High and mighty business and lowly consultants

By, Christine Ho

imageIt feels weird to be writing my third blog considering how we only have five blogs to write. By the calculation of blog posts, I’m already halfway through the course and yet I’m still feeling at a loss on how to approach our business. We’re consulting for a ecopark here in Philippines and perhaps it’s because the business is rather reputable (at least the business is pretty large) and is owned by a university, our clients have been hard to work with. There appears to be a lack of faith in us as consultants (which I suppose is fair, as I lack confidence in us as well) and is not forthcoming when it comes to information regarding the business. Amidst the rants and rage I have been throwing (Sorry my lovely group mates) we have had to compromise in regards to the little information we have had in thinking up a business plan for our clients. There’s a sense of hopelessness in me as I try to grapple with what little information we’ve been given – the business is making a loss, the ecopark is a CSR initiative of the university and the business doesn’t appear to want to invest more money into the ecopark for marketing nor do they seem to be open to the suggestion of cutting prices. The constraints that are places upon us makes it rather hard for us to come up with solutions for the business. Currently we’re focused on refocusing their business mission statement – for them to better understand what and how to implement a CSR initiative (is it to conserve the environment? To increase awareness?) and it’s measure of meeting their goals, to set-up a better recording system of their business transactions and to come up with marketing plans which will require as little money as possible. Though I’m having misgivings as to how much difference will this make to business even if they decide to implement these changes (I have the mental image of the business getting the our report and then throwing it into a corner to gather dust). It seems that with consultancy conducted in such a short period of time, we can only hope that our changes can bring positive change to the business, but it will be impossible to know our true impact.

On the other hand, Philippines has been quite the experience – from experiencing every form of transportation possible here to being cheated by the tricycle driver, waking up at five AM for church (the lord is testing me…) and others. I think Philippines have been quite the liberating experience for me – I have always been taught to live between the lines, it makes for a more comfortable and safer lifestyle. But here Philippines there’s little to no rules when it comes to transportation. And sitting as the third person on the back of a motorcycle (the first time I’ve been on a motorcycle by the way – 5 minutes of pure fear/adrenaline rush) or sticking half my body out of the jeepney to taste the wind, these were things that my HK self would have never done – never dared to have done. I’m not insinuating that I’m a changed person after going on this trip (cliche! Cliche!), but I think it did expose to me how living a little on the dangerous side can be invigorating. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still terrified of roller coaster rides and I think I will only get on a motorcycle in HK if I’m able to cling like a octopus to the driver in front, but nevertheless, I think I’ve learned that its ok to live a little sometimes. Stick out your arm to feel the wind, because (cliche, again) you only live once.

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