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Posts Tagged ‘IBM

WTF happened?


It has been a week since the majority of the world got shocked with the turn of events in the November 8 US presidential election.

All right, both candidates are despicable. Flawed. But one is more despicable over the other. More flawed over the other.

Yet, the electoral votes were for now President-elect Donald Trump. But as of this writing, Hillary Clinton is still amassing the popular votes.

Why the result of the US election matters to me? Why it matters to a Filipino like me who has never been to US yet?

Because the election is one of the most anticipated, if not highly-anticipated happening in the world, with US as an ally, as a “friend” to most nations of the world, the Philippines included.

Because the campaign promises of Trump threaten immigrants (“the Filipino immigrant population is the third largest foreign-born population from Asia, after India and China”). And I have friends, relatives in the US who are working hard there, living decently.

Because I worked in an outsourcing/offshoring industry (at American iconic company IBM), and I have family members and friends who are still working in the industry (and these are American companies also). And they fear that Trump’s pronouncements of keeping the jobs in America would mean a massive job loss for us, and other countries whose outsourcing/offshoring industry highly contribute to their overall economic growth.

Because I am a woman. And I am working my a** off to break that glass ceiling. And a woman championing women’s welfare, causes, is a dream most women (at least in my network) thought with Clinton becoming the first female US president.

So I am appalled to read a remark of a personal financial guru who said, to paraphrase, “his two cents’ worth,” that he has no opinion about Trump winning the election because he is a Filipino, not American, and Trump is America’s president-elect, not here.

But whoever won the US election, his or her administration’s policies would certainly impact countries that it has ties with. The Philippines included. Of course, our government officials now are doing their very best to allay such fears related with the Trump presidency and what it means for our country.

Anyhow, there are a lot of reasons why #ImWithHer. And many voters also are for Clinton (considering the popular votes, plus the global sentiment toward her acing this election). But it did not happen for Clinton.

But I understand as well why Trump won the elections; why there are those who voted for him.

So she conceded. And her speech (video above) was the most gracious, real you can hear after a vile campaign season. But she wished Trump well, and “offered to work with him on behalf of our country. I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans.”

And when she said sorry that they did not win the election, I got teary-eyed.

And to admit that her defeat is painful, filled buckets of tears from all over. “I know how disappointed you feel, because I feel it too. And so do tens of millions of Americans who invested their hopes and dreams in this effort. This is painful, and it will be for a long time. But I want you to remember this: Our campaign was never about one person or even one election. It was about the country we love—and about building an America that’s hopeful, inclusive, and big-hearted.”

But as her critics commend her as well, Clinton is a woman of steel. She will bounce back sooner than we think. “And to all the young people in particular, I want you to hear this. I’ve spent my entire adult life fighting for what I believe in. I’ve had successes and I’ve had setbacks—sometimes really painful ones. Many of you are at the beginning of your careers. You will have successes and setbacks, too.”

“This loss hurts. But please, please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it. It’s always worth it. And we need you keep up these fights now and for the rest of your lives,” we hear you, HRC.

But as what she asked Americans, and a conciliatory statement sent to the world who watched this election, “Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.”

OK, President-elect. Do a damn good job.

Until next week for a new post. Email ma.lynda.corpuz[a] for feedback.


Why continuous learning is important

Never stop learning, check those you need in this week-long opportunity to learn

Never stop learning, check those you need in this week-long opportunity to learn, screen grab from


Never stop learning.

That is so true, especially if you are gunning for a higher position in a very hierarchical workplace. Or aspires to have a business of your own, and grow a team to help you realize your business goals.

When I was at IBM, I have had identified early on that I wanted to become a people manager in a branding, corporate communications, marketing role. Thus, on top of leadership trainings my people manager identified for me, I also pursued learning opportunities aligned with my interests, with my identified career path in a multinational corporation like IBM.

Then, as our extra-curricular activity within our team, I lead the initiative called “knowledge sharing sessions,” where we were encouraged to share our knowledge and skills on topics or interests outside of our work scope. Such initiative added to the THINK40 program of the company (or the required 40 hours a year spent on professional and personal development).

I truly appreciate such learning and development (L&D) offerings of a company, which sadly, lacking in most companies I have worked for (and these were Filipino-owned and managed companies). Whatever I know now, particularly in terms of people management, I learned more strategically through such L&D opportunities I had at IBM (but I also acknowledge the lessons learned from the kindest bosses I have had over the years). And all those lessons learned I am able to apply in my succeeding roles that required me to manage a team — or make a team work as a team.

But I did not stop there.

And you should not stop learning, too. Or start now if you really have not given it a thought.

Yes, it is true we learn day-in and day-out in terms of how we accomplish the tasks required of our work.

But the value of completing a formal L&D course or certification is something else. Or finishing your your master’s or PhD degree. It adds golden points to your overall performance at work. And if you are leading a team in a startup for example, with L&D program still in the works, organize knowledge sharing sessions so your team can also learn what you have learned.

And speaking of learning (and this is not a paid post, I simply grab any opportunity to learn, and so I am sharing this information with you), professional networking site LinkedIn will be holding a week-long of learning opportunities from October 24 to 30. So if you have not been on LinkedIn for a while, now is a good time to do so.

It can be recalled that LinkedIn acquired the L&D site in April last year, which analysts viewed as the best $1.5 billion LinkedIn spent. (no relation to me) was a a leading online learning company teaching business, technology, and creative skills to help people achieve their professional goals was co-founded in 1995 by Lynda Weinman and Bruce Heavin. Thus, LinkedIn now has such wealth of L&D courses its members can choose from.

So for this week (and forward should you decide to upgrade your LinkedIn to a premium account), identify what courses you would like to avail, and the site would have a recommended list for you. Or you can avail of a learning based on your skill set, and it has the list of the top skills for 2016 and identified L&D courses to take.

Best of all, this week-long training is free.

Spending minimum an hour to learn something new, or advance your current skill set is a way to guarantee your growth in and out of the workplace.

And as Russian playwright and short story writer, Anton Pavlovich Chekhov apparently said, ““Wisdom … comes not from age, but from education and learning.”

Until next week for a new post. Email ma.lynda.corpuz[a] for feedback.

REDISCOVER Corporate Social Responsibility

Whether as an aid to human resources, to manage risk, to differentiate a brand, or as a license to operate, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been proven that it is beyond a fancy term. While there are still criticizing its real cause, it is undeniable that successful CSR efforts truly make a positive impact.

In recent years, hitting the triple bottom line (TBL) or the “three pillars” — people, planet, and profit — became the model for CSR initiatives, an accountability of sorts, a commitment to some form of TBL reporting aligned with the United Nations and ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives) TBL standard for urban and community accounting.

Cascade such big ticket words to the workforce, and most employees would say CSR is about their company’s effort to help the country or the community where they operate. It is also an opportunity for them to socialize – to meet other employees, especially if they work in a company that has various offices and remote workforce. Above all, it is an opportunity for them to help worthy causes and initiatives they are truly passionate about.

Corporate Responsibility: An Integral Part of Corporate Culture

For IBM, corporate responsibility is an integral part of their corporate culture. The 101-year-old company has outlined the following corporate responsibility thrusts: identify and act upon new opportunities to apply their technology and expertise to societal problems; scale their existing programs and initiatives to achieve maximum benefit; empower their employees and others to serve their communities; and integrate corporate citizenship and social responsibility into every aspect of the company.

Among such thrusts, empowering the employees and others to serve their communities was particularly highlighted during the company’s 2011’s Centennial Celebration of Service, wherein more than 300,000 IBMers participated in the activities, resulting in 3.2 million hours of community-based service in 120 countries.

In its IBM Corporate Responsibility Report for 2011, the company explains that when IBMers embarked on an historic effort to volunteer millions of hours of service throughout last year, they were careful to measure the results, citing that the company believe that the best way to give back to the many communities in which their employees live and work is to apply their skills to specific societal challenges.

In its service breakdown, 27% were serviced for education, 26% went to Human Resources, and 23% to community and economic development. Globally, North America clocked in 1,955,808 hours of services, Asia with 519,707 hours, and Europe with 400,054 hours.

The report also highlights IBMers helping to build Smarter Cities, through such efforts as the Smarter Cities Challenge, which so far provided USD50 million in competitive grants to send teams of talented IBMers to help transform 100 cities around the world. IBMers are also helping to re-imagine education, as with the innovative P-TECH high school in Brooklyn, New York, a breakthrough six-year model already spreading to other cities and influencing the national debate. Another very engaging effort of the company is the Corporate Service Corps, which deploy teams of high-potential IBMers in developing markets in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe to make communities smarter and more sustainable, while deepening the global skills of IBM’s future leaders.

Volunteering as “One”

IBM in the Philippines also held activities in line with the company’s Centennial Celebration of Service. In July 2011, the company supported the second phase of the “Save the La Mesa Watershed Project” of Bantay Kalikasan (ABS-CBN Foundation’s environmental arm) by adopting 800 trees. IBMers also participated in an environmental awareness briefing and ‘eco – amazing race’ activity to better understand, protect, and maintain the La Mesa Watershed.

Ready. This author and other IBMers participated in last year’s Big Blue Jungle, an activity in line with the company’s 2011’s Centennial Celebration of Service.

Learning. IBMers are taught to ready their saplings for planting.

Planting now.

As IBM celebrated its 75th year in the Philippines on July 20, 2012, the company held various corporate responsibility activities focusing on education.

It kicked off on July 19 with Voices for a Cause, which part of the proceeds from selling tee-ket (75th anniversary edition t-shirt) will go to 10 MOVES, a program by the Department of Education that aims to build 10,000 classrooms nationwide in a span of 10 months.

Kick-off. IBM Philippines 75th anniversary eve held Voices for a Cause, a benefit concert.

Full house. IBMers filling the venue for Voices for a Cause, a benefit concert.

Despite the heavy downpour brought by tropical depression Freddie, IBMers still banded for the One IBM Service Marathon for Education held last Saturday, July 21. IBMers were deployed across and beyond Metro Manila to help various programs that aim to better the state of education for the Filipino youth, in and out of school.  Activities included Mentoring (Iskul Blue-Kool); rehabilitation and refurbishment of classrooms/school grounds (Brigada Eskwela); outreach for streetchildren in Cavite (Kariton Klasrum); Reading Program (Read to Lead); and KidSmart turnover to select public schools and non-governmental organization.

Citing such efforts, and for a corporate responsibility effort to soar, “business, in particular, must seize the initiative,” IBM President and CEO Virginia Rommety writes in the company’s Corporate Responsibility Report for 2011. “We must not wait for government mandates. We must be active in convening all sectors of society to solve problems that none can solve on their own. We must energize our own resources — not just financial, but also human. Most crucially, we must create corporate citizenship and business strategies that are not merely ‘linked,’ but ‘one.’”

*Big Blue Jungle photos by IBMer Malou Sotto. Voices for a Cause photos by the author.

REDISCOVER Why IBM Philippines is “Essential” (Update 3)

When Virginia Rommety – the first female President and CEO of IBM – declared that  the 101-year-old company’s mission and aspiration for the next 100 years is to become “essential” to the clients, investors, country (where IBM operates), and employees, IBM Philippines took such declaration to a personalized – and glocalized level.

Mariels Almeda Winhoffer – who was only appointed early 2012 as IBM Philippines 14th and the first female Country Manager and CEO – cites that for the company’s 75th year in the country, they are ensuring that the whole business model is supporting such mission and aspiration, anchored on the platform, “Transformation through Information.”

Becoming “Essential”

To be essential to the country, community, customers, and people, IBM’s four identified growth areas – Smarter Cities, geo-expansion, Cloud, and Analytics – have been aligned with the Philippine government’s priorities.

Smarter Cities is an initiative that apply many of IBM’s Smarter Planet principles and innovations in public safety, transportation, water, building, social services, and agencies. Last month, IBM inked a PHP128 million project with the Davao City government to scale up its existing Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC) through IBM’s Intelligent Operations Center (IOC) solutions. IBM’s IOC is geared to help create Davao City a smart and safe city by applying advanced technologies like Geographic Information System (GIS), video analytics capabilities, early warning system, simplified dashboard, among relevant technologies.

Second is geo-expansion. Incorporated on July 20, 1937, IBM Philippines remains essential to IBM’s overall growth strategy.  As it celebrates its diamond anniversary today, the company leaders pride that the Philippines has been identified as one of IBM Corporation’s 20 focus countries, aligned with the company’s geographic expansion strategy in identified growth market units worldwide.

“The Philippines is a growth market and our geo-expansions include Davao, Calamba, and Subic and Clark. That’s our commitment [along] with the government’s ‘New Wave Cities,’ initiative. We’re enabling the transformation that this country is going through [now],” Almeda highlights during today’s media luncheon.

As a globally-integrated enterprise, IBM Philippines expands its industry leadership in Sales and Distribution for IT and IT-enabled services, Global Delivery Center for Application Services, Global Process Services (the Business Process Outsourcing [BPO] arm of IBM), and an Innovation Center. As one of the highlights of its 75th year, IBM Philippines announced that it has renewed its commitment to the country through the establishment of the first Philippine Systems and Technology R&D Laboratory.

In collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the R&D Lab is geared to advance four critical areas for the Philippines: BPO, governance for anti-corruption, talent development, and innovation for a knowledge-based economy. “… It’s not just us doing research and development for the sake of technology or for the sake of researching or developing something … [we’re] very focused on responding to the practical, essential needs of our Filipino people. Things [about] flood management, rice production, education: How has IBM got involved in these big issues that drive the way Filipinos live their lives here? It’s through technology. Our involvement in [these issues] will manifest itself through the [use] of our Analytics tools,” Winhoffer cites.

Watson is also an example how IBM has committed its resources to pursue advancement, Winhoffer cites. The AI (artificial intelligence) computer system capable of answering questions posed in natural language, bested Jeopardy! quiz show champions last year (thus becoming one of the highlights of IBM’s centennial celebration in 2011). But Watson is more than just a quiz show champ, Winhoffer stresses. “Watson [is] really, fundamentally IBM’s mission and aspiration: To use technology to solve the most complex issues that face mankind,” Winhoffer shares.

“Analytics will give us the platform to become more essential to the country, through our relationship with DOST, non-government organizations (NGOs), and through other means, to address, to give us a better understanding of the [issues],” Winhoffer says.

It’s Only the Beginning

Currently, the 75-year-old IBM Philippines has over 5,000 clients, 400 business partners, 130 authorized service centers, and operates from 12 world-class facilities nationwide.

While 75 years speak a lot of the success and longevity of the company in the Philippines and in the region, as well as IBM’s rise from its near-death experience in the 90s, Winhoffer says that things are only “starting” for IBM Philippines.

In line with such, Winhoffer shares that the Philippines has been chosen by global IBM to become the center for providing integrated health services. “We’re recognizing the skill sets of the nurses here in the Philippines. We’re going to elevate that and from here, we’re going to [virtually] support them in the United States … just like providing them with the support of highly talented and skilled professionals. It was just announced yesterday and we’re very proud of that because they chose us over Latin America and other continents, over other ASEAN countries,” she beams.

“The confidence and excitement of our global company is somehow pouring [here] in IBM Philippines: bringing operations here, further investing in our capacity, not only to support our revenue, but really to support the global business. In fact, this requires higher level skills, [like] providing Level 2 to 3 support from here for software and Level 2 to 3 support from here for hardware, so that really means Filipinos do possess the skills,” Winhoffer says.

On a personal note, Winhoffer says she is very blessed and honored to be part of IBM. “I’m pretty much a tool, an enabler, of what my predecessors did. I’m the 14th [Country Manager and CEO] and I’m building on the foundation built by my predecessors. [And] as one IBM in the Philippines, we will be better, bigger, and we will be very essential to the country,” she ends.

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