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  • agericodevilla

Trade-Offs

Updated: Apr 5



Much of strategy is about trade-offs. My message, as Chief Executive Officer, for members of our school executive committee.


Trade-offs, iyan ang hindi ninyo masabi sa akin, kayong mga kausap ko kanina.



Prepared by BEC Chief Technology Officer

“Pagpilian kung sino ang tutulungan. Babaeng may sakit na African-American na abandonadong ulila, single mother na may iisang anak pero special child ang anak, single mother na may dalawang anak, o pamilyadong jeepney driver na walang trabaho. Dami pa.


“Tulungan lahat, hindi mararamdaman ang pagtulong. Hirap tumulong talaga.


“Pagpilian. Tumulong sa kaibigang may kaya na nasa bingid nang kamatayan o tumulong sa mga ngangailangan nga kagaya nang mga nabanggit na nga,


“Pagpilian. Big’yan ng panahon ang sarili na lamang ngayong panahon ng pandem’ya o tumulong sa kap’wa kahit hirap na rin nga sa mga pansariling pangangailangan.


“Pagpilian.  Big’yan ng pansin ang mga suliraning panlipunan ngayong panahon ng eleks’yon para sa pagkapangulo o ang mga pansariling pangangailangan ngayong panahon na nga ng pandem’ya.”


Galing iyan sa aking blog, “Mga Dilemma Natin (November 29, 2021),” na noon pa man ay pinapabasa ko nga sa inyo.  (https://www.pinoytoolbox.org/post/mga-dilemma-natin).


Stragegies are all about roadmaps that lead to where we want to go and, more importantly now, trade-offs that we need to make, turning left or turning right, so that we actually get to where we want to go.


“This is about the difficulty of pinning down which strategic thinking is correct and which is not.”  Ito rin, galing din sa aking blog, “Strategic Thinking:  Form, Content and Context (September 13, 2021),” (https://www.pinoytoolbox.org/post/strategic-thinking-form-content-and-context).


Dagdag pa.


“What may be coherently “music” for some may be coherently “noise” for others. 


“More. Competing perspectives of individuals can, at times, become incommensurable.  It can happen that the standard one uses to identify what is correct and what is not is internal to one's mental model in a way that comparison of the competing mental models themselves becomes untenable.  This is what happens, for example, when it comes to the alternative geometries one can work with — Euclidean geometry being only one among many.


“Strategic planning involves analysis of context.  Analysis of context involves an infinite array of levels of emergence from which anyone can choose from by some standard. The trick involves how to identify the standard which which one chooses the standard — standard about standards.


“Discoveries about our universe by science are made every now and then. This means invention of tools that can be used to better observe events take place every now and then.  This means new data are generated and new perspectives are developed with which one can view old data.  


“What can be “true” at one time may not be “true” at another time. Ergo the use of the term “theory” rather than the term “truth” to refer to the principles of science. Thus, theories are expected either to be revised or rejected in favor of better theories as science develops, as time goes by. What this means is that even the standards of science are underdetermined.


“With the infinite array of constantly changing perspectives to choose from, choice of which to use, one way of the other, becomes extremely difficult.


““If Croesus goes to war, he will destroy a great empire.”  Croesus is happy thinking that he is about to destroy his adversary’s empire.  Croesus goes to war and, in the process, he destroys his own empire.


“Easy to illustrate when something goes wrong. That is not the issue, however. The issue is with what is anyone to measure the correct context with. So long as this issue is unresolved, strategic thinking is going to be both interesting as well as frustrating.””


Two things indicate where we need to go.  One, make sure that time spent working for the school by those making daily sacrifice for the sake our students is worth the sacrifice.  Two, make sure that our town's youth ends up being in control of their destinies with as many tools as we can equip them with.


Last year, we have been able to gain 8% positive enrollment growth despite all the challenges.  This year, with more challenges, we need to have more enrollment growth,


I have a long list of trade-offs that keep me awake at night.  Reason perhaps why my health has suffered these recent years.


These trade-offs I confront with much calculation and trepidation.  For whatever these are, they are mine to make as chief executive officer of the school.


Democracy, as per my insistence, is what we practice.  We need to go to where there is “more information,” as per Shannon’s Information Entropy formulation, as much as we can manage.  This means we go where there are more chances of creativity, possibilities of more innovation and more invention alike.


That we practice democracy means we can debate about what we do.  Debate, however, means we either have to verbalize or write our positions when we have contrary views.


What some among us, however, do is to sit on issues without verbalizing or writing about their contention.  Valuable time is lost — we need to “make sure that time spent working for the school by those making making daily sacrifice” is not wasted.  Time lost is disrespectful of the sacrifice many of us make.


When personnel of the school sit on my instruction simply because they feel they do not like my instruction without telling me why and how they do not like my instruction — sometimes for months — I am absolutely insulted.  It is as if you are telling me that my life, which I have always put on the line for the school, is not valuable enough. More importantly, we are not able to safeguard the “time spent working for the school by those making daily sacrifice for the sake our students.”


Alam ko ang ginagawa ko. Kung palagay ninyo na hindi ko alam, isulat ninyo.  Kaya nga tayo may chat group. May mga miting pa nga tayo lagi.


I am drawing the line now. Waste of time by omission is going to be treated as insubordination.


When we communicate to prospective students who desperately need help and they get the wrong message missing the opportunity to enroll with less cost to their families, we do disservice to them.  Our message cannot be vague and ambiguous even if it means we get the ire of others so long as we get to help those in dire need.


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