Originally published on 17 September 2012

Or I’ll crawl my way to the finish line. Walking is not an option. Already on my fifteenth km, feet and knees hurting, I kept repeating that line in my head. I can be really cruel to myself. I guess that’s the point. I’d drop dead on the road if I have to. It looked like that would be the case on that fateful day but I thought it would be alright — anyway, my brother was on a nearby resort and I told him I should be home by a little past seven in the morning. If I didn’t…


Originally published on 15 October 2012

“Iwan nyo lahat dito. Tsinelas din. Baka matangay sa current.”

That was what one of them said. These guys, my two Kapampangan cousins and their surfing buddies, have been here countless times.

The concept of not bringing anything was new to me. When heading out, I have to bring something. Anything. It’s just how it is.

I go to work with a knapsack or a messenger bag. When I go out of the house without one, I would always feel a little too light. …


Originally published on 19 January 2013

In most corporate offices around the world, the last quarter of the year is set for employee performance appraisals where an individual’s performance is reviewed. On the following quarter, the first quarter of the following year, is where individual performance expectations are set. Inclusive of these meetings and discussions are plans for the individual’s career — a 2-year, 5-year or 10-year plan depending on how fast the industry the company is in. The employee is encouraged to articulate his career plan in an attempt to map out specific action steps he need to take to reach his goals. …


Originally published on 28 March 2013

As I was skimming through my emails last night, I noticed a pattern that I could almost say is due to my own email practices. I’ve been in my current company for close to five years now and it would be a shame if I have not driven any influence by this time. Email is the prime communication tool this company, and all other internet-enabled companies for that matter, uses and arguably the most used tool even outside of its most obvious use. Some use it for note-taking (e.g., drafts, send to self), some for keeping track of action items…


Originally published on 28 August 2012

First, I want to stress the point that every organization has to truly understand the concept of the directly responsible individual (DRI). Apple has a taught us this lesson last year when Forbes revealed this in an online article.

The accountability mindset extends down the ranks. At Apple there is never any confusion as to who is responsible for what. Internal Applespeak even has a name for it, the “DRI,” or directly responsible individual. Often the DRI’s name will appear on an agenda for a meeting, so everybody knows who is responsible. “Any effective meeting at Apple will have an…


Originally published on 30 March 2013

Last week, I was invited to a “birthday charity” event. I’m not really sure what’s the term for it but it is when the person celebrating his or her birthday would observe it in a place of charity or whichever location where recipients of charity would be there in attendance. I’ve received a few invitations like these in the past but I’ve never really fancied attending to one of them. On last week’s invitation I had a perfect reason to decline: it was also my son’s birthday.

It seems to be the trend these days. I think it started with…


Originally published on 16 July 2013

There is this big misconception that the team leader, project manager or the CEO has to be right each time. That he has to be the all-knowing, prescient Jesus-cum-Moses in the room. No.

My biggest lesson was that you could be technically right and management wrong, and I learned that early on. I can articulate and debate a viewpoint from many angles, and I found that I could be technically right and force somebody into a viewpoint. But then they would slowly spiral into a place where they’re not really working hard because they feel demoralized. …


Originally published on 14 July 2013

I’m not sure if this was a result of turning 31 and realizing I am half way in this journey called life (assuming life expectancy at 58 to 65) but I found it more and more important to ‘edit’ my life and my family’s. Now.

To understand what I mean by editing life, watch this short TED Talk. Go ahead, I’ll wait here.

http://www.ted.com/talks/graham_hill_less_stuff_more_happiness

My kids keep asking us to buy stuff. Anything that may strike their fancy be it toys, junk food or clothing accessories, the default answer is to buy them. We are in the process of making…


Originally published on 23 July 2013.

Let me get this out of the way first. I am a corporate hack and had been this way for close to ten years now. I am not an entrepreneur. I am also not an engineer nor a designer. Most of my days are spent in meetings with individuals, groups of people, groups of sub-groups of people, people in conference rooms, people in conference calls, people in interview rooms, hallways and smoking areas (second-hand smoker right here). …


Originally published on 31st December 2013. As we are nearing the end of 2014, I thought it would be good to reflect on what I’ve written on the subject.

I have always seen 13 as my lucky number so it was only proper that I welcomed 2013 as my lucky year. How farther from the truth that had been. This year as been the harshest for me on record and nothing comes close to it. Well, maybe 2012. But with all the lessons I have learned and, most notably, the ones I have not learned only ensured that my 2013 would crash and burn. Maybe this is how it ought to be. Maybe that’s the Chinese’ way of giving luck to the world the “’13 way”. Nevertheless, it’s a…

Pip Cimafranca

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