Mr. Anonymous offered a very interesting scenario featuring a dilemma, written below:
What if you’re placed in this dilemma:
Your successful company that you have taken care for years is about to face bankruptcy, turmoil, or whatever the worst you can think of. You’ve cut down the number of your employees already to the minimum, you’ve cut their salary, you’ve done everything you can to save it. I’m no business person so I’m not familiar with the terms and techniques, but you get it: you’ve done everything ethically, morally and legally possible. Still, it seems inevitable. Then suddenly a light of hope was shown to you and it involves manipulating people through religion and spirituality. Nothing’s illegal in terms of papers, permits, etc. but the only catch is that you’ll have to use religion to manipulate people such as your investors, or even your employees. In other words: “mang-uto ng ibang tao gamit ang salita ng Diyos/Relihiyon” to save your most beloved company. Your company is your life, your passion. You did almost everything for it and if you’re not going to do this “manipulation”, everything you have will be lost. What will you choose?
Manipulation is such a strong word.
In this very challenging situation, I would not use religion and spirituality to manipulate. And really, if I did have a strong sense of spirituality and religious belief, I believe in the 2nd Commandment wherein one should not use God’s name in vain; and believing in Karma, whatever you do will have repercussions.
First of all, I were to establish a company, given my current frame of mind and worldview, it will have social and/or environmental value generation motive embedded in it. I believe it will be at least a social enterprise or a sustainability enterprise – addressing more than the profit motive. Therefore, spiritual values must be integral to its culture.
Spirituality will not be used to manipulate, but rather its benevolent values are what the company will be fighting for. So to reframe your scenario, it’s not “mang-uto ng iba gamit ang salita ng Diyos”, but rather, “draw support from others through the Word of God that our very company stands for.”
Maybe we can get support through donations? Or by partnering and collaborating with other social enterprises? Asking for loans? I do not know. But the great thing about social enterprises is that it thrives in the dynamic of collaboration, not competition. Somehow, there will be bigger socially-driven institutions that can offer help for my company to survive.
If I were to be a successful entrepreneur, then there WILL always be a creative solution. If I was able to provide a creative solution for others, why not exhaust all creative solutions for the company as well?
Collaboration with other social enterprises or institutions with the same values will help me get over this very challenging dilemma. Hindi naman pang-uuto kung talagang bahagi na ng buhay at negosyo mo ang Salita ng Diyos, diba? 🙂
So to directly answer your question, I will not use religion to manipulate, but rather, make it a source of strength and keep the faith. Because I know that institutions who share the same spiritual values as my company can help me get over this lump.
I do not consider myself YET as an excellent social entrepreneur. But if I am to become one and own a social enterprise instead of working for one, then that means I must have been capable of finding plenty of creative solutions. And besides, I know that I am not alone. There will be fellow social entrepreneurs that will be willing to sustainably collaborate with me to get over this.
I hope that I answered your question. 🙂