Short end of the bargain


I was at another CPD session yesterday but this time it was out of a work driven requirement. The ever growing need to reconcile corporate drivers (profit, margins, market share) with the equally increasing volume in terms of noises made, from the community perspectives. So a corporate entity seeks to report on its corporate social responsibility which was all the rage where I was some 5-6 years ago.

Apparently this has evolved and corporations are now required to report not just how it discharges its CSR, but also how its vision, mission, objectives, strategies, activities etc creates value not just for the corporation but also for its shareholders and all stakeholders at large.

That was why I rocked up to the session yesterday but as is often the case, the delivery was something else.

It was partly my bad however – while the promotional literature talked about “Global Reporting Initiative” and “Integrated Reporting” framework, the workshop was targeted at people who had to produce the report as a whole – albeit incorporating aspects of GRI and possibly, into the future, IR. Maybe the letters GRI and IR jumped out because I was looking for such material. I was possibly misled because of my own agenda and priorities.

Sometimes however, one is misled not because of undisclosed agenda or expectations. One is often misled because counter-party misled you. Tham Fuan Yee proclaims you are his first team, he publicly says things like it would be crazy for him to forge ahead without board support – it would be suicidal even, for him to proceed in this manner – yet actions and day-to-day words suggest to be his first team and to support him means no questions are to be asked. Any questions asked are interpreted as lack of support. That then gets communicated to everyone working for him. The Board is prevented from communicating to the same persons and so that miscommunication is never given a different perspective. Over time, the board is made to appear to be obstructive and unreasonable.

One feels betrayed and short changed. To be treated this way by a pastor hurts immeasurably. The damage is far more destructive than a day lost in mismatched training. To this day, our church life suffers and I feel like a homeless potted plant seeking to be part of a productive plot. Thanks Tham Fuan, for the continuing damage you wrought. Thanks to your harsh words and inexplicable nonchalance for so long, I continue to wander. Instead of gathering like a godly man would, you have succeeded in scattering. Tham Fuan, do you know how that is?

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