opinion

MY SECRET TO SUCCESS

July 26, 2019

BE KIND : A lot of people feel that once they’re a boss or once they’re a leader or manager, they feel like they have to be mean or they have to exert their authority. And I don't believe that. If they see that you're a kind person that genuinely cares about them, they're going to work harder for you, which makes you look good.      DEVELOP YOUR REPLACEMENT : Do not make yourself irreplaceable. Make the people around you better. [I’m] only be as successful as the team around me and the people that I developed around me.      STAY IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL : It's a 24/7/365 job, and if you don't take the time to either build equity with a company or learn from mentors or find mentors because you get frustrated because you worked a 16, 17-hour shift, you're going to very easily burn yourself out. It's not a sprint. It's definitely a marathon.

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T-Junction or 'Tumbok' Feng Shui

July 26, 2019

Realtors are aware that property buyers avoid T-junction properties or "tumbok". Why?      It is bad feng shui!      What is bad about it?      Feng shui teaches that this type of property is constantly hit by "sha" or toxic life energies or chi that affects the wellbeing of the occupants.      In layman's terms, a "tumbok" property causes any of the following consequences on the life of occupants:      - constantly thwarted relationships be it personal, business or professional thereby leading to failed lovelives, unconsumated marriage or even deals.      - postponed or mothballed opportunities or permanently cancelled as applied not only to sale closing or prospects, but also to romantic affairs of the heart leading to remorseful hurts.      - it can also affect fertility if not becoming a spinster in life such that one may be unable to bear children or if able to, the gender will be the same as the eldest (ie, a former chief executive of a country lived in such a property in a makati village resulting only to daughters, no sons!)      But in case one inherits, or has already or even contemplating to own a t-junction lot or property, there are simple feng shui remedies!      The best remedy if possible if still a vacant lot, is to design the driveway as a continuation of the fronting road even if gated. In this manner you let the bad forces or chi passover your house or building. The best example of this in Cebu City is the way Tune Hotels infront of the Ayala complex is built, letting the driveway absorb the "tumbok" while elevating the main lobby to the the second floor ( in this instance for good business feng shui!).      Note however that in feng shui, there are variants of "tumbok". Equally bad as "tumbok" are lots or properties around a cul-de-sac or rotonda road. Or if a dead end or t-junction road in a village, the property left and right of the center lot are considered "tumbok" also.      What one should guard against is self-inflicted tumbok as in homes with a bow (as in bow and arrow) or half moon driveway with the convex side hitting the main door or house! Even schools are affected as in the main campus frontage driveway of De La Salle University at Taft Avenue, Manila.      In business or even house garage-driveway, beware of self created and infliction of "tumbok" by allowing the driveway or delivery bays hit the main entrances or structure directly. These lead to botched projects or deals in succession even endlessly!      Y-junction intersections or corners are equal to this too! However their consequence is far more brutal: sex scandal(s) for the owner.      The above notes apply to feng shui for the living or yang feng shui.      In case grave sites of ancestors are situated in similar locations of "tumbok", it rubs off or affects descendants by way of having many unmarried ones, and high natural abortion rates even accidents and mishaps!      Overall such properties thwart human progress incessantly.      How to cure? Best to consult a professional geomancer and to know that you are not victimized by a fake one, remember that feng shui is an ocular science not an armchair hocus pocus! "Tumbok" pa more? Good luck and beware of unhealthy property sites like these ones!

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Adapt or be left behind

July 26, 2019

Speaking recently before the Bankers Institute of the Philippines (BAIPHIL), Diokno, zeroed in on banks and other financial institutions which must “ride the wave of digital transformation. Otherwise, we will become irrelevant and obsolete.” Blesilda P. Andres, newly-inducted president of the Bankers Institute of the Philippines (BAIPHIL) agrees 100 percent. “Indeed, banks have been assaulted by waves of disruptive developments impacting bank products, processes and operations,” Andres said. “One such wave is driven by non-banks called FinTech companies which can offer – either as technology service providers or even as direct competitors of banks - an array of technologically-advanced financial services, from payments and settlements to lending and personal financial management, often at much less cost and more efficiency, its reach riding on the ubiquity of mobile devices.” Another problem faced by banks is the onslaught of cyber threats launched by well-organized, well-funded groups. For sure, the banking “big boys” are already in various stages of riding the digital wave. Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), for one, is intensifying its digitalization efforts to support rapid growth, enable more convenient and efficient banking for clients, and increase financial inclusion. BPI President and CEO Cezar P. Consing said “the ultimate objective is to elevate BPI’s digital infrastructure, to bring innovative services to existing and future clients, as well as to support the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP’s) initiative to develop a National Retail Payment System (NRPS), which involves policies and standards for a “cash-lite” economy.” “This long-term digitalization journey will enhance our extensive network of ATMs, CAMs (Cash Acceptance Machines), online facility, and mobile app, to enable us to offer convenient, self-service banking,” Consing added. BPI Enterprise Services Head Ramon Jocson said “the process of digitalization, despite inevitable hiccups along the journey, will eventually lead to exceptional customer experience as more and more people gain more confidence in doing online and mobile transactions”. For those institutions which will be able to adapt, the rewards - potential for growth, profitability and even financial inclusion - are great. But harnessing the power of these technologies also requires a new, more forward looking approach. It entails a review of the legal framework, as well as outstanding traditional regulations on which governance responsibilities are anchored. Diokno assured that even the Bangko Sentral has been increasingly digitizing in order to improve its service to the public. This is in line with the E-Government Master Plan which is envisioned to provide, among others, “responsive, online and citizen-centered services for Filipinos.” To keep pace with the digital transformation, Diokno said the BSP set up in 2018 a dedicated Technology Sub-Sector to insure an operational and cyber-resilient financial system. Diokno said the BSP has embarked on a Strategy for Technology Adoption in Regulatory Supervision or STARS. Under STARS, Diokno said the BSP is “now employing regulatory technology (‘regtech’) and supervisory technology (‘suptech’) solutions. Regtech and Suptech provide BSP with “real-time market surveillance, supervision and examination, digitalization, data analytics, data collection and distribution”. “They also enhance the timeliness and quality of our risk-based decision-making,” Diokno stressed. (Disclosure: The writer is an Independent Director of the Ayala-led Bank of the Philippine Islands.)

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Creating companies that last forever

July 22, 2019

Is this really possible, creating companies that last forever? I am always grilled (often challenged) by stubborn clients and fellow researchers in the ASEAN region and my usual response is this: If Japanese enterprises are able to last for centuries, can its counterparts in Asia notably South Korea, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong replicate the same longevity model? Doubtful. Longevity, Japanese style is more than just a business model nor having a eureka product, it is something deep that transcends blood relations. For Japanese family owned businesses, the quest to perpetuate the enterprise is embedded in their culture.      Let me digress for a moment. This coming August 31, a Saturday, I will be sharing the stage at Manila Marriott with prominent Business Leaders / family business owners in the biggest Family Business gathering in the Philippines. The public event entitled, “Can Family Run Businesses Last Forever?” will tackle the secrets to building 100-year old enterprises.  The Japanese Longevity Model is all about business continuity. Here are the facts:       - 21,000 business entities more than 100 years       - 1,200 plus firms in existence for at least 200 years       - 400 plus companies for at least 300 years      - 30 Japanese firms for 500 years or more      - 7 have been in existence for more than 1,000 years      Successful family owned and controlled businesses that have lasted for more than a century have mastered the art of embracing attributes that have carried them through many challenges and tested their resolve in managing conflicts. In my research using the Japanese longevity yardstick, I realized two powerful traits that are common in all companies. First it is their clear sense of purpose (a strong sense of mission, if you will) and a long term vision for the business.       Business leaders that have successfully navigated turbulent phases in their enterprise journey as well as their successors put into practice explicit principles that define their business goals and underlying strengths. In most cases, these guiding precepts are written down and preserved in the form of a family code of conduct or a formal set of rules such as the family covenant where   regulating behavior is institutionalized. These pre agreed rules are eventually passed on from one generation to the next.      Most of the time, the family code of conduct is expressed through actions reflecting the firm’s founding philosophy or inspired by the words and deeds of the founder. Among Japanese firms I have researched, the one constant among these enduring businesses is their devotion and acquiescence to a particular set of values and principles passed on to them for centuries. These are values that are inherently related to a certain precept and norm where the primary objective of the parties in the relationship is to survive and prosper. It is a form of commitment that must last forever. In short, where the business prospers so does the family. And this bond is so deep that any mention about strategy must always look beyond short term profits.        This leads me to the second Japanese attribute. Their management approach is based on a long-term perspective such that enduring businesses strive to double their existence. Writer Funabashi Haruo explains that a 200-year-old firm looks ahead to the next 200 years and a 500-year-old firm tries to see 500 years into the future. The most fundamental management policy is more focused on the firm’s long-term welfare than with short-term profit or the pursuit of wealth.      To be continued...

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In pursuit of banking excellence

July 22, 2019

The Bankers Institute of the Philippines (BAIPHIL), one of the country’s leading organizations dedicated to the pursuit of banking excellence,  celebrated another milestone last week with the induction of BAIPHIL’s officers and committee chairpersons for 2019-2020.       BAIPHIL supports the banking industry through continuing education, research, and information exchange while upholding the values of good governance, competence and integrity, service, teamwork, and innovation.      Newly-inducted President Blesilda P. Andres, (Head of BPI’s Regulatory Compliance) pledged to carry on BAIPHIL’s legacy and sustain the vision “to be the leader in pursuit of banking excellence, aiming to be one of the best in the Asia Pacific Region”.       BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno, who was both the inducting officer and guest speaker, reminded BAIPHIL of the challenges faced by the industry given the ongoing digital transformation of the banking system.       Diokno cited the urgent need for collaborative governance to manage technological opportunities and disruptions.       Here is where  BAIPHIL could be a strong catalyst “to support and reinforce the banking industry’s seamless transition into the digital age”, Diokno said.       For BSP’s part, Diokno reaffirmed the  central monetary authority’s  commitment to providing a proactive, enabling environment that will usher the efficient delivery of digital financial services and promote greater financial inclusion.       Also Inducted as BAIPHIL officers  were Restituto C. Cruz, (BSP Assistant Governor) First Vice President; Myrna E. Amahan, (FVP/Chief Audit Executive, Union Bank) Second Vice President; Romel D. Meniado, (FVP, Robinsons Bank)  Secretary; Arnel A. Valles  (SVP, United Coconut Planters Bank) Treasurer.       Inducted as Directors were: Marilou C. Bartolome (SVP, Metrobank), Mary Jane C. Japor, (AVP, Australia New Zealand Banking Group); Racquel B. Mañago (VP, Philippine Veterans Bank); Estrellita V. Ong, (Chief Internal Auditor, BDO); Edeza A. Que (FVP, Philippine Savings Bank); and Edel Mary Vegamora (EVP, RCBC).       Immediate past president Dom B. Gavino, Jr. (ING Bank NV) joined BAIPHIL’s Advisers who include  Ma. Dolores B. Yuvienco (BPI), Josefa Elvira E. Ditching-Lorico (BSP), Antonio V. Viray, (Chief Adviser for Legal Affairs) and Rhoneil S. Fajardo (Deutsche Bank).       Named to various committees and sub-committees were: Dom B. Gavino, Jr. (ING Bank NV),, Godofredo L. Martinez (UCPB), Carol P. Warner (SBTC), Ma. Bernadette T. Ratcliffe (Maybank), Maria Victoria P. Ronquillo (UCPB), Iñigo L. Regalado III (BSP), Mardonio C. Cervantes ( Associate Life Member ), Belinda C. Rodriguez (PBB), Irene DL. Arroyo (PDIC), Amelita G. Cua (Philtrust), Carlota A. Bacani (Australia and New Zealand Banking Group), Maria Rachelle A. Fajatin (Equicom), Francis B. Albalate (Union Bank), Leila P. Paz-Aguba (Union Bank), Emma B. Co (PSBank), Josefa Elvira E. Ditching-Lorico (BSP), Teresita L. Andres (Associate Life Member), Susan R. Alcala-Uranza (former president BAIPHIL ), Reginald C. Nery (Bank of Commerce) and Shirley G. Felix (PDIC).       Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Assistant Governor Restituto Cruz traced the roots of BAIPHIL, which even antedated the Central Bank of the Philippines.       BAIPHIL was founded in 1941 as a non-stock, non-profit corporation under the name National Association of Bank Auditors and Comptrollers (NABAC), primarily with the goal of increasing the efficiency and uniformity in bank accounting, auditing and operations among banks.         It metamorphosed into the Association of Bank Audit, Controls and Operations, subsequently the Bank Administration Institute (Philippine Chapter) and finally into the Bankers Institute of the Philippines.      From a small circle of accountants and auditors, the Institute has evolved into a prestigious and respectable bankers’ organization.   It now boasts of 62 institutional members composed mostly of universal, commercial, foreign, thrift and government banks, the BSP, PDIC, PCHC, BANCNET, and more than 300 key bank executives as associates and sustaining life members. Note: You may wish to share the foregoing article via Facebook and/or Twitter.

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Compassion for refugees?

July 22, 2019

Is the European Union  (EU) choosing self-interest over compassion for refugees? A very interesting question asked by German TV-commentator Bernd Riegert. And it seems, he is already able presenting his answer: In the EU's game of "refugee bingo," far-right Italian Interior Minister Minister Matteo Salvini can only win. He has little reason to give in to states looking for lasting migration policy.      "Miserable" was the word German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer used to describe the current situation for migrants fleeing to Europe from Libya. It's a reference to "refugee bingo," cynical jargon for the game the European Union plays whenever a private rescue ship saves dozens of migrants on the Mediterranean Sea and brings them to Italian shores. The EU commissioner for migration gets on the phone with interior ministers from around the bloc, cajoling them to take a handful of people. Then the merciless haggling begins - as Bernd Riegert and many others describe the present situation at the south border of Europe.      Yes, being very honest: the process has become a rallying cry for Italy's far-right interior minister, Matteo Salvini, who has achieved domestic political success by stoking anti-refugee sentiment and presenting himself as the unyielding protector of Italian interests. Close the ports, deter the migrants, problem solved — that's Salvini's populist recipe. And several other opinions go into the same direction.      Fact is: refugees sent to Libya under EU deal face 'catastrophic' conditions. A few EU member states, notably France and my home country Germany, have had enough of this game. They want a lasting arrangement that determines which country takes in how many migrants.      We can probably thank the courageous ship captain Carola Rackete for Seehofer's support in finding a solution. Her daring landing on the Italian island of Lampedusa made global headlines. It's even got German Challencor Angela Merkel's feuding government coalition seeing eye to eye.      If we take a closer look to Europe: no one taking responsibility. Really sad to say.      Yet the today's Helsinki meeting has made clear that nothing will change in the near term. An agreement will have to wait at least until September. Until then, the miserable game continues, largely because Italy and those countries ready to do more cannot agree on one point: Other member states are only willing to accept migrants with a good case for asylum. The rest, accounting for at least 70 percent of all migrants, would have to stay in Italy.      Allow me to quote Riegert again: Salvini wants to see all of the migrants sent elsewhere, immediately, and not be left with the hopeless cases. He knows that it can be difficult to deport them back to their countries of origin. Other receiving countries, such as Germany, know that deportation is now off the table for those who don't stand a chance at asylum. That would explain why they are sticking to the rules as they are: Migrants are registered in the arrival country, in this case Italy, which decides who deserves asylum protection and who doesn't. That can take months, then more months until other EU members agree to actually take those asylum-seekers.      Even if a time-limited redistribution of the relatively few people brought in by rescue ships is agreed to, the larger problem remains. The EU's asylum system needs reform that redefines responsibility and quotas — a huge step for a hopelessly divided bloc that has been negotiating for years and remains far from a solution. The EU's eastern states, along with Italy and Austria, have been the biggest obstacles of all.      Incoming German - European Commission President elect Ursula von der Leyen says she wants to untie this Gordian knot. But she'll only enjoy a very, very little  little success so long as Salvini-like populists in Italy, Hungary and Poland are in charge. Migration is the ongoing European crisis they can repeatedly pick up votes with, no matter that, in absolute figures, the number of people coming to European shores keeps dropping dramatically. So why change course? Is it  a matter of putting self-interest before compassion for refugees and migrants? I can't answer this question at this moment now. Future will show. +++      Email: doringklaus@gmail.com or follow me in Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin or visit my www.germanexpatinthephilippines.blogspot.com or www.klausdoringsclassicalmusic.blogspot.com.

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