opinion

Have governance, expect real family unity

August 5, 2019

I received a deluge of frantic emails related to my previous articles (“What If You Died Tonight” and “Nothing Is Uncertain except Death”).  More than half of the messages came from next generation members desperately fearful of the dire consequences of suddenly losing a business leader. Additionally, most of them also felt a feeling of inadequacy and helplessness because of the patriarchal shadow enveloping their decisions.      On the other hand, the other half of the messages came from worried senior generation leaders expressing unhappiness with the way the children have managed the business. One patriarch in his 70’s even remarked that he felt great sadness because the children (and in laws) acted as if they owned the business even though they never experienced hardships.      Summarizing my email exchanges clearly points to the twin evils of family owned businesses:      The senior generation’s way of control or “patriarchal shadow” and      The Next generation’s work attitude and sense of entitlement      Every family I coach all over the world is in agreement that good family and business governance go hand in hand with sustained benefits that can last for generations. The question is how committed are family members especially the business leader in initiating real change?       In my recent engagement in Istanbul, Turkey, a business owner shared a question: “Professor, we all know the importance of governance and succession and there is no question all of us in this room aspire to be 100-year old companies someday. However, with all the issues considered urgent, how can I worry about governance, succession and ownership transfer when I have a business to run, creditors to manage and bills to pay?      My answer is clear… always start the process with simple steps but make sure you position family governance and succession at the top of your priority list. There is a Chinese saying, “the journey to a thousand leagues begins with one step” and it holds true in creating legacy building measures. I need to reiterate that even the best family businesses work hard at relationship building.      To jumpstart governance, family members must understand what the company's mission is, what its short-term goals are and how it relates to their individual job descriptions. They must also know their boundaries. To determine the latter, a system that encourages open communications must be fostered by the business leader.      Trust me, communication helps build good relationships enterprise-wide.      I must warn you, though – encouraging open communication has its temporary setbacks. You will expect siblings or cousins to raise memories of past hurts related to how they were treated differently and unfairly. That said, will you just sweep the issues under the rug? How would you confront these “elephants in the room”? Will you just suffer in silence and prefer temporary peace knowing that at some point, these forbidden issues can surface and create tension amongst family members? What if you are no longer around when tension erupts?      And if you choose to ignore these issues now, what is the likely scenario that these problems will escalate? The risk is just too high to set aside these problems!      So if you believe these issues can compromise family harmony and impede the operations of the business, they must be dealt with now, not later. I know these are not easy issues to deal with, so it is in the best interest of families to rely on family-business experts to help family members navigate through these difficult “terrain”. Let me close with this message, “Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action”.        esoriano@wongadvisory.com

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Marriage feng shui

August 5, 2019

In marrying never pick a rock and hit your head. So goes the Feng Shui advice for marriage.      How and why?      It evolves from Chinese tradition in Feng Shui!      What is this tradition?      It is the materialistic pursuit of wealth for a family and keeping the wealth within the family as well as improving it through fixed intermarriage.      Thus in ancient times we read or hear of arranged marriage between heads of families be they royalty or common folk to achieve this survival plus growth objectives!      In Philippines like other countries, this was seen in intermarriage of tribal clans and eventually rich families that became the elites of Philippine society!      Urban legend in Chinatown, Manila would be the Ty and Tan arranged marriage of son and daughter for a strong "Titan" family alliance and greater prestige let alone status and "face" in the niche of Tsinoy society.      Sometimes in modern times it is born out of common interests bound by corruption and money laundering! As in the case of a rogue Taipan daughter matched for marriage with say the ghost projects' queen's crown prince. What a discovery???      Marriage can mean many things even in Feng Shui. Marriage by convenience for citizenship, or yes, true love or simply to make parents happy as well as fear of being disinherited!      But let's face it, marriage has a price behind the prize.      That's why the bottom line of marrying into wealth is a hard and fast Feng Shui principle.      Adding value to the family assets thru marriage is a common pursuit.      But not an easy one as in Feng Shui this requires that the couple be Feng Shui compatible. Thus the math rule of it is unlucky to marry someone of the same sign or your opposing zodiac sign in the Chinese zodiac.      A quick guide: rat vs rat and horse, horse vs horse and rat! Ox vs ox and sheep. Sheep vs sheep and ox. Tiger vs tiger and monkey. Monkey vs monkey and tiger. Rabbit vs rabbit and rooster. Rooster vs rooster and rabbit. Dragon vs dragon and dog. Dog vs dog and dragon. Pig vs pig and snake. Snake vs snake and pig.      Many have separated or divorced violating the above matching principle in marriage.      Is there a remedy? Yes, and it is shared upon a formal consultation with a genuine Feng Shui master and not any silently renounced claiming to be renowned in Philippines let alone Asia.      How in the world can a fraudster whose gender or marital status questionable be able to give wise counsel on marriage?      Marry right and well and be merry! Beware of closet fake Feng Shui.

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Bar exams feng shui

August 2, 2019

First time unintentionally, I Feng Shuied a housewife who requested me to fix her husband's den office as he is studying for the bar examinations. So together we fixed his desk to the best scholarship direction facing Southwest as it applies to his specific personal Feng Shui lucky direction.      To enhance his focus and concentration we placed a globe crystal ball too.      And ultimately, an aquarium with live arowana fish in it's right fengshui.      And I forgot about it until years later I saw her husband on television hosting a program dedicated to law topics and learned he topped the bar as a credential let alone becoming a president of a university!      Another client friend simply asked how to pass after failing once. The same prescription plus wearing white during exam days even underwear made her a lawyer! Even a successful politician later on with white clothes.      A niece who was taking the Bar simply got two Feng Shui advice, one was to study in her lucky direction and a blessed lucky turtle charm with only two weeks to go before the exams. She became the first lawyer in the family!      Not all of my clients pass the bar.      Lessons learned is simply legal too. Due diligence both in review and Feng Shui.      So even if you have to retake Bar Exams the third time just be diligent.      Who knows you may even top it and end up a senator!      Only one person will know if with proper Feng Shui you can or will pass the Bar. Not me your Excellency.      It's that famous man or woman or closet one when you look at a mirror!      Feng Shui only mirrors your true self when it comes to the successful attainment of your dream of becoming a lawyer.      So to start with memorize with clear understanding The Lawyer's Oath. And review not only bar exam subjects but your personal Feng Shui diligently and consistently.      Yes, how you enter your home, office, bedroom, cook and sleep as well as study can define whether or not you will pass or fail!      Welcome to the real laws of human nature!      Also do get yourself two sets of reviewer materials from the past two years bar examinations to be aptly prepared. And with pun but seriously speaking, they are available at the famous Claro M. Recto photocopying shops in the University belt of Manila or otherwise in Cebu and Davao!      Good luck and study harder for duralex sed lex as a UP pub shirt reads (the law may be harsh but it can be broken like a famous Duralex brand of drinking glass that claims to be unbreakable)! Why? Because even luck in exams can be broken. Ask any student!

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MY SECRET TO SUCCESS

July 26, 2019

BE KIND : A lot of people feel that once they’re a boss or once they’re a leader or manager, they feel like they have to be mean or they have to exert their authority. And I don't believe that. If they see that you're a kind person that genuinely cares about them, they're going to work harder for you, which makes you look good.      DEVELOP YOUR REPLACEMENT : Do not make yourself irreplaceable. Make the people around you better. [I’m] only be as successful as the team around me and the people that I developed around me.      STAY IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL : It's a 24/7/365 job, and if you don't take the time to either build equity with a company or learn from mentors or find mentors because you get frustrated because you worked a 16, 17-hour shift, you're going to very easily burn yourself out. It's not a sprint. It's definitely a marathon.

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T-Junction or 'Tumbok' Feng Shui

July 26, 2019

Realtors are aware that property buyers avoid T-junction properties or "tumbok". Why?      It is bad feng shui!      What is bad about it?      Feng shui teaches that this type of property is constantly hit by "sha" or toxic life energies or chi that affects the wellbeing of the occupants.      In layman's terms, a "tumbok" property causes any of the following consequences on the life of occupants:      - constantly thwarted relationships be it personal, business or professional thereby leading to failed lovelives, unconsumated marriage or even deals.      - postponed or mothballed opportunities or permanently cancelled as applied not only to sale closing or prospects, but also to romantic affairs of the heart leading to remorseful hurts.      - it can also affect fertility if not becoming a spinster in life such that one may be unable to bear children or if able to, the gender will be the same as the eldest (ie, a former chief executive of a country lived in such a property in a makati village resulting only to daughters, no sons!)      But in case one inherits, or has already or even contemplating to own a t-junction lot or property, there are simple feng shui remedies!      The best remedy if possible if still a vacant lot, is to design the driveway as a continuation of the fronting road even if gated. In this manner you let the bad forces or chi passover your house or building. The best example of this in Cebu City is the way Tune Hotels infront of the Ayala complex is built, letting the driveway absorb the "tumbok" while elevating the main lobby to the the second floor ( in this instance for good business feng shui!).      Note however that in feng shui, there are variants of "tumbok". Equally bad as "tumbok" are lots or properties around a cul-de-sac or rotonda road. Or if a dead end or t-junction road in a village, the property left and right of the center lot are considered "tumbok" also.      What one should guard against is self-inflicted tumbok as in homes with a bow (as in bow and arrow) or half moon driveway with the convex side hitting the main door or house! Even schools are affected as in the main campus frontage driveway of De La Salle University at Taft Avenue, Manila.      In business or even house garage-driveway, beware of self created and infliction of "tumbok" by allowing the driveway or delivery bays hit the main entrances or structure directly. These lead to botched projects or deals in succession even endlessly!      Y-junction intersections or corners are equal to this too! However their consequence is far more brutal: sex scandal(s) for the owner.      The above notes apply to feng shui for the living or yang feng shui.      In case grave sites of ancestors are situated in similar locations of "tumbok", it rubs off or affects descendants by way of having many unmarried ones, and high natural abortion rates even accidents and mishaps!      Overall such properties thwart human progress incessantly.      How to cure? Best to consult a professional geomancer and to know that you are not victimized by a fake one, remember that feng shui is an ocular science not an armchair hocus pocus! "Tumbok" pa more? Good luck and beware of unhealthy property sites like these ones!

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Adapt or be left behind

July 26, 2019

Speaking recently before the Bankers Institute of the Philippines (BAIPHIL), Diokno, zeroed in on banks and other financial institutions which must “ride the wave of digital transformation. Otherwise, we will become irrelevant and obsolete.” Blesilda P. Andres, newly-inducted president of the Bankers Institute of the Philippines (BAIPHIL) agrees 100 percent. “Indeed, banks have been assaulted by waves of disruptive developments impacting bank products, processes and operations,” Andres said. “One such wave is driven by non-banks called FinTech companies which can offer – either as technology service providers or even as direct competitors of banks - an array of technologically-advanced financial services, from payments and settlements to lending and personal financial management, often at much less cost and more efficiency, its reach riding on the ubiquity of mobile devices.” Another problem faced by banks is the onslaught of cyber threats launched by well-organized, well-funded groups. For sure, the banking “big boys” are already in various stages of riding the digital wave. Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), for one, is intensifying its digitalization efforts to support rapid growth, enable more convenient and efficient banking for clients, and increase financial inclusion. BPI President and CEO Cezar P. Consing said “the ultimate objective is to elevate BPI’s digital infrastructure, to bring innovative services to existing and future clients, as well as to support the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP’s) initiative to develop a National Retail Payment System (NRPS), which involves policies and standards for a “cash-lite” economy.” “This long-term digitalization journey will enhance our extensive network of ATMs, CAMs (Cash Acceptance Machines), online facility, and mobile app, to enable us to offer convenient, self-service banking,” Consing added. BPI Enterprise Services Head Ramon Jocson said “the process of digitalization, despite inevitable hiccups along the journey, will eventually lead to exceptional customer experience as more and more people gain more confidence in doing online and mobile transactions”. For those institutions which will be able to adapt, the rewards - potential for growth, profitability and even financial inclusion - are great. But harnessing the power of these technologies also requires a new, more forward looking approach. It entails a review of the legal framework, as well as outstanding traditional regulations on which governance responsibilities are anchored. Diokno assured that even the Bangko Sentral has been increasingly digitizing in order to improve its service to the public. This is in line with the E-Government Master Plan which is envisioned to provide, among others, “responsive, online and citizen-centered services for Filipinos.” To keep pace with the digital transformation, Diokno said the BSP set up in 2018 a dedicated Technology Sub-Sector to insure an operational and cyber-resilient financial system. Diokno said the BSP has embarked on a Strategy for Technology Adoption in Regulatory Supervision or STARS. Under STARS, Diokno said the BSP is “now employing regulatory technology (‘regtech’) and supervisory technology (‘suptech’) solutions. Regtech and Suptech provide BSP with “real-time market surveillance, supervision and examination, digitalization, data analytics, data collection and distribution”. “They also enhance the timeliness and quality of our risk-based decision-making,” Diokno stressed. (Disclosure: The writer is an Independent Director of the Ayala-led Bank of the Philippine Islands.)

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