr. Washington Emeritus, Mr. Washington SySyCip] emphasized Cip, who spoke on the theme that businesses’ of the conference: business role is...maximizing response to social issues. He stakeholder value and emphasized that businesses’ not just shareholder role is no longer just to generprofits. Business can ate profits and guarantee the achieve both and be jobs for tomorrow. It is no socially responsible. longer just to produce and maximize shareholder value as a new thinking has emerged—that of maximizing stakeholder value and not just shareholder profits. Business can achieve both and be socially responsible. In fact, he states, the new thinking is that business will be better off by doing both. The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister of Community Development, Youth and Sports, Singapore, and among the prominent list of 88 speakers and moderators were Mr. William Swope, VP and GM, Corporate Affairs Group, Intel Corporation; Dr. Bradley K. Googins, Executive Director, Center for Corporate Citizenship, Boston Colllege; Mr. Paul Aquino, President and CEO, Energy Development Corporation; Dr. Filemon A. Uriarte, Jr., Executive Director, ASEAN Foundation; Prof. Henri Claude de >>

Mr. Roger Adams

AIM Dean Victoria Licuanan during the fellowship night

AIM-RVR Executive Director and AIM Board of Trustees Vice Chairman Felipe Alfonso



Conference Theme

Conference Co-Chairs


Crown Plaza Hotel, Manila

Harnessing CSR for Development and Democracy

Ramon R. del Rosario, Jr.


Sheraton Saigon Tower and Hotel, Ho Chi Minh City

CSR—A Driving Force for Growth and Development: How CSR Can Reduce Poverty, Generate Investments and Trade, and Improve Business Performance

Dr. Vo-Tong Xuan and Ramon R. del Rosario, Jr.


Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, Singapore

Business Response to Social Issues: Getting it Done

Boon Yoon Chiang, Claire Chiang and Ramon R. del Rosario, Jr.

The AFCSR Steering Committee is headed by Prof. Felipe B. Alfonso, RVR Center Executive Director, with members— Dr. Francisco L. Roman, RVR Center Faculty Fellow, and Ms. Rosemary Anne F. Quiambao, Director, RVR Center

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Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan with Mr. Washington SyCip and with Mr. Ramon R. del Rosario Guest of Honor Dr. Noeleen Heyzer with Mr. Ramon R. del Rosario

From L: Dr. Anjan Gosh, Ms. Claire Chiang, Dr. Noeleen Heyzer, AIM President Francis Estrada and AIM Board of Trustees Vice Chairman Felipe Alfonso at the book launching AIM President Francis Estrada with participants

>> Bettignies, Distinguished Professor CEIBS and Emeritus Professor, INSEAD; Mr. William Valentino, VP CSR, Bayer Greater China, Bayer (China) Ltd.; Prof. Jeremy Moon, Director of International Centre for CSR, Nottingham University Business School; Mr. Ramon R. del Rosario, Jr., President and CEO, PHINMA; and Dr. Edilberto C. de Jesus, Former DepEd Secretary. Handling sessions from the AIM Faculty were President Francis G. Estrada, Dean Victoria S. Licuanan, Board Vice-Chair Felipe B. Alfonso, and Professors Ernesto D. Garilao, Ma. Elena B. Herrera, and Francisco L. Roman. There were eight plenary sessions and 30 special interest sessions that focused on six tracks: Planning, Implementing, Measuring, Communicating, Sustaining and Staffi ng; and Tools and Skills for CSR Managers. The role of business over the years has been elevated due to changing expectations. From starting with resource transfer to community relations to incorporating CSR concepts to business practices and finally using CSR as a business strategy. CSR is the key. It is clearly a competitive advantage. The 2008 AFCSR had the support of distinguished sponsors including Intel as Strategic Partner: Asian CSR Awards and Official Technology Partner; Microsoft, Shell, The Coca-Cola Company and Unilever as Strategic Corporate Partners; Ballarpur Industries Ltd, Borneo Motors (Singapore) Pte Ltd, City Developments Limited, Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd., Holcim and Standard Chartered Bank as Official Industry Partners; Banyan Tree, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, Senoko Power, Starbucks Singapore Pte Ltd. and Tolaram Group as Cooperating Partners and supported by the Singapore Tourism Board. The Official Public Relations Company Partner is Bang Public Relations Pte Ltd with AMEX Team, Creative Crest, Integrated Public Relations, Masso PR and PR Society of Indonesia as Cooperating PR Partners. Official media partners include International Herald Tribune, ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC), ACN Newswire, Ammado, Asian 46

Mr. Rafael Alunan and Mr. Ramon R. del Rosario

Quality Magazine, Asia Weekly, Business Monitor International/Asia Monitor, BusinessWorld, China CSR, CSR Asia, Roof and Façade Magazine, Sustainable Innovation, The Employer Magazine, The Training Magazine and XL Media. The Asian Institute of Management Alumni of Singapore and 24 other organizations and leadings NGOs from all over Asia also partnered to make the AFCSR a success. The 2008 Asian CSR Awards

Dr. Noeleen Heyzer, Undersecretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of Economic and Social Commission for Asia presented the awards to five winners and 10 excellence awardees at the gala dinner of the 7th AFCSR. The Asian CSR Awards, co-presented by Intel, is Asia’s premier Awards program on corporate social responsibility. This year’s awards attracted 170 entries representing 120 companies from 15 countries. It recognizes and honors companies in Asia for their projects and programs in corporate social responsibility. The 2008 winners are Bharat Petroleum Corp., Ltd. (India) for the BOOND Program (Environmental Excellence); Bharti Foundation (India) for the Bharti School Program (Support and Improvement of Education); The Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Sri Lanka) for the Business for Peace Initiative (Poverty Alleviation); Microsoft Philippines for the Employee Wellness Program (Best Workplace Practices); and Johnson & Johnson Philippines for the War on Worms in Western Visayas Project (WOW-V) (Concern For Health). The Asian CSR Awards is recognized as the leading awards program on Corporate Social Responsibility in Asia and is an inherent component of the AFCSR conference and Expo. For further information and details for the 2009 Asian Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility and Asian CSR Awards, please visit www.asianforumcsr.com.

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AIM Host Family III Held at Manila Ocean Park


HE ALUMNI RELATIONS OFFICE IN partnership with Student Services, Admissions and Registrar held the third Host Family Program last December 5, 2008 at the Manila Ocean Park. Present were over eighty alumni hosts and MBA 2009 overseas students. The objectives of the program are to assist AIM’s overseas students in adjusting to life and an intense academic experience away from home; to provide the students with an enriching cultural experience through the alumni family; and to help promote a positive experience for the AIM student through an “alumni mentor” who can provide academic advise and practitioner-oriented support in the Philippines. Launched in November 2007, the program has successfully paired numerous alumni and students, and has produced long-lasting friendships, invaluable networking and


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meaningful interactions, which have been greatly appreciated by students and alumni alike. In his welcome remarks, Greg Atienza, MBM 1983, executive managing director of the Alumni Relations Office shared to the audience the reason why the event was held away from the AIM campus. “We wanted to provide an opportune time for the alumni and their student mentees to bond exclusively, and to forget about exams and office matters for a few hours in an extraordinary environment.” Alumni Association of AIM (AAAIM) Chairman Gabriel Paredes, MBM 1972 invited the overseas students to enjoy the tour of the venue, and gave a few pointers on how to pass the rigor at AIM. Christopher John Legaspi, director of sales and marketing of Hotel H2O welcomed the AIM guests and graciously provided exclusivity through extended viewing hours. The overseas students thoroughly enjoyed viewing the different marine habitués along with their Filipino alumni hosts until almost midnight. PHOTOGRAPHS: K ARL VICENTE

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Husband and wife mentors Jun Bisnar, MBM 1989 and Ofelia Odilao-Bisnar, MBM 1988, and mentee Shirleen Iskandar (center) A stingray flies over

The Atienza family with Dan Li

Alexander Rachna with AAAIM Chairman Gabby Paredes (MBM 1972)

From L: Gabby Paredes, MBM 192, Boy Diego, MBM 1973, Manila Ocean Park VP for Sales and Marketing Armi Cortes, MBM 1986, Bibing Villanueva, Teddy Villanueva, MBM 1973, Cris Abanes, MBM 1972, Greg Atienza, MBM 1983

Rahul Singh with mentor Felipe “Boy” Diego, MBM 1973

Former chairmen of the Alumni Association of AIM (AAAIM Philippine Chapter) from left, Felipe Diego, Alex Tanwangco and Teddy Villanueva with Greg Atienza

AIM staff and alumni

Teodulo “Teddy” Topacio, MM 1975 and Abhinav Arora

Conrado “Jun-Jun” Dayrit III, MBM 1977 and Khera Rohan

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MBA students in the underwater tunnel

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WALKING ALONG THE CORRIDORS OF THE BANGKO Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) fifth floor, which houses the offices of its top officials, is a most pleasant and unexpected experience. The solemnity of the place only provides an opportunity for the eyes to quietly feast and reflect on the beauty of the nation’s Central Bank’s spectacular painting collection. The late BSP governor, Rafael B. Buenaventura, has said that the Bank considered its painting collection as part of our country’s historical and cultural treasures. Gov. Buenaventura added that the collection, comprised of 1,281 art pieces spanning two centuries, serves as a mirror of ourselves as Filipinos. “[The paintings show] how we shaped our history, how we grew our sensibility and how we handled our sensitivity,” he said in the foreword of Tanaw, the latest coffee table book showcasing the BSP’s painting collection. He also disclosed the roots of the much-celebrated collected works, saying that Central Bank governors Gregorio C. Licaros and Jaime C. Laya had been “responsible for the breadth and depth of such a collection.” “That the BSP Painting Collection includes representative works of all the National Artists of the Philippines in the field of painting is a tribute to their ability to discern significant Filipino painters long before they became national figures,” Gov. Buenaventura said. The BSP painting collection is among the few public collections in the country that hold representative works of all the National Artists of the Philippines in the field of painting. These National Artists include Fernando Amorsolo, Ang Kiukok, Victorio C. Edades, Carlos “Botong” Francisco, Jose T. Joya, Cesar Legaspi, Arturo R. Luz, Vicente S. Manansala, J. (Jeremias) Elizalde Navarro and Hernando R. Ocampo. The National Artist Award or Gawad Pambansang Alagad ng Sining, established under Proclamation No. 1001 dated April 27, 1972, is the highest national recognition given to Filipino artists who have made important contributions to the development of Philippine arts and to the cultural heritage of the country. The award is aimed at recognizing Filipino artistic achievement at its highest level and to promote creative expression as significant to the development of a national cultural identity. >>


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“Fishermen” by Vicente Manansala

“Promenade” by Hernando Ocampo

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My Favorite Fables and More Conrado Barba Favorito, MBM 1982 CONRADO FAVORITO’S SMALL AND HANDY book carries an inspiring and interesting collection of old and new fables and short stories that are “narrated, retold, revised, adapted, improved, expanded and/or reinvented in a simple, easy-torecall and easy-to-retell way.” Each story comes with powerful lessons that can be applied in every aspect of one’s life. “Just as a picture paints a thousand words, a story drives home a lesson or two a thousand degrees better than plain advice or admonition.” Truly a must-read and must-pass-it-on. Favorito, MBM 1982, holds several concurrent positions at the Transnational Diversified Group (TDG). He also serves as the Editor-in-Chief of TDG’s magazine, The Lighthouse.

>> The collection also showcases the works of other Filipino greats such as Juan Luna, Abdul Imao, Imelda Cajipe-Endaya, Mauro Malang Santos, Anita Magsaysay-Ho and Manuel Baldemor. Among these treasures is a beautiful Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo painting which adorns the office of Monetary Board Member Ignacio R. Bunye. Hidalgo’s painting, estimated to be worth a whopping seven million pesos, features the breathtaking sunrise as reflected on a rustic river.

MM classmates Jerry Quibilan and Ignacio Bunye with Hidalgo’s painting

Islam and Historical Development Professor Leonardo Silos

THE LATEST BOOK OF PROF. LEONARDO R. Silos, Islam and Historical Development: Dialectic of Text and Community, continues with the theme of all his previous books. Fundamentally, his books defend the traditional organization against criticisms by champions of the modern corporation that it is unscientific and morally corrupt, and therefore, a barrier to progress. The books of Prof. Silos are like a conceptual travelogue to the major cultural centers of the Orient, Chinese Taoism, Indian Hinduism and Buddhism, and now, his seventh book, Islam. The thrust of all his books is reconstruction rather than deconstruction, complementation rather than elimination. Islam and Historical Development: Dialectic of Text and Community was launched by the Ramon V. del Rosario, Sr.-C.V. Starr Center for Corporate Governance on February 26, 2009 at the Lopez Gallery of the Asian Institute of Management. For more information about Islam and Historical Development please contact Cristina Gregorio at 892.4011 or email rvrcvstarrcenter@aim.edu.


“For the BSP, preserving the Philippines’ cultural patrimony is just as important as tending to its financial well being...” The BSP’s paintings now hang on the walls of the Money Museum, the Manila Metropolitan Museum, and the Executive Business Center. These are all located within the Bank’s complex in Malate, Manila. The other works of art adorn the halls of the BSP-managed Philippine International Convention Center. Ramon E.S. Lerma, curator of the Ateneo Art Gallery and editor of Tanaw, described the Bank’s painting collection as “formidable.” Mr. Lerma said its size and historical breadth “rivals that of any museum of national standing.” In Tanaw’s introduction, Mr. Lerma presented the different challenges to the BSP’s collection, including how the richness of Filipino creativity could only be seen by those “privileged to work within its offices or walk along its grand corridors.” “This leads to the inevitable question: Why did the BSP collect these paintings at

all?” Mr. Lerma pointed out. The Ateneo Art Gallery curator said the existence of the collection could be best explained by BSP’s role as repository and custodian that goes beyond the usual defi nitions of a nation’s material wealth. “For the BSP, preserving the Philippines’ cultural patrimony is just as important as tending to its financial well being—an impetus that articulates the high value the organization holds and the lofty ideals that it has about the nation it serves,” Mr. Lerma said. He also emphasized, “By putting together this outstanding collection of Philippine paintings, the BSP not only recognizes that the community it serves is composed of sentient beings, but that it also continues to elucidate its position within society as an enlightened institution that respects, protects and ennobles the crux of this shared humanity.” This sentiment is shared by former Central Bank governor Laya, who has said that with its collection of such magnificent treasures, the Bank has bridged the gap between the nation’s modern and ancient ways. It must be noted that the BSP’s main mission is to promote and maintain price stability and provide proactive leadership in bringing about a strong financial system conducive to a balanced and sustainable growth of the economy. However, it has also made it its tradition to promote better understanding and appreciation of the Filipinos’ evolution as a nation. According to BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr., the BSP Art Collection can serve as a powerful catalyst for instilling a strong sense of national identity and love of country, which he pointed out were attributes that foster social stability and economic growth. “Indeed, there are many reasons why we should feel proud to be a Filipino. The Filipino people can count on the BSP to continue documenting the greatness of our race,” Gov. Tetangco emphasized. AIM alumni who wish to visit the BSP Museum may contact Ms. Regina Mercedes Cruz, Curator at Museo ng Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, A. Mabini cor. P. Ocampo Sts., Malate 1004, Manila; telephone: 5249534; 5247011 to 51, local 2981 or 2377; telefax: 5232388; email: museo@bsp.gov.ph. Group visits need advance booking. Individual walk-ins are welcome.

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AIM Golf 101 for Beginners

THE GOLFING WORLD WELCOMES SEVEN NEW AIM ALUMNI-IN-RESIDENCE golfers as they hit the fairway during the 9-hole graduation golf tournament last February 20, 2009 at the Kagitingan Golf Course, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, Philippines. Notwithstanding the students’ very tough schedules, they completed the “AIM Golf 101 for Beginners,” an 8-session golf instruction program by the RSGolf Programs run by professional golf instructor Robin Santuile and his son Nald Santuile. The golf learning program for alumni-in-residence is an initiative of the AIM Alumni Relations Office. The program covers the golf basic fundamentals or the GASP (gripping, alignment, stance and posture), putting, pitching, and practicing targets and routine swings. PHOTOGRAPHS: MARCO EDEJER New golfers and RSGolf instructors with Greg Atienza, MBM 1983, executive managing director of the Alumni Relations Office (second from right)

Arleen Salvador

Elena Lam

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Milosz Mogilnicki

Vipul Nayyak

Gaurav Mehta

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>> “Th ird Generation O.D. Tools” continued from page 21

Third Generation OD Tools

Under this definition, OD interventions such as Appreciative Inquiry, Future Search Conference, Open Space Technology and the World Café represent the ThirdGen OD tools. The theoretical platform of these tools is Social Constructionism, derived from “the notion that people’s ability to construct new and better modes of organizing are based in human imagination and collective will. Language and words are the basic building blocks of this social reality” (Phil Mirvis, 2006). A more dramatic definition comes from Kenneth Gergen (2004): “Everything we consider real is socially constructed. Nothing is real unless people agree that it is.” Conversation, therefore, is the primary process of intervention, emphasizing changes in the nature of conversations, who is in the conversation, how the conversation is run and what the conversation is about. The purpose of these conversations is to inquire and learn from the variety of perspectives, cultures and stories in the system, resulting in new images and socially constructed realities. Following is a brief description of these new conversation-based interventions: Appreciative Inquiry: Developed by David Cooperrider of Case Western Reserve University, it is one of the most popular of the new OD tools. The basic idea behind appreciative inquiry is highlighting what works in organizations through a set of engaging conversation questions. The method aims to create meaning by drawing stories of concrete successes, projecting these core positives into the future and then, designing and delivering processes built around these core positives. Future Search is a planning methodology designed by Marvin Weisbord. Key stakeholders are brought together in one room to share their stories about their past, present and desired future. Weisbord popularized the term: “bringing the whole system in one room.” Focusing on the future and bypassing problems, they discuss their common ground and from there, make concrete action plans. Open Space Technology, originated by Harrison Owen, represents a self-organizing process where groups of any size address complex issues. Key requirements for this methodology are: a compelling theme, participants who are committed to explore the theme, physical space to move around and large blank walls to post ideas, hence, the phrase: “open space.” Participants are asked to identify agenda items 54

and self-select themselves into topics for further dialogue and action planning. World Café: pioneered by Juanita Brown et al. is a process which combines the intimacy of a small group conversation with the power of social learning. It is methodically simple in that the facilitator’s key role is to create a café-like environment where people can engage in open dialogue on engaging topics and where ideas are amplified through various iterations of conversations. This process entails rounds of conversations where participants add insights as they move from one small table group to the next. The Role of the OD Practitioner

In view of changes in the external environment, the role of the OD practitioner has also dramatically changed. A key competency in the practice of the new OD is to discern where organizations are in the continuum of change. Organizations in fairly stable environments may still benefit from the practice of classical OD. In fast changing and more chaotic environments, however, the role

“Everything we consider real is socially constructed. Nothing is real unless people agree that it is.” Conversation, therefore, is the primary process of intervention...” of the OD practitioner is to create conditions for change rather than the more traditional planning and management of change. The role description of a” farmer” or a “midwife” may be more appropriate than the traditional “driver” or “commander” roles. The change agent role is not one of driving the change but rather one of harnessing the collective energy of a system and facilitating the emergence of a new order. Specifically, this means tapping on the collective intelligence of the whole system by reaching deep into the ranks and utilizing the diversity in the organization. In operational terms, the OD practitioner together with the leaders of the organization will have to enlist everyone in the organization to a shared view of the gravity of the external threats facing the organization, the urgency to take action and a common vision of its destination. One of the well-known cases of organizational transformation is that of Arthur Martinez, CEO of Sears Roebuck, who turned around the company from a loss of US$3.9 billion in 1992 to net profits of US$1.27 billion in 1995. When an organization is rested comfortably in a prolonged state of equilibrium, leaders need to

issue dire warnings of impending death as well as provide a compelling goal that draws people out of their comfort zones. Leaders need to tap on the energy of the total system by creating a broad understanding of what drives business success and translate these into day-to-day activities. Employees must have direct control over these activities and must have clear line of sight with the overall strategies of the organization. Using a creative tool called “visual learning maps,” Martinez engaged thousands of Sears’ employees in dialogues using the visual learning maps as a tool to create alignment. After exciting and engaging members of an organization at the “edge of chaos,” the bigger challenge is how to sustain self-organization and the on-going transformation. This challenge requires changing the norms of the organization’s culture. A key norm to change is how people communicate with each other. Building a culture of straight talk and using conflict as a fuel for continuous organizational learning is a requisite foundation for continuously disturbing organizational equilibrium. A culture of straight talk and “conflictual” leadership style would foster continuing discomfort and a striving for continuous improvement and excellence. This type of leadership style and culture is especially challenging in the Philippine setting where smooth interpersonal relationships and diffidence to authority are the norms. The use of these new OD tools and assumptions could create new possibilities based on new meanings, new ideas and new energy. In brief, rather that engaging in traditional problem solving, collecting data to diagnose a system and “intervening” to direct a system into a planned end-state, Third Generation OD tools facilitate inquiry into the multiple realities of the system in order to generate new collective understandings and cognitive maps that will lead to an organization’s on-going transformation. Enrique “Ric” Abadesco, MM 1976 is considered a pioneer in the organization development (OD) field in the Philippines, having headed the first formal OD unit of San Miguel Corporation. Ric teaches at the Manila MBA program of the University of Western Australia, the Masters in Quality and Productivity Program of the Development Academy of the Philippines and is the Principal Consultant of Effectiveness Advisors, a strategic consulting firm operating in the Philippines and Asia Pacific. He was elected a Fellow by the Society of Fellows of the Personnel Management Association of the Philippines, is an active international member of the Organization Development Network of the U.S. and is the immediate past President of the People Management Association of the Philippines.

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Join the growing online community of leaders and managers in Asia

Stay attuned with regular updates of news and events at AIM Log on to www.theaimblog.com

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ClassNotes M B M / M BA


Penelope “Naning” Lagoc Yee, MBM 1990

Wenzhong (Jack) Niu MM 1998

writes: “I started a Google group of our AIM MBA Batch ‘90. Another classmate then started a Facebook group (Aim 90) to make it easier for us to network. This group is private and by invitation only. The Google and Facebook groups have grown and we would like to invite more of our batch mates to join. All they have to do is to go to this link: http://www.facebook.com/people/ Naning_Lagoc_Yee/1330037805. They can then sign up on Facebook, add me as a friend and I can start connecting them to our AIM ‘90 group and our batch mates. We are all having a great time reconnecting and sharing stories and pictures.”

is now the North Asia Service Director, Honeywell Building Solutions for Honeywell International. Jack writes: “The most significant moment in my career in terms of moving forward, is being relocated to Beijing. I joined Rockwell Automation in Sept. 2002 after 11 years in Otis at my home city of Tianjin. “At the end of 2003, I joined Honeywell as the country service business manager of Honeywell Building Solutions, to lead the business growth of China building services. Then, I took on a new managerial role as China Service Director and acting China GM. In 2007, I was promoted as North Asia Service Director to lead service operations in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea and Japan. “I still remember the time that Professor J. Gavino interviewed me (working at Otis) in Beijing in 1995 (two years before I enrolled into MM program in 1997). “I should give my special thanks to Professor J. Gavino and Professor F. Roman due to their interesting lectures on strategy management and insights in our class, and their great advice and comments as my MRR advisors. (I got clean pass in my MRR defense!) “I was impressed by the experience sharing of Professor Vic Lim in the class and I recently read the article in alumni magazine about his contributions to AIM, esp. MM. Professor Bing Azanza also provided me a lot of knowledge in Finance and Accounting. “As a student, I remember being excited for our group to win the

Arlene M. Maneja MBA 2008 is now an Associate for SyCip, Salazar, Hernandez and Gatmaitan. Arlene writes: “As a lawyer, AIM taught me to have a broader perspective – to look beyond the regulatory framework, to see beyond obstacles and to come up with creative, proactive and feasible plans of action—and the importance of soft skills in effectively communicating these plans and in rallying people for support. “My MBA has opened a lot of opportunities, both local and abroad, for really interesting work. At present, my MBA has helped me transition into corporate law practice where I have the chance to participate in deals and transaction engineering. “Collectively, my professors hold a tremendous amount of intelligence, practical knowledge and wisdom culled

from experience that 24 months of picking their brain were not enough to fully grasp all of it. On the other hand, my classmates were so fascinatingly different that no day could ever be boring. They taught me to listen with an open mind, to stand up for my beliefs and to graciously accept a better point of view. I believe I’m a better person because of it. “Going to AIM is a positive lifechanging experience. You’re going to come out of it a better person, a better manager and a better leader. Financial rewards aside, although they could be substantial, what better return on investment than knowing you’ve gotten closer to the best you that you can be?”

management game. My Indian classmate Aloke was really a finance expert who led the team to win the game. “Our class chairman Nieves Lim is a great leader and still the focal contact to get MM ’98 classmates connected 10 years after graduation. “Finally, I should thank Greg J. Atienza who is Editor-in-Chief, AIM Alumni Leadership Magazine (AIMLeader) and Executive Managing Director, Alumni Relations Office. He set up China chapter of alumni association and made significant efforts on alumni relationship development including AIM president meeting with Alumni and alumni portal. “With the MM education in AIM, I feel that we, the MM alumni have attained the competitive advantage in multinational companies at strategic thinking, communications with the company’s senior management, and financial planning, as compared with local managers. We have developed broader Asian networks and a deep understanding of Asian cultures and business cases, compared with other overseas MBA returnees. I believe that, with the further development of the MM and other programs, AIM education will add more value to our professional career development in Asia.”

Navneet and Cathy Singh MM 2005 Navneet and Cathy Singh, MM 2005 writes: “We want to announce the arrival of our bundle of joy, Anya (Sanskrit word for ‘Boundless’). She arrived on November 22, 2008 at 11 pm at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center, Philippines. Anya is doing fine and is very active. Also I am planning to move along with family to Canada next month.

Alumni in Ho Chi Minh City gathered last February 27, 2009 at Jeetan’s house. It was also the birthday of Shiela Baylon, MM 2003. Paula Phuong (MDM 2007) writes: “Happy birthday to Sheila! It was a surprise for us when Thuy brought a half AIM guy from Canada. Wonderful food, cake, wine which Jeetan’s family offered to us. Thanks Jeetan and to your wife and kids who helped tear open the gift box. They are too cute and so are we, agree?”


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The Joys and Pains of a Chinese Student at AIM Dan Li, MBA 2009, Xinjiang, P.R.China

Navneet and Anya


Novenny Wahyudi MDM 1993 Novenny Wahyudi, MDM 1993 writes, “It has been a long time since I left AIM in 1993. I always feel how precious my experience was during my study at AIM. I am now working as Regional Consultant at the Coral Reef Rehabilitation and Management Program (COREMAP) funded by ADB at the Marine and Fisheries Service in Batam.”

Prem Sagar Subedi MDM 2003 Prem Sagar Subedi, MDM 2003, has left Winrock and has joined the Rural Energy Development Programme of UNDP, as Livelihoods Promotion Advisor in Khumaltar, Lalitpur. His company address is GPO Box 107, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Kalayar “Mee Mee Tu” Tun, MDM 2005 Kalayar “Mee Mee Tu” Tun, MDM 2005 is now Program Advisor (Finance) of Leprosy Mission International (TLMI) with company address at Rm. 701, The Leprosy Mission Int’l, YMCA Int’l Building, Botataung Tsp., Yangon, Myanmar. Kalayar writes: “I praise God for AIM, for all my professors and classmates. I realized that AIM develops the person, not only by educating him but also by nourishing his mind-set and developing his personal life. For example, a low-spirited person will become more confident. As a result, it gives light and strength for one’s daily life

and also helps in the working environment. I am so proud of the professors because they understand the students well, and are available to discuss the courses and the MRR. “There are three things which I remember most about my AIM experience. First, the field trip with classmates in a specific project area for the RAA in the first module. Second, the MRR process which shows the real picture of the organization and allows us to explore better strategies for further development, and how to deal with the real situation. Third, the style of professors. They are all kind hearted with the students and want to see our success, always ready for our needs. ”I want to say my heartfelt thanks to all of my classmates, professors and staff. To my classmates, always remember that life is great and it’s great to have life. So let’s do our best in wherever we are and show our kindness and love to each other. SMILE so that the challenges in your life will turn to good things and for the glory of God.”

As a Chinese student, studying at AIM is full of joys and pains. At the beginning, our professors drove away all my pride, and then helped me rebuild my confidence again. The intense schedules ate most of my spare time and I’ve learned how to manage my schedule efficiently. I realize now that studying at AIM is a process full of pains and joys, which I will surely treasure for the rest of my life. What I like most about AIM is that the institute cares for its students greatly. Each student gets considerate attention and we can always get support from AIM in almost all aspects of our life on campus. The caseorientated teaching method improves our ability to solve problems which exist in the real business world. We really enjoy studying in AIM. The teaching methods and teaching materials are as good The teaching methods and as the top business schools in teaching materials are as good as the top business US or Europe but expenses are schools in US or Europe but expenses are only half only half of those. I would like to encourage my countrymen to of those. I would like to encourage my countrymen come and study at AIM. There is to come and study at AIM. no time zone difference between the Philippines and China, and it takes only a two-hour flight to reach the country from mainland China. AIM is located in the central business center of the Philippines and has vast connections with companies both domestic and overseas. There are also many Chinese descendants and many Chinese restaurants here in Manila. The most significant lesson I’ve learned at AIM so far is to speak out actively or no one else would know your idea, and you might lose many opportunities. Think twice before speaking, and speak when you think your words could add value.

E W R M , H C M

Maria Cristina “Tenny” Menorca 7th EWRM, HCM Maria Cristina “Tenny” Menorca, 7th Enterprise-Wide Risk Management; Human Capital Management in Asia writes: “I was named People Manager of the Year last September 2008 by the People Management Association of the Philippines. Last November, I was appointed Controller of Petron Corporation (from my previous post as Head of the HR Department).” Congratulations Tenny!

Dan Li with his new baby girl Li Yueqi (Amy) and his wife Li Xiaolan (Lucy).

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ClassNotes A Letter to the Wonderful Batch of the 72nd MDP

dropped down when I pulled out my family photo from my suitcase and saw my kids. Alex Thomas, Tamil Nadu, India Not more than 15 minutes later, I came out of the room and got hold of my colleagues Indria and Gatut. Sunday was kind of a confusion—the “Zen Garden” and Indria started trying to enforce the 5-day “Systems Thinking” straight into my head. And before we could take a bladder break, we went ahead with the exercise on “Aircraft Simulation”—Yeah! We finished the entire week in couple of hours!? The next one hour was a brief about the batch—presidents/VP’s of big companies, CAN group discussions, case studies from Harvard and MIT! Oh Man! I thought to myself, “Rule # 1: This is not my cup of tea!” I held on, as I remembered however in vain—the warden THROUGHOUT MY ENTIRE my Dad’s phone conversation would literally drag me back to life of education, right from the just before I boarded my flight the dorms. 1st Grade until the day I dropped from India:“Hey, son! It’s just It was a Saturday, April 26, out of med school, I lived in the a 6-week course. Don’t you ever 2008—believe it or not, I was boarding hostel. drop-out...Please?” reminded of those younger days of I still remember whenever Monday morning, I woke my school when I first checked in up early! With nightmares and my folks, after each vacation at the AIM Hotel. Oh no the Hostel! apprehensions on how to present brought me back to the boarding With just the four walls school, especially Grade 1 to 3. I case studies from the CAN group around me in Room 701, I still have cried and cried, wanting to discussions, I went off early in remember that a couple of tears go back to my home sweet home, search of the program adminis-

trator (Bessy), collected the study materials, and was shown the way to the coffin—the 72nd Batch MDP room of nerds, intellectuals (that was what went through my mind before I entered the class). Oh boy! It was 7:30 in the morning and the guys are seriously going through their study materials! Reminded me again of Rule # 1; however, Dad was all over my head again! The first hour was on Operations Management. That was really an amazing class filled with fun and laughter! I had met a few guys by this time. However, at the end of the class before going to the case room, I heard a whisper from behind from the Oldest Baby I have ever met in my life—our “Baby” Firstly, I had the privilege of being part of AIM. And secondly the Wonderful 72nd Batch of MDP—You guys gave me Life and provided some of the sweetest memories that I could cherish for the rest of my life!

“Hey Alex, you are in CAN Group # 1” (Oh by the way, it was not really a whisper, I was just trying to be diplomatic. It was rather a loud shout from her which pierced

AIM Alumni Blogs


Not Just for Profit

The AIM Blogger




Go to http://aimwacd.blogspot.com/.

Not Just for Profit, by Jose Ma. “Digoy” Fernandez’s (MBM 1973). This corporate social responsibility blog is for INQUIRER. net, the online home of the Philippine Daily Inquirer Group of Publications.

The AIM Blogger, by Regnard Kreisler C. Raquedan (MBA 2008). A 2007-2008 MBA student now alumnus blogs about his life and times at the Asian Institute of Management.

WAC’D, by John Wesley Bayot (MBA 2007). An AIM MBA on a Freudian couch aimlessly rambling about life, love and whatever else there is under the sun.

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I L L U S T R AT I O N : C H I L I D O G S

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right through my ear—as if I was THE Indian that introduced the “5/6” concept in the Philippines). But I should say, the guys in my first CAN group gave me the much required “Life Saving Oxygen” that put me back to being Myself! The rest, as you know is history! Now on my way home, as I was killing time from the lay over in the beautiful airport in Bangkok, while sipping cappuccino, I should say deep in my heart— “I am emotional.” Firstly, I had the privilege of being part of AIM. And secondly the Wonderful 72nd Batch of MDP—You guys gave me Life and provided some of the sweetest memories that I could cherish for the rest of my life! I should say I was fortunate to have made friends with each and every classmate. It was so wonderful that it took me back to my memories of med school days. I cherish the memories of walking across the street to Max, Gerry’s, Pancake, Starbucks, Tokyo Tokyo; and not the least to Red Box, Merks, Bowling Alley and of course the RJ’s! Sailing with Ren and the tour to Tagaytay is still fresh in my mind. Wow! That was the longest vacation of my life! It gives me enough reasons to come back to the lovely islands of the Philippines! Philippines—the land of such a wonderful Institution! The land of text messages! The land of music, rock ‘n roll and love! The land of beautiful beaches and nature! The land of such WONDERFUL PEOPLE! I owe a lot to you guys! Thanks and thanks to everyone and everything! We have not parted! This is a techie world! Keep the mails rolling and stay in touch guys! Oops! I’m the only Indian in the class so that you don’t forget me that easily.

Nami-miss Ko Kayo Sa AIM! (Missing You All at AIM) Sarita Bahety, MBA 2006

AS I STEP BACK AND TRY TO ASSESS THE impact of my education at AIM on my life, here are a few quick notes. What am I doing now? Presently, I am taking a public policy course at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (National University of Singapore, NUS). This is my first year at the school. After having done my MBA from AIM and after having spent two years working for one of the member companies of the Monitor group in the private sector, I chose to shift gears—traversing from private sector towards the public sector to understand how the latter works.

have at school, which forced us to think from different perspectives and analyze a situation, keeping all its stakeholders in mind. These discussions, in turn helped us to organize our thoughts and communicate in a more effective manner. After all, leader managers definitely need this strong interpersonal communications skill. AIM’s education and its relevance to globalization In today’s arena of globalization, it is necessary to have global harmony and this is where AIM helps us to build upon our knowledge and prepare us to take on the world. Whether at work or during my further studies, I realize that my MBA education has helped me to take a big picture view (as we would learn in our general management classes). Indeed, as the power shifts to Asia, and in the view of recent financial crisis originating from the US, which has had repercussions all over the world, we need to be ready to tackle the unexpected and the ambiguous situations. AIM’s education, which is largely based on the case study method, prepares us to face this kind of uncertainty.

My learning at AIM How is it helping me now? I fondly recall the days spent at AIM when I was studying for my MBA. In addition to the academic training, my education at AIM has given me In today’s arena of gloinsights into different cultures balization, it is necessary and how to survive in the to have global harmony diversity. As I take up the public and this is where AIM policy course here at NUS, I helps us to build upon our knowledge and prepare MBA helps build diverse career paths! feel that the AIM experience us to take on the world. As I continue with my studies in has been very helpful in attunSingapore, I hope that I will be successfully able to ing us to adjust to different cultures. As most of the build upon my MBA education and have a deeper unalumni need to frequently interact with colleagues derstanding of the various factors that contribute to from across the globe, this part of training is very make public private partnerships a success. I believe important. It is in fact, in addition to the theoretical that business education helps in whichever career knowledge of the class study, the beyond the class path we choose as it equips us to take up diverse learning which we end up remembering the most. fields with equal ease. Therefore, it is important to Earlier, as an MBA student, I used to wonder, choose our B schools after careful consideration, and as to why did we have a class participation (CP) I am happy that a few years back I made a right decicomponent as a part of the grading system. Now I sion to go to AIM! Salamat po! appreciate the intense discussions that we used to

>> “Asia and the Global Financial Turmoil” continued from page xx Also government agencies, such as Spring Singapore are stepping up efforts to support trade financing. But, for this to become more effective there needs to be similar initiatives in other countries within the region. It will be a good idea if it is taken up in ministerial discussions in various regional forums. It will perhaps take some time for China to develop a sizeable population of

middle class with a spending power potent enough to self-propel the economy. The country will therefore continue to need the power of international trade. With retrenchments looming large and scarce credit, the US consumers are not expected to be the destination for Asian manufactured goods in the short run. However, EU does provide some hope. Europeans tend to have better saving habits. They do have spending power currently locked in as bank savings,

secured by government guarantees. EU government initiatives in unlocking this spending power coupled with a deliberate attempt to improve sentiments will indeed act as a global savior to the current crisis. Dhrubajyoti Das is involved in the shipping and transportation industry. He is currently Executive Director of a publicly listed shipping company in Singapore. He can be reached at dhruba@samudera.com

A I M A LU MN I L E A D E R SH I P MAGA Z I N E Fi rst Q uar te r 20 0 9

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