Articles posted under Culture


Measuring your life

Michael Alan Hamlin

Harvard Business School (HBS) professor and best-selling author Clayton M. Christensen built his reputation on his disruptive innovation theory. The theory is central to the courses he teaches at HBS, which deal with setting up and sustaining companies. His book, The Innovator’s Dilemma “received the Global Business Book Award as the best business book of the year in 1997.” The Economist named it one of the six most important business books ever written.

But Dr. Christensen is perhaps best known for his 2012 The New York Times best-seller, How Will You Measure Your Life? The book evolved from a series of observations and classroom discussions. The observations seem to have focused primarily on Dr. Christensen’s own HBS MBA classmates’ careers, families, and reputations over the years following graduation. From those observations—and taking off from the theories Dr. Christensen taught in his classes—he began a series of conversations on the last day of each of his classes with his students.

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Posted on December 27, 2012 | Posted in Business, Culture, Education, Lifestyle, News | No Comments

A little rant about economic contributions

Michael Alan Hamlin

Does it seem curious to you that the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) singles out overseas remittances when announcing how fast the economy is growing, but lumps IT-BPO—the nation’s most efficient job generator at home—into a basket of miscellaneous services? About 10 million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) remitted $15.57 billion in the first three quarters of 2012. The World Bank forecasts total remittances for the year of $24 billion.

Given these numbers, it’s not hard to understand why NEDA places such prominence on the contribution of OFWs to the economy, and its “inclusive” effect on the masses, presenting a trickle down opportunity to partake of the fruits of economic growth. In a statement announcing the Philippines’ impressive 7.1% third-quarter expansion NEDA secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said remittances increased precisely 4.2%.

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Posted on December 6, 2012 | Posted in Business, Culture, Education, IT-BPO, Lifestyle, News | No Comments

Unfinished business

Michael Alan Hamlin

Time is running out on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the 193 member states of the United Nations (UN) and 23 international organizations that agreed to their ambitious objectives in 2000 by 2015.

With just three years left on that commitment clock, over 70 parliamentary and civil society representatives from 19 Asian countries are meeting in Manila yesterday and today for a two-day Forum on accelerating the achievement of the goals and formulating a “post-2015 development agenda.” As one of our committed development colleagues likes to say, “MDG” in Filipino stands for “Mga  Dapat Gawin” or “The things that need to be done.” For those living in extreme poverty, failure to achieve the MDGs is simply not an option.

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Posted on November 23, 2012 | Posted in Business, Culture, Education, News, Politics | No Comments

Year Four: My Dream in a Shoebox

Michael Alan Hamlin

It’s said that great blessings come in small packages. Each year, the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) and TeamAsia organize—with partners Children’s Hour and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)—an annual Christmastime effort to deliver small packages to thousands of children across the Philippines. Starting from humble beginnings four years ago in the aftermath of Typhoon Ondoy (international call sign Ketsana), it has grown to many times its original size, and reach.

Conceived by BPAP former executive director Jonathan de Luzuriaga and TeamAsia president Monette Hamlin, “My Dream in a Shoebox” is championed by the Philippine IT-BPO industry, and has become a beloved Christmas tradition of collecting and distributing shoeboxes filled with school supplies to Filipino children whose families struggle to keep them in school. But today it does much more than distribute school supplies. (Disclosure: BPAP is a client of my firm, TeamAsia.)

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Posted on November 20, 2012 | Posted in Business, Culture, Education, IT-BPO, News, Politics | No Comments

US election: Down to the wire

Michael Alan Hamlin

After winning a historic landslide election four years ago, US President Barack Obama learned Wednesday morning in Manila that his tight race for reelection—which few imagined even 12 months back when his opponent was locked in an uninspiring battle for the Republican Party nomination—returned him to the White House for what Republican candidate Mitt Romney calls “a second chance” to fix America. Mr. Obama says failure to reelect him would have resulted in a return to the failed and largely unregulated free-market policies of former president George W. Bush.

The irony of that argument is that Mr. Obama’s policies haven’t worked too well, either.

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Posted on November 9, 2012 | Posted in Business, Culture, IT-BPO, News, Politics | No Comments