Batapa-Sigue: Choosing to grow

Batapa-Sigue: Choosing to grow

CHOOSING to grow is not an option in leadership. It must be the leader’s blueprint. I am inspired this week by my regular dose of McKinsey business articles, particularly on the discussion of a growth mindset. In its July 7 release, McKinsey says “driving sustainable, inclusive growth requires the right mindset, strategy and capabilities.”

What is the right mindset? The article mentions a digital mindset–-one which is not just about technical skills, although you must have some technical skills. It’s also a way of thinking—a way of thinking about data, devices and technologies as well as how we operate in an organization.

In this remote or hybrid era, McKinsey stresses that collaboration among humans means we need to make sure that we are always aligned—that we don’t fall prey to the problem of being out of sight, out of sync and out of touch. A digital mindset is a combination of seeing the possibilities for the future by changing our attitudes, by changing our behaviors, by putting on the right lens, by understanding what’s essential and what is not, and by developing our skills.

As we move further away from the two-year pandemic period that crippled our economy, we need to see more leaders choose to grow and develop rather than be stuck in the pre-pandemic era where life was not as challenged to innovate as we have been in the face of the pandemic.

There are examples of leaders “choosing to grow” all around us. On the policy side, one example is the consistent push for digital transformation policies in the Senate by Senator Sonny Angara. Although many policy proposals have not been successfully legislated in the previous Congress, the senator is refiling once again the Philippine Digital Transformation Act, the Information and Communications Technology Officer for Local Government Units (LGU) Amending Local Government Code, the Science and Technology Parks Incentives Act and the Freelancer Protection Provisions of Digital Careers Bill. Parts of the latter have been incorporated in the Digital Workforce Competitiveness bill which hurdled the 18th Congress and is now at the Office of the President.

Another example of a leader choosing to grow is the openness showed by new Bacolod Mayor Albee Benitez to collaborate with the Bacolod-Negros Occidental Federation for Information and Communications Technology (Bnefit) to further enhance the investment ecosystem of the city for ICT-enabled jobs, and in pursuing digital upskilling to ensure steady supply of qualified talent for the ICT industry. The ICT committee went to new councilor, Jason Villarosa, who is also showing dynamism and willingness to learn the ropes. I am excited for Bacolod.

Several local government officials in Negros Occidental and around the country have also reached out to me for some insights on how to develop their communities as locations for ICT industry investments. Indeed, we are expecting exciting times ahead of us.

Another milestone that is coming is the 10th Visayas ICT Conference (Victor) hosted by Visayas ICT Councils and the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) with the support of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) which is slated on August 26 to 27, 2022. The second day is the 7th Visayas Creative Congress in Boracay Island, Malay, Province of Aklan.

In 2012, as NICP president, I dreamt about a productive and harmonious collaboration among geographical clusters, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. That year, we started with all the Visayan Regions for the ICT Sector. Ten years later, the Visayas ICT champions, despite the calamities, the economic challenges, the pandemic - we are still trying to hold on together. We can always look at the seas that separate our islands as divisions - but we can change our mindset and see them as connectors. Virtual bridges of connection. The Visayas is the smallest among the geographical clusters - but I love these groups of islands - I love to be part of Victor. Next month we celebrate a decade of innovation, inclusion, and innovation. If we choose to grow, the way should be easier with everyone working together.


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