Mastering the Performance Governance System (PGS) takes consistent years of dedication, hard work, and perseverance, but familiarizing yourself with the basics of the framework doesn’t have to be a long, uphill climb.

The Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA) held its 24th Governance Boot Camp Basic Class last October 25 to 29 via Zoom, its final run for the year. For the first time, the partner-favorite training program stretched to five workdays, giving 66 delegates from ten diverse organizations the ultimate appreciation of the governance system and the complete Boot Camp experience.

Check out why the five-day Boot Camp Basic Class is a sufficient and ideal starting point in learning about PGS with these highlights:

Monday: Achieving our Dream Philippines through Good Governance

The PGS is not just a collaborative framework for designing and executing roadmaps to long-term reform. It is also an effective good governance platform that can help the public sector attain substantial progress to build the Dream Philippines we aspire for. 

To kick off the first day of the program, Former CEO and President of ISA, Atty. Alex L. Lacson enumerated the top five causes of poverty in the Philippines namely, Leadership, Inefficiency, Corruption, Greed, and Wrong Policies and Programs. 

He said that one way to solve the rising poverty and build a better Philippines is the PGS, a concrete tool for good governance that helps public sectors translate their vision into strategy into specific actions expected to produce transformative results. To inspire the delegates on embarking on their PGS journey, Atty. Lacson shared the successful transformation stories of the National Electrification Administration and the City of Dipolog, which both turned their visions into reality and brought about significant change among their stakeholders through the PGS.

To end his module on Building our Dream Philippines, Atty. Lacson said, “The solution to our many problems is not rocket science—it is already within us! Love is the answer to our many problems—love expressed in kindness, generosity, fairness, justice, patriotism, excellence in public service.”

Tuesday: Learning the fundamentals of strategy

Execution begins with a well-crafted strategy. On the second day of the Boot Camp, ISA Executive Director and PGS Practice Leader Mr. Chris P. Zaens began his module on Strategy Fundamentals by defining strategy as “an integrated set of choices that puts an organization and its constituents in a demonstrably superior state in the long run.”

He discussed the vital concepts to consider in designing a strategy and creating a strategy map. Before initiating the workshop for the day, Mr. Zaens left the delegates with an important takeaway.

“The idea is if a strategy is well-designed, then all the moving parts implementing it complement each other. This is critical in getting the strategy done—what one unit does adds value to another unit.”

Wednesday: Getting the ball rolling with strategy execution

Translating your plans into tangible results is no quick nor easy feat. To guide the delegates in addressing the barriers to successful strategy implementation, Mr. Zaens went through the Disciplined Execution module, starting with the five disciplines under his module on Disciplined Execution, namely depth, breadth, subsidiary, engagement, and accountability. 

He also introduced the Sniff Test, an exercise that helps PGS practitioners check the strategic quality of their organizations. The test suggests that if the opposite of your strategic choice sounds silly or stupid, then your strategy is likely to be indistinguishable from your other competitors. 

Thursday: Going beyond and above cascading

On the fourth day of the Boot Camp, Mr. Zaens tackled the processes that an Office for Strategy Management (OSM) must lead to achieving small wins within the first six months of implementing the roadmap.

He also helped the delegates identify the difference between an Operations Review and a Strategy Review. He described an Operations Review as a forward-looking assessment meant to exact accountability, done every month at the unit level, while Strategy Review as a backward-looking assessment meant to measure and analyze performance, done quarterly at the enterprise level.

To end his last module for the five-day Boot Camp, Mr. Zaens noted that the PGS “can only be as good, effective, and responsive as the people using it”, and left the delegates with a powerful quote from former Ombudsman, Ms. Conchita Carpio-Morales.

“Great countries do not need strong men. They need strong institutions. Great men eventually perish, but great institutions outlast them all.” 

Friday: Getting to know the PGS Movers

The PGS requires a group of dedicated individuals to ensure smooth and effective operations in their organizations called the PGS Movers, composed of the members of the OSM, the PGS Core Team, and the Multi-Sector Governance Council (MSGC). To share the stories and responsibilities of the key players in a PGS journey, ISA invited Mr. Romeo Tuazon of the Bataan General Hospital and Medical Center, Dr. Rene Francisco of the Dr. Paulino J. Garcia Memorial Research & Medical Center, and Ms. Noemi Jucar of the Provincial Government of La Union.

Each of the speakers left valuable advice to the delegates as they ended their sharing. Dr. Francisco said that the work-from-home setup has been challenging for him as an OSM Head, but he urged everyone to “stop using the pandemic as an excuse to stop doing the right things that we need to do” and instead make it the reason to strive to do more.

Meanwhile, Ms. Jucar reminded everyone that at the end of the day, “we are [all] constituents [and] the changes that we do also go back to us and our families.” She added that we should all remain resilient and push for what is right and what our constituents deserve. 

Finally, Mr. Tuazon emphasized that the public sector’s efforts are not for personal gain but ultimately for God and the people alone.

“Let us love and enjoy what we are doing and be a role model to your constituents, subordinates, and employees. And most of all, God first. We are not doing this for our benefit, but for our community.”

Ready to embark on your transformation journey? Stay tuned for updates on our upcoming programs and events! You may also send an email to Janine Medina at jmedina@isacenter.org.