When dots connect
In a mix of self-preservation, health concerns, and just longing for less stress, I decided to end the life I have lived throughout my whole adulthood and try my hand as a culture officer of a small Davao-based real estate developer.
Why here? First, because it’s small and easier to transform. Second, there is no one as crazy as I am to experiment on transforming the culture of a workplace instead of just looking at the human resources other than this company. HR work wouldn’t entice me. It’s too wrapped in procedures and policies. Plus, being a culture officer is yet an untrodden path in this tiny patch on Earth.
What does it take to be one? Probably the long and winding path I took to get here. There’s the 15 years as editor-in-chief, which meant a decade and a half of heading a fast-paced, unpredictable, and ever-changing work environment full of heartbreaks, threats, harrowing experiences, living on the edge, complemented with endless opportunities to interact and communicate with a vast spectrum of people from the poorest and powerless to the wealthiest and most powerful, plus 8 earlier years of doing the same but not having the title, plus nine much earlier years to hone my craft and build a name. Architecture, my course as a college student before I stumbled into journalism as a career made me understand the language of builders. In between was a short course in the Language of Business at the Asian Institute of Management where I got a dose of how they do it there (drowning in tons of case studies and doing simulations) but for a period short enough to keep my sanity (and money) intact. That taught me to understand ... the language of business. Matched with the endless math subjects in architecture, it taught me how numbers look in the money form and not just in measurements.
I capped this by becoming a legitimate Communication graduate just this year.
Bottomline, it’s about enhancing communication and understanding within the company, and communication and understanding of the forces and situations that affect the industry -- the real estate, the construction industry. It’s stimulating the slow culture that builds trust and openness, proven to build stronger, more resilient, and relevant human organizations.
Have I stimulated your curiosity enough? You can ask me more.