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Events: ‘Can creative experts drive business?’ with Yani Donato, Herbert Hernandez, and Quark Henares – by ASUS Expert Series and Microsoft

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – “Can creative experts drive business?” This was the main question discussed in the latest ASUS Expert Series and Microsoft webinar, co-presented by adobo magazine. The three guest speakers, each leading their own organizations, shared how creative leadership impacts the way they managed their teams, and how they produce innovative solutions for their partners during these times.

As part of the “Work Anytime, Work Anywhere Two-part Webinar for Thinkers & Doers” series, this particular session was hosted by freelance performing artist MM Gigante, and ASUS Commercial Product Marketer Ron Mariano. The panel featured Canva Philippines Country Manager Yani Donato, GIGIL Creative Partner Herbert Hernandez, and Head of Globe Studios Quark Henares.

Each of the guests took some time to share their insights on what makes a good creative leader. Canva Philippines’ Yani Donato revealed three points that, she believes, are integral in the company’s working culture. First, she emphasized the importance of leading with empathy in these troubling times, and how this can make for stronger connections within the team. Resilience is also an important trait for leaders, as they will be faced with several difficult decisions concerning the company throughout the years. Donato also believes that resilience builds up grit, or a leader’s strength of character and resolve. Lastly, she brought up innovation and how crucial it is in a company’s ability to adapt to unpredictable circumstances, and stay creative in their executions.


For GIGIL’s Herbert Hernandez, flexibility is of utmost importance for a creative leader — that  is, his or her ability to shift to a follower mindset when needed. This goes hand in hand with nurturing the talent, or making team members feel empowered and well taken care of, enough to feel comfortable to share their own creative ideas and feedback. Being a full-time musician on top of being a full-time creative leader of an independent agency, Hernandez also talked about encouraging team members to have passions or side projects outside advertising (i.e. script writing, gaming, music, etc.) as he believes that this also fuels the creativity and inspiration within the company. Moreover, he stressed the significance of defining the “North Star,” and staying aligned to it as an organization.

Quark Henares of Globe Studios completed the round with his own insights on the matter, highlighting the need to establish a “safe space” for the team to feel free in expressing their creativity and identity in whatever way or form. In creating an environment like this, the culture of the company will also be heavily impacted, in a way that members will feel at ease with each other, in and out of the board room. This leads to more engaging brainstorming sessions where everybody feels comfortable to pitch in their insights. Similar to the other guests, Henares leads a relatively young group of creatives. With this, he added on Hernandez’s point on flexibility, and acknowledging that the best ideas won’t always come from the top bosses, or from himself. As he put it: “The table is circular. There is no head of the table.”

The session opened up the topic on how creativity impacts business through a sharing of some of the panelists’ most memorable campaigns, where imaginative ideas successfully translated to good business results: #CanvaPasko from Canva, “Kubeta Got Talent” from GIGIL, and the #SaludoSMEs film starring Lea Salonga from Globe Studios.


The discussion among the panelists went on for almost two hours, with fun anecdotes from quarantine shoots, surprise appearances from adorable furry friends, and some much-needed inspirational words on how to thrive as a creative business amid all these uncertainties.

Watch the full webinar here

Partner with adobo Magazine

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