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Makati City
Thursday, July 13, 2017
As the new chairman of the Philippine Insurers and Reinsurers Association (Pira) who will lead the local insurance industry’s preparations for the Asean integration, Fortune General President and COO Michael Rellosa carries a huge burden on his back. “It should be more like ‘condolences’ than ‘congratulations,’” Rellosa said, when asked...
Innovation drives economic growth. This logic dominates the discourse in development circles. policy-makers and development-minded business leaders embrace innovation as a panacea for unemployment and economic underperformance. From the evidence of 2014, the innovation mindset has gone global. India’s Narendra Modi called for a revival in Indian manufacturing and greater...
Surprise. This is not the world we thought we’d leave our children as an inheritance. After the Cold War ended around 1990, some historians and journalists boasted that capitalism had triumphed. The First World of America, Europe and Japan won the battle. The Second World of Socialism had evaporated....
THE much-awaited Asian tour and Philippine visit of Pope Francis, now finally unfolding and is being watched by millions of people from all over the world, is both diplomatic and religious in nature. As the incumbent pope, Francis is the head of state and government of the smallest sovereign country in...
New evidence suggests that healthy-looking individuals are perceived as better leaders, even over intelligent-looking people. A study led by Brian Spisak at VU University of Amsterdam and published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience asked participants to judge leadership potential by looking at faces. Why examine our reactions to faces?...
CAIRO—After gunmen in Paris killed 12 people, Saudi Arabia’s top body of Muslim clerics quickly condemned the attack and said it could have no acceptable justification. It was a signal from some of the Islamic world’s strictest voices that cartoons lampooning the Prophet Muhammad in the French satirical magazine...
All organizations are political—and to some degree, they always will be. The underlying reasons are psychological. First, work involves dealing with people. That means finding a compromise between what they want and what we want. Second, humans are emotional creatures, biased by unconscious needs and riddled with insecurities. As a result,...

Global glimmers of hope

2014 was such a grim year for foreign policy that I’d like to write a column predicting things will get better this year. In truth, there’s scant reason to hope that the Islamic State will soon be destroyed, Vladimir Putin will see the light, or Kim Jong Un will agree...
Many organizations would like their leaders to create more innovative teams. But how exactly should they do this? Collaborating with a telecommunications company, we identified 33 individuals who scored at or above the 99th percentile on innovation, as measured by their peers, subordinates and bosses. Then we interviewed each leader by...
NEW YORK—The price of oil has fallen by nearly half in just six months, a surprising and steep plunge that has consumers cheering, producers howling and economists wringing their hands over whether this is a good or bad thing. The price of a barrel of oil is just under $56,...

PPA: Braving turbulent times

CHALLENGES show the character of any organization. It clearly defines how an organization react to certain aspects of those challenges. Same is true with the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA). The year 2014 is considered not very friendly with the state-owned agency. However, it is also not that fuming to the PPA. To...
It was the early 1990s, the week between Christmas and New Year’s. I was working as a sales representative for a software company. As I was leaving an appointment with the chief information officer of an investment bank, he handed me an order dramatically increasing their purchase of our software...
For years, American firms far and wide have bemoaned Chinese copycats. But these days, the water-cooler chatter in Silicon Valley has turned to the meteoric rise of Alibaba, which, in September, sparked the world’s largest initial public offering (IPO). With millions of users and merchants, the Chinese firm handles...

A Christmas Bucket List

People are at their happiest during Christmas, according to the findings of a study released recently. While it is not celebrated by everyone, many agree that Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. It is only during this time, at least in the Philippines, when people bring out...
THE Philippines is known for having the world’s longest and merriest Christmas season. Imagine Filipinos celebrating the holiday for four months,  starting from September until early January when the Epiphany, or the Feast of the Three Kings, is celebrated. Just when they hear of the “ber” months, people already feel...
Christmas comes but once a year. And don’t we all just wish otherwise? Nothing can truly compare with the merriment that the season brings. But while average people like us are wishing that the Christmas holidays would come year-round, all the more are Filipino entrepreneurs—whose businesses revolve around the...
After years of studying innovation, we’ve found that there’s great power in bringing together people who work in fields that are different from one another yet analogous on a deep structural level. For example, more than a decade ago, 3M developed a breakthrough concept for preventing surgery-related infections after getting...
United States President Franklin Roosevelt called December 7, 1941, “a date which will live in infamy,” but to many Americans it’s more of an occasion for head-shaking confusion. The surprise attack on Pearl Harbor wasn’t a crippling blow so much as an unprovoked act of imperial suicide. When Japan...
The youngest executive on Harvard Business Review’s list of the 100 Best-Performing CEOs is Simon Wolfson of Next, at age 46. According to research on age and innovation, even he may be beyond his creative peak. As Ezekiel Emanuel summarized in The Atlantic earlier this year: “Dean Keith Simonton, at...
The fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago this month signaled the unmatched strength of United States economic and military power; but it also reflected the seductive charisma of American democracy and its open, pluralistic, prosperous society—or so Americans thought at the time. So why, then, has that same...
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