Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What's in Stock at Philippine Stock Exchange?

As part of our Financial Management 2 course, we toured the Philippine Stock Exchange. Back then, the trading floor was not busy.

I also took Personal Finance course during my MBA. In that course, we had stock investing games utilizing PSE's real time data. In this course, I learned that investing in stocks and mutual funds gives the highest return from among the investment products. When choosing the company to invest in, invest in a company that continuously gives dividends and has monopoly of the market.

If you really want to know more about stock market investing, you may read the following books:
  • Beating the Street by Peter Lynch
  • One Up on Wall Street by Peter Lynch
  • You Can Be A Stock Market Genius by Joel Greenblatt
  • Buffettology by Mary Buffett (including the accompanying workbook)  

Author: Peter F. Drucker immitation
Title of the Book: “Innovation and Entrepreneurship”
Year of Publication: 1993
Place of Publication: New York
Publisher: Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc.
Number of Pages: 277
Price (Paperback): US$ 16.99
ISBN: 978-0-06-085113-2

Book Review
The author of this book is Peter F. Drucker, a renowned authority on Management. He was a writer, teacher, philosopher, reporter, consultant and professor at Claremont Graduate University in which he became the namesake of its Graduate School of Management. The book is intended for entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs alike. It is equally useful for managers especially in their decision-making process.

The book is divided into two parts. The first part delved into the importance of innovation and how to go about it and the second part tackles entrepreneurship in which he provided insights on how one can be successful in that endeavor. The ideas he presented in the first part is connected to that of the second part.

Though Drucker published the book in 1986, yet it continues to be an authoritative source for entrepreneurship. His views and anecdotal evidences showcase the wide array of business cases and answer the question why some measures employed in tackling those cases worked and why other measures did not.

Peter Drucker developed the thesis of his book by building up one concept over another. In this regards, the first thing that he did was review the history of entrepreneurship and built his concepts on innovation on it. This is one aspect that I like about the book. It also provided a vivid account of how the paradigm for entrepreneurship unfolded. In addition to that, it offers a different view of management which is not only a discipline but a technology. This is truly a revolutionary idea.

The first part of the book provided the seven sources for innovative opportunity which are as follows:

1. The unexpected
2. The incongruity
3. Innovation based on process need
4. Changes in industry structure or market structure
5. Demographics
6. Changes in perception, mood and meaning
7. New knowledge

These sources are still true to these days even if the dynamics of business environment already changed for the past two decades. On this account, he vividly described and gave examples of what those sources of opportunities are and he prescribed ways on capturing those opportunities. His discussion as I would aptly put it, resonates intellectual rigor and dogmatism.

Drucker’s approach in the book evokes further thinking as exemplified in the following statement: “Still, an incongruity is a symptom of an opportunity to innovate. It speaks an underlying “fault,” to use the geologist’s term. Such a fault is an invitation to innovate. It creates an instability in which quite minor efforts can move large masses and bring about a restructuring of the economic or social configuration.” Moreover he added, “Incongruity between economic realities is a call to action.” In here the reader is provoked to think, that in his or her circumstance whether he or she is an entrepreneur, would-be entrepreneur or manager, he or she is forced to think of the impetuses of exploiting the incongruities on the company’s business prospects. He is also very pragmatic in his view when he said, “The innovation that successfully exploits an incongruity between economic realities has to be simple rather than complicated, “obvious” rather than grandiose.”

He also provided a discussion on the opportunities arising from process needs. In this regards, he provided the five basic criteria for coming up with successful innovation which are

1. A self-contained process
2. One “weak” or “missing” link
3. A clear definition of the objective
4. The specifications for the solution can be defined clearly
5. Realization that “there ought to be a better way,” that is high receptivity.

These criteria are useful guidelines or best practices in so far as the implementation of innovation is concerned. Drilling down on these criteria would help us put order in our innovative opportunities especially in grassroots innovation wherein we have no information to start with.

The book provided the second group of innovative opportunity sources. The first of which is the demographics. For me, this is quite interesting because this is almost always overlooked. Yes, we’re taking a look at the population growth but we usually don’t see it as a source of innovative opportunities. But Drucker made it clear, “The basic assumption for our time must be that populations are inherently unstable and subject to sudden sharp changes – and that they are the first environmental factor that a decision maker, whether businessman or politician, analyzes and thinks through.”

It is also interesting to note that the change in perception, mood and meaning creates an opportunity for innovation. Primarily, this can be known when the “general perception changes from seeing the glass as “half full” to seeing it as “half empty.” Moreover Drucker added, “What determines whether the glass is “half full” or “half empty” is mood rather than facts. It results from experiences that might be called “existential.” However, when these changes becomes apparent, one has to be prudent in judgement whether this is just a spur of the moment or permanent. As such Drucker prescribe that opportunities arising from this should start small and be very specific. If it is warranted that the change is permanent then the innovation in the future should expand.

The last source of innovative opportunities is the new knowledge. Drucker said “Knowledge-based innovation is the “super-star” of entrepreneurship.” He continued “Knowledge-based innovation differs from all other innovation in its basic characteristics: time span, casualty rate, predictability, and in the challenges it poses to the entrepreneur.” This kind of innovation takes a long lead time from new knowledge to its application. So this is now the challenge but Drucker did not give his prescription. He also emphasized that this is not only true of technological innovation but also social innovation that could even have more significant impact.

Primarily, the sources of innovative opportunities tells us that in business and the market on which it is operating, there are gaps or discrepancies that exist. These discrepancies are nothing but symptoms of looming opportunity. It is good for an entrepreneur to reflect frequently on what is going on in the industry so that these gaps can be identified and taken advantage of before a competitor sieze it. All these sources of innovative opportunity applies globally. Hence, in this respect nothing is peculiar to businesses in Asia. The Asian context might be different but the underlying sources of opportunities are the same.

Insofar as initiating innovation is concerned, the book specifically provided the do’s, dont’s and conditions for such innovation. The do’s are

1. Analysis of the opportunities
2. Innovation as both perceptual and conceptual
3. An effective innovation, has to be simple and focused.
4. Effective innovations start small.
5. Aimed at leadership.

On the other hand the dont’s are

1. Not to try to be clever
2. Don’t diversify, don’t splinter, don’t try to do too many things at once.
3. Don’t try to innovate for the future.

These do’s and dont’s are in itself very practical and strategic. It could help us in deciding what innovations to pursue now and what we will pursue later. The book also provided the three conditions which are

1. Innovation is work. In innovation as in any other work there is talent, ingenuity and predisposition. As such one should have the qualities of diligence, persistence and commitment. Without these values, no talent, ingenuity or knowledge will work.

2. Build on strength. By this we mean strategic fit in which we are enjoined to pursue innovative activities that will help us develop competitive advantage. This is important because whatever is the company’s strength, the company can leverage on that. It can also help the company stay ahead of the competition.

3. Effect in economy and society. As espoused by Drucker, innovation should be market driven. This makes sense because the life-blood of the business is its customer and to keep this customers, they should be satisfied. It is their demands, needs or wants that should give reason for innovation. However, we have to bear in mind that we cannot satisfy everybody and if we do that, we will end up satisfying nobody.

The book also discusses the entrepreneurial personality. There had been two school of thoughts on these, the first one being advocated by psychologists in which they said that entrepreneurs have the natural tendency to take risks. However, entrepreneurs view it differently because as one famous entrepreneur claimed that entrepreneurs take only calculated risks. I would agree with the latter because in entrepreneurship, taking risk is inevitable but that should be exercised with prudence. In here the concept of conservatism arise. This can be illustrated by an old banker’s rule of thumb, which I quote, “in forecasting cash income and cash outlays one assumes that bills will have to be paid sixty days earlier than expected and receivables will come in sixty days later.” So our degree of conservatism can help us in choosing the risk to be taken. This entrepreneurial personality is a good point raised by Drucker because it connotes that indeed in entrepreneurship, there is always risk taking. Probably this personality affects the decision-making pattern of an entrepreneur especially when there is trade-off between profitability and risk, which is usually the case.

The book shed light on the wide scope of entrepreneurship including entrepreneurship in service institutions. In here, Peter Drucker presented the contrast between a business and a service institution. He encourage every service institutions to be as entrepreneurial as their business counterparts, otherwise it is counter productive. Furthermore, Drucker also provided entrepreneurial policies for them. Among these are as follows:

1. Clear definition of its mission
2. Realistic statement of goals
3. Failure to achieve objectives means the objective is wrong
4. Constant search for innovative opportunities

I would just want to emphasize something on the third point. It is but natural for individuals to try and try again whenever his or her objective is not attained. However, this should give a signal that the objetive should be change because it is not working. In fact this is backed-up by mathematical evidence in which mathematicians knew for three hundred years that the probability of success decreases with each succeeding try.

On the fourth point, it is difficult to identify innovative opportunities for service institutions. However, there are various institutions which demonstrated such innovative opportunities such as this certain Roman Catholic church in the US as well as the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Peter Drucker concluded the chapter on Entrepreneurship in the Service Institution with the following thought, “To build entrepreneurial management into the existing public-service institution may thus be the foremost political task of this generation.

I also like the entrepreneurial strategies that Peter Drucker provided which are as follows:

1. Being “Fustest with the Mostest”
2. “Hitting Them Where They Ain’t”
3. Finding and occupying a specialized “ecological niche”
4. Changing the economic characteristics of a product, a market, or an industry.

These strategies have varying risks associated with it. The most risky from among these strategies is the first one. As such, more return is expected especially that this requires swift response to innovation.

From among these strategies, the second strategy roused my curiosity because of the concepts of creative imitation and entrepreneurial judo. The concept of creative imitation is quite interesting because from the strategic standpoint, companies should anticipate the day in which they might loose their business if somebody in the proverbial “garage” is creating an improved version of their products and services. Hence, staying ahead of the competition through aggresive innovation strategies becomes imperative in this situation.

On the other hand, entrepreneurial judo as Drucker put it, “aims first at securing a beachhead, and one which the extablished leaders either do not defend at all or defend only halfheatedly.” This is more like choosing the most important battle to win the war. Drucker also pointed out five common bad habbits which enables the new entrants to exploit entrepreneurial judo. These five common bad habbits are as follows:

1. Not Invented Here. There are big companies in which there is this attitude of dismissing new products that are being offered in the market by their smaller competitors because they believe that since it is not their idea, it is not good. But this kind of mindset is wrong as exemplified by the missed opportunities of the American electronics manufacturer in the market for transistor radios.

2. Tendency to “cream” a market. As Drucker would put it, “Creaming is a violation of elementary managerial and economic precepts.” The idea behind this is basically disregarding a market segment that could have been more profitable. When this segment loses their patience because a certain business does not cater to their needs, they stop from availing the products and services of that business, hence there is a resulting market loss.

3. Belief in quality. In here the basic rule that we have to put in mind is the value of our products or services in the minds of our customers. Usually, product quality is associated with product complexity. However, no matter how complicated our product is, but if that is not the value being desired by the customers then still that product has a high chance of failing.

4. Delusion of the premium price. Drucker said that charging a premium price “is an invitation to the competitor.” It was known since J.B. Say’s and David Ricardo’s time that higher profit margin can only be attained by cutting on cost (except in the case of monopoly) instead of charging a premium price. However, in recent years there are companies that show higher margin despite of the fact that they are not cutting on cost.

5. Maximize rather than optimize. Drucker provided the example of Xerox for this bad habit. In here, there is the so-called “one-size-fits-all” strategy. In our world today, customers are more demanding and they want customized products for themselves. The looming danger of the “one-size-fits-all” strategy is that the customers may not be satisfied and when there is a new entrant offering products tailored to one of these segments, then there is a high probability that the business will loose one of these segments.

On the whole, the book is worth reading because it presents so many ideas backed-up by so many examples. In doing so, Drucker made it easy for the reader to understand his point. In addition to that, he did not use sophisticated language to illustrate management concepts. It also provided rich insights on entrepreneurial venture from the macro- and micro-economic standpoint. It can also help in diagnosing strategic issuess for wide range of businesses as it happened to me when I probe on the strategy of our family corporation. Moreover, it provided so many valuable insights, the foremost of which is “To succeed in doing a job, one has to believe in it and take it seriously.” This is true because if one believes in his or her job, he or she can draw inspiration or motivation from it. This also to say that this can inspire or motivate one to transcend beyond capabilities. I got from Drucker that individual entrepreneurs have to decide what are their own roles and commitments. I think this is very important to bear in mind so that the entrepreneur or manager will not lose focus in the disposal of his or her job. Drucker would constantly remind focus on customers. He mentioned that “What was lacking ... was someone willing to listen, somebody who took seriously what everybody proclaims: That the puspose of a product or a service is to satisfy the customer.” This has probably become the universal tenet for making a successful business. To reinforce this, he even cited the elementary axiom of marketing which is “Businesses are not paid to reform customers. They are paid to satisfy customers.”

The part of the book that I liked most is that which discusses entrepreneurial management for existing business, for public-service institution and the new venture. From among these three, the new venture poses a lot of challenge. To achieve entrepreneurial business, entrepreneurship should be deemed a duty. The company culture should be passionate about it.

There were also discussions on entrepreneurial policies. The one which captured my attention was the recommendation of making the managers of existing businesses “rerum novarum cupidus.” One has to be greedy for new things. But my question now is, to what extent should we tolerate that greed? Too much of it could lead to nowhere.

It seems from the discussion of the book that Peter F. Drucker is akin to be skeptical of high-tech innovations. He would even say that quality is not tantamount to technical sophistication. This is quite intriguing for me because being an engineer, all the high-tech innovations such as the personal computer or electric fan more or less made our life easier. In that aspect, Drucker failed to recognize the imperative of high-tech innovation which in itself catalyzes low-tech or no-tech innovation as the market respond to high-tech innovation. In management itself, high-tech innovation impacted the way we do business especially with the advancements in information technology. Drucker has the propensity to look at the unattractiveness of high-tech innovation based on the lead time from development to commercialization and the time that it takes for the innovation to generate cash flow. Despite of this however high-tech innovation has intangible benefit to society which could last for many years.

I have the impression that Peter F. Drucker resonates the “teachings” of Adam Smith and Joseph Schumpeter. He mentioned Adam Smith’s book “Wealth of Nations” twice and he expounded on the Schumpeterian concept of “creative destruction” in which a company should develop new products to make its existing products obsolete.

To encapsulate of what the book is all about, it was captured by what Drucker himself said, “Innovative opportunities do not come with the tempest but with the rustling of the breeze.”

Jed M. Bellen
Asian Institute of Management

Jed Bellen is currently pursuing his Masters in Business Administration at the Asian Institute of Management in Makati City. He received his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Bicol University in Legazpi City. Prior to pursuing his MBA, he had experience as Process Engineer in an Engineering and Construction firm.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Live Case at my Doorstep

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Running and being elected as Chairman of the Student Association was never part of my plan. Until one day, my roommate told me that it is good for me to run because he knows that I can do something for the school. At first, I did not take it seriously thinking that he was just freely expressing his opinion.

As days went on, no one replied to the email from the SSAR (Student Services Admissions and Registrations) regarding the SA elections. So, it occurred to me that maybe I can try it. Anyway, there is at least one person who believes in me. No harm in trying though. From there, I inquired about the position of SA Chairman from the SSAR and thereafter submitted my application.
In the ensuing days was the campaign period which culminated in the Meeting de Avance. The following day was the election and later in the afternoon I was proclaimed the SA Chairman together with Sindhu Surapaneni as Vice Chairman and Shikha Chadha as President of the Overseas Students.

Stepping back and reflecting on this journey as well as on the challenges ahead, I realized that I am now in a live case with myself. This is a case that is clearly detached from the caseroom but the learning is enormous and worthwhile. There is the challenge of coming up with a strategy on how to best serve the needs of the students while striking a balance on the concerns of other stakeholders. In this aspect, I realized how important it is to be open to everyone as what Jack Welch espoused in his book entitled “Winning.”

Leading a culturally diverse student-body poses a challenge that I deem worth taking. In a world that continues to be flattened, it is now becoming imperative to know and appreciate different cultures because in the day-to-day decisions it is this factor that will make the SA responsive to the needs of its constituents.

As such, the Student Association is the best venue for me to experience the imperatives of leadership that we talk about in the caseroom. It poses a challenge beyond the theoretical base in which the reality is dileneated from the ideal. So far, this helped me hone my skills in dealing with a group of diverse people and the real challenge thereof is to make a difference – a difference that is hoped to make a lasting imprint.

Our Oath-taking as AIM Student Association Officers 

This article was first published at the AIM blog.

International Flag Raising Day

The International Flag Raising Day at AIM took place on February 21, 2011. This activity commences the AIM Week Celebration. There were dignitaries from Australia, Vietnam, Cambodia, India and Indonesia in attendance.

In here, I'm carrying the South Korea flag together with Shikha Chadha.

This is the picture of MBA Cohort 6 taken after the flag raising ceremony.

72nd PIChE National Convention

Last February 16-18, 2011, the 72nd PIChE National Convention was held in L'Fisher Hotel in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental. During this event, I presented my concept of research and development outsourcing in the Philippines.

Presenting my paper to the participants of the convention

Receiving my token from Prof. Laurito

The delegates to the convention with the Mayor of Bacolod City

Fellowship night in front of Bacolod City Government Center. In here, I'm with PIChE Bicol delegates.

With the delegates from Bicol

Student Craft Tour at Hidden Valley

Last March 21, 2011, we had Student Craft Tour at Hidden Valley in Alaminos, Laguna. I posted here the pictures taken there. It was such a great experience bonding with fellow students from various Asian countries.

I'm putting in the golf course of Hidden Valley

Dining at Hidden Valley

Swimming in one of the pools of Hidden Valley with Aditya and Arshad

This is a culturally diverse picture. A Pakistani friend, a Nepalese friend and co-scholar, a Sri Lankan friend and co-scholar, a Cambodian friend and co-scholar, an Indian friend, and an Indonesian friend.

The hidden falls of Hidden Valley

With Tree, my Thai friend

Washington Z. SyCip: My Childhood Hero

The AIM Graduate School of Business was named after Mr. Washington SyCip, the co-founder of the institute and the founder of the SGV Group.

This picture was taken during the meeting of the Board of Governors of AIM at SGV Conference Hall, AIM Conference Center Manila.

Though I am not an accountant, Mr. SyCip is the most influential person in my professional life. As an ambitious child, it was my dream to be like him.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

At the Brink of Conscience

In rain, all birds find shelter but, an eagle avoids it by flying above the clouds.
- Anonymous

If ever there is a saying that encapsulates the lessons of strategic management, it is nothing but the saying quoted above. Strategic management in itself, is worth not just an academic undertaking but a platform for subduing the challenges in life that has profound and significant impact.

The lesson in strategic management that I liked most is its emphasis on looking beyond the horizon or the so-called foresight. This makes sense not only from the General Manager’s perspective but also in our daily lives because foresight is as important as common sense. Common sense without foresight is complacency and foresight without common sense is lame.

Reflecting through the veritable lens of strategic management, I probed on the insights that I gained from the various tools this discipline has. As we have learned in SME, it is always important to ask the right questions and we can get the most insight by having that kind of practice. In this reflection paper, I used the 6Ws of asking questions as a framework for extracting valuable insights from our strategic management course.

What is really important?

The most valuable thing I learned in strategic management is that if everything is important, then nothing is important. From an MBA student pespective, this learning is very helpful in surviving our studies here at AIM. When I came here, I was overwhelmed by so many readings given to us each day. I thought that if this is the load that I am going to face in the business world, I better quit. But thanks to our strategic management subject, now I learned the trick of overcoming this hurdle. The trick is first, I have to identify the various points in the case. Then from among those points I have to pick those which have the most profound and significant impact. This approach gives me focus in analysing the case and thereafter helps me in coming up with the most practical solution or recommendation to the problem or issue at hand. I believe learning this trick is the true essence of casemanship.

Beyond my studies, this approach will still be very helpful especially when I’m back in the corporate world where I have to solve pressing problems as well as make hard decisions. Having this mindset I can tackle the problems that my future company will face in the most efficient and most practical way possible.

Why should I drill down?

Having identified the important aspects of the case, the task now is to dig deeper on the impetuses of those aspects. This is important because in drilling down we can see different perspectives and we can unearth insights that may not have been apparent before. This is especially useful because we might be addressing an aspect which is not really problematic or stating it the other way, we might not be addressing an aspect which is really problematic. More so, in having a focused probing, we will be able to know how these aspects interact with each other and a business model illustration can be of help towards this end.

Drilling down can also help us in sharpening our understanding of the dynamics of business especially its systemic nature. In dealing with these systems, we have to step back and see the whole picture because in doing so, we will know how the changes in one parameter affect the other parameters.

In drilling down, we are building up on what we currently know. Hence, there is the imperative of coming up with a better question or statement. As I noticed during our case discussions, the first few statements on what the case is all about is not that sharp yet. However, through successive questioning, my classmates would come up with a better and better statement until we hit the best insights that we can extract from the case. This goes to show that drilling down can be used as a means of coming up with better insights until finally the best insights come to light.

Who helped me in sharpening my thought process?

At least in my case, Professor Jacinto C. Gavino and my classmates helped me in sharpening my thought process. Hence, there is no single person who can be of help towards this end.

In the spirit of the case method, our SME class instilled in me a mindset of using the case as a platform for further thinking. This is the most valuable lesson that I learned and the greatest appreciation that I have of the case method. In this mindset, the case is not an end in itself but a means to an end. In here, the end is the insight that the case provides. On the other hand, we should also be wary of what the case is not telling us for it can give rich insights on the case.

This intellectual exercise I believe is most useful not only in the caseroom but also when we have our work after MBA. Sharpening one’s thought process is very critical especially when one is confronted with challenging circumstances in his or her work. Moreover, this can also help us in thinking on our feet which is the primary competency that a manager should have.

When should I challenge the “proven” paradigm?

One of the challenges in management is initiating change. The valuable learning that I got from SME is that if ever I have to initiate a change, I have to assess first the status quo because it is very hard to effect change if there is no adversity within the organization. At this point in time this is the most perplexing thing in my mind.

Effecting change in an organization is a sort of experimentation in which new things are being tried. This experimentation can result in either success or failure. If it is a success, better things or processes come into light. On the other hand, if it failed the most important thing is to learn from it and probe on the aspects that potentially caused that failure.

Challenging a paradigm should be done within the bounds of an organization’s core competencies. Otherwise, the lifeblood of the organization will in itself be destroyed. The good question now to ask is, to what extent can I challenge a paradigm? I think, the extent should be broad enough to cover strategic aspects, but narrow enough to be focused on core competencies. In here, trade-off comes into play. There are so many aspects that can be covered but many of those should be sacrificed so that our focus is not lost. In here, strategic fit should also be looked into because if our products or services does not fit the need or demands in the market then we are not really delivering value.

Where can I apply the insights I learned?

The insights that I got from SME has enormous applications not only when I get back to the corporate world but also in my daily life. Taking an SME course provided me a mindset of working wisely, that is accompishing something in the easiest and most practical way possible. How to do this? As we are frequently being reminded by our professor to step back and see the whole picture. In seeing the whole picture, we can identify the aspects that need our utmost attention and from there we can devise the most efficient means of addressing the problem or issue at hand. We can also apply here the elements of management which are planning, organizing, controlling and directing.

In addition to that, I can use my knowledge in SME when I put up my own business when my own strategy is central to the business success. Even in my dealings with my suppliers and government officials, the strategic mindset serves best for this purpose.

How to go about these learnings?

The learning in SME that I like most is the method of Appreciate, Critique and Recommend. This gives me a framework of thinking through written as well as verbal communication. This is helpful in drilling down on what the case is all about. In the real world in which we will be confronted with various problems and circumstances that need decision and evaluation, this method is most useful. In appreciating, I can extract the most value from a literature, a written communication or a verbal statement. In critiquing, it is my thought process at work in which I analyze details and then synthesize. In making a recommendation, I can add value to a literature, a written communication or a verbal statement. Hence, through this method, I can have a holistic view of case or issue at hand.

In SME, the rule of the game is to anticipate. As what we have learned, the business environment is very dynamic and failure to anticipate change in the external environment is like falling prey to a death trap. Hence, there is an imperative for a long-term horizon.

There are also many frameworks available in the literature which can be applied in analyzing cases. However, there is this caution, “Do not force-fit the situation in a framework which is not suitable for it.” These frameworks have assumptions embedded on it that we have to be aware of. In some circumstances, we are also making various assumptions in our analysis. Sometimes however, the pitfall is in the assumption itself because it is not applicable to the situation at hand. That is why, if everything fails, we have to go back to our assumptions and challenge it with objectivity.

So what now?

The SME course provided me not only with the thinking hat of a General Manager but also the mindset of transcending beyond the limits. As such, I am resolved to make it a habit of thinking strategically. In so doing, I will never be lost because I have a direction in tackling issues whichever context I am in.

In our world today where competition becomes intense each day, the SME framework gave us distinct advantage in tackling our competition. These frameworks will be our tools in winning the game of our business and ultimately the game of our life.
The SME course at least for me is life-changing. Now, I have a better view of why I failed a lot in the past and my diagnosis is that because I thought everything is important. Choosing a “battle” is as important as winning the “war” itself and now I know how to choose a “battle” which will make a lasting impact be it in my future job or in business organizations that I will become part of.

My strategy professor truly made a profound and significant impact in my life. That is why, I want to follow his track. Post-MBA, I want to specialize on strategy firstly by becoming a part-time intructor of strategy at the Ateneo Graduate School of Business. I will also find a job where I can apply the learnings that I got from SME and hone my strategy skills there. I believe, the strategy track is the best way to go for aspiring entrepreneurs like me.

The SME class is by far the best experience I ever had. It left a lasting imprint in my heart on which I can build up the story of my life – a life that can make a profound and significant impact!