By: Sean Gerard Angel Pijuan
5 strides from my office table, just beyond the door, hangs a chime. This apparatus is found in all our offices, commonly seen hanging above the doorways or in the middle of rooms. On certain occasions, we are instructed to clang them together at the same time. Forces are then freed to achieve harmony, which creates favorable effects. This practice is of Feng Shui. Some describe it as a pseudoscience. I see it as a management belief system.
A belief system is a science of understanding and guiding the beliefs of a group of people. In my case, I have our employees. If I, a manager, can influence the quality of my employee’s thoughts, therefore the quality of their decisions. When I was asked why we are doing this synchronized chiming, I answered, “it is because… teamwork.”
I rationalize from my standpoint – as I am not cultivated in Feng Sui, that clanking the chime together as a company promotes a certain effect of harmony. Every employee is doing their part, contributing to a 1-second orchestra. We create a symphony with one clang. That moment demonstrated, in a small-scale, the objective of management.
I want an organization that works together to achieve a common objective. Employees are the core resource of a company, but unlike money and machines, people are not cold. Sometimes they need to be driven and not always forced. “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” Quoted Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
Management is not an exact science. I consider it more as an art and a duty; to compel an employee to work or to instill a belief so an employee will compel himself or herself to work. Sometimes I govern with passion and sometimes not, but all of these are based on belief. Belief is the foundation of everything. Money is a practical example. It is a piece of paper given value based on a conventional belief. There is a need to have a medium of exchange, hence money is given its power. Having a belief system is powerful as all groups of people have beliefs. It creates harmony among believers. Not everything can be explained or understood, but it can be believed.
The energy that Feng Shui strives to balance can be traced to Taoism, a Chinese philosophy that dates back to the sixth century B.C. The Taoist belief asserts that human language is incapable of explaining our existence in the world. Its purpose to arrange and unblock physical objects is similar to management’s goal of aligning all the resources to achieve a shared goal.
I followed a directive when I clang the chime hanging just outside the door of my office. Having no idea if there is truly a force that would harmonize us all and produce favors, I wanted everyone to do it at the same time. I knew that only a few understood the point of the ritual, but I also knew that everyone felt that they all did it together to achieve a goal.
Sean Gerard Angel Z. Pijuan is the Senior Quality Management Officer of Invictus Prime Holdings Corporation, a corporation that manages the consolidation and integration of operations within its companies: Complete Logistic Control Inc., ZKO Group Distributors Inc., Philfast Global Forwarding Inc., Satellite GPS Tracking and Asset Management System Corp., and SCMIX Builders Inc.