In an interview with Erwin Bernal, member of the PSTD Publications Committee, PSTD Chairperson Ian Colorina shared about his background prior to joining PSTD, his fond memories volunteering for PSTD and his vision for the society. Here is a transcript of the interview.
Erwin Bernal: Good afternoon, PSTD. My name is Wins Bernal and I am here, very excited to interview our chairman of the board, Mr. Ian Chester Colorina. Good afternoon.
Ian Colorina: Hi. Good afternoon, Wins.
Erwin Bernal: I was tasked by the Research and Publication Committee to interview you so that our fellow PSTD members can get to know more about you and the direction that the chairman of the board would like to take the society into. So, from my limited research about you, I got to know that you’re actually an electrical engineer. And I am really interested to know – how did an electrical engineer such as yourself transition to talent development? Can you tell us a little bit about your journey?
Ian Colorina: To start… yes, you are right so by profession, I am an electrical engineer. So, I took the board, 2007, then I was hired as an engineer in Meralco, actually as an analyst also in 2007, right after I took the board. So luckily, I passed so I was hired and then I feel like, ano ‘yung talagang gusto kong gawin? To be part of the operation as an engineer? But there was an opportunity came in year 2013, when a former president of PSTD – Ms. Rita Bantigue, spotted me. I was then doing process training for the engineers, for the technical managers and then as an individual contributor so wala pa akong supervisory or leadership skills during that time. She would always tell me na parang very unique yung technical ka as an engineer but then you can also conduct training or medyo articulate in terms of implementing. I was then also involved in the training design and program design. So, na-spot niya ako and then, she got me as a technical training manager, so doon na nag-start.
Erwin Bernal: Can you tell us more about the leadership roles in your PSTD Journey?
Ian Colorina: Actually, I don’t know anything about PSTD at that time but it became part of my goals as a technical training manager, to be more in touch with the industry. So that was one of the guidance that I got and then I tried attending the Tipanan that was back in 2014 and then Meralco naman has been fully supportive of this kind of development. We all believe in the 70-20-10 na training model. So, it’s really experience that will teach you a lot and prepare you and groom you to be a leader. I attended the Tipanan, and in 2014 I ran for mid-term election to become part of the board of trustees. Of course, with also the support of friends, ‘yung mga bagong network na nakilala ko and also the support of Meralco. I’m very also grateful I was given that kind of opportunity, so I won the elections and then I became part of the executive committee, elected as Vice President for External. I was also then the Convention Chairman 2014-2015.
Erwin Bernal: So, would you say that you being then the convention chairman was one of the most memorable experiences you’ve had in PSTD? Is there another much more memorable that you can recall?
Ian Colorina: Actually, it’s the behind-the-scenes that would strike me. ‘Yan, the convention, the Gawad Maestro, conducting Tipanan. It’s really that thing that you will miss, especially sa PSTD, we are all volunteers. We dedicate our time, our passion. So, people come together na hindi kayo magkakilala but then, parang may sudden… magic that will eventually, mas nagkakilala kayo, nagkaka-collaborate kayo tapos there are exchange of ideas so, ‘yun ‘yung mga memorable sa akin sa PSTD.
Erwin Bernal: If somebody would like to know Ian in three adjectives, how would you like to be described?
Ian Colorina: People would always tell me that I am very analytical, maybe because of my engineering background so I have that passion of putting order into complexity, mga ganoon so doon ako nacha-challenge, mga complex things but you make it simple. I am also pragmatic, I’m sure those people I work with will always describe me as such. Then lastly, I think my love for continuous learning and transformation reflects to where I am right now. I shifted careers but I carried the learning from those like from engineering, naging talent development and now, I’m also doing project management. At first, medyo, it’s scary, medyo matatakot, hindi ba? Siguro ano, I always go with the flow.
Erwin Bernal: Now let’s get to know what motivates Ian. What motivates you as you wake up in the morning?
Ian Colorina: Ever since, it’s really my family that motivates me, siguro staying on in this kind of career. I love what I’m doing because I am supported. I have the moral support of my family. Everything that I do now is for them.
Erwin Bernal: Now, being the chairman of the board, Ian, what are your visions and aspirations for PSTD this 2023?
Ian Colorina: It’s really to strike the balance between focusing or sustaining the core advocacies of PSTD, which is, of course, talent development but at the same time, embracing transformation. So, how do you strike that balance? So, in PSTD, what we’re doing right… we’re actually doing right now is establishing the three core agendas, the core board agendas of PSTD. For us to sustain our advocacy, we need to be financially viable as an organization. Not to the extent that we will make a profit out of what we are doing but, of course, to expand and grow our advocacy, which is talent development, so that’s the second board agenda. So, that is also what I’ve shared with my co-board of trustees which is fully supported by Vice Chair Fe Marie, Jun Roy as the Past President, and Irene as President. We willingly look forward to really engage the whole industry and beyond the talent development industry into this talent development framework as we shift from training development to talent development. So, that’s the second and the third one is really the fundamentals, which is the governance structure of PSTD. So, those are the three board agendas that I would like to share.
Erwin Bernal: So, if we are to realize this dream or agenda and there is a talent manager out there, who would like to be a member of PSTD; What would be your advice to them?
Ian Colorina: Well, that is, expect the unexpected. When I entered PSTD, I expected that it’s a very traditional organization, but when you get to know people and have those brainstorming sessions with those wild ideas – specially on training. It really excites me. So, if you are that kind of person who expect untraditional, expecting more to an organization like PSTD. I encourage you to see for yourself. Also, to be in charge of your career development and the medium for that is PSTD because you will get to network with a lot of people and you will be able to learn from the luminaries, gurus. You will not run out of learning.
Erwin Bernal: Some slam book questions:
MBTI Profile? INTP
Dream job? Frustration ko maging Architect.
Favorite Food? Mahilig ako sa masabaw – Nilaga and Sinigang.
Hobbies? Not so much of the physical but I love watching movies.
Favorite TV Show or Movies? I like immersive movies – Marvel Movies, House of Dragon, Game of Thrones.
Favorite Books? Not much of a reader but I read autobiographies like Steve Jobs and Zaha Hadid.
Anything you Dislike? I dislike to be in a situation na comfortable ka, that’s what I worry about pag medyo smooth na.
Any Hero or Idol? Idol in the corporate world – Tim Cone, the president of Apple.
Favorite Quote? “Simplification is the highest form of Complexity.”
This interview shows the transformation of Chair Ian from technical training to talent development. His message shows his grand vision for the corporate governance of the PSTD. His aspirations to transform the society and create a groundbreaking impact is an inspiration for us all. Get to know him and meet him in the monthly PSTD Tipanan. Register now to be a PSTD member and meet driven Talent Development professionals like him.
About the Writer
WINS BERNAL, MBA, CAMA
Erudite Reliability Services
Wins is a versatile and dynamic professional who advocates for leadership and change management in the field of engineering and physical asset management. With over a decade of experience in sales, operations, and management, he has honed his skills in interpersonal communication, business acumen, people management, and negotiation. Passionate for organizational management and talent development, Wins wants to help develop the leadership skills of Filipino engineers, especially those in critical industry sectors he serves by creating platforms of discussion through conferences and trainings.