MAP Insights


The world is indeed wild and feels like new, vastly different to what it was prior to COVID-19. Factors, such as skyrocketing inflation, the banking crises, supply chain disruptions, the new world disorder, digital acceleration, and climate change have made radical uncertainty certain. Business leaders scramble with their planning — the only certainty is that “black swan” (highly unlikely) and even “grey rhino” (something you can see coming but choose to ignore) events are here to stay.

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently released its data on GDP Per Capita of Southeast Asia. Of the 11 ASEAN countries listed, the Philippines ranked No. 7, eclipsed by Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam by the end of 2022. Singapore’s per capita GDP dwarfs that of the Philippines by a factor of 22.4x and Malaysia’s, Thailand’s, and Indonesia’s by multipliers of 3.7, 2.2, and 1.3, respectively. Vietnam overtook the Philippines last year and is now ahead of the Philippines by a factor of 1.2. All these beg the questions: What happened? Where do we go from here?

Any national renewal effort in the midst of global disruption requires a concerted and united private-public-civil society approach to improve the Philippines’ ASEAN standing and position the country for the future.

What management practitioners can consider and do is to aim for management excellence, in accordance with the Management Association of the Philippines’ (MAP) vision and mission. With the private sector as the Philippines’ engine of growth, business leaders could further develop and enhance competitiveness of their firms. The 3Rs of Renovate, Rehumanize, and Rediscover may well be the business sector’s contribution to a national renewal.

The key to the long-term success of any business organization is its ability to innovate. If the rate of change outside is faster than the rate of change inside, then it is the beginning of the end. Organizations deeply mired in the past and finding it difficult to break out find themselves in a precarious position. Tradition is not all that bad as it could form the bedrock of organizational values and may well be the reason for the company’s success in the past. However, as Executive Coach Marshall Goldsmith said, “What brought you here won’t bring you to where you want to be.” (Of course, he said this in the context of the careers of leaders although this is equally applicable to businesses as a whole). In lieu of saying “Innovate,” “Renovate” is perhaps more appropriate as organizations start from an existing state.

To make Renovation practical, a tool that has piqued recent interest is the OODA loop or Observe, Orient, Design, and Act, then repeat (as per Bloomberg correspondent Alex Webb). Similar models, like the more popular PDCA — Plan, Do, Check and Act — have long been used. Not only are they improvement tools but they are powerful personal “innovation and adaptability tools.”

The OODA is designed to let leaders (originally fighter pilots) be a step ahead of competition, constantly taking information, and making real-time adjustments. It makes leaders and organizations agile and responsive to the ever-changing conditions in the external and internal environment.

On an annual basis, Fortune Magazine partners with Great Place to Work (GPW) in ranking companies on a global basis. GPW CEO Michael Bush noted that companies in the 2022 list saw an eye-popping 7% year-over-year increase in revenue per employee. He added that it is therefore clear that “companies that care for their people and prioritize their well-being… outperform.”

Over at MAP, it was posited that the Human Resources (HR) function be strategic to place people first at the top of the business agenda. This argument is supported by five pillars that will determine whether the HR work that a company does is transactional (administrative) or transformational (creates true value, such as rises in revenue or income).

The Five Pillars (5Ps) were the result of brainstorming and not meant to be an exhaustive list. Nevertheless, they are crucial in the pathway towards a strategic HR function. The 5Ps are as follows:

1. Leveraging Technology and Artificial Intelligence

2. Strengthening the CEO-CHRO Partnership and Collaboration

3. Building and Developing Talent Competitiveness

4. Fostering Strategic HR Communications

5. Embedding the Filipino Management Ethos

To expound on the above, the MAP will hold a MAP Strategic HR Summit for CEOs and CXOs on June 15 and June 22 (both Thursdays), from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Shangri-La The Fort.

A lot of what has been mentioned above are western concepts. The question is how can we incorporate a Filipino management ethos into our management practices that drives competitiveness? Oxford defines ethos as “the characteristic spirit of a culture, era, or community as manifested in its attitudes and aspirations.” A Filipino management ethos will appeal to our local talents and workforces, thereby resulting in greater commitment and motivation to drive performance and productivity.

The advocacy of Diwa Kapwa Institute (DKI) is rooted in embedding Filipino organizations or even global companies with:

* Diwa. Spirit-inspired leadership, rooted in faith and people-centered values, that charts pathways to excellence.

* Kapwa. The Filipino value of unity and a shared identity between the self and others for organizational and societal effectiveness.

Companies have applied this already, e.g., Unilab’s Bayanihan (community spirit), Meralco’s Malasakit and Makabayan (deep empathy and sense of nation), to name a few.

Diwa and Kapwa will be discussed in the forthcoming MAP summit mentioned above.

We are living in dangerous times and to stand still is to fall behind. Have you taken steps to renew your organizations in synch with the rapidly changing times? Then, the 3Rs — renovate, rehumanize, and rediscover — may well provide a framework to kickstart renewal.


Ramon B. Segismundo is the chair of the MAP Strategic HR Management Committee. He graduated with Doctorate in Business Administration from the Singapore Management University. He is CEO of the Singapore-based 1-HR.X.