The Philippines ‘Got Talent’

‘The Global Talent Competitiveness Index is an annual benchmarking report that measures and ranks countries based on their ability to grow, attract and retain talent.” That’s from GTCI web site and reflects “the academic research and expertise of INSEAD, the international business school, with the business experience and perspective of The Adecco Group and Tata Communications.”

It seems as if there is a constant stream of “indexes” rating nations by an almost limitless number of factors and variables. Certainly this can be helpful for understanding how a particular country fits on the global scene. But then again, all countries are not equal.

Does the Philippines spend more time on the Internet because we are “web site addicted”? Or is it because of significantly slower Internet speed it takes so much longer to get any online work finished? Nonetheless, we will continue to hold on to every word of these research surveys, as we would to every punch of a Manny Pacquiao fight.

The GTCI “aims to advance the current debate around entrepreneurial talent.” This is based in part on the fact that the engine of free-market economies is the small and medium-sized businesses that rely ultimately on one person or a group of persons putting ideas and effort to create a profit-making, job-creating business.

Does a society nurture and encourage the entrepreneur psychology? Some countries have been economically successful with “group-think” rather than individual effort. Is human capital given the proper tools for success such as a critical thinking education? Does the environment foster and facilitate the needs of the beginning business entrepreneur?

It may be surprising to know that the Philippines ranks higher than our neighbors, with the exception of Malaysia. The Philippines ranks globally at No. 58, with Thailand at 66, Indonesia at 67, and Vietnam at No. 92.

From the GTCI report: “The Philippines has a good pool of global knowledge skills [34th], scoring quite well in both high-level skills and talent impact. It is also relatively adept in growing talent where its strengths in lifelong learning and access to growth opportunities offset a substandard formal education. More discouragingly, the country’s weak sustainability and lifestyle result in a low ability to retain talent.

Note our deficiencies: Formal education, sustainability and lifestyle. Formal education is the key pillar to “growing” a nation’s talent. In other words, we do not provide the kind of education that gives a good foundation for the entrepreneur. Interestingly, Philippine companies offer one of the highest amounts of training of all countries.

Sustainability is the ability of the system to keep a person working toward a business goal. This includes a social service environment that helps with basic needs such as health care and an adequate national pension scheme. Further, along with “lifestyle,” can the budding businessperson keep going rather than having to give up the dream simply to survive? We can think then about all the talent that is working below potential in higher-paying but lower-skilled jobs abroad. 


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