Thursday, August 25, 2005

Innovation that promises to help the environment

Business Times p.B3
Thursday, August 25, 2005

By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM
Innovation that promises to help the environment

LET’S stay for a while on the topic of innovation. It amazes, intrigues, moves and gives hope. It brings to mind uplifting images of the Wright Brothers and their airplane, Edison and his incandescent lamp, Gates and his computer operating system, Jobs and his Apple computers, and scores of others who are making our lives now seemingly (to borrow the favorite word of RC Diliman president Bert Tato) comfortable and connected.

And the unnamed team who grew the Internet from a combination of computers, networking technologies and communication protocols has spawned other inventions such as optical fiber, network servers, local networks, mail servers, modems, personal computers, desktop applications such as e-mail and Web browsers, Internet portals such as AOL, cable internet providers such as Destiny Cable, retailers such as, website designed, Java programmers, and many other modern-day inventions and cyberspace businesses.

In 1905 Paul Harris formed the world’s first service club, the Rotary Club of Chicago, Illinois, USA, and the idea of pooling together resources, fellowship through service and contributing talent to help serve communities in need have been institutionalized in all countries in the world.

Nowadays focus of innovation is on safe, cheap energy and the protection of the environment. In many laboratories and garages in the world, I am sure that people are hard put at improving, discovering, inventing, creating and putting ideas, sounds, chemicals, feelings, natural resources, nuts, bolts, bits, bytes and others together in a race against rising fuel cost and the protection of the environment.

One such product comes in a very small bottle that contains five drops of robust organic materials that claim to help take as much as 30 percent off your fuel cost while saving your maintenance cost, protecting your engine system and extending engine durability and is environment-friendly.

Juro Endo and Marie Manalang of OJT International Trading Corp. are very excited about this product that has seem to come of age. Marie said that Juro brought this product from Japan 15 years ago, but there were no takers. That was the time when everybody could afford full gas tank and the air was clean and cool.

Marie said that PXBio is an organic biobased fuel treatment that improves fuel efficiency for diesel and gasoline engines. “It enhances engine durability, adds mileage to vehicles, saves fuel and prevents emission of harmful gas in exhaust fumes due to its perfect combustion. It disperses existing sludge in fuel tank and prevents new sludge from developing. It is easy to use, simply add one drop of PXBio into fuel at 1:10,000 ratio for bunker oil or 1 ml (1 drop) for every 10 liters of diesel or gasoline. PXBio is made with glycerine, oleic acid and methanol. It is now widely used in Korea and China.”

The benefits for industrial users, Marie emphasizes, are: on-line cleaning of the boiler/heater, cleans inaccessible areas, increases boiler efficiency, controls clinker formation, reduces stack temperature and flue gas temperature, increases metal life, protects metal from corrosion, reduces the frequency of cleaning and downtime, increases refractory life, improves draft corrosion.

Worth trying. You may get in touch with Marie at 892-0691 and e-mail

THANK YOU. It is heartening to receive help from somebody you don’t know from far away because she wants to help fellow Filipinos and she believes that teachers are important players in building our nation. Thank you, Liza P. Sulay of Mabolo, Cebu City, for your contribution toward the training of our public elementary-school teachers. Big thanks to service presidents Nilo Rapista (RC Loyola Heights), Vincent Mangubat (RC Mega EDSA) and Albert Tiu (RC Santo Domingo) for sponsoring teachers and to all service presidents of Rotary District 3780, especially Bert Tato, Nilo Diongzon, Ave Ang and Jun Marcelo for our successful induction.

Want to be a classroom guardian and adopt a classroom? All you need to do is shower the teachers with your caring and loving by visiting the classroom, become guest readers, share personal value system and success story and other creative ways of showing our teachers and our students that we care. Please text 0917-899-6653. Gawa, hindi ngawa!

(Moje is president of Paradigms & Paradoxes Corp. and RC Quezon City North. Her e-mail addy is

Thursday, August 18, 2005

People = learning and growth = innovation = business excellence

Business Times p.B3
Thursday, August 18, 2995

By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM
People = learning and growth = innovation = business excellence

THE balanced scorecards recognize that the major enablers of an organization are learning and growth even as management guru, Peter Drucker, repeatedly emphasizes that how an organization develops its people will tell how good that company could be. It is your people who bring in ideas, put them together and convert them into products, services, processes, customers and profits.

The Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence is built upon a set of core values and concepts including managing for innovation. It defines innovation as “making meaningful change to improve an organization’s products, services, processes and operations and to create new value for the organization’s stockholders.

Baldrige asserts that innovation should lead your organization to new dimensions of performance. “Organizations should be led and managed so that innovation becomes part of the learning culture. It should be integrated into daily work and should be supported by your performance improvement system. It builds on the accumulated knowledge of your organizations and its employees. Therefore, the ability to rapidly disseminate and capitalize on this knowledge is critical to driving organizational innovation.”

Innovation used to be the exclusive domain of a few think tank in your organization—the research and development group, or that seemingly elite group of nerds in your company, who poke into every minuscule component of your products and services and find out how they could still be improved.

Today, everybody in the organization is an innovator, a member of the R&D Team, because innovation has become important, albeit life-saving, for all aspects of your business.

There are four kinds of innovation styles according to the author William Miller (The Flash of Brilliance): modifying style (move one step at a time, build on what is already known and proven); visioning style (focus an ideal end result, identify goals and provide direction, inspiration and momentum to get at the vision created); experimenting (test out new ideas and get input from all concerned to ensure that everyone buys into the solution; and exploring (thrive on the unknown and unpredictable, use analogies and metaphors to come up with new ideas, add a sense of adventure to any project and open up the potential for dramatic breakthroughs).

Breakthrough innovations are the ones that render everything around it, or along its path, obsolete. Edison’s system of electric light sent gas-lighting companies into eternal blackout. Personal computers sent typewriter and mainframe industries and related products manufacturers to the museum. Post-It became the central figure in the life of 3M.

The company that does not pay attention to the changing and varied needs of its stakeholders (customers, financiers, employees, suppliers, communities and others) is not paying attention to its business and its future. Without innovation, you’ll have the same products and services and same processes which do not bring in the same or more customers and same or higher profitability. Many good things never last because of innovation. If you do not innovate, your competition will.

CEO Tom McMakin wrote in Fast Company Magazine: How has Great Harvest Bread Co. opened 130 bakeries in 34 states? Freedom, community and ideas. We’re a brand company, but we’re also a university. We’re creating a community of learning. A network of equal participants doing similar things will generate lots of new ideas—and produce a big competitive advantage for the whole company.

CONGRATULATIONS to the teachers of Tatalon Elementary School! They finished their four-day accelerated learning workshop on August 13. Led by the principal Belen Salvador, they invested their precious Saturdays to their own training and development. At the session “Show You Know,” the teachers came up with innovative ways of teaching math, science, English, Filipino, music, edukasyong pantahanan at pangkabuhayan and maka­bayan using the principles and steps in accelerated learning. Bravo! The training program is just the beginning, the Rotary Club of Quezon City North and its volunteer trainers will continue to hold the hands of the teachers for the whole school year and jointly positively affect the kind of delivery of education we have at Tatalon. Your financial contribution is very much welcome. Gawa, hindi ngawa!

(Moje is president of Paradigms and Paradoxes Corp. and RC­QCNorth. Her e-mail address is

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Bible-based culture works miracles

Business Times p.B3
Thursday, August 11, 2005

By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM
Bible-based culture works miracles

ON the subject of enhancing the learning and growth aspect of our organizational life, let’s take an interested look at what First Sumiden Circuits Inc. is doing with its Bible-based culture.

According to its HR top man, Gerry Domingo, “our culture is the enabler of our business and organizational excellence and a celebration of God’s faithfulness. The emphasis is that our success is a blessing from God.”

To achieve this end, First Sumiden started its culture-change programs in 2001 after a thorough diagnosis of the organization and its first strategic thinking and planning initiative. The company identified its core values as: integrity, discipline, continuous improvement, teamwork, customer satisfaction, ownership and commitment and respect for each other.

To define these core values, it chose Scriptural references that propound the principles of these values. One example is Proverbs 12:1, “Whoever loves discipline, loves knowledge” for discipline, and Romans 12:5, “We, being many, are one body in Christ” for teamwork.

To deploy the core values and promote culture change First Sumiden set the following objects:
• Increase productivity level as a component of high level of job satisfaction
• Express active participation in applying the seven corporate values
• Take pride in First Sumiden being a company that upholds discipline and integrity
• Serve as a benchmark for business excellence

It installed programs, systems and procedures to help the employees, from president down the line, to live these values. These programs are: Amazing Race (an interactive training program, patterned after the reality TV show, where employees compete to complete a set of business games to promote organizational awareness and system thinking), Encore (reorientation on company rules, policies, standards, rituals), In Touch (teambuilding), Technex (technology exchange center for continuous learning), TGIF (Thank God it’s Forum Day—a mediation and conciliation process for resolving conflicts with a teambuilding component), Bible studies, First Friday Mass, Vows (Value of Work Program to stress ownership and commitment.

To gauge the effectiveness of these culture-change programs, First Sumiden uses the critical success factors of increase customer satisfaction, decrease customer complaints, decrease cost of nonconformance, decrease SOP violation, decrease in internal quality assurance audit findings, increase membership in work teams, closure of customer and employee complaints, increase in implemented suggestions, increase in savings, increase in level of satisfaction in interpersonal relationships.

In the end, First Sumiden’s Bible-based culture change has resulted in increased efficiency of 101 percent, attendance rate of employees averages 97 percent (the 3 percent was spent for vacation and legitimate sick leaves), and their net income after tax has continuously risen from a negative P24 million in 2001 to +P52 million in 2002; +P141 million in 2003; and +P220 million in 2004. Also in 2004 First Sumiden was rewarded a Level 2 Recognition for Proficiency in Quality Management by the Department of Trade and Industry’s Philippine Quality Awards. The year 2005 promises to be a more profitable year.

Alleluia! Psalms 37:4 “Delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

Literacy program: After four rigorous Saturdays of study and practice, Principal Avelina Salvador will lead the 112 teachers of Tatalon (Diosdado Macapagal) Elementary School in their graduation from the accelerated learning workshop for teachers organized by the Rotary Club of Quezon City North. We invite all readers to cheer our heroes, our teachers, on Saturday, August 13, 1 p.m. to5 p.m., at Tatalon. RCQCNorth Rotarians, trainers and classroom guardians will continue to care for the teachers for the whole school year. Those who want to become classroom guardians may e-mail or call (0917) 899-6653 on how to participate in the Adopt-A-Classroom Program component of this literacy project of RCQCN. Gawa, hindi ngawa!

(Moje is president of Paradigms and Paradoxes Corp. and RCQCNorth. Her e-mail addy is

Thursday, August 4, 2005

Measures for learning & growth

Business Times p.B4
Thursday, August 04, 2005

By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM
Measures for Learning and Growth

BACK to our discussion of the Balanced Scorecard and this time we shall concentrate on Learning and Growth perspective. Although we have lengthily discussed the other four perspectives—Financial, Customer and Internal Business Process—we will be going back to them as the need arises or if there are interesting and useful new materials or benchmarks.

According to the author Paul Niven (Balanced Scorecard Step-by-Step) the measures in the Learning and Growth perspective are enabler of all other measures in the Scorecard, forming the foundation on which this entire house of a Balanced Scorecard is built. Also that once you identify measures and related initiatives in your Customer and Internal Process perspectives, you can be certain of discovering some gaps between your current organizational infrastructure of employee skills and information systems, and the level necessary to achieve your results (in the other three perspectives). Likewise, Niven said that the measures you design in this perspective will help you close the gap and ensure sustainable performance for the future.

Learning and Growth perspective is a mix of lag and lead measures in the areas of employee skills, employee satisfaction, availability of information and alignment; ergo, it should not be overlooked. Niven offers the metaphor of a tree: Think of them as the roots of a tree that will ultimately lead through the truck of internal process to the branches of customer results and finally to the leaves and fruits of financial returns.

Niven suggests this Learning and Growth measures.

• Employee participation in professional or trade associations
• Training investment per customer
• Average years of service
• Number of cross-trained employees
• Employee suggestions
• Employee satisfaction
• Participation in stock ownership plans
• Lost time accidents
• Value added per employee
• Motivation index
• Outstanding number of applications for employment
• Diversity rates
• Empowerment index
• Quality of work environment
• Internal communication rating
• Employee productivity
• Health promotion
• Training hours
• Competency coverage ration
• Personal goal achievement
• Leadership development
• Communication planning
• Reportable accidents
• Percentage of employees with computers
• Strategic information ration
• Cross-functional assignments
• Knowledge management
• Ethics violations

In their book The Workforce Scorecard, authors Mark Huselid, Brian Becker and Richard Beatty identified hundreds of measures for managing human capital to execute strategy. Some measures for Right HR Practices are:

• Percent of non-entry level jobs that have been filled from within in recent or over the last x number of years
• Percent of average employee’s total compensation (wages + benefits) that is accounted for by all forms of variable pay
• Percent of the workforce for which “A” and “C” performance evaluations have been accurately assessed
• Percent of employees that owns shares of the company’s stock
• Percent of the workforce that is included in a formal information-sharing program designed to communicate critical business and operational goals
• Proportion of absenteeism
• Proportion of internal transfers
• Retention rate of “A” players in key positions
• Retention of “A” players in noncore positions
• Senior manager and board member diversity
• Time to competence for new hires
• Time to promotion for “A” players
• Time to promotion for “C” players
• Performance of newly hired applicants
• Percent of the workforce that routinely performs its job as part of a self-managed, cross-functional, or project team
• Percent regrettable turnover
• Percent total salary at risk

Next week, we will go back to Sumiden and how their Bible-based culture is helping them toward their journey to business excellence.

Thank you to RC Diliman president Bert Tato and First Philippine Holdings Corp.’s Zeny Tanada for their sponsorship of teachers to our Accelerated Learning Workshop, a literacy project of the Rotary Club of Quezon City North. Studies reveal that in the entire teaching life of an elementary teacher, he/she will directly touch the heart, mind and soul of, at least, 5,000 students and many more indirectly by her example. RCQCNorth believes that it is important to take care of the teacher to enable them to take care of their students. Please support this project. Gawa, hindi ngawa!

(Moje, president of Paradigms & Paradoxes Corp. and RCQCNorth, awaits your feedback at