Complementing our 100Hours initiative to deliver breakthrough solutions in the time of Coronavirus, these Must Reads provide great insights on attaining the leadership skills, the resilience, the peak performance, and the growth & transformation that is crucial amidst the chaos of Coronavirus. We encourage you to make use of these Must Reads, and for 30 days, new Must Reads will be added daily – here are a few to get you started.


@McKinsey by Kevin Sneader & Shubham Singhal
4 Minute Read

“For some organizations, near-term survival is the only agenda item. Others are peering through the fog of uncertainty, thinking about how to position themselves once the crisis has passed and things return to normal. The question is, ‘What will normal look like?’ While no one can say how long the crisis will last, what we find on the other side will not look like the normal of recent years.”

Can you envision the world post-coronavirus? It certainly won't be the same as it was before. The idea of a "new normal" surely adds to the high level of uncertainty that we are all feeling right now, but being ready for new norms across the board is the right move going forward. We're entering a new age of business, communication, and thought – if your company is positioned nicely when it arrives, that can only mean good things.


@Boston Consulting Group by Martin Reeves, Lars Faeste, Kevin Whitaker, & Mark Abraham
7 Minute Read

Coronavirus has ferociously changed the world, but don't assume that everything will go back to what it once was before. Instead, we should prepare for the "new normal" that's fast approaching. In the words of the authors, some of BCG's high-level leaders,“reacting to the immediate issues presented by a crisis is necessary, but it is not sufficient. By also preparing for a potential rebound, understanding how to take advantage in the event of a recession, and reimagining the post-crisis future of businesses and societies, leaders can stay ahead of the crisis as it evolves.” When the new normal arrives will you, as a leader, be ready?


@Harvard Business Review by Nancy Koehn
8 Minute Read

Historical figures are always remembered for their leadership during their darkest hours. Coronavirus' impact on the world has been unprecedented, and our darkest hours are happening now. Leading with resolve, resilience, and strength encourages your people to follow suit. Take a page out of the books of past leaders to help forge the real leadership within you that is so desperately needed right now.

"We — all of us — will be remembered for how we manage ourselves and others through this crisis. How will you, your team, your organization, our society connect, persevere, and progress? How will we emerge from this experience collectively stronger?"


@IDEO by Sandy Speicher
9 Minute Read

Coronavirus has clouded the future with doubt and uncertainty. What's certain is that learning how to navigate through a crisis not only tests your capabilities as a leader, but also tests your creative capabilities. Thinking creatively may make the difference in achieving a breakthrough or not. Creative leadership is an effective way to lead right now, and this kind of leadership will be essential in the "new normal" too. Embrace these moments of doubt, because they will help spark the breakthroughs you're searching for while also improving collaboration within your organization.

“Some of the best work comes from some of these hardest times. Confusion, self-doubt, existential searching, getting lost, and then finding your way out of that state of disequilibrium — these are the essential experiences for the emergence of creativity [and leadership].”


@McKinsey by Hugo Bague, Jeff Cava, & Manley Hopkinson
6 Minute Read

"There are managers out there whose stories and experiences of leadership in moments of disruption and upheaval can be instructive."

It is perfectly normal to feel uncertainty and doubt in such trying times. We understand how hard it is, as a leader, to know what to do and not to do under such delicate circumstances. Fortunately, we can look at lessons from the past to help shine some light on how to move forward. This now becomes a test of your effectiveness as a leader — don't allow past mistakes to reoccur, especially in such a time of crisis.


@Harvard Business Review by Bill Taylor
5 Minute Read

"Time and again, individuals and communities have demonstrated that the worst situations tend to bring out the best in people and the organizations to which they belong. In every moment of darkness, it seems, there are countless moments of light — small gestures of compassion and connection that allow people to show who they are, how they want to live, and what matters to them."

"Don't be afraid to let the bad times bring out the best in your company — and in you."

There is always a spark of greatness in you, no matter how challenging times can get. Pressure creates diamonds — in this case, the bad times we face now have to bring out the best in you. What we do in this time of uncertainty and fear will define us going forward: accept the challenge and bring out the best in yourself and your company.


@IDEO by Tony Wong
7 Minute Read

As Covid-19 dulls down in China, leaders there are taking great strides towards the recovery of their companies. This article follows the leadership approaches of the Accelerator, the Explorer, and the Optimizer - three varying leadership approaches that have helped Chinese companies respond to the Coronavirus. We hope these examples could serve as models for your efforts in responding to the effects of Covid-19 on your company.


@Harvard Business Review by Martin Reeves & Jack Fuller
10 Minute Read

A common message is found in most articles that concern managing through the Coronavirus: to survive now and thrive later on, imagination and creativity should be at the forefront of your efforts to respond to the effects of the crisis. It sounds absurd in such a time of crisis, but exercising and applying your imaginative skills, whether individually or collectively, should not be undervalued, because it can make a big difference in how your organization rebounds from the crisis.

"Imagination — the capacity to create, evolve, and exploit mental models of things or situations that don’t yet exist — is the crucial factor in seizing and creating new opportunities, and finding new paths to growth."


@Harvard Business Review by Rasmouth Hougaard, Jacqueline Carter, and Moses Mohan
4 Minute Read

We've all been working non-stop to protect our interests from the clutches of Covid-19, but our efforts have been laced with stress, anxiety, and uncertainty. With so much to attend to at such a critical time, have you stopped to check your mental state? Believe it or not, your mental toughness will be essential to the effectiveness of your responses to coronavirus. And it won't go away as quickly as it came, so prepare for a marathon not a sprint – building your resilience will help you lead effectively as the crisis prolongs.


@Harvard Business Review by Nathan Furr
5 Minute Read

How adeptly you can respond to the impacts of Coronavirus on your organization depends on your mindset and mental approach. Having the right frame of mind when assessing options is statistically proven to help leaders respond appropriately to moments of crisis. Being heroic is about overcoming the doubt and uncertainty that become obstacles to decision-making — "the only way to become the hero, is to go through the obstacles!" Now more than ever, we need heroic leaders to pave the way for stability, growth, and innovation post-coronavirus.

"[P]art of our capacity to deal with the unknown is innate, a larger portion is learned. Those who develop this “uncertainty capability” are more creative, more successful, and better able to turn uncertainty into possibility.”


@Forbes by Curt Steinhorst
6 Minute Read

"We are in a storm. And when the sound and fury are lashing us from all sides, the only gyroscope we have as leaders and managers is focus – ours, and our people’s. Importantly, putting one’s undivided attention and effort into specific actions that address today’s tumultuous issues is a vital coping mechanism. We not only do better, but we feel better for intentionally focusing on what we can do as opposed to letting ourselves feel battered by the chaos that confronts us."

"Focus is a stabilizing force that leads to insight, innovation, and productivity, and those factors are accelerants for recovery. And, we are all stronger when we have control over some part of a solution, even as we are battered by the wind and water of this 'perfect storm.'"

Leading through the Coronavirus crisis is no easy task, but maintaining and strengthening your focus is crucial. With the proper calmness and clarity, you can lead effectively amidst this crisis. Do you struggle with focus, especially when working from home? If you need to improve your focus click below to read the full guide, written by an expert in managing attention and distraction at work.

Joana Alberto is a CoFounder and Managing Partner of Ignite House of Innovations and Ni2, the National Innovators Initiative to power 100,000 Filipino innovators by 2023. She’s also the Managing Director of the Guild by Ni2, a dedicated team that focuses on career and OJT acceleration of college students and fresh grads at scale. The space that she holds is all about nurturing individuals to drive peak performance by discovering Ignite GPS (Genius, Purpose, Service) our personal navigation system that leads us to fulfill our highest potential, under Ignite Centre for Peak Experiences.

Before joining Ignite, Joana served the aviation industry for almost three decades while thriving in the field of entrepreneurship — from designing and manufacturing her own line of arts and crafts to selling dry goods, managing a flower shop and being an events designer, and never leaving out her social responsibility via community service. She was never content with just being employed.

“I’ve had many twists and turns in a career that has brought me to hundreds of cities all over the world, first as a flight attendant and cabin manager, then in HQ. After 27 years in aviation, I clipped my wings, and packed the manuscript that I worked on for 4 years entitled, #Metamorphosis: The Ultimate Makeover Manual for 40-Year Olds and Beyond, along with my certifications on wellness coaching and various healing modalities. In a matter of months, I went from wearing two hats in the airline, managing inflight performance while designing and delivering leadership programs to 120 nationalities, to leaving all that and holing up in India for a month – to learn yoga, find myself, reinvent my future.”

I was 47 then, a wife and mother who had spent the best years of my life flying in and out of my family’s life. I had been an expat for so long. I was finally coming home to Manila with a new career in corporate wellness. I thought that was it, my final chapter, time to get settled before entering my golden era.


But no.


A wise friend once asked me… Joana, you’ve been in a perfect storm! You’re an extreme empath and you’ve met, served and managed so many more people from so many more countries in 27 years than most people do in 3 lifetimes: those dreams and pains and wants of so many people must have a way of sticking on you, haunting you, no?


Yes, exactly; they’ve haunted me.

Before I jumped into corporate, I designed a program for Filipina overseas workers – for people and pain I know so well. I designed a 6-month journey that would help them create their Dream Life Masterplan. I included all the right things I did and didn’t do, all the research and study, trial and error, consulting friends and experts, and sleepless nights in search for my truth. So OFWs long separated from their families can speed up their coming home — prepared. Well, my Dream Life Masterplan never reached a single soul. My intention was pure and noble. But I was alone for a huge mission.

Fast forward to 2017. A friend invited me to an Ignite gathering and I was never the same again. I found my space, found my missing pieces, found my partners and team. And I found the Ignite GPS: Genius, Purpose, Service. It was my finally embracing my own GPS that really put me on a new journey and challenge: to take care of people beyond wellness, so they can be whole – so they can live their deepest truth and so fulfill their highest potential and greatest promise. That’s what I found in the Ignite GPS.

Today, Joana is leading a team of Gen Z’s to launch a human + app coached program to help colleges students find clarity in their life-career direction. She also just launched the pilot project of her startup  —which partners with farm owners to create viable and sustainable ventures that support agri-eco tourism, farm based co-creation opportunities, tech guided wellness experiences and socio-economic development initiatives. At the rate she’s going, nothing can stop her from founding more winning innovations in the next coming years. A genuine Iska — a graduate of the University of the Philippines, her mission no doubt is to make an impact on the lives of her kabayans, dreaming to make her country a better place.

Andre Yap is the founder and CEO of Ignite House of Innovations, which invests and operates in venture capital, technology, media, education, healthcare, energy, hospitality, food, agri, HR and enterprise solutions. 

Andre also serves as Executive Chairman of Ni2, The Philippines’ National Innovators Initiative to power 100,000 Filipino Innovators by 2023. Ni2 is a public-private partnership with national and local governments, business and non-profit organizations, and the academe.

As a serial founder and startup investor, Andre has built Ignite House to be an innovator for innovators – to R&D, build, operate and continuously invest in proprietary systems, platforms, programs and technologies in order to nurture, scale and sustain innovation capabilities, open collaborations and disruptive opportunities uniting key sectors of society (business, education, socio-civic, government, startups, investors), with the vision of establishing the Filipino as a uniquely disruptive force in global innovation.

Ignite’s mission is deeply personal to Andre: to build and invest in transcendent ventures by building up and investing in transcendent founders and teams, advancing his core belief that innovation is the business (i.e., building sustainable operating models) of solving society’s wicked problems. In 2018 Andre authored the Ignite Manifesto and has relentlessly pushed its growth as an Operating System that has helped thousands of individuals and teams channel deeply personal GPS (Genius, Purpose, Service) into shared Mission and Collaboration, into Innovation and Impact.

Andre was born and raised in Manila and educated by the Jesuits and the Opus Dei, before moving onto the US, where he earned 3 degrees (Yale, Fordham, NYU) and lived for 15 years. In 2009, based on his pioneering work with CUBED (“Cube Ed”), the Center for University-Based Enterprise & Development, which Andre founded as an innovation accelerator and ecosystem in the state of Connecticut, the US Government granted Andre the status of Permanent Resident on the Basis of Exceptional Ability in the National Interest of the United States of America. Nevertheless, Andre’s heart remains fully in the Philippines, where he wants to do his best work and most meaningful impact. He has called Manila home again since 2011, when he moved back with his wife and their 2 dazzling boys. 


“I’ve pursued my career as a series of ventures and adventures… it’s a path that doesn’t look or feel like any other, that rarely ever really feels like work… precisely by challenging established norms, relentlessly going out of my box and into many other boxes, appreciating how seemingly disparate realities tie together, threading constellations where others barely even see the dots.”


From choosing Yale for its public-private management focus and then following it up with a second Masters in Interactive Marketing at NYU; to deciding against the post-MBA rush into investment banking or management consulting so that I can start the YGroupe and really understand the leverage in my New York, New Haven, Manila connections; to starting CUBED despite my perfectly zero knowledge of tech, incubators or the academe; to choosing to come home to Manila despite CUBED’s success and the US government’s offer of Permanent Residence; to the long and winding road of ventures, investments and partnerships that have now led to the National Innovators Initiative and cross-sector collaborations, not just across industries, but tying together national and local governments and hundreds of schools and MSMEs. I’ve really enjoyed the thrill of going into frontier space that I know nothing about, that no one knows anything about, and making sense and structure out of all that chaos and ambiguity – building value, outcomes, impact where nothing but deep need existed.


“Innovation: that’s what many people call it. For me, I see myself as an artist no less than Da Vinci or Picasso – business is my canvas and if I’m honest and brave there is no other way to paint but my way. Above all, I see innovation as my humbling participation in God’s ongoing work of creation – to help make things new and better all the time and to share that fire and capacity for renewal with everyone I meet. As we say, to ignite all we touch to live their deepest truth and so fulfill their highest potential and greatest promise.”