We often hear about employees as being representatives of their company. Whenever they go to an event, give a presentation, engage with the public, someone somewhere gently reminds them that they are acting a representative of the company — an ambassador to the brand. But, the more I think about this mentality, the more it starts to feel backwards. Companies aren't alive. They don't think. They don't feel. They are merely an aggregation of the choices, principles, and desires of the people who make it happen. So, what if we flip this thought - what if we started to think about a company as a representative of its employees?
When you view this relationship in the oposite direction, things become much more personal. Everything the company does gets called into question because everything the company does becomes a reflection of something you would have done. Or does it? How often do you find that the company's principles align with your own principles? How often is the company a true ambassador of your brand?
It's definitely a interesting exercise to try. And, I think it can help you articulate problems that may not have been obvious before. For example, if you find that you company does something that doesn't make sense to you, maybe it's just because no one shared the impetus behind it. Maybe there's a lack of communication or a lack of transparency. Maybe the walls between departments are too high. And, maybe, these are problems that can be fixed once they've been identified.
Anyway, just something to noodle on. A fun way to challenge your perspective.
Looking For A New Job?
I think you should extend your idea to not only while working, but after leaving the company.. One company I worked had dept to nearly every supplier. After leaving that company I started my own business. It was extra difficult to gain the trust of the one if I told I was working at that company. The untrustworthiness was sticky..
Very interesting. I had something similar once, slightly. I worked a development shop and one of our clients was notorious for simply not paying his vendors and then moving to other vendors who didn't know about his payment practices. It was terribly embarrassing. To this day, I can't even hear about this person's company without feeling a little bit of shame of having been associated with such business dealings.