Henry S Tenedero on Creative Marketing, Holistic Education, & the Path to Success

Henry S Tenedero on Creative Marketing, Holistic Education, & the Path to Success

April 8, 2015

HENRY S. TENEDERO is the Main Convenor of the One Nation Learning Advocacy, a multi sector program espousing the belief that between hope and despair, education is the great equalizer. He is a Council Director of the International Learning Styles Network (ILSN) based in the US and Scandinavia, and President of the Center for Learning and Teaching Styles Philippines (CLTS, Phils.), Education for All Development Center and Mindful Ideas.

An advocate of the United Nations’ Education-for- All program and an active presenter at the Annual Learning Styles Leadership Institute in New York, he travels extensively in the US, Asia, and Scandinavian countries to promote his advocacy on “Educating for Humanity: Teaching and Learning Beyond the Curriculum”.

Bangladesh Brand Forum (BBF) was privileged to have this charismatic thinker visit Bangladesh for COMMWARD 2014, as a key note speaker. In an exclusive interview with BBF correspondent, Henry shares his thoughts, values and works which very much defines his integrity.

  1. How does it feel to be here in Bangladesh for the first time?

BBF: It feels wonderful to be here in Bangladesh for the first time. It almost feels like Manila, my home city to be honest. If you look closely, we people actually share a lot of commonality between us. We value family; we value the same little things that make us feel alive in spite of the difficulties that we face in our lives. The wonderful thing about Bangladesh is people here are very hospitable and their warmth can immediately make a stranger feel at home. I feel really happy to be here.

  1. How does it feel to be part of Commward 2014? What are your takeaways from this year’s event?

BBF: I was really excited when I came to know that I am going to be a part of this year’s Commward program. In my career, I have been involved in such programs and I always feel really enthralled whenever I get the chance to share my experiences with the audience. In Philippines, as you know, I am involved with Philippine Marketing Association. Pretty soon we are going to celebrate PMA’s 60th anniversary. As you can see, I am involved in similar kind of things with PMA that Brand Forum does here in Bangladesh. We share the same ideology of creating a platform for sharing knowledge regarding brands and their tales and touching the hearts of brand enthusiastic. I feel honored to be a part of Bangladesh Brand Forum’s initiative in creating and developing brand knowledge in Bangladesh through Commward.

  1. Tell us more about your experiences in the affairs of the Philippine Marketing Association (PMA)? Any particular experience you would want to share?

BBF: Currently I am the director of the organization. I am in the committee of government community affairs. The activities of PMA are mostly associated with business sector. Therefore, we try to invite and involve people from marketing to local governments, to our marginalized organizations. I believe marketing is life, it has become such an important aspect of our daily lives that basically what we do now is marketing. It is important to realize the effects and impacts of marketing in your activities and PMA is working towards building a marketing oriented cultural trend.

  1. How much importance would you give towards creativity in marketing?

BBF: I do appreciate the importance of creativity in marketing. Creativity means thinking out of the box. But what I believe is, before starting to think out of the box, first you have to appreciate that there is a box. Creativity and innovation is only important when it can be used to bring in a fruitful change. Why would you need to go for creativity when the current system is working just fine? Why fix something that is not broken? So I believe, the concept of creativity is very important in marketing, only if it can bring in improved results.

  1. You are an individual who has also been involved in initiatives to promote education for all. Your one such initiative is “One Nation Learning Policy”. What are your main objectives as the convener of the “One Nation Learning Policy”?

BBF: I am privileged to be a convener of “One Nation Learning Policy”. One nation learning policy is putting together the belief that “between hope and despair, education is the great equalizer”. What is the point of high GDP when there are still people who are suffering from abject poverty?

The important question here is to know is what kind of education we are trying to promote. By education, we mean a holistic education, an education that is accessible to all regardless of their economic and social conditions. We try to foster an education where people will be put to practice UN’s policy of learning: where you would be learning to know, learning to do, learning to be and learning to live together. One nation learning policy is part of an international network where we all sing the same song but from different countries, in different languages. Through One nation learning policy, we try to promote the practice of emotional and practical intelligence as means of being successful in what you do.

  1. Can you elaborate us more about “the belief that between hope and despair, education is the great equalizer”?

BBF: In most parts of the world, education only focuses on developing the IQ of the person. What we believe is, a person with a high IQ but low emotional intelligence is not a person who is totally educated, or you can say maybe educated, but not totally learned. A true and holistic education cascades a human into helping others during their despair. A truly educated mind is a bearer of hope and prosperity. What we try to promote is, it is not poverty that would kill you, but lack of hope will. It is important to be positive and take action instead of just praying and asking for help. God only helps those who try to help themselves. To help yourself, to be competent and successful, I believe a proper education is the most important instrument.

  1. You are also a promoter of United Nation’s “Education for all” program. According to you, why do you think education should be given utmost importance and what kind of education should be imparted?

BBF: Education currently is only for those people, who have access, who are rich enough to cover the expenses of education. But I believe education should be accessible to all, even for the impoverished ones. Then again, the question comes, the question about what kind of education. Education should not be only based on curriculum of your school, education should also be on how to apply multiple intelligence, how to build emotional resilience. We have to educate for humanity by learning beyond curriculum. I know a lot of people, who didn’t graduate, but are successfully leading their life only because they altered their attitude. They are the bearers of hope, inspirers of people. I strongly believe it is not the state in life that would define you, as long as you are breathing, hope is always there. So acquiring education should be your prime focus and we work to make it accessible to everyone.

  1. Can you mention some of your contributions and initiatives in ensuring education for all?

BBF: I arrange and attend a lot of seminars & conferences for students to promote and encourage the idea. These conferences are not only local but also international. I also have an online magazine as well as a regular publication. I have also written several books on this issue. Currently I am reediting and revisiting them to make it more readable, not only for students, but also for their parents. Usually all my books are in English, but my books directed towards the parents are in both English and Filipino. I want to reach the parents whose children are in public schools and are in most need of encouragement. These parents are relatively poor, and are mostly uneducated. So for their understanding the importance of education, I am trying my level best to reach out to them.

  1. What are the initiatives taken by the Philippine’s government to ensure accessible education for all?

BBF: Currently we are in the process of revising the curriculum where we integrate and update the curriculum to be at par with the global standard for education. We are also educating our educators in anticipation of the effects of ASEAN integration. We believe the whole complexion of education is going to change in this area after the ASEAN integration, and we are getting ready to adapt to a more global and holistic education.

  1. What are your future plans regarding “Educating for Humanity: Teaching and Learning beyond the Curriculum”?

BBF: Although it started as a local program, I plan to make it a global movement from next year. I am going to invite my colleagues in Europe, Asia, Scandinavia etc. to join this movement and be a part of it. I believe you can be successful without even having the curriculum education that we teach at school. Education has to be a medium where we teach the soft hearts of real life success, a medium where we teach to enhance character. Even if you have higher knowledge in academics, marketing, finance, unless you have the soft skills of leadership, communication and negotiation complementing you, all those knowledge you acquired in school would be nothing but useless.

  1. For a developing country such as Bangladesh, what do you think should be prioritized more? Curriculum based knowledge & academics or soft skills as you just mentioned?

BBF: I would say both. To me, you cannot separate one from another. Knowing the subject by mind, not by heart is nothing but imperfect and incomplete knowledge. Academic skills without moral ethics lead to issues such as corruption and moral hazards. For a proper holistic development, I recommend that both academics and soft skills be structured in a way where it would be inseparable from one another.

  1. Regarding the importance of emotional intelligence, you have also published a number of books. One of them is “Breaking the IQ Myth”. Can you tell us more about the book and the message you are trying to send through this book?

BBF: The book is written to convey the message that life is not all about IQ, it is also important to achieve a high EQ. A high IQ doesn’t necessarily mean a high EQ. Sometimes EQ can matter more than IQ itself. Suppose as a boss, when you are recruiting someone, you don’t only look at the academic qualifications, you also look at their people skills. Again, having a high people skill without cognitive knowledge is also not coveted. So, it has to be a strike, a perfect balance between IQ and EQ.

  1. As an international promoter of education and being an educator yourself, you have achieved a lot in your career. What would you term as your greatest achievement so far?

BBF: In all humility, I believe being an educator itself is my greatest achievement. As you can see, there is no money in education compared to a person who is working in sales or marketing and any other money generating profession. I have basically come to a point where my happiness is not based on only material achievements. I see my success not in accolades or prizes; I see my success in being significant, significant enough to bring a change in the field of education. Being an educator would be my biggest achievement in my whole life’s work. Everyone has a legacy that he leaves behind, and this is my legacy I want to leave behind, I want to be known for.


Amitabh Guha Roy

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