Posts filed under ‘iInnovate’

iInnovate interviews Harvey G. Libarnes

Harvey G. Libarnes, Incubation Program Head

Incubation, Innovations Development, Service Creation Division

Globe Telecom

AYALATBI: Key to integrating innovation in the culture of an organization is having a clear and shared definition of it. What is the definition of innovation in your organization?

HARVEY G. LIBARNES: Given its highly technological nature, innovation in Globe—or the telecommunications field in general—has often been thought of as the ability to incorporate new technologies in the creation of new products and services. While this is certainly true, and it continues to be a major innovation focus area, Globe recognizes that innovation is a perpetual activity that spans the whole organization and through time has embraced a wider definition.

As a participant to the overall progression of Globe’s innovation agenda, there are three very important changes to the definition that I believe continue to solidify innovation as it develops across the organization.

#1 – Innovation happens everywhere in Globe and in all shapes and sizes. Beyond the traditional innovation happening in the development of products, services, and brands, both revolutionary and evolutionary innovations have been recognized to also be in many other activities. Some of these other innovation focus areas identified today are: organizational processes, input technologies and materials, logistics and channels, market development and deepening, growth engines and platforms, and business models. In this aspect, innovation is a collective responsibility of all Globe employees and needs to be facilitated by putting the right structures and processes in place.

#2 – Innovation should be centered on the end value to customers. Technology is but one avenue for innovation, and it is how Globe incorporates the needs of its customers into the different technologies that derive true innovation value. In this sense, all innovation must directly or indirectly translate to some value for the end customers for it to translate to sustainable value for Globe.

#3 – Innovation happens best in an ecosystem. Whether it is the generation of good ideas or the creation and delivery of easy-to-use services, Globe works within an ecosystem of partners to deliver each innovation. Globe Labs is perhaps a good example of how Globe further opens up to create a healthy innovation environment where all parties collaboratively design and invent new services.

AYALATBI: How does your organization encourage innovation?

HL: Globe works to continuously build a culture of innovation in many ways. From a process perspective, many ideation processes are built into the service creation discipline to enable the funneling and sifting of good ideas—coming from internal and external Globe sources—to the right people within the organization so that they can be acted upon. Proper organization structures have also been put in place to ensure that the different innovation landscapes are covered like the Innovation Development Division to handle longer-term innovation initiatives.

AYALATBI: What characterizes the Filipinos’ attitude towards innovation? Please answer in terms of what we should continue to practice and what we ought to revise.

HL: Filipinos in general are very creative and thus have a high propensity for innovation. This has surfaced time and again in the application development perspective where we see many of the local developers on a par with the rest of the world in the richness of ideas and ability to create applications. This is something that should be continued—and perhaps even strengthened through building more collaborative innovation ecosystems involving the government, incubators and investors, telecommunications companies, and technology partners alike.

AYALATBI: In a country of such limited resources as the Philippines, why does innovation become important when there are more risks that attend it?

HL: First of all, I do not believe that limited resources pose a risk to limit innovation in the Philippines. Perhaps traditionally this would have been the case where the old paradigm for innovation was purely competitive. But with how the Internet has evolved and information avenues flow across the world, innovation today really is just as collaborative as it is competitive and people continuously leverage on each others ideas and innovations.

In this sense, Filipinos have as much opportunity to learn, secure resources or investments, and innovate on a global scale. Perhaps what is important is that we learn to incorporate what is uniquely ours to differentiate our own innovations globally. In this sense, “limited resources” as an example is as much a potential global competitive advantage as it is a risk – similarly to India and how it is now strongly positioned to produce cheap small cars for Asia due to its own local market limitations.

AYALATBI:  Please name a personal interest or endeavor that is not related to technology but feeds your aptitude for innovation.

HL: I have been a bonsai enthusiast for a few years now and humbly admit that I probably have as much to learn today on the subject as when I first started. Other than the continued need for creativity and patience, one of the biggest lessons I have learned is that the art of bonsai is what one does—not something that one finishes. I always try to maintain the same mindset when engaged with innovation: Innovation is what one does – not a something that one finishes.

AYALATBI: What excites you, apart from technology?

HL: The power of the human mind has always fascinated me in the sense that it has so much untapped potential. I hear much study has gone into this field on how to utilize more than 10% of the human brain and I’m truly excited about where it is headed—and its exponential implications for the future when coupled with how technology is already currently evolving.

 

 

September 19, 2008 at 4:18 am Leave a comment

iInnovate interviews Bonifacio Comandante, Jr.

Bonifacio Comandante, Jr., President, Buhi Marine Worldwide Supply, Inc. 2004 to date. A marine biologist, agricultural engineer, economist, and entrepreneur, Boni Comandante conceptualized and developed fish hibernation and shellfish biotechnology, two inventions that have attracted worldwide attention for its innovation. As president of Buhi, he provides overall direction of this startup company, which uses pioneering technology on transporting live fishes in waterless conditions for freight. He is the applicant-owner of all related patents in fish hibernation and shellfish biotechnologies, and is the recipient of distinguished awards and recognitions.

AYALATBI: Key to integrating innovation in the culture of an organization is having a clear and shared definition of it. What is the definition of innovation in your organization?

BONIFACIO COMANDANTE, JR.: Innovation for Buhi (Visayan word for “live”) is an idea that is translated into monetary gains. 


AYALATBI: How does your organization encourage innovation? 


BC: Buhi technicians become co-inventors (in patent applications) for intellectual outputs contributed. 


AYALATBI: What characterizes the Filipinos’ attitude towards innovation? Please answer in terms of what we should continue to practice and what we ought to revise.

BC: Every person has some inherent capability to innovate, which becomes apparent when the organizational environment is right. Acknowledging small things begets larger contributions that spell proprietary signatures.

AYALATBI: In a country of such limited resources as the Philippines, why does innovation become important when there are more risks that attend it?

BC: If research and development are done religiously, gains are always greater than losses.

AYALATBI: Please name a personal interest or endeavor that is not related to technology but feeds your aptitude for innovation.

BC: Striving for excellence, because we have a great God! 


AYALATBI: What excites you, apart from technology? 


BC: Helping others achieve their goals.

August 11, 2008 at 2:39 am 4 comments

Innovating during crisis and an interview with Joey Gurango

At the Asia Pacific Conference on Business Incubation and Entrepreneurship held in Kuala Lumpur last month, Malaysian Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Honorable Mr. Fadillah Haji Yusof, in his keynote address, “urged the delegates to adopt proactive measures by capitalizing on business incubation strategies and innovation of technologies to cushion the global economic impact caused by surging oil prices and unprecedented worldwide food crisis.”

The case for innovation to address social development issues, especially for those at the base of the pyramid, is a solid one. There are showcase examples in product, process, and service innovations that have created potent and widespread impact.

Innovation, however, does not enjoy such unalloyed reputation during times of crisis, such as the one we are in now. Failure is a sister act of innovation, and its cost implications can discourage even the most lionhearted. And for a country like the Philippines, with its limited resources, why innovate with all its attendant risks?

 This is a question that interests us, and one that we keep asking our tech innovators, such as Joey Gurango, CEO and CTO of Gurango Software. According to Joey, “In an environment of limited resources, I actually believe that there is LESS at risk, since there is LESS to lose.”

Check out the rest of Joey’s answer and the AyalaTBI’s interview on the topic of innovation.

AyalaTBI: Key to integrating innovation in the culture of an organization is having a clear and shared definition of it. What is the definition of innovation in your organization?

JOEY GURANGO: Since we are a software products company focused on the Microsoft technology platform, we define innovation in two parts.  First, innovation is finding ways to make our software products more useful to our customers, in terms of what our products can do for them.  Secondly, innovation is finding ways to apply the latest Microsoft technologies to improve our products’ performance, reliability and ease-of-use, in terms of how our products operate.

AyalaTBI: How does your organization encourage innovation?

JG: I think the only way to encourage technology innovation is to create an open and honest engineering environment, wherein the best minds with the best ideas can come together and challenge each other.  This is what I try very hard to do.  Innovation cannot flourish in an environment that is totally top-down in structure, and where junior engineers are not expected to come up with the next bright idea. 

AyalaTBI: What characterizes the Filipinos’ attitude towards innovation? Please answer in terms of what we should continue to practice and what we ought to revise.

JG: Filipinos are really good at improvisation—making do with what is available—to get the job done. They are also inherently dedicated, hard-working, and loyal to the organization.  These are general attitudes that we should continue to encourage.  What ought to be revised is the general attitude of making one’s work just “good enough”—the “puwede na iyan” or “bahala na” mentality.  I don’t think that most of our college graduates really understand what “sweating out the details” and “good enough is not good enough” really mean.

AyalaTBI: In a country of such limited resources as the Philippines, why does innovation become important when there are more risks that attend it?

JG: In an environment of limited resources, I actually believe that there is LESS at risk, since there is LESS to lose.  So, the process of innovation should be more widespread.  What prevents that from happening is purely one’s attitude.  To answer the question: innovation becomes more important when resources are limited, because we need to find ways to do more with less, and that is one important role that innovation plays in any economy.  And since there is less to begin with, then there is less at risk.

AyalaTBI: Please name a personal interest or endeavor that is not related to technology but feeds your aptitude for innovation.

JG: My wife and I have operated a foundation since 2002 that is affiliated with Smile Train.  We perform free cleft surgeries for indigent infants in the Philippines.  To date, our organization has permanently changed the lives of 250 children for the better at a cost of just US$250 per surgery (compared to over US$1,000 per surgery when performed the “usual” way).  This is already a true, modern-day medical miracle; however, we are looking for more innovative ways to help even more infants at an even lower cost.

AyalaTBI: What excites you, apart from technology?

JG: Seeing others do well, and knowing that I’ve made some contribution to their success.

iInnovate briefly discusses innovation straight from the mouth of our top technology innovators. We believe that one can cultivate a mindset and an attitude that embrace innovation—with its attendant risks of failure and a healthy respect for accident and intuition—through example rather than a manual. More iInnovate interviews are in store. 

July 29, 2008 at 6:51 am 1 comment


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