2013-09-18

I Like Company

I don't know why people think I don't like corporate work. Maybe I just complain too much about people who are bad at what they do.
since before joining the corporate workforce in 2006, I've professed an interest in corporate dynamics, but basically at the board level of setting objectives that are mapped to motivations and resource constraints. I think readings on the business and culture of management consultants in 2006 increased my appreciation and preference for operational design and implementation also. But I have generally been explicitly disdainful of employees, middle managers, and even CEOs who don't seem to know why they are doing what they are doing - and how it fits into a rational narrative.

Typically when I interact with any new entity (individual or organisation), I start looking for 1) who's in charge - whether its people or thought patterns and 2) why they disagree with me - because disagreement is definitively more informative than agreement.

This tends to lead me to behave in a fashion that says to people, you're not interesting if 1) you're not in charge of what I'm interested in modifying 2) if you agree with me.

This, they find abrasive. Hehehe. But i love people, and companies, really, I do
Now here's what really irks me. Most people who work in corporate roles do it because they fear death, or hunger, or the loss of their social-economic lifestyle practice, not because they like corporate roles.

I like corporations as corporations, studying and doing what corporations are meant to do - serve shareholder interests. And often enough, these people are the ones asking me if I really like corporate work. Yes i do. It's these distracted people whom i can't stomach...

Now of course we could broaden the teleology of a corporation to include employee-etc-stakeholder interests as means to the end of shareholder service; or even as a means in itself, if all contributors of capital are viewed equally whether they provide financial or human capital to operations. Butthat'd be a DBA / Philosophy of Commerce thesis, not a FB post hehe
"Shareholder value," doesn't refer to next-quarter's profits over the firm's profits 5, 10, or 20 years down the road.
[...] no, that's short-term shareholder value. There are more sustainable approaches that can be employed while still putting shareholder value at the top of a corporation's list of priorities.

But saying that "shareholders matter more than other stakeholders, e.g. employees, neighbours, people affected by the corporation's supply chain," is the old-fashioned approach that I meant to refer to. It's a property-rights approach: an "I bought your time, so I own your time," approach to management.

A more altruistic alternative to that is to look at corporations as "projects," which involve capital contributions in terms of cash, human time, and willing counterparties in a supply-chain. So, "shareholders," would not be prioritised higher than "employees," or "our suppliers," or something like that. Fun stuff to think about if you're into designing and running companies...

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