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Webinar fatigue — another pandemic?

WHEN lockdowns and community quarantines were implemented in many parts of the globe, suddenly everything became digital, including the traditional face-to-face conferences, trainings, public fora, and corporate presentations. Enter the now-ubiquitous webinar!

Rebooting Metro Manila’s chaotic transport system

“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” I first heard this line during the global financial crisis of 2008. In a media interview, it was stated by then US presidential candidate Barack Obama’s campaign manager Rahm Emanuel, who subsequently became the White House chief of staff and the mayor of Chicago.

Managing cash flow in this crisis

John Clements CEO Carol Dominguez invited me to join Professor Marc Bertoneche of Harvard Business School in the John Clements Leadership series on the topic Managing Cash Flow During the COVID-19 Crisis. Marc reminded that cash is king (or queen), and more so today that it’s even like god (with small g)! He said there is a need to reward the cash culture in any business today — to shift the focus from profit and loss/balance sheet to cash flow. It’s very important to stabilize and keep essential operations going. Liquidity is of immediate concern. On the cash to cash conversion of a business cycle, these are his suggestions:

Hindsight is 2020

I have looked forward to 2020 for about three years as it was my forecasted early retirement year. For someone who has been in the work force for around four decades, idea of letting go and taking care of a travel bucket list was enthralling. My plans were meticulous to include advance airfare and hotel bookings to ensure cost savings. Likewise, in a number of cases, the reservations were on a confirmed and nonrefundable basis.

The emergence of new consumer market segments

Consumers stopped buying many things since the start of the global coronavirus crisis. Malls and retailers closed down. Only certain food deliveries, banks, grocery stores, and pharmacies are open. Businessmen, entrepreneurs, and marketers are struggling to stay afloat, and they will continue to struggle even after the quarantine.

Configuring the next normal

Zoom meetings are the rage these days among members of the business community, who are left with no option but to interact virtually during this lockdown season.

Small business relief amidst COVID-19

More than any other time in the history of the world, small businesses will need the support of the government. In general, most small businesses are enterprises that survive on recent sales in order to move forward as an ongoing concern. The business model depends on recurring transactions. With the lockdown in place, and people prohibited from moving about, it is the small neighborhood business that immediately suffers.

Business and life after COVID-19

Since Monday after the President’s announcement of the lockdown, I’ve worked from home -- had a video call meeting with business executives from nine Asian countries, conducted my graduate school class using an online collaboration tool, and electronically met with some clients and partners.

Breaking the cycle of poverty

BOAC — It’s the season of Lent and this capital town of Marinduque province is once again in a frenzied preparation for the traditional Moriones Festival on Holy Week.

2020 Go Negosyo Women Summit

The Go Negosyo Woman 2020 Entrepreneurship Summit at the World Trade Center was a full house of about 8,000 participants. The summit highlighted women’s contribution in the Philippines and ASEAN with wonderful lessons in entrepreneurship, agriculture, style and substance, tourism, diplomacy, finding confidence and in life!

Family lending

Seventeen years ago, I wrote about the concept of “Family Loans”, inspired by Robert Merton and Zvi Bodie in their innovative text Finance. Whenever I raise the issue in my Finance classes, I realize the concept can benefit today’s millennials. Allow me to revisit the same topic.

Digital maturity

It’s been well accepted by CEOs and senior executives that the world is indeed getting more volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous brought about by fast changing consumer preferences, break-neck speed of technological advancements, and the entry of nimbler technology competitors.

Must-read business books for 2020

As we move to a new decade, businessmen and professionals are developing their reading lists to propel them to the next level of success. Here are three books on corporate leadership and business wisdom that will serve as executives’ guides for expansion and evolution:

Mayor Isko and FINEX

As 2020 is a leap year, we have 366 days of new ideas and opportunities. The Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines’ (FINEX) theme for the year is “2020 Vision: Leading the Way Toward World Class Philippine Business.”

Bridging the generation gap

Baby Boomers versus Millennials. This has been a trending topic lately from print to internet to social media. Ironically speaking, while there’s a miscommunication between these two generations, majority of the millennials are children born and raised by my fellow boomers.

The evolution of digital transformation

It’s been five years since digital transformation (abbreviated as DX) reached global mainstream consciousness. We owe it to technology vendors who hyped the term in their patently self-serving motives. What have we learned from the past and what prospects are in store for companies that will embark on DX? Let’s examine the evolution of DX over the years, globally and in the Philippine context.

Sustaining growth in the 2020s

As we welcome the start of a new decade, it is heartening to know that the Philippines will remain among the fastest-growing economies in the world, based on a recent report from the UK-based Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) titled “The Next Decade.”

Bank versus market-based financial systems

A balanced and developed finance system will have both well functioning financial intermediaries and market based institutions contributing to the economy’s growth. This is achieved through several channels: (1) acquisition on information about firms; (2) provision of risk-reducing arrangements; (3) pooling of capital; and (4) ease of making transactions. Information gathering is key to monitor the efficiency and productivity of projects. The system increases the pool of available funds and hedging of risks lead to better allocation to productive uses of funds mobilized from savers. With good governance, the financial systems can help to retain domestic savings at home.

Winners galore

Kudos to the Filipino athletes who achieved podium finishes in the ongoing Southeast Asian (SEA) Games. At the rate they’re winning medals, it is almost certain that Team Philippines will become the overall champion of the 30th SEA Games just like when we last hosted the biennial event in 2005.

Asia’s financial landscape

The Asian Bankers Association (ABA) celebrated its 36th annual event last Nov. 14-15 in the Philippines, hosted by Philippine National Bank (PNB), gathering a large group of top bankers and finance executives from 25 countries from Asia and key markets across the globe. ABA provides a forum for advancing the cause of the banking and financial industry in the region by promoting regional economic cooperation. ABA’s membership is composed of 100 of the leading banks and financial institutions in the Asia-Pacific region. With this year’s theme, “Reshaping the Asian Financial Landscape,” the conference tackled the relevant topics of sustainable financing, cyber-security and digitalization. The speakers were experts who shared their experiences and knowledge in the current trends of banking. Attendees discussed and shared experiences as they tackled the most relevant developments facing the Asian financial landscape today. At the forefront was the integration of digital technology into the financial landscape and how digital banking and the wave of technologies are now disrupting the banking industry.

Development, the family and technology

For this column, I will share a vision of family welfare and productivity that was penned some thirty (30) years ago in the crafting of a strategic vision for the then newly reformed Development Bank of the Philippines. I believe it is a yardstick that can be applied to any organization wanting to serve the cause of development. However, the yardstick is now confronted with new hurdles.

Mimaropa’s regional economy rising

At the turn of the millennium, the Southern Tagalog region was the country’s biggest in terms of land area and population. Designated as Region IV by the national government for administrative purposes, it consisted of six provinces in the southern part of Luzon and five island provinces adjacent to the Visayas.

Principles for Responsible Banking

Modern banks play two important roles in the financial system. One, they are at the heart of the clearing and payment system so that transactions are consummated as seamlessly as possible. Two, they are major intermediaries in the reallocation of money or credit from those with excess of funds, the savers, to those with needs or opportunities, the borrowers. Banks make money from spreads or margins as well as from fee business. Traditionally, banks who are able to handle the functions well and efficiently are able to make a lot of money for their main profit objective.

It’s about DIME

The business community should know and appreciate the efforts of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to monitor big-ticket infrastructure projects in their implementation, through its Project DIME, for Digital Information for Monitoring and Evaluation.

PHL needs to invest in knowledge capital

Parang lahat ng inyong budget puro research? Baliw na baliw kayo sa research. Aanhin niyo ba yung research” (It seems like all of your budget goes to research. You are so crazy about research. What will you do with those research?)”

Riding the next digital wave

The Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX) will hold its 51st national conference on Oct. 11 at the Grand Hyatt Manila in Bonifacio Global City with the theme “Riding on the Opportunities of the Next Digital Wave.”

Purpose Driven Chemistry

THE Academe-Industry-Government (IAG) triangle has been touted and proven to be a very good model for progress especially in research. Academe has the intellectual power, industry produces, while government provides policies and funds.

The one person corporation

With the advent of Republic Act No. 11232, otherwise known as the “Revised Corporation Code of the Philippines,” (RCC) which became effective on Feb. 23, one need not assemble a group of at least five individuals in order to establish a Philippine domestic corporation.

Revisiting your vision and mission

“The pace of change has never been this fast, yet it will never be this slow again,” said the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau during the World Economic Forum gathering. We have never seen a world as volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous as it is now. Technology is progressing at break-neck speeds, giving rise to new competitors that grow exponentially. Consumer preferences are changing fast due to the entry of the younger generations who voraciously purchase online, forcing many traditional retailers to close shop.

Reducing risk through tech innovation

PAJU CITY, South Korea — The threat of a nuclear conflict in the Korean Peninsula has greatly diminished with the adoption of the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity, and Reunification that includes a commitment to denuclearization.

Martha Stewart: Sustainable development, legacy

It was full house at the Martha Stewart Leadership event sponsored by ANC at Sofitel. Who is Martha Stewart? Why is she such a big celebrity? She is the first self-made American woman billionaire who has consistently reinvented herself. She is the icon in lifestyle, baking and gardening, among others, and has built an empire in publishing and selling many Martha Stewart home items.

Walking the talk

Dr. Jesus Estanislao of the Institute of Corporate Directors once graced a governance forum at the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) where he extolled the values of integrity, fairness and accountability in all that we do. Being a development bank, he asked DBP to remember they work not just for the themselves and the institution but for a larger community, not just for today but for the future.

Agility

“The only sustainable advantage you can have over others is agility, that’s it. Because nothing else is sustainable, everything else you create, somebody else will replicate.” — Jeff Bezos

Stimulating Fil-Am trade and tourism

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA — Bacolod City’s award-winning MassKara Dance Troupe has invaded the happiest place on earth — Disneyland Resort — which had just opened its newest themed area known as Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Yesterday, the MassKara dancers performed at the Disney California Adventure theme park here in Anaheim, the most populous city in Orange County just south of Los Angeles.

The CEO and the board

This writer has been privileged to have attended the full program of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) and one of the key learnings from the program is the policy on board relationship with the CEO and the management team. It is a very critical policy statement that deserves universal understanding.

Making the switch, improving the quality of life

Despite successive increases in excise taxes on tobacco products, the Philippines continues to have one of the highest smoking rates in Asia, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Management theories in flux

My Asian Institute of Management-Master in Business Management alumni class has a very active Viber group and recently our exchange revolved around the debate on whether new management theory has been discovered. One view says that management theory hasn’t really changed in the past 50 years, except that framing of the theory has progressed in the elusive search for the winning management formula. This has given birth to an industry of best selling books written by experts claiming to have discovered the immutable laws of management and leadership.

Customer journey mapping

Many technology companies and start-ups are disrupting incumbent industry players by providing better customer experience, thereby capturing significant market shares. Take for example Dollar Shave Club, which disrupted the razor market in the US in 2012, grabbing 30% market share from Gillette in just a few years by offering good enough blades through a direct-to-consumer selling via internet and mail order until it was acquired by Unilever for a reported $1 billion in cash.

Feuding over fortune

MACAO — This special administrative region (SAR) on the Pearl River Delta is now accessible via the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB), which opened to vehicular traffic in October 2018.

DoF anniversary, reunion and outlook

At the 122nd Department of Finance (DoF) anniversary hosted by Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III on May 6, it was a wonderful reunion of former DoF Secretaries: Prime Minister Cesar Virata, Ed Espiritu, Jose Pardo, Gary Teves and former Undersecretaries Romy Bernardo, Kune Gison, Chil Soriano, Ruben Fruto, among others. Present were current DoF Undersecretaries and agency heads: Karl Chua, Gil Beltran, Antonette Tionko, Bayani Agabin. Also present were Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. President Bobby Tan, Securities and Exchange Commission Commissioner Tonette Ibe, Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Caesar Dulay, National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon, Development Bank of the Philippines President Manny Herbosa, Land Bank of the Philippines’ Cecille Borromeo, and Philippine Export-Import Credit Agency head Albert Pascual, among others.

The many facets of development

DEVELOPMENT means different things to different people in different places, at different times. In broad terms however, development is progress, a change from one state to a better state. But not any change qualifies as development. Change must be reasonably rapid, visible and substantive. It must be capable of being measured, quantitatively or qualitatively.

Governance in the design and use of new technologies

Technology is becoming a key component of many organizations nowadays as a response to disruptions coming from start-ups and other emerging competitors. This is compounded by the emergence of the “true digital native consumers,” the Generation Z, who were born wielding and using only digital tools.

Stimulating growth in the regions

MANDAUE CITY — With 10 days to go before the midterm national and local elections, there is growing concern about the power situation on May 13 following the series of rotational brownouts and “red alerts” triggered by recent earthquakes that rocked Zambales, Eastern Samar, and Surigao del Norte as well as the ongoing El Niño weather phenomenon.

The need to own cars

WHENEVER I do my spiel about the product offerings of the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), I highlight our aversion to providing car loans. In jest, I say we do not want to add to the traffic problem, especially in urban cities. Clearly, car financing is a staple of the private banking sector and it does not make development and economic sense for DBP to put its hat in the circle, even if the numbers will indicate it is probably one of the more lucrative banking/finance segments.

Sense-making — an emerging leadership skill

“The S&P 500 death rate is rising,” CLSA investment strategist Damian Kestel said in 2017. “A period of relative stability is ending. An increasing...