Thursday, April 4, 2013

Innovation: Move Ahead, Stay Ahead

INNOVATION: Move Ahead, Stay Ahead
Germin G. Espino

Every industry is defined by a few players who are bold enough to take a different direction and able to define their history and that of their industry's. For them, Innovation is the rule and not the exception. Finding ways to improve present performance is an obsession by every member of the organization. 

Simply put, Innovation is 'doing better'.

There are key characteristics to company with culture of Innovation. They keep challenging the status quo, have a deep and intimate understanding of their customers, and are resolved to make a difference at any cost.

Challenge the status quo. To some organizations, success can be a cause for failure. Being complacent with success eliminates the urge to improve the present condition. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" is a common mindset for companies who have reached the top of their success, but somehow lost their leadership over some new players with a different view on continuous success. 

Before the advent of personal computing, personal digital assistants and word processing machines, Smith Corona was the industry-leader in the manufacture and supply of typewriters. Smith Corona started all the new technologies in the early 80's and sales grew to over USD 500 million in 1989. They partnered with Acer computers for very short time but later ended the partnership after declaring that typewriters will continue to be a huge worldwide market. Wrong! In mid-90's, Smith Corona declared bankruptcy while Acer became #4 in personal computing manufacturing. Such a big fall-down as a result of being complacent. 

Meanwhile, Acer's founder Stan Shi, the father of Taiwan's technology went on to continue the company's quest for finding new ways to improve technology. Acer is a symbol of how an organization can buck conventional wisdom and succeed. By being critical of the present condition, Acer's culture of continuous process improvement lead to various inventions that are recognized in the world.

Deep and intimate understanding of the customers. The continuous challenge to the status quo must start from an urge to improve the delivery of a service or product to the customer - internal or external. Knowing the basic needs of the customers will give a company, possibly the same basic needs that everyone else can provide. However, companies that lead the industry thrives on giving customers more than what they explicitly wants. These companies provide products and services that customers can't articulate but implicitly need as manifested by behavior, purchasing patter or body language.

A US retail giant and purveyor of membership shopping - Costco, revolutionized shopping by going against conventional method of organizing the supermarket layout. It is a common reason to organize a retail store according to the customers’ perceived order of importance. The logic is to make shopping easier for customers thus making them shop more. Wrong again! Costco knew too well what the customers buy using their POS (Point of Sale) systems. Knowing the 'must-buys' of their customers enabled them to know how to place these items at the far end of the shopping floor. Since these are 'must-buys', customers weave through several aisles of other items and pick up other items along the way. Thus increasing ticket purchase for every shopper. Genius.

Resolve to make a difference at any cost. One of India’s economic giant, who has been in a wide range of industries such as power, airlines, automotive, steel mill and many others, is 117-yer old Tata Group. Tata is a perfect example of an organization with clear focus on innovation.

The company’s pursuit of leading technologies through innovation starts from its Chairman Ratan Tata who believed that innovation must be built-in with the DNA of the organization and not just a company slogan. Thus he mandated all company presidents to be the champions of innovation in their respective operating companies.

Regular Tata Group Innovation Forums (TGIF) which is participated 12 top executives of the whole Tata Group. The objective of the forums is focused on formulating new and different ways to deliver products and services to the consumers. Disruptive thinking is encouraged and even applauded. It is in one of the TGIF’s where the creation of the $ 2,000 Tata Nano car was conceived.

Even regular employees of Tata are mandated to devote 5 of his 45-hour work-week on personal projects that is geared towards discovering innovative products and services. All employees’ performance includes Innovation as a key performance indicator. This culture of innovation contributes to more than 10% of Tata’s annual revenues of over $ 6.0 B.

As companies moves ahead, innovation will be the vehicle by which all of use and cultivate as an organization. Staying ahead will require that the organization adapt a mindset that “we can do better than that”. Any innovation efforts must present how challenging the convention, creative understanding of customers and perseverance can produce brilliant and yet practical ideas. 

With teamwork, creative minds and perseverance, Innovation is a powerful tool to make a company move ahead and stay ahead.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Quality Drives Performance

Quality Drives Performance
Germin G. Espino

Every other company attempts to put quality as the cornerstone of their strategy. Each one claims quality ‘as a way of life’. Yet despite claims of high quality products and services, many businesses fail. A common reason why this happens can be manifested in how quality was ingrained in the organization as a driving force of performance and not a mere company slogan.

Quality is the not the end all and be all of success. It’s a key enabler that will help organization meet their objectives. There are critical elements that will make quality a key success factor in our organization. Here are three key thoughts on how our team will make quality a driving force of success.


Having quality systems and procedures as a tool in every aspect of company activities provide for a high level of quality output. Every process, policy and practice must be defined with specific quality expectations.

·      Reports are to be expected on a specific date and time with clearly defined contents and objectives.
·      Meetings are held in short but productive sessions with well-defined agenda and properly assigned action plans and expectations. They start on time and end on time in order to eliminate wasted time of all participants.
·      Job processing strictly follows the approved workflow with complete and accurate information that leave very little chances for confusion.
·      Work environment is consistently maintained to allow a productive flow of work. Remember the Four R’s – Reduce Steps, Reduce Clutter, Reduce Cross-over, Reduce Chances of making mistakes.

The TMC – Toyota Motors Corporation quality systems are legendary in the business and quality circles around the world. Every single company activity is well defined and all employees are mandated to follow consistently.


“Quality begins with me”.  It’s a personal commitment to self, team and company. Every report, work output or tasks performed by all employees are expected to conform to specific levels of quality.  I call it an ACT of Quality. This means work output that is always Accurate, Complete and Timely.

Being conscious that our output is another person’s or department’s input should put everyone on their toes to always do their best in providing quality products and services.

The best technology company in the world – Apple expects a high degree of quality from each employee. Their most iconic CEO Steve Jobs, himself a hard-core quality practitioner was said to have cancelled an order of millions of packaging materials for the new IPod only because the inner casing was a few millimeters bigger than the box. He said, he can’t allow customers dropping the product when un-boxing the IPod.


Having a mindset that quality is a pre-requisite to success defines each person’s work ethics. Being consistently mindful of the immediate and ultimate customer’s acceptance of one’s work will heighten the level of quality in each of us. Quality is not just a customer demand, it’s a basic requirement.

One world-class pizza delivery company lives by the rule “if its not a 10, ill do it again”.  This pertains to the company strict rule in making and delivering only perfect ten pizzas. Any pie that does not meet their clearly defined 10-point criteria, another pie is made. This policy and practice is translated to customer satisfaction guarantee - “if you are not satisfied with your pizza, we will replace it, no questions asked”.

These were the rules created by Domino’s Pizza founder Tom Monaghan more than 40 years ago. It’s the same quality policy being followed by more than 7,000 Domino’s Pizza outlets around the world.

World-class companies like the Toyota Motor Corporation, Apple and Domino’s Pizza all from different industries with a common platform of success driver – QUALITY. Its no wonder these companies have survived countless internal and external disasters and have managed to stay healthy and on top of their respective industries. Like these big players, our company can succeed using quality as a driver for success. For that to happen, all members of the organization must believe that quality is a means to success that is a responsibility of all of us.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Planned failure

You have heard of the saying "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail". This is true in any business and just as disastrous in the restaurant business. Let's examine how and why this happens.

Why did this happen to me? I followed all the right advices.

In most cases restaurant operators or owners are high in spirits as they start building their restaurant, and for good reason. It's like conceiving a baby and you're full of hopes and dreams. Nothing seems to go wrong and everything's looks rosy and promising. Then your friends and relatives come along and join the chorus of cheering you on. You believe that everything you have thought of is right and is validated by the nod of approval of the people around you. This makes you not want to hear all other inputs that contradict yours, because it's a good feeling to hear 'words of approval'. In other words, you base your decisions mostly on an emotional base from people close to you who may not necessarily be your customers.

How can this happen to me? Everything's seemed right from the start.

There are many way that a new restaurant owner can be in this situation. Listen to some of their 'defining statements'

"let's start with the cheapest and simplest, we will just grow when the business succeeds - doing it right, then first time"

Even when they are capable of spending the investment, some still opt to start with cheapest, the simplest, the smallest, the most basic modules or configurations for their restaurant. They believe that they are starting a small business anyway. They are right, and they will probably stay that way - small. I call this LVM - Low Volume Mentality.

A mindset of being small creates an excuse not to spend big. It's a vicious cycle. Notnonly is it a self-fulfilling prophecy, for practical purposes, this mindset limits your planning to a low level of business. Less tables, less chairs, less plates, glasses and tablewares. "We will just buy more when the customers increase". Guess what sir, customers won't wait for you to get him the spoon while his soup gets cold. He will simply go to the next restaurant the next time. No second first impression, right?

"it's only a small thing, no one will notice, they will understand"

News flash: THEY WON'T UNDERSTAND. Customers have become brutal in their opinion. Worse they have become vocal and demanding. Worse still, they won't just whisper the bad experience to their friends, they post on on Facebook and Twitter - with photos and address of your restaurant.

Attention to details means ensuring all aspects of the customer experience is aligned with your restaurant's concept and theme. If your a Japanese resto, don't just post any reproduction artworks in your restroom. Everything must come together.

"I am the owner and I have always wanted this on my restaurant"

Being the owner may give you the prerogative to create you restaurant the way you want it, just because. ("wala lang, gusto ko lang"). With this prerogative come great risk. Following your whims and caprices can be dangerous as it limits the range of creative pool to start your business. Too much of yourself leaves no room for other ideas, comments and practical advices. This mindset also usually ignores the needs and wants of customers. So Mr. Owner, you should accept that it's NOT your restaurant. It's your customers.

Next week: Planning for Failure 2

Monday, May 2, 2011

Why Resto's Fail

We are easily amused when a new restaurant opens and is easily packed by hungry and happy customers. We ask with envy, how'd they do that? As customers, we offer reasons for its success from our own point of view - as customer. But what really made that restaurant click may still be a marvel to even the owners themselves. (they just try NOT to act surprised)

What is even more intriguing is how to explain why restos fail. Often, it's easier to offer reasons why even the most attractive, well-built and advance-designed restos don't make it even from the get go. Everyone becomes an expert in nit-picking a bad resto. Maybe they are experts - as customers.

Let me attempt to explain why restaurants fail. From the insiders point of view - the operator.

Next: Planned failure...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Transitions, Learning and Change Management

There were several insights that made an impression on my personal and professional perspective. Some of them reflect what I already believe in and still managed to hit a nerve that allowed me to revisit my own journey.

Foundations of true leadership

The long debate for the essence and origins of leadership had taken center stage in many business books and publications. No matter what the conclusions were, not one article will fail to discuss the central characters background and personality. For indeed the core of one’s character and being defines how the leader will become.

Are leaders made or born? History suggests that leaders who have defined history itself did not just come out late in life to develop what have made them great. All the great ones have been carefully honed and trained early in life by a significant figure that have influenced their upbringing. Childhood training, experience and environment are the most significant part of the person’s formative years. Andrea Jung’s story tells us how a simple piano lesson gave the future CEO the discipline to complete the job and that the last eight minutes of the program is just as important if not more important than the first 52. That is perseverance. That built Andrea’s strong resolve to initiate, execute and deliver results for what is now one of the most profitable company’s in the world.

My humble beginnings made a big impact and contribution to my work habits. It is to my parents’ credit that I have acknowledged and learned hard work early on in my life. The values of honesty, integrity and perseverance are stronger so it seems when your family does not have more. The consequence of poverty should be perseverance not hard ships. The simple household chores that we abhor as a youth, are the important ‘on-the-job’ training that we will meet later in life. I missed the chance to thank my parents for those training hours. Now I won’t miss a chance to give the same training to my own kids.

Grafting of two different cultures

The lessons learned form the BI & D merger give us a picture of typical M&A stories. Like a new stem that is being grafted into an old trunk, both parts will try to squeeze as much nutrients from the trunk and from each other in order to survive. In the end the most dominant ‘specimen’ will survive and take on the role of dominating the whole tree. In some sad cases, the less dominant part could not take the ‘grafting’ easily and falls off the trunk before the grafting fully heals. This paints a picture of how people will resist any form of domination from a presumably co-equal species. And this is when a strong leader is needed to prescribe the right environment, the appropriate conditions and terms of the grafting period. It is in this period that both parties must clearly see who is in charge and is able to define the common ground to be shared by all stakeholders. Without a strong leader committed to bridging the differences between two different and seemingly dominant cultures, the in fighting will not stop until and unless, a stronger and more defined culture is defined and articulated by the leader.

I recall how my previous company folded into the bigger listed company that acquired us. Both management teams present a posture of dominance and superiority. Both thinking they are better than the other. As a natural consequence, less work can be done on account of varied discussion over how things can be done. Sooner than later the more dominant of the ‘species’ prevailed being the acquiring ‘species’. The leader was quick to preside and define ‘how things must be done’. Consequently, a big part of the new species’ character, form and substance was also grafted into the acquiring species. After all, there would not have been a merger if the acquiring company did not see any good character, form and substance in the new company.

As months and years progressed, it was apparent that the grafting or healing period was not complete. Many employees who rejected the system ‘fell off the trunk’ and went their way. As those that fell off constitute just a minor part of the trunk, no apparent effect can be detected. More months passed and when a ‘major trunk’ decided to fall off the tree, the significant effect was already negated by the ‘already-healed’ grafted part. Three is already one whole being.

Journey and destination of leadership

When does one’s journey start and when will it end? The module thought us or emphasized the need to return to the origin before you begin to see the destination.

And the origin dates back to one’s childhood. The early environment of family, friends, neighborhood, school, community and work defines clearly where the journey started. Each of these segments contributes to the development of one’s character, values and principles that will make up his leadership style. They are the building blocks or DNA that defines how the leader will face challenges, stresses, moments of truth and defining moments.

While the origin is important, the journey is just as important. It is where the leader further hones his talent, experience and perhaps re-defines his values that will shape his future. This is the time when school, training and the work environment play a big part. How one reacts to this segment in his development is already defined by how well his origin had made an impact on him. Needless to say, a solid foundation of good moral values, ethics and work habits will resonate in the person’s reactions to his environment.

The destination therefore is pretty much defined by the leader’s journey. Both are important as both define each other.
As I review this paper, I can’t help but revisit my own origin, my current journey and what I see as my destination. Its more clear now that the way I raise my children will define how well or bad they will define their own journey and destination. As parents, we have a serious responsibility in defining their origins. We can only do so much to influence their origin. But in the end, it is their own responsibility to define and reach their destination. Come to think therefore, we are in effect responsible for their destiny.

The same can be said with our employees. All employees are presumed to have clean intentions for the company. It is the leaders role to define those intentions and provide an environment that will translate the intentions into fruitful and productive actions.

And as the company defines and continues to re-define its destiny, the role of the leader becomes more vivid and permeated through the whole organization’s character. Employees can only perform to a point where they are lead. The leader therefore cannot afford to stand still, because he will block the road to success by doing so.

Germin G. Espino
Asian Institute of Management
Makati City, Philippines

Reflection Paper on Transitions, Learning and Change Management, May 3, 2010

Prof. Milagros Du Lagrosa, Phd

The Impact of Leadership: P 2,000-Career

Coming from an average income family, hard work was not new to me. We were not well off but we were not hard up either. My upbringing through public school gave me tough life lessons that I still bring to the work place up to now. It was a good first part of my life.
On my senior years I eagerly joined the country’s number one fast food chain on its infancy. Going to work every day just brings excitement and fun and believe it or not, I do look forward to the next work-day after a day off. The pay did not matter although it did give me some satisfaction and a sense of fulfillment. I can’t remember the days I called in sick and very seldom did I become tardy. I guess my managers liked me and was an instant favorite when extra hours are needed. Work was fun, I had to ask my managers to transfer me to other stations. Cleaning the restrooms, brushing floors, cleaning the glass panels, bussing tables serving food, flipping burgers, frying chicken joys, scooping ice creams, yes I’ve done them all.
This attitude and work habit made work easy and enjoyable. On one occasion I helped do some artwork for the office. The manager liked it and was happy that I was doing it on my day off. She asked me to help out in marketing – kiddie parties, marketing programs, sales-building stuff. What an opportunity.   
That started my fast-growth. That was when I looked at the future differently. So I set my eyes on doing more – to be a manager at 20 (I was 19 then). And that happened as planned. Hence forth, I gave myself deadlines on the next managerial level. I got them all a year ahead. Success was nice.
Along the way, life lessons pile up. From being a good soldier, I became in charge of a team of soldiers myself. It was a big step and I struggled to take on the new role of a leader. It turns out I had good foundation in my early years as a manager. But like any normal rookie manager, there I did my share of mistakes. When you’re a young manager who used to be a service crew, you tend to do a lot crew work yourself and you get yourself tied up with crew work and forget about managing. Old habits die hard. Another common flaw is to be familiar with your staff  who used to be your co-workers. Co-equal employees who now have to take orders from you. It was an early test of one’s fairness and credibility.
I learned early on that leaders need to define his leadership style and adapt to certain unique conditions. And that the uniqueness of conditions will only present itself at a point when you need to react instantaneously.  So by the time you have figured out what style of leadership is needed, the condition may have alredy changed.
Years went by and after many hurdles and fortunately advancement in career, the lesson learned still present similar patterns and characteristics. There is not one style that will fit all conditions. In other words, leadership style and application must evolve if it is to be effective.
After a colorful 10-year stint at Jollibee Foods Corporation, I joined a foreign pizza brand as Franchise Operations Manager. I figured that joining a smaller company will give me a chance of being a ‘head of the rat’ instead of a ‘tail of the cat’.
The company Domino’s Pizza Philippines belong to a conglomerate who is primarily in the logistics, ship management and cargo forwarding business. It is in this very diverse company that will turn out to be the biggest and most significant ‘business school’ that I ever attended. My career grew under my mentor – the COO of the company.
Little did I now that I joined Domino’s Pizza Phillippines at a time that it was going south. As Franchise Operations Manager, I had the opportunity to join board meetings and important company events. It turns out that I was being ‘watched’ by the COO – Atty Arthur P. Tugade or APT as he is fondly called. On one fateful week when the future of my company was being decided on my top management, I was called by the APT in his office. It was bonus time and our company being in the red for along time was not eligible for any incentive. He offered his hand upon meeting me and was surprised to feel a few folded bills being handed to me. He asked me to continue to get involved in the company and to ‘hang in there’. His remark was both re-assuring and scary.
Outside of his office, I later knew that he just handed me P 2,000 that’s supposed to represent my ‘bonus’. At that time, that amount represented less than 5% of what other managers might have received. But to me, it was worth much more. The ‘bonus’ meant an assurance that this boss will take care of me if I only hung on.
And hang on I did. Staying on in the company proved to be an intelligent decision, that gave me even more opportunities and boosted my career. After several months, my mentor named me General Manager of the company. On hindsight, the P 2,000-bonus really bought me a career that is now worth so much more than its monetary value.
Discipline, hard work, perseverance and good spirit, are some of the values I learned from the man who mentored me during our company’s troubled times. These are the same sets values that resonate from me and manifests in the leadership style I have learned to develop over the years.
My mentor was always the consummate people person, able to treat any type of employee of client with genuine concern and respect. He can be the stern negotiator in front of a client one day and the jovial and even frolicking manager drinking with company truck drivers the next day. In both cases, one will see him with the same set of values that he espouses - day in, day out.
I am now a COO myself and have been blessed to enjoy a good life. Of all the leaders I have been under, it was my mentor who has presented a good balance of appropriate leadership style and a firm and consistent display adherence to values.
I am confident that the same values will take me to future career advancements. But I am also sure that I need to learn to continuously evolve my leadership style and learn how to adapt to the changing conditions.
It has been more than 12 years since that fateful meeting with my COO and mentor. The impact still remains. Now I look forward to retiring early from the rigors of employment and lead a quiet life. I know I will enjoy retirement because along the way to success, I had been a fair and honest leader who have made the same impact as my COO made on me. And I can imagine that someday, a few other successful leaders will write the same story about me.

Germin G. Espino

Asian Institute of Management
Makati City, Philippines
August 18, 2010 

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Now what?

Where do I go from here
What a difference 18 months make. 
Before the EMBA, my expectations were high on what value the program will add to my experience and knowledge. I learned early on that the amount of knowledge I receive is directly proportional to the effort, interest and learning motivation that I put in. I am fortunate to have the humility to accept the many ‘inadequacies’ i have as an executive. Though many of the concepts, principles and skills that were taught were positive revalidation of what I already know, they still add so much value to my knowledge and experience bank.
On a ten point scale, I was a five before the program. Now I can say I’m a solid eight. As I knew then, the other two points is always to be earned and experienced in the work place - in the real world.
The most important difference that I experienced is a positive change in the way I think and act in a more strategic manner. Systems thinking complemented my rational thinking and put a clear framework on how I view situation and conditions. Bonus to this is the ‘renewed’ mindset to always consider how any change or activity in the company can and will affect the bottom line. A better understanding of the balance sheet deepened my appreciation of the companies financial health.
Still, further real life experience and deeper study is needed for me to be more comfortable and (soon) an expert in finance. My advantage over many students is that I came from the soft side of operations that dealt with HR, Operations and Marketing. Case studies and simulations were enjoyed well because I was able to relate with the characters and the situation.
Of the many important concepts and principles learned, the following made an impact to my learning experience:
  1. Balanced Score Card - perfect framework for the hospital that I manager where strategies were only espoused through meetings and business reviews. Today, the whole management team is aware of the strategy, the tactical activities and their impact to company as well as their own performance (evaluation)
  2. Systems Thinking - ‘the shift of mind’ had a major impact in the way I think. Without a doubt, this system of thinking must be taught and practiced at all levels of management.    This skill is a must have for all managers who matter to the company. and that means all of them.
  3. UAI formulation - the UAI that our CAN group did for the hospital has been the key basis for a lot of tactical activities as well as strategic directions for the hospital. Our Value Proposition - Alagang Mercado, Kumpleto, Sugurado, has been revised to fit what the voice of customer say as revealed by the UAI.
  4. Globalization issues and opportunities - the world is shrinking and all organizations must either step up and confirm their global citizenship and exploit the whole world of opportunities out there. Or they can just remain as they are and be like dinosaurs. The bigger revelation is that the whole phenomena of globalization extends to the individuals   who is now put on a level playing field as the big buys via the marvels of the information super highway. 
  5. Asian Business Systems - bound by common family of race but nevertheless unique in culture, mores, business ethics and mindset, Asian business organizations are to be studied and appreciated for what they are if one is to succeed in their markets. 
  6. Management Control Systems - responsibility accounting has made the managers in our hospital more concerned, informed and productive in their respective departments. Having defined specific metrics that conform with their BSC perspectives, the managers’ focus on their roles were made more precise and goal-oriented.
  7. Operations management principles - Lean systems through TQM, 5S and other quality measures borrowed from manufacturing industry (Toyota Production System) has been instrumental in the improvement of various processes in the hospital’s ancillary services (laboratory, radiology, etc), business office (admissions, discharge, credit and collection) and facilities management (work order services, maintenance program). Defining Takt Time on key procedures made the managers aware of service and productivity levels which will encourage them to introduce improvements.
  8. Strategic HR functions - the new HR role as admin expert, employee advocate, change champion and strategic partner is a challenge to HR organizations including our company’s. Unfortunately, this new mindset cannot just be learned in seminars and workshops. The role and commitment of CEO and the Board of Director should be initiators and not just supporters. HR should champion the new role as a matter of principle and not just a matter of practice. In other words, the whole program must come from am appreciation of the changing role of HR as a strategic partner and not just an administrative and police function of the company.
  9. Capital structure strategies/ working capital management - this was one of the reasons i took the program. Now i have a better understanding on working capital management. This area falls outside of my day-to-day task but still well within my immediate responsibility. By experience, the hospital does not have a clear capital structure policy other than keeping watch over the ‘family’s’ equity portion versus other investors. Borrowings are made and paid based almost solely on cash availability and need hence a rather passive approach as opposed to a more aggressive approach of leveraging debt.
  10. Value Chain management - the understanding of the hospitals value chain is discussed and analyzed at each department. The managers now are more focused on delivering value to the end customer and have realized where the potential bottle necks are. SIPOC diagrams, which were unknown to the organization before has become a regular part of department meetings.
Worth mentioning is how Quantitative Analysis made me ‘smarter’ (or dumber). It’s still a struggle to put multiple linear regression analysis into a model that will be useful for my company. It is important however, that I was introduced to this ‘animal’ which I know I will meet again someday.
What’s up ahead?
At the start of the program, I was recruited to be COO of a tertiary hospital in Tanauan City Batangas. As if on cue, each of the modules that were scheduled coincided to the program of action that I undertook to review and re-align the strategy and actions of the company. Fast forward 18 months: EBITDA and ROS budgets were exceeded 106% and 104% respectively. Compared with same period of 2009 (before my tenure) the company improved by 14% despite a decrease in Revenue by 1.5%.  That was value added.
I credit the results to my ability to piece together a comprehensive program to align strategy with action and most of all tie them up with employee performance. The challenge for the hospital now is for the program (BSC and new Performance Evaluation System) to continue and sustain the positive results. 
Current management of hospital must sustain the results by continuing the program. Unfortunately, I recently just ended my term as COO of Daniel Mercado Medical Center to return to the industry I love the most and take a new role as General Manager of Seattle’s Best Coffee. To me therefore, the experience and track record that I made was largely influenced by the knowledge, experience and perhaps prestige of the EMBA program from AIM. That was value added.
Moving forward, I can only continue the learning attitude to be able to bring my score to at least a nine. The intention is not to get recruited again to a higher role, but to be more prepared to a higher role in the same company.
Over-all, the value that was added to me by the program was enjoyed as well by my former company. And the real value that is lasting will continue to be manifested in my career advancement and my personal improvement. 

Moreover, a fitting bonus to the experience was the honor and privilege to have the acquaintance and friendship of my classmates who have provided more than their time into the program. They have been worthy 'adversaries' in many debates. Able commentators on numerous discussions. Curious contributors to even the most trivial or controversial issues. And fitting members of a bunch of what I think is a perfect mix of intelligence, experience, character and integrity. My sincere gratitude will be expressed in future emails and text messages, as I do not intend to sever my ties with anyone of them.
The only regret I have about the program, is that ‘I should have taken this program when I was younger’.
Germin G. Espino