Category Archives: July 2016

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Unconventional Methods to Hire Independent Thinkers

Trying to hire independent thinkers can be surprisingly tough in a country where the available workforce is so large. One of the most challenging things about finding independent thinkers is that you cannot measure this trait. You may be able to find a skilled worker, or an educated one, but that’s no guarantee they are great independent thinkers. independent thinkers are usually the best at customer service, because they can be innovative when it comes to solving problems. They are also able to make choices under pressure, when there is no manager around to consult.

Independent thinkers are the backbone of every company, which is why so many leading brands turn to unconventional methods to recruit them. Some companies have virtual recruitment games to see how well candidates handle typical workday challenges, other companies go out and pose as their rival’s competitors to find the best hires in their industry.

No matter which industry you’re in, here are a few ideas to hire independent thinkers.

Use social networks

You can tell a lot about a person based on what they share. If you’re looking for a marketer, do a quick Twitter search to see the top Tweets surrounding marketing. Take a deeper look into their profiles to see the type of content they share and whether they do so consistently. Are the posting interesting, thought-provoking articles that indicate they’re up-to-date in the industry? If you like their voice or personal brand, find out whether they have a website and how to contact them.

Find the best already in the field

Some companies’ HR departments go undercover to scope out the competition. For example, if you run a chain of restaurants, leave your card with any server who went above and beyond expectations. If you need people who deal with customers and customer service, you may try purchasing an item from a store and then returning it to gauge the level of service of someone. If anyone stands out, reach out and ask if they’re open to new opportunities.

Make it a game

Develop a mobile app that allows people to play out common scenarios in your business. It could be a marketing game, a restaurant game that demonstrates ability to multi-task, or something else. Google developed a marketing course that goes over the fundamentals of analytics, mobile advertising, and more. If you create something like this, you can reach out to everyone who completes the course and see if they’d like to apply.

Host industry events

Industry events show you who is involved enough to keep up with the industry. Observe both the participants and the employees from other companies who were sent to handle booths. Look at how attentive the booth managers are, how well they can answer questions, and their overall behavior. For the attendee side, do some networking, ask questions about the companies they’re currently with, and discuss current trends in the industry. You’ll start to see who is knowledgeable in the industry, but more importantly you’ll see their conversational skills.

Utilize your website

Use your website to attract employees who use your services. For example, if you run a freelancer directory, look at all of the complete, all-star profiles. Out of those, you should find a few freelancers you can reach out to in order to see if they’d like to work with you. If you use a blogging service that shows site visits and numbers, and you’re trying to fill an analytics position, place an unobtrusive note that you’re hiring.

Have contests

Your business could also hold a contest to discover new talent. If you’re looking for a coder, host a contest wherein the prize is an award to a coding camp. Then, once they finish the camp courses, reach out to see if they’d like to apply. You can also hold a writing contest to find a content coordinator, or a new tagline and logo contest to find a designer.

What are some other unconventional ways to hire independent thinkers? Have you tried any of the methods above? Share your experiences and ideas in the comments.

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Public Seminar: Lean Management

From August 24 to 25, we’ll he hosting a 2-day workshop on lean management and how it can benefit your business. The course is ideal for senior executives, managers and leaders from both the manufacturing and service (including banking and finance, logistics, healthcare, government and public service) sectors.

We will have special guest speaker, Mike Grogan with us to discuss lean management concept and principles, as well as an overview of tools.

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Lean Management is the proven management approach to world class performance. 10,000s of organizations around the globe in almost every industry (both manufacturing and service based) have implemented Lean Management with overwhelming success. Lean Management implementation significantly improves quality, reduces lead times and lower costs enabling your business to fundamentally become more productive and competitive.

The Lean Executive Overview will help participants be fully aware of their roles as change enablers, better equip them to facilitate transformation and remove obstacles, and participants will learn which metrics drive lean behavior and how to measure them at different levels of the organization. The seminar will show us how to drive bottom line results and techniques to ensure lean projects are adequately supported and completed on time.

Course Outline

Definition and Principals of Lean Management
What Problems Lean Management can help you solve

Lean Management Principal Number 1 – Visual Tools
Making the invisible – visible
Successful Case Studies from around the world

Designing for your organization Part 1
Designing your first Visual Tool
Presentation and Feedback to class

Lean Management Principal Number 2 – Standard Work
What is standard work and why do we need it
Creating Standard Work for your Lean Management System

Lean Management Principal Number 3 – Leadership Behaviours
The Red Bead Experiment
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Leadership Behaviours
What Lean Leaders say and do

Designing for your organization Part 2
Designing your second Visual Tool
Presentation and Feedback to class

How to start Lean Management in your organization
How to manage People Resistance
Tips for success: What to do and what not to do

Questions and Answers

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For an investment of 8,500 plus VAT, participants will get instruction by an expert facilitator, small group workshops that provide “active learning” which is known to be the most effective method for adult learners, a specialized student manual, a personalized certificate of participation, snacks and lunch.

About the Facilitator

Mike Grogan is a Lean Management Expert, High Performance Leadership Coach and Keynote Speaker. Mike first got exposed to Lean Management while working with Pharmaceutical Multinational Merck/MSD. There he learned first-hand from Toyota Production System (TPS) Consultants on obtaining a deep understanding of Lean and what is required for Implementation to be successful. Since then he has helped over 100 organizations in eight countries around the world become more efficient and effective. Clients have been from multiples diverse sectors such as Banking, Mining, BPO’s, Government, Manufacturing, and Healthcare, etc. In 2013 Mike was recognized by the Global Lean Movement as the first to successfully bring Lean Management to Healthcare in East Africa. Today Mike is based in Metro Manila where he is committed to engaging more organizations across South East Asia on the world class performance that can be achieved with Lean Management. Mike has a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University College Dublin and is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. He is the founder of the BestofYou Podcast. For more information, visit

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How Mindfulness and Communication Creates Better Leaders

It takes a diverse set of skills to be a great leader, such as empathy, intelligence, decisiveness, and mindfulness.

Mindfulness is being aware of your surroundings, your team members, and how you perform in the workplace. When someone is a mindful leader, they are fully aware of what is happening in their business, and how their actions will affect others. In essence, it’s being ‘present’ in your business.

Mindfulness is an important skill for leaders to have because it will help them work better with their teams, make more informed decisions, and improve their relationships.

Here are a few ways to cultivate mindfulness at work;

  • Ask questions instead of assuming.
  • Be conscious of workplace boundaries and don’t cross them.
  • Encourage cooperation and communication.
  • Have a genuine interest in your team members’ lives.
  • Empower your team to work independently.
  • Have an aversion to micromanagement.
  • Develop and share a clear vision for the team and business.
  • Practice empathetic listening.

When to use different types of communication styles

Being a mindful leader involves knowing when to use which type of communication style with your team. Based on the scenario, you may want to tell, consult, delegate, or gain consensus. Google’s new manager training shows us how to talk to your team.

  • Tell: Good for simple, time-critical tasks that don’t have much impact on the team.
  • Consult: Good for decisions that don’t affect the team too much, wherein the leader retains final control of the outcome.
  • Delegate: Use this language for decisions that are best handled by small groups or single individuals. Use this when the task will help the individual or group develop their skill set.
  • Consensus: Use this when a decision isn’t time-critical, but large enough that the entire team should be on board. For example, if you’re planning on reorganizing the company structure or make a change in required schedules.

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Public Seminar: Stress and Time Management

Today’s workforce is experiencing job burnout and stress in epidemic proportions. Workers at all levels feel stressed out, insecure, and misunderstood. Many people feel the demands of the workplace, combined with the demands of home, have become too much to handle. Same in handling time, too. Time is money, the saying goes, and lots of it gets lost in disorganization and disruption. We also deal with a constant barrage of technology, people, and tasks that can contribute to that disorganization. Many people find that they flit from one task to another, trying to get everything done.

Join us on July 28 to 29 for a two-day workshop that explores the causes of such stress, and suggests general and specific stress management strategies that people can use every day. You will also learn how to make the most of your time by getting a grip on your workflow and office space, using your planner effectively, and delegating some of your work to other people.

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Participants will understand that stress is a positive, unavoidable part of everybody’s life, recognize the symptoms that tell you when you have chronic stress overload, identify the situations and actions that cause the greatest stress, change what you can, and manage what you can’t.

Participants will create an action plan for work, home, and play to help reduce and manage stress, learn how to delegate, and practice useful techniques for setting goals.

Course Outline

  • Defining stress and how it affects us
  • What is Stress about?
  • Building a solid foundation
  • Mental strategies
  • Stress at work
  • Stress at home
  • Time management tips
  • Drainers and fillers
  • The Power of a Change
  • Changing Our Perspective
  • Setting Goals
  • Planning Tips and Tricks
  • Setting a Routine
  • Doing it Right
  • Putting an End to Procrastination
  • Getting Organized
  • Organizing Your Files
  • Managing Your Workload

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An investment of 8,500 plus VAT includes instruction by an expert facilitator, specialized student workbook and course materials, a personalized certificate of completion, snacks and lunch.

About the Facilitator

Maria Vida G. Caparas, Ph.D.,RPsy holds a Master’s Degree and Ph.D., Summa Cum Laude, in Psychology. She is an Accredited Trainer of the Philippine Government with invaluable experiences in Organizational Development as a Human Resource, Training and OD practitioner. She authored three books on Psychology/HR Management namely “Psychological Assessment: Theory and Practice”, “Uses of Psychological Tests”, and “Human Resource Management” and was a Trainer Delegate of DFA-Foreign Service Institute in Italy and Singapore in 1999-2000. Dr. Caparas is a recipient of various national awards and also a professor in prestigious universities.

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How to Use Personality Tests to Assemble a Star Team

Each person is different, and personality tests and assessments were developed to get to the root of that difference. We use tools like skill tests to determine why people can handle some situations but not others, predict how different employees will react to crisis, and more. This post goes over how you can use personality tests to assemble star teams who work together seamlessly throughout your organization.

Origin of personality assessments

Personality tests, much like IQ tests, have been around for a long time. We see the obsession with different characteristics as far back as the zodiac, which uses your birth date to predict how a certain person will behave. For example, if you were born in a certain month, you may have a tendency to be more logical or emotional, more relaxed or high-strung, or more creative versus mathematical.

According to ColorCode, humans have sought to explain behavior since ancient times. Greek physician Hippocrates created the first known personality assessment, stating that human behaviors come from a balance of four temperaments.

Why use them in business

Today, our partners have gotten personality assessments down to a tried-and-tested science. They have gone from postulation to tools that you can use to hire the best people for your business, and organize the most harmonious teams. Our clients have seen a 64 percent improvement in quality of hire, and a 10 percent improvement in goal achievement thanks to the use of assessments.

What to look for

In order to discover the ideal tests for your business, here are a few criteria you should look for.

  • Wholesome measurement: Your assessments must measure the entire person, not just an isolated skill. For example, someone may be 100 percent agreeable, but only 30 percent rational. Even if you are hiring for agreeability, this hire would be worse than someone who is 90 percent agreeable and 90 percent rational. Look for tests that include behavioral traits, reasoning, and occupational interests.
  • Customizable: No one position is alike, which means the skill set and personality traits you need in a marketing team is different from those that are most valuable in your IT department. You should be able to customize your personality tests and assessments based on benchmarks of what you need for a particular role.
  • Business-focused: Personality assessments are fun, but when they are purely for fun, they are vague and gloss over weaknesses. The personality tests you need to build great teams must highlight both strengths and weaknesses, no matter how hard it is for a person to hear.

How to balance personalities on a team

Once you’ve found the testing option you want, and have the results for your company, you will want to balance personalities out in a team. A good rule to go by is the DISC balance. DISC stands for dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness, respectively.

Here’s a little more information about each of the quadrants. To have a well-balanced team, you should aim for personalities in each of the quadrants.

  • Dominance; blunt, sees big picture, straightforward
  • Influence; enthusiastic, optimistic, collaborative
  • Steadiness; reliable, calm, humorous
  • Conscientiousness; independent, logical, detailed

Still curious?

To learn more about how personality tests can help you and your team, contact us and we’ll be happy to explain the details for different assessments you can use. Questions? Go ahead and comment below.

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Public Seminar: Test and Measurement Design 101

On July 26 to 27, we’ll host our seminar-workshop on Test and Measurement Design, which provides the participants with the knowledge, abilities and skills that are needed to carry out an in-depth evaluation of educational and psychological tests and to be able to interpret test scores.

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Course participants will develop an appreciation of psychological testing and its importance, obtain an understanding of the basic concepts of reliability, validity and test construction, and learn to interpret scores. This seminar is recommended for HR practitioners, psychometricians, teachers/professors, and guidance counselors.

Course Outline

  • Brief History of Psychological Measurement
  • Importance of Psychological Testing
  • Characteristics of Psychological Instruments
  • Purposes of Test and Measurement
  • Types of Tests
  • Bloom’s Taxonomy
  • Application of Psychological Measurement
  • Educational Testing
  • Personnel Testing
  • Clinical Testing
  • Ethics in Psychological Testing
  • Steps in Test Construction
  • Choosing the test Format
  • Validity and Reliability
  • Scoring and Interpretation

Register Now

An investment of P8,500 plus VAT includes snacks and lunch, instruction by an expert facilitator, small group workshops that provide “active learning,” a specialized student workbook, and a personalized certificate of participation.

About the Facilitator

Maria Vida G. Caparas, Ph.D.,RP holds a Master’s Degree and Ph.D., Summa Cum Laude, in Psychology. She is an Accredited Trainer of the Philippine Government with invaluable experiences in Organizational Development as a Human Resource, Training and OD practitioner. She authored three books on Psychology/HR Management namely “Psychological Assessment: Theory and Practice”, “Uses of Psychological Tests”, and “Human Resource Management” and was a Trainer Delegate of DFA-Foreign Service Institute in Italy and Singapore in 1999-2000. Dr. Caparas is a recipient of various national awards and also a professor in prestigious universities.

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The Importance of Pausing

For career-driven individuals, life seems to always be on fast play. Each day consists of a routine of working from sun up until sun down. Professionals with this kind of lifestyle may run the danger of missing life itself, equating work with what life, once, was.

Work, by concept, is good. In fact, it is one of the things man is made to do for it makes him productive. However, work becomes detrimental when done in excess. Backlogs and constant deadlines make it seem like the pause button is impossible to reach. In the modern workplace, communication has become easier due to advances in technology. While it makes the worker be more effective, it also makes him on call 24/7.

This is where the importance of pausing comes in. It enables him to draw the balance between work and life. He is empowered to manage work – not the other way around. When the pause button is within reach, the only thing one needs is to develop the willpower to press it.

Pausing is a method that can be learned through creating useful mental habits to optimize a person’s personal leadership potential.

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Public Seminar: Change Management

On July 21 to 22, we’ll be hosting our Change Management seminar-workshop that prepares the participants to deal with changes in the workplace. It provides a venue to express their experiences on change, their reactions/responses and strategies on how to deal with change. Moreover, it provides the participants on how an organization should manage change.

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This workshop will help teach participants how to accept that there are no normal or abnormal ways of reacting to change, but that we must start from where we are. Change isn’t something to be feared, but an essential element of growth, improvement and enhancement.

Participants will understand that adapting to change is not technical but attitudinal. Change is not an intellectual issue but one that strikes at who you are.

The workshop will identify strategies (individual and organizational) on how to deal with changes and for helping change be accepted and implemented in the workplace.

Course Outline

I. Overview of Change and Change Management

What is Change?
What is Organizational Change?
Factors that Drive Change
Significant Changes in the Workplace
What is Change Management? Why Do We Have To Manage Change?

II. The Change Cycle and Reactions/Responses to Change

The Change Cycle (William Bridges)
Patterns of Accepting Change
Human Reaction/Response to Change: Daryll Conner’s Interpretation
The Emotional Journey of Change
Claes Janssen’s Four-Room Apartment Model

III. Practical Strategies and Tools to Manage Change

ProSci’s ADKAR Model to Change Management
-Individual Change Management
-Organization Change Management
-Change Competency
Kotter’s Change Process

Register Now

An investment of 8,500 includes instruction by an expert facilitator, specialized student workbook and course materials, a personalized certificate of completion, snacks and lunch.

About the Facilitator

Dr. Rosario C. Alzona holds a Master’s Degree in Statistics and Ph.D in Organizational Development. She is an accomplished Organizational Development professional with almost 20 years of experience in diverse workplace environments. She has varied experiences in organizational assessment, OD intervention design and implementation, learning and development and process/procedure design and development. Dr. Alzona has taken various Information Technology and OD Consultancy projects with several Consulting firms and has taught for ten years in the Graduate School of several universities and colleges in diverse topics of management and leadership. She is a frequent speaker at various seminars and workshops with topics on Leadership, Team Building, Organizational Assessment, Strategic Planning, Change Management and Appreciative Inquiry. She is a High-energy Trainer and Creative Facilitator, skilled in guiding learners through engaging breakthrough learning opportunities.

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