Govergence Series II held in Zamboanga City

Thirty-Five (35) public managers and executives joined the 2nd Career Executive Service (CES) Leadership Conclave at the Garden Orchid Hotel in Zamboanga City on 6 April 2017 organized by the Career Executive Service Board (CESB) in partnership with the Regional Executives Association of Western Mindanao (REAWESMIN).

The 2017 CES Leadership Conclave series, launched last February at the Diamond Hotel Manila, is anchored on the theme: “GoVergence: Cultivating Exemplary Service”. The theme focuses on convergence for governance as a catalyst for sustained positive change. It emphasizes the need to promote synergism within and beyond the CES Community on the premise that amidst diversity lie opportunities to harness unique individual and organizational talents and resources through partnership, collaboration and cooperation.

Ms. Rosalina L. Bistoyong, National Union of Career Executive Service Officers (NUCESO, Inc), President and Department of Agrarian Reform Undersecretary, opened the conclave with the message on the importance of convergence in working towards sustainable and inclusive development which is already being done by various government executives. She then highlighted three (3) best practices to achieve successful convergence, viz. 1) agree on common areas to be subjected to convergence; 2) clarify the agency’s contribution and resource sharing; and 3) monitor status of agreed upon actions and improve, enhance and adapt corrective measures, as necessary.

In the first plenary session, Mr. Ernesto O. Cecilia, a human resoures management practitioner and management consultant, highlighted the importance of convergence in this VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) world, where technology plays a significant role. He said that convergence in technology is not only about putting together different media platforms into one device, but it is a cultural shift as people today interact with each other better, to work together and to converge. Moreover, he mentioned some tips to a successful collaboration, viz. learn how to listen, integrate collaboration with the work, measure what matters, persist until something happens, adapt and evolve, break down barriers, develop a strategy, never compromise values, and transcend borders.

Govergence in Action

Two (2) Career Executive Service Officers, shared real-life stories of excellence in convergence from two (2) public sector organizations during the afternoon sessions.

Deputy Executive Director Efren Carandang

National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) Deputy Executive Director Efren Carandang related NAMRIA’s journey towards transformation through various internal and external collaboration activities. He narrated that the agency previously operated on annual plans and has no well-defined standards and procedures. Since they were dealing with technical operations, they focused more on technology and less on human resources. This resulted to employee disengagement.

Deputy Administrator Carandang said that the convergence of Human Resource and Organizational Development Initiatives provided a more conducive working environment for its employees. NAMRIA developed a Competency-based System, a Moral and Welfare program, and a Recognition and Rewards Program. The Human Resource, together with the technical personnel of the agency, developed a NAMRIA Strategy Map and a Quality Management and Operations Manual.

As for interagency convergence, Deputy Administrator Carandang discussed the Philippine Extended Continental Shelf Project. Through the convergence of technical, scientific, legal, and diplomatic expertise of NAMRIA, Philippine Coast Guard, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), National Security Council (NSC), Department of Justice (DOJ), Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), Department of National Defense (DND), Commission on Maritime and Ocean Affairs (CMOA), Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC), University of the Philippines-National Institute of Geological Sciences (UP-NIGS), UP-Institute of International Legal Studies (UP-IILS), Norway Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), and the GNS Science New Zealand, the Philippines was able to secure an additional 135,500 square kilometers seabed territory, which is considered a perpetual legacy to future generations of our countrymen.

The continental shelves contain oil, gas, and unexplored mineral and living resources. The last part of Deputy Administrator Carandang’s presentation is the formulation of the United Nations (UN) Strategic Framework on Geospatial Information and Services for Disasters. The said framework is the UN Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM)’s guiding policy document that brings together all stake holders and partners involved in Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) to ensure that quality geospatial information and services are available and accessible in a coordinated way to decision-making and operations before, during, and after disasters. Deputy Administrator Carandang co-chaired the UN Working Group that developed the said framework. Finally, Deputy Administrator Carandang encouraged the participants to “synergize and continuously innovate to raise the standards of governance if we and the institutions we represent are to stay relevant.”

Director Alexander R. Madrigal

Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Region IV-A Regional Director Alexander R. Madrigal shared rich information on the concept and practical applications of convergence and innovation. He said that as the world become wired and interconnected, the workplace has also evolved into a highly collaborative environment, where forty percent of (40%) of productivity is directly connected to communication. Looking forward, he shared that 2020, fifty percent (50%) of the workforce will be composed of millennials, and eighty-eight percent (88%) of them prefer collaborative work culture.

Director Madrigal pointed out the three basic organizing principles by Robert Sutton, such as Enhance variance; See old things in new ways; and Break from the past. He said that “diversity, new combinations, and mutations of existing forms are required for creating new forms.” He added that “most things that appear to be entirely new are not conjured up out of thin air. Rather, they are new blends of old objects, ideas, or actions.”

An innovation enthusiast, Director Madrigal demonstrated some examples of home grown innovations in Region IV-A that were achieved by seeing “old things in new ways” and employing collaborative approaches. One of the examples he presented is the establishment of a Toll Processing Center in Region IV A. Built through the multi-agency collaboration with Department of Trade and Industry and the academe, the P30M facility operated by MSMES is capable of commercial production, packaging and labelling support and laboratory testing. Said facility is not a new concept but an enhanced version of a Food Innovation Center, a DOST-funded facility that is suitable for small-scale production.

Director Madrigal concluded his presentation by emphasizing the importance of building the culture of innovation and collaboration in the workplace. He said, “organizational excellence is driven by people’s quest for innovation in their own workplace.”

After the learning sessions, Mr. Edgardo P. Sabalvoro, Chief of the Professional Development Division of the CESB facilitated a re-imagining workshop entitled “CES Café”, wherein the participants were divided into small groups to brainstorm on the future of the CES by the year 2022, the strategic executive development interventions needed to achieve the vision, and the common values that have to be shared among the participants. This interactive workshop produced very valuable outputs and strengthened the camaraderie between the members of the CES community.

Forum participants have expressed their appreciation of the program as they find it relevant and informative. Ms. Maridel Dengal of the Department of Trade and Industry Zamboanga Del Norte said, “This is the first time to attend – I resolve to attend all seminars/fora called by CESB.” Meanwhile, Director Cynthia C. Lazo of the Department of Tourism said that she was able to identify application in her area and department.