Thursday, October 27, 2005

Products for the future / Rotary International Huge Successes

Business Times p.B4
Thursday, October 27, 2005

Learning & Innovation – October 27, 2005
By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM
Rotary International Huge Successes

Remember this song from Sound of Music?

What will this day be like?
I wonder.
What will my future be?
I wonder.

The recently concluded Rotary International Zone (4b, 6b & 7b) Institute held at Westin Philippine Plaza was a huge success thanks to the many Rotarians who worked upfront and behind the scenes led by convenors Joc-joc Bolante and Noraseth Parthamand and Organizing Committee chair Bimbo Salazar. I polled some delegates on their wish list for innovative products & services to make for a wonderful future. Here are their answers:

DGN Gus Goh, D3400: Any product that we use at work, at home and for our personal well-being should not be produced by forced labor, child labor or exploited and underpaid labor. The products should also be produced with methods and processes and ingredients/components that will not harm or disadvantage the environment of mother earth and should not damage or deplete the natural resources required and provide balance of the ecology of our world. Products should be made affordable to mankind and must be able to give tangible and intangible benefits to humankind in strict adherence to moral and ethical values.

§ PP Tato Dimayuga, Tanauan, D3820: instant cure for baldness/alopecia
§ Gina Arreola, Sta. Rosa South: forever fertile and young
§ CP Rey Anonuevo, Sta. Rosa South: forever erecting
§ Manuel Sascano, Tanauan: solar powered house and appliances
§ RID David Morgan, Wales: More Paul Harris Fellows
§ PDG Dato’ IR. A. Perumal: More major donors and provision of affordable energy to all people
§ PDG Antonio Puyat, Mandaluyong: earthquake and tsunami detector; cure for jet lag; better economy so more people can give to the less fortunate.

The others are so in the present, they were speechless as to the future. Maybe they are in the same wavelength as Abraham Lincoln when he said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.” And Albert Einstein, “I don’t worry about the future, it comes soon enough.”

So I turned back to my Rotarian friends at D3780. Aside from alternative to fossil fuel, cure for dreaded diseases and fountain of youth, their answers are:

§ Dan Dizon, Centennial: credit card for MRT
§ Jun Sacayan, Batasan Hills : Wearable massager
§ AG Jesse Tanchangco, Loyola Heights: digital book and tri-dimensional projector
§ Raymond Catabuhan, Loyola Heights: book that is both digital and analog, pneumatic tube and something that converts radiowave into electrical power
§ Bobby Lopez, Metro Cubao: more efficient processes
§ DS Mon Dacanay, Metro Sta. mesa: milk in sachet to make it affordable to everyone
§ DG Benjie Bacorro, Neopolitan Fairview: We’re too busy we forget about ourselves. We even forget to rest at times. A simple pillow to protect our head and enable us to take short naps, sort of a headrest for all times, anywhere.
§ DGE Danny Espinosa, Biak-Na-Bato: flying shoes
§ PDG Bobby Viray, Cubao West: Use of air and nitrogen as power
§ COS Angel Gahol, Neopolitan Fairview: More Rotarians and Rotary clubs
§ Avelina Ang, SF Heights: soft drink for diabetics
§ Rosario Misa, Loyola Heights: Full women empowerment
§ PDS Badong Viari, Metro Diliman: Cure-all medicine

As Rotarians, I am sure they are not only thinking about the future, they are working towards that future. As John Richardson once said, "When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened."

Some more creative ideas from:

§ Bheng Relatado: 1. A face mirror that has a memory, tell what’s new or different today sa mukha na wala kahapon! Hehehe. 2. A pen that measures blood pressure. 3. Shoes that stimulates vital nerves, kapag nakasuot (reflexology baga!, yung pati mood kayang iregulate)
§ Rico Belmonte: Insurance for anything, e.g., marriage surety bond for infidelity, performance bond for unsatisfactory performance of partner

My own wish list: Donors (Php2,500/teacher) to enable more teachers to participate in the Accelerated Learning Workshop which we will conduct for four Saturdays this November and December for elementary schools Aurora Quezon, Valencia, Betty Go-Belmonte and Pasong Tamo.

Moje is president of Paradigms & Paradoxes Corp and the Rotary Club of Quezon City North. Her email address is

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Favorite innovative products and services

Business Times p.B3
Thursday, October 20, 2005

By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM
Favorite innovative products and services

SPEAKING of innovation, do you realize that the most creative and innovative ideas are right there in front of you. I ran a poll among my Rotarian friends at District 3780 on what products and services they consider innovative and personally useful. The common responses were cell phone, Internet, e-mail, laptop and credit card. The other unique choices are:

• DG Benjie Bacorro, Rotary Club of Neopolitan Fairview: black coffee with doughnut
• PDG Bobby Viray, Cubao West: on-line banking
• Avelina Ang, SF Heights: eyeglass necklace/holder
• Chary Misa, Loyola Heights: Estee Lauder beauty and skin-care products
• PDS Badong Viari, Metro Diliman: gel
• Med Quiambao, New Manila: Oster bread machine
• Lyndon Wong, Diliman: MP3 and wireless Internet
• Bert Tato, Diliman: laser-mapping technology

Francis Picabia: A new gadget that lasts five minutes is worth more than an immortal work that bores everyone.

• Bobby Lopez, Metro Cubao: lipgloss
• DS Mon Dacanay, Metro Santa Mesa: adult diapers
• Umbert Virtucio, Cubao East: mini groceries in gasoline station
• BH Herrera-Dy, South Triangle: PDA, computer school on wheels
• CP Fe Pecision, Camp Aguinaldo: Oil of Olay and Dove soap
• Suzette Lee, Eastwood Quezon City: pantyshield
• Berna Ronduen, Prima Vida, Cubao: personal and intimate-hygiene products
• Eston Escarro, Cubao Kamias: antibreaking system for cars
• Tony Padua, Santa Mesa Heights: Cialis, Viagra, breast augmentation

Aldous Huxley: The vast majority of human beings dislikes and dreads all notions with which they are not familiar. Hence, it comes about that at their first appearance innovators have always been derided as fools and madmen.

• Raffy Lazo, Subcity Mabuhay: heavy water deuterium power
• Jun Raymundo, University District: one-stop shops
• Nilo Diongson, Capitol Hills: Internet satellite phone that doesn’t need cell sites to function (soon to be launched)
• Boy Escueta, New Manila Heights: fountain-of-youth products
• Arnold Guerrero, San Francisco del Monte: food supplement to maintain youth
• Dulce Coyukiat, Kagitingan, Cubao: feminine wash, t-back and ramp for the handicapped
• Jess Tanchangco, Loyola Heights: condom, digital camera
• Ramond Catabuhan, Loyola Heights: Pagemaker 7

Theodore Levitt: Just as energy is the basis of life itself, and ideas the source of innovation, so is innovation the vital spark of all human change, improvement and progress.

• Raymundo Sacayan, Jr, Batasan Hills: electronic fuel injection, test-tube baby, tubeless tire
• Popoy Flores, Quezon City: microwave oven, expressway e-pass
• Elvie Obana, Cubao, EDSA: fortified rice, iodized salt
• Sue Valencia, Tomas Morato: dancing shoes
• Linda Elequin, Uptown Novaliches: karaoke and hormone-replacement therapy
• Bambi Verdote, Uptown Novaliches: tampoon
• Fe Enriquez, Quezon City Circle: plastic transparent bra strap
• Dan Dizon, Centennial, Quezon City: hair extension, teeth brace and retainer

I personally vote for Whisper with wings and the hassle-free process of applying for birth certificate through telephone or Internet. While the votes of my friends at the First Philippine Holdings Corp. went to:

• Amy Agaton: Dove soap
• Betty Azarcon: shampoo in sachet
• Rene Mayol: detergent for deep-well water
• Ailene Mayol: roll-on deodorant
• Bon Asis: knapsack, backpack, Bic ballpen cover and paper clip and their thousand uses
• Bunny Pena-Gerochi: card-shaped Swiss knife, flash drive
• Erika Fiona Sibal: flash disk (1gig) and VoIP

And according to my favorite taxi driver: sabong pampaputi!

What about you? Send us your own choices for the most innovative and personally useful products or services you want to be invented, created or improved in the future to satisfy your needs.

(Moje is president of Paradigms & Paradoxes Corp. and the Rotary Club of Quezon City North. Her e-mail address is

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Creativity is a very personal thing

Business Times p.B3
Thursday, October 13, 2005

By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM
Creativity is a very personal thing

WRITES William Miller in The Flash of Brilliance: “Personal creativity is the ability to use your thoughts, values, emotions and actions to enrich your environment in new and unique ways. The way you dress, how you organize your work or your special recipe for five-alarm chili are all products of your unique creativity. But, do you recognize when you are using your creativity?

“Your responsibility may be to carry out the orders, not make them up. After all, what is so creative about figuring out a way to smooth out the peaks and valleys of the work flow, or planning an off-site meeting that is both fund and productive, or cracking the right joke that helps your boss laugh her way through a tough day? Well, believe it or not, these situations are also ways for you to exercise your unique creative sprit.”

When we think about creativity, we think of inventors, painters, sculptors, actors, songwriters and other people in show business and fine arts. And you think you’re not artistic. “But have you ever thought about all the creativity it took to come up with the things we use every day?” asks Miller.

Miller identified the following abilities of a creative person:

See the big picture: When you look at a sand bar and “see” the next Miami (or Boracay) beach.

Take initiative: When you decide you are going to do something about the mess in the plant by organizing a safety task force.

Be open to new ways of doing things: When you decide to hold your staff meeting off-site, even though it’s not in the budget.

Look for input from others: When you ask your sales managers to participate in your ad agency’s brainstorming session.

Generate many options: When you help your twins make their Halloween costumes.

Make decisions based on your values: When you decide to assign the account to the new kid in order to help her grow.

Take action and be persistent: When you organize fifty dinner parties to raise money for the new wing of the hospital.

Share the credit and reward yourself and others: When you throw a surprise party for your wife to celebrate her graduation from medical school.

To add my own:

Do things with others: When you work with others, you complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses and produce synergy

Be a role model for your profession: When you set the standard for professional behavior at work or in your civic involvement. In 1932 Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor set the Four-Way Test as a standard of behavior for all rotarians and rotary was never the same again.

Make something tangible: When you sew your own dress, build your own chair, make your own Christmas card and wrap your own gifts.

Think up a new idea: When you think of new ways to prepare your report, refinance your loan, or cure the bird flu. There is no crazy ideas, only lazy minds.

Express yourself artistically: When you fix your own room or cubicle, rearrange your own tabletop, choose a wallpaper for your computer or tie a scarf in a new fashion.

Do something spontaneous: When you simply go with the flow of conversation in the dinner table and not try to impress, go with your intuition or guts or use your wit to spice up a boring meeting.

Produce an event: When you volunteer to take care of the games or the program in your office party or organize your next general staff meeting around a theme.

Organize people or projects. If you are a Rotarian, organize your community into Rotary Community Corps, Rotaract, Interact and Early Act and partner with them to make their life more comfortable and your being a Rotarian worthwhile.

Change your “inner” self. When you decide to define yourself in whatever way and choose to live life the way you want it. Anton Chekov said, “Man is what he believes.” When you decide to be beautiful, act on it and act like it.

Moje is president of Paradigms & Paradoxes Corp. and the Rotary Club of Quezon City North. She invites you to their Rotary meetings at BigShot Bar & Billiards every Thursday at 7 p.m. Her e-mail address is

Thursday, October 6, 2005

Take risks, celebrate your mistakes and learn

Business Times p.B4
Thursday, October 06, 2005

By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM
Take risks, celebrate your mistakes and learn

IN their book, Celebrate Your Mistakes, authors John W. Holt Jr., John Stamell and Melissa Field write about why companies fail or miss opportunities. Some reasons given were that companies often fail to:

• listen to their customers
• act on changes and trends in markets and in technology
• keep at least one eye on the competition, including potential encroachment from other sectors
• encourage risk and divergent opinions among employees
• take an inclusive approach to problem solving and fail to believe that their company could ever fail.

At the sign of trouble, the authors said that typically companies, at the crest of their success, just shrug their shoulders and remark:

• We own this market.
• We started this trend.
• We tried that before.
• We’ll know when we see it.
• Our business is unlike any you’ve ever seen.
• Of course we re prepared for the future. We have a 10-year plan.
• We brand equity and our customers are very loyal.
• We deal with retail store owners, so we don’t need a customer data base.
• We just hired you to do the ads, don’t tell us about our business.
• My children are going to run this business; this is a family business. We don’t hire outsiders.
• Only 10 percent of our customers don’t like us, we don’t worry about it.
• It’s not that we need more customers, we just need our customers to use us more often.
• Total quality is everything.
• I don’t worry about customer issues that’s why I have a sales manager.
• My door is always open; people just don’t seem to come in.
• We’ll make it up in volume.
• This company has made the same thing for 50 years. That’s what we do now, and that’s what we’re always going to do. That’s what people know us for.

The companies who said these were on the Fortune 500 list in 1954 with only a few staying on in the 1994 list due either to consolidation, buyout, or having gone out of business.

When you catch yourself uttering any of these remarks or see your profits sliding down, the authors suggest six exercises you could do:

• Reexamine the premise of your business. It has changed.
• Expose yourself and avoid the culture of insulation.
• Defy the corporate culture. Institutionalize risk.
• Imagine the world without your product. Why will it happen?
• Assume everything you have done has failed. Now reinvent yourself.
• Compete against yourself.

And this is where you need to summon the innovative spirit of everybody in your company. And I mean everybody, and not just your “elite think tank.” You could have team and individual brainstorm. The authors suggest that you ask each individual to submit written answers to four questions; then discuss their answers as a team:

• Describe your job a year from now. Two years from now.
• What risks are you going to take this year?
• How are you going to be entrepreneurial this year?
• Write something about this company that no one else knows.

A final word from the authors: “Honesty in business is about more than just telling the truth. There is no replacement for knowing your business, your market and your customers, and no teacher like your own mistakes. There is no single answer to why companies fail or miss opportunities. Every business has its own story to tell.”

RI District 3780: When I was asked to be president of the Rotary Club of Quezon City North, I simply accepted the mandate with no expectations, no promises. Now that I am in the thick of it, I am finding it very fulfilling and uplifting. There is so much to do for the least fortunate and so many Rotarians willing to help. There is so much ideas generated and acted on in working with the young, the teachers, families and fellow Rotarians helping each other help themselves. There is much camaraderie going around in and out of Rotary meetings and projects. There is so much opportunities to discuss and do business with fellow Rotarians. In Rotary we believe that the best is yet to come.

Join us and enjoy the wonderful world of giving “service above self.” RCQC North meets 7-9 p.m. every Thursday at Bigshot Bar and Billiards, Delta Theater, Quezon Avenue, Quezon City.

Moje is president of Paradigms and Paradoxes Corporation and her email address is